An Olive Oil Gelato You Can Make at Home

Mj 618_348_olive oil gelato tktk

You had finally worked off all that winter Netflix weight and were feeling pretty good about your beach body as summer approaches. You might have even flexed in the mirror once (or twice) and smiled. But now, with the heat index rising and your local ice cream shop shouting its existence each time you drive by, you’re wondering if looking this good is worth skipping out on your favorite summer cool down treats.

Well it is. But if you’re still hankering for something cold and creamy, chef Doug Psaltis of RPM Italian in Chicago has come up with a delicious and unique olive oil gelato recipe that offers the same great taste as ice cream while removing some fat. 

“It really starts with the olive oil,” Psaltis explains from his downtown location. “We use a Ligurian brand that gives it great flavor, like a sweet cream in some ways. Very fresh and fruity, with no bitterness or grassiness to it. We just planned around that.”

By swapping much of the cream for organic milk, removing some of the eggs, and churning the mix at a slower speed, RPM’s olive oil gelato provides a lighter, healthier alternative to ice cream. Of course, if you’re not really concerned with the calorie count, Psaltis suggests pairing it with a nice lemon cake: “It really just brings the whole thing together.”


  • 3 ½ cups Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 ½ tsp. Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise; or vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 10 Egg Yolks
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • Maldon or flakey sea salt


  1. Combine milk, cream, and vanilla bean in large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Remove from heat
  3. If using vanilla bean, remove from milk mixture, scrape the seeds back into hot milk mixture, and discard the pod.
  4. Cover and steep for 30 minutes. 
  5. Add ¾ cup of sugar to milk mixture and bring back to a simmer to dissolve. 
  6. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks, the remaining sugar, and salt together in medium size heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in 1 cup of the warm milk mixture into the eggs, and then return all of the eggs back into milk mixture and cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until custard reaches 185 degrees.
  7. Immediately strain custard through a fine strainer into a heatproof bowl. If not using vanilla bean, then add extract at this time. Chill over in ice bath, stirring occasionally, until cold. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours, or overnight. 
  8. Freeze gelato in an ice cream maker according to manufacture’s instructions, stopping to slowly drizzle in olive oil halfway through freezing process. Pack into a freezable container and freeze at least 1 hour before serving. 
  9. Upon serving, garnish with drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.

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