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Virgin Piña Colada Italian Ice in the Ninja CREAMi

June 9, 2024

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All summer long, I want something fresh and cold, and frozen desserts just win every time. Italian ice is a classic dessert that was created in the United States by Italian immigrants but it was likely inspired by Sicilian granita. (This article from Saveur is an amazing deep dive into Sicily’s contributions to the world of ice cream.)

American Italian ice is smoother and thicker than granita, so it’s often more similar to sorbet and ice cream. We’re not talking snow cones here, we’re talking dairy-free, fruit-forward concoctions that just hit the spot. Every. Time.

Chris Loves Julia | Chris leaning over a Ninja CREAMi to make a frozen virgin Piña Colada dessert

Ninja CREAMi | Kitchen Towel

This recipe features my trusty Ninja CREAMi (not sponsored, it’s just one of my favorite gadgets). The appliance is one of my kitchen all-stars—it can turn almost anything into a creamy, frozen treat, and it takes almost no active time at all. I’ve made so many things in the CREAMi (like these three concoctions), and they all turn out tasty. The high-powered blades create this amazing texture that goes beyond a frozen drink or granita, it’s just so smooth and rich…you gotta take my word for it and just try it.

Chris Loves Julia | Chris holding a pint container of a frozen virgin Piña Colada dessert
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When I was thinking of an Italian ice flavor profile to make, I instantly wanted to do something with coconut and pineapple together. It’s just instant tropics. I combine those into a virgin Piña Colada-inspired mixture with some sweet and tart flavors, and it becomes so refreshing really any time of year, but especially in the summer.

Chris Loves Julia | Chris by the pool holding an ice cream cup filled with frozen virgin Piña Colada dessert

Ice Cream Bowls | Chris’s Shirt (similar) | Chris’s Shorts | Backyard Sources

You only need four ingredients to make this Piña Colada-style Italian ice, and trust me, you’ll want to make a couple batches. So plan ahead and give this recipe a try the next time you want a cooling treat that is fresh, sweet, tart and smooth.

Piña Colada Italian Ice in the Ninja CREAMi

Recipe by Chris Loves Julia
Course: DessertCuisine: Italian-AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time



This sweet, tart and creamy treat comes together in just 5 minutes (plus the 24-hour freezing time.) You’ll love the tropical flavors you can get with just four dairy-free ingredients.

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  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (approximately 1 lemon)

  • 1 cup frozen cut pineapple

  • 1/4 cup coconut water

  • coconut syrup to fill line (I use Torani brand)


  • Add the lemon juice, frozen pineapple and coconut water to the Ninja CREAMi base. Add the coconut syrup to reach the fill line of the pint.
  • Add the lid to the pint, shake the container and put it in the freezer for 24 hours until fully frozen.
  • Remove the base from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes to thaw just slightly.
  • Remove the pint lid, add the outer lid over the pint container, insert it in the outer bowl, lock it into the Ninja CREAMi and press the Sorbet setting. Scoop and serve!

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What do you think?

  1. Erika says:

    Chris, I don’t have a Creami but I have the ordinary countertop Ninja smoothie/bowl maker. I followed your ratios and it came out great in the regular Ninja. Thanks for the recipe! This will be on repeat for the summer! xoxo

  2. Erika says:

    Hey Chris, can you guess how much Torani syrup you used for those of us who don’t have a Ninja? Thanks!

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