The 8 Best Dairy-Free Ice Creams of 2023

Rich and delicious picks made without milk

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Best Dairy-Free Ice Creams

The Spruce Eats / Lecia Landis

There are many plant-based ice creams on the market today, a handful of which are better than others. Some are unpleasantly icy and thin, while others lack any real flavor. The process of making non-dairy ice cream takes a lot of trial and error (and fine-tuning) to replicate the rich creaminess of traditional ice cream without the milk or cream. Not everyone can pull it off, but the items on this list can.

Have a bowl and spoon at the ready for the best non-dairy ice creams.

Best Overall

Ben & Jerry’s "Milk" and Cookies Non-Dairy

Ben & Jerry’s "Milk" and Cookies Dairy Free
What We Like
  • Made with sunflower butter

  • Certified vegan

  • Readily available

What We Don't Like
  • Might not taste as sweet to some

It’s probably not a huge shock to see Ben & Jerry’s at the top of any "best ice cream" list, and the frozen dessert kings nailed it again with this version of "Milk" & Cookies. While most non-dairy ice creams utilize coconut or almond as a base, the vanilla-flavored "milk" in this ice cream is actually made from sunflower butter. It also features chocolate chip cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, and chocolate cookie swirls. Some say it is somewhat less sweet than you would think, but we love that this dairy-free ice cream is readily available online.

Ben & Jerry’s offers two other sunflower butter-based flavors—Crème Brûlée Cookie and Mint Chocolate Cookie. Also, there are 12 almond milk flavors, including P.B. & Cookies and the millennial-inspired Netflix & Chilll’d, boasting peanut butter, sweet and salty pretzel swirls, and fudge brownies.

Price at time of publish: $5

Base Ingredient: Sunflower butter | Certifications: Certified Vegan, DE Kosher Certified 

Best Flavored

SO DELICIOUS Dairy Free Cashewmilk Frozen Dessert, Salted Caramel Cluster

So Delicious Dairy-Free Cashewmilk

 Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Made with cashews

  • Thick

  • Flavorful

What We Don't Like
  • Melts quickly

The number of non-dairy ice cream flavors has skyrocketed in recent years, much to the luck of anyone looking to avoid traditional ice cream made with milk and eggs. This flavor is one to beat but doesn’t contain any of the ingredients typically found in both ice cream and caramel. It is made with cashew milk and cashews, as well as coconut oil, sugar, caramel sauce, cocoa butter, chocolate chips, and pea protein to thicken it up. Although it is flavorful and sweet, it does melt easily.

The entire So Delicious line is dairy-free. If you’re not a huge fan of caramel, you can choose from over two dozen vegan frozen dessert options, like a pint of Bananas Foster (made with cashew milk), almond milk vanilla sandwiches, and coconut milk mint fudge swirl bars.

Price at time of publish: $5

Base Ingredient: Cashew milk, coconut oil, roasted cashews, pea protein | Certifications: Certified Vegan, Non GMO Project Verified, Kosher Parve Certified

What We Like
  • Oat milk base

  • Creamy

  • Soy-free

What We Don't Like
  • Could have a stronger vanilla flavor

Almond milk used to be the plant-based milk alternative of choice, but oat milk seems to be pushing almond milk aside, and Oatly is one of the leaders in that charge. Once exclusively a producer of the non-dairy beverage, Oatly has moved into the frozen dessert space. While it could have a stronger flavor, it is made of simple ingredients, like oat milk, coconut oil, sugar, and vanilla beans. Oatly Vanilla is rich, creamy, and decadent—everything you could want in ice cream. This vegan-certified confection is also soy, gluten-, egg-, and peanut-free.

Beyond vanilla, Oatly also offers Mint Chip, Chocolate Chip, Coffee, Strawberry, Chocolate, and Salted Caramel flavors.

