How to Make Frozen Yogurt Without an Ice Cream Maker (and Strawberry Basil Frozen Yogurt Recipe)

Learn how to make frozen yogurt without an ice cream maker and get my delicious recipe for Strawberry Frozen Yogurt with Lemon and Basil. Plus I’ve also got an exciting new cookbook to tell you about. This blog post is sponsored.

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt with Basil and Lemon

There are so many recipes that use yogurt on my site because I just plain love the stuff. Especially as an ingredient in recipes. I was therefore super excited to get a copy of the new book Yogurt Culture by Cheryl Sternman Rule.

This book takes yogurt as an ingredient seriously. It shows us that yogurt is “A tart, creamy ingredient, beautifully pure in its own right, one that can be paired not just with fruit but with meat, not just with sugar but with salt, not just alone but in combination with hearty grains, crunchy vegetables, protein-rich legumes, intense chocolate, fresh squeezed juices, endless herbs, and exotic spices whose provenance spans the globe.” (Sternman Rule, 13). It’s a truly beautiful book with so many delicious recipe ideas and tips for using yogurt in the kitchen.

Yogurt Culture book

To help celebrate this fantastic new book, Stonyfield sent me yogurt coupons and OXO sent me some tools that are perfect for making strawberry frozen yogurt.

Cheryl has the Ultimate Strawberry Frozen Yogurt recipe in her book. It has balsamic vinegar and rosemary in it, which sounds incredible, right? I wanted to do a really summery take on it so I decided that I’d swap out the vinegar for lemon juice, the rosemary for basil and add some lemon zest too. I was excited to make it.

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

But I’d forgotten to put my ice cream maker in the freezer. This happens all the time. So I experimented with making frozen yogurt without an ice cream maker. I ended up making it in a zip-top freezer bag. You lay it flat in the freezer and then every hour or so, smoosh it all up to remove all clumps and smooth it out. It worked really well!

Here’s how to make frozen yogurt without an ice cream maker:

First, because this was strawberry frozen yogurt, you hull a bunch of strawberries. This is quick and easy to do especially if you have the OXO huller. It took me a few tries to get the hang of it but now it’s my favorite gadget. It quickly and easily gets the greens and the hard top off without wasting any juicy fruit.


Hulling Strawberries

Then put the strawberries and the other ingredients into a food processor and blend.

Blending Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

From there, it goes into your zip-top bag.

Freezing Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Lay it out flat in the freezer and then squish it up every hour or so. When it gets to the right texture, scoop it into a bowl and eat it up.

If you’re not planning to eat it immediately, you can continue to let it freeze. But it’s going to freeze solid. To serve, you have to take it out of the freezer and leave it on the counter for a while. Then use your hands to squish it all up again before digging in.


Basil Strawberry Frozen Yogurt



Strawberry Basil Frozen Yogurt

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 generous quart


You can make the recipe below using an ice cream maker if you have one. Just prepare the mixture in the food processor as described. Then follow the instructions on your ice cream maker. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, follow this easy method for making frozen yogurt without one. This recipe calls for whole milk Greek yogurt or for whole milk plain yogurt that has been strained. To strain the plain yogurt, use a very fine mesh sieve or line a sieve with a coffee filter. Set the sieve over a bowl and put it all in the fridge for an hour. Discard the liquid in the bowl and use the thick yogurt that’s in the sieve.


  • 1 lb. hulled strawberries
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 and ½ cups whole Greek yogurt or 2 and ½ cups whole plain yogurt strained as described above
  • 1 Tbsp. corn syrup


  1. Put the strawberries, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, sugar and basil leaves in a food processor. Pulse 5-10 times until well chopped up. Add the yogurt and pulse a few more times. Add the corn syrup and puree until smooth (I like some flecks of strawberries and basil though so not completely smooth).
  2. Transfer mixture to a large freezer bag. Remove all air from bag before sealing. Lay bag flat in the freezer. After an hour, take it out and smoosh it around. Lay it flat in the freezer. Repeat every hour. As the yogurt freezes, you will want to break up all chunks when you take it out. To do so, lay the bag flat in the counter. Use your fingers to push out any lumps such that the mixture is smooth again. When it is smooth but well-frozen, it’s ready to serve immediately. Or put it back into the freezer and leave it there. 25 minutes before serving, remove from freezer. Let it sit for 15 minutes then use your fingers to smooth it out again. You may want to put it back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes at this point to let it get a bit firmer again.
Disclosure: I’m proud to be a brand ambassador or Stonyfield. They compensate me to write about their yogurt on my site and to share about it on social media. For this post I was also sent a copy of the “Yogurt Culture” book by the publisher and the strawberry huller and ice cream scoop from OXO. All opinions are my own.

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt with Basil and Lemon


Strawberry Frozen Yogurt with Basil and Lemon



14 responses to “How to Make Frozen Yogurt Without an Ice Cream Maker (and Strawberry Basil Frozen Yogurt Recipe)”

  1. Krista Klauke says:

    Omigosh, love this! Thank you! So smart!

  2. Sam says:

    Interesting method to keep the frozen treat at a scoopable texture.
    Here is my trick: as a final ingredient after the unfrozen yogurt is blended, drop in 1 – 1 1/2 tsp of salt. I prefer sea salt for it’s flat texture and taste. The salt keeps the yogurt from completely freezing solid leaving it scoopable, I often re-use the yogurt containers to freeze it in then scoop it out to serve. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. […] you love frozen treats, you should also check out my recipe for homemade strawberry-basil frozen yogurt (no machine […]

  4. […] Strawberry Basil Frozen Yogurt (No ice cream maker necessary!) […]

  5. marlene says:

    Well, I’m one of those who doesn’t like sweet things.  So I adapted this recipe, learned some things, and will try it again.
    First off, tho, the big surprise and genius thinking is the freezer bag technique.  Second, no strawberries, so I used the baby bananas.  They are plenty sweet.  I didn’t add any sugar, only 1 T of honey and it was still too sweet.  So I added black pepper, more cinammon.  wished I’d had some balsamic, tho that is sweet, too.  Maybe I should’ve tried a touch of vinegar.  Anyway, the black pepper worked well.  We had a big laugh when I threw the frozen solid bag of yoghurt out onto the patio to thaw out a bit. I topped it off with toasted pecans.  A hit.

  6. […] For another delicious frozen dessert, be sure to also check out this recipe for no-churn strawberry frozen yogurt. […]

  7. So easy that I could make this tonight and have frozen yogurt for breakfast.l.. it’s ok to do that because it’s strawberries right? ;) haha!!! Strawberries, Yogurt, Fruit..perfect summer time breakfast to me! haha 

  8. I would never have guessed you could use this method to make fro yo without an ice cream maker! So glad to know about this. And the recipe sounds wonderful.

  9. Cheryl says:

    Thanks for sharing this lovely twist (and accessible method!) (and my book!) with your readers, Christine. I’m so grateful for all of your hard work and support.  ~~c.

  10. Thanks for sharing this method. I have an ice cream maker, but I also have nosy kids. It’s hard to keep them out of it while it’s churning away. This method seems simpler (and they’re going to forget about it). Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

  11. Marly says:

    I have a thing for fun, little kitchen gadgets like that! Also, I love the way you share how to make frozen yogurt without an ice cream maker. Somehow, ours got lost in the move and I’m hesitant to buy another one because I figure we’ll find the old one the second I go buy a new one! :) So, this procedure should hold me over for awhile. Thanks!

  12. My son loves greek yogurt and strawberries. This very well could become breakfast. Looks fabulous.

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