Price at time of publish: $6

Base Ingredients: Oat milk | Certifications: Certified Gluten Free, Certified Vegan, Certified Kosher D

Best Chocolate

Cado Deep Dark Chocolate Avocado Frozen Dessert

Cado Avocado Frozen Dessert
What We Like
  • No avocado taste

  • Made with avocado puree and oil

  • Certified organic

What We Don't Like
  • May be too sweet for a dark chocolate flavor

Cado ice cream stands out from the bunch because its main ingredient is avocado, not plant-based milk. This chocolate dessert starts with a mixture of organic avocado puree and avocado oil that's sweetened and flavored to perfection with organic cane sugar and organic cocoa powder. The result is a deep chocolate flavor with no hint of avocado whatsoever. Because it is a dark chocolate taste, some may find this dairy-free ice cream a little too sweet.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, Cado also offers Salted Caramel, Java Chip, Vanilla Bean, Cookies & Cream, Cherry Amaretto Chip, Simply Lemon, and Mint Chocolate Chip flavors.

Price at time of publish: $8

Base Ingredient: Avocado puree | Certifications: Non GMO Project Verified, Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth

Best Strawberry

Van Leeuwen Vegan Strawberry

Van Leeuwen vegan strawberry

Van Leeuwen

What We Like
  • Tastes fresh

  • Uses ripe strawberries

  • Creamy

What We Don't Like
  • Gourmet price

Strawberry ice cream is tangy, refreshing, and summery. It’s part of the beloved Neapolitan trio and is popular in its own right, too. Van Leeuwen crafts a delicious vegan strawberry ice cream using ripe berries from Oregon, oat milk, coconut cream, cane sugar, and a few other ingredients. The result is a creamy and bright treat. 

Van Leeuwen has a wide range of vegan ice cream flavors to try. Popular pints include pumpkin cinnamon roll, mint chip, peanut butter brownie honeycomb, rocky road, churros and fudge, Sicilian pistachio, and salted caramel. 

Price at time of publish: $9

Base Ingredient: Oat milk | Certifications: Non GMO Project Verified, Certified Vegan

What Our Editors Say

"As someone who used to eat plenty of dairy ice cream, you would never know this was vegan. It's so creamy. Throw it on a sugar cone and live your best life."Taylor Rock, Editor

Best Organic

NadaMoo! Organic Mint Chip

NadaMoo! Organic Mint Chip


What We Like
  • All organic ingredients

  • Creamy

  • Not too minty

What We Don't Like
  • May taste coconutty to some

NadaMoo!’s original flavor is made from organic coconut milk and organic cocoa butter, among other things like organic peppermint oil, sea salt, and organic spirulina powder for its green color. The result is a fresh, minty, creamy ice cream without any dairy. For some ice cream lovers, the coconut flavor may be too strong, but the mint, sugar, and chocolate help to balance it out.

The brand carries other flavors like Cookies & Creme and Organic Vanilla Bean, but also unique ones like Pistachio Nut, Organic Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Cookie Dough Fudge.

Price at time of publish: $5

Base Ingredient: Coconut milk | Certifications: USDA Organic, Certified Vegan, Certified Gluten-Free, Non-GMO Verified, Certified B-Corp, Fair Trade Certified

Best Ice Cream Sandwich

Coolhaus Dairy-Free Cookie Dough Lyfe Sammie

Coolhaus Dairy-Free Cookie Dough Lyfe Sammie
What We Like
  • Lots of flavor

  • Contains two dairy-free chocolate chip cookeis

  • Made with yellow peas

What We Don't Like
  • Contains tree nuts

Do you remember chasing down the neighborhood ice cream truck to nail down a Chipwich on a hot summer day? While nothing can replace those happy memories, the Coolhaus Dairy-Free Cookie Dough Lyfe Sammie can certainly take them up a notch. These dairy-free ice cream sandwiches combine cookie dough batter, cookie dough pieces, and chocolate flake frozen dessert between two chewy chocolate chip cookies.

Not only is this ice cream sandwich dairy-free, but it’s also made with non-GMO yellow peas, organic brown rice, organic cocoa butter, and organic cane sugar. It does contain tree nuts and coconut and is made in a facility that processes milk, soy, wheat, nuts, and peanuts.

Price at time of publish: $5

Base Ingredients: Yellow peas, brown rice, cocoa butter | Certifications: Certified women-owned

Best Ice Cream Bars

Cosmic Bliss Organic Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert Bars, Salted Caramel in Chocolate

Cosmic Bliss Sea Salt Caramel Swirl

Cosmic Bliss

What We Like
  • Made with coconut milk ice cream

  • Uses fair-trade chocolate

  • Bars are large

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive for only 3 bars

Coconut Bliss focuses solely on dairy-free frozen desserts, and the Sea Salt Caramel Swirl Bars are wonderful. Using mostly organic ingredients, Coconut Bliss combines coconut milk-based caramel ice cream with a hint of sea salt and dips it into organic, Fair-Trade dark chocolate to give it a crisp, melt-it-in-your-mouth coating that’s truly divine.

In addition to salted caramel, flavors include Madagascan Vanilla Bean, Coconut Almond Crunch Bars, and nearly two dozen other dairy-free dessert options.

Price at time of publish: $6

Base Ingredient: Coconut milk | Certifications: USDA Certified Organic, Certified Vegan, OK Kosher Certified

Final Verdict

You can never go wrong with Ben & Jerry’s "Milk" & Cookies with its flavorful, creamy, and sweet taste thanks to sunflower butter. If you’re looking for something chocolatey, we recommend a pint of Cado Avocado Deep Dark Chocolate—which doesn't taste like avocado at all but is made from avocado puree and oil.

What to Look for in Dairy-Free Ice Cream


If you don't like the way ice cream tastes, there's no enjoyment in it. Ice cream is an indulgence, and you want that creamy, sweet flavor that reminds you of your childhood days. Whether it's a craving for chocolate, swirls of caramel, or chunks of fruit or brownies, your preference is the key to choosing and selecting the ice cream that fits your taste.


Dairy-free ice creams are made with different base ingredients. Check out the labels, as some use oat milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, sunflower butter, and even avocado puree and oil. Watch for certifications such as vegan, gluten-free, egg-free, peanut-free, and usage of soy or wheat, among others. Taste comes into play too. If you like the flavor of coconut, for example, you might prefer this ingredient base over another one. 


When you dip a spoon into ice cream, you expect a thick, pillowy type texture, not one that is thin, icy, and crunchy to the ear. Ice cream should be smooth and creamy with that ultimate mouthfeel we've all come to expect when eating this delicious treat. 


What does dairy-free mean?

Dairy-free products are free of anything that is dairy, including milk products or milk ingredients. They also do not contain whey, casein, or lactose.

How long does dairy-free ice cream last once it has been opened?

If the carton has been opened and stored properly in the freezer, some manufacturers recommend eating the ice cream within seven to 10 days. Read the labels for instructions on storage, and also check for an expiration date when purchasing.

Is all dairy-free ice cream vegan?

Sometimes, but not all of them are. Check the label—if it contains eggs, it is not vegan. Many are made with nut milks and nut butters to make them thick and creamy like traditional ice cream. This can mean they may be both dairy-free and vegan, but contain common allergens like tree nuts.

How We Researched

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best dairy-free ice creams on the market, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, flavor, and price—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist with extensive nutrition knowledge and food and beverage testing experience. She’s developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the healthiest, best-tasting options and ingredients across all food and drink categories.

Allison Wignall, who updated this article, is a writer who focuses on food and travel. She firmly believes that ice cream is a year-round treat, and she will absolutely get milkshakes or ice cream cones in sub-zero winter weather. Her work has been featured in publications, such as Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living. 

Amanda McDonald is an editor at The Spruce Eats and has over seven years of experience researching, writing, and editing about all things food — from what new products are at the grocery store to chef-approved hacks that keep tricky leftovers fresh for days. She updated this article to include the most up-to-date information.

Updated by
Sharon Lockley
Sharon Lockley
Sharon Lockley has over 20 years of experience as an editor and writer and has been contributing to The Spruce Eats since 2019.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Amanda McDonald
Amanda McDonald
Amanda McDonald is a journalist living in New York City and Commerce Updates Editor for The Spruce Eats. She has written and edited health, wellness, food, and fitness content as well as recipes for multiple publications.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Additional reporting by
Allison Wignall
Allison Wignall The Spruce Eats

Allison Wignall is a staff writer for The Spruce Eats who focuses on product reviews. She has also contributed to publications such as Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living.

Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Food and Drug Administration. CFR- code of federal regulations title 21.

  2. Vegan Action/Vegan Awareness Foundation. What is the Certified Vegan Logo?.

  3. Food and Drug Administration. Gluten-free labeling of foods.

  4. Food and Drug Administration. Food Allergies.

  5. United States Department of Agriculture. Labeling organic products.

  6. University of Nebraska–Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resource. Dairy-Free and Non-Dairy: Milk-Allergic Consumers?

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