Olive Oil Gelato with Balsamic Strawberries

Looking for a unique dessert idea?  This Olive Oil Gelato with Balsamic Strawberries will have you asking for seconds…I promise!

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Looking for a unique dessert idea? This Olive Oil Gelato with Balsamic Strawberries will have you asking for seconds...I promise!Ah, gelato.  I’ve had the chance to travel to Italy several times, and every time gelato plays a key role in the trip.  As in, I always made sure to eat gelato at least once per day.  I typically leaned towards more traditional flavors like cappuccino, stracciatella (vanilla with tiny flakes of chocolate) and hazelnut.  But when my wife and visited Venice on our honeymoon 7 years ago (7 years…has it been that long!?), we heard about a gelato shop with some really unique flavors.  So of course we had to check it out!

Looking for a unique dessert idea? This Olive Oil Gelato with Balsamic Strawberries will have you asking for seconds...I promise!I opted for the green tea + cardamom flavors while Laura went for mango and rose.  These aren’t flavors of gelato you’re going to stumble across at most shops!  But while we were there, we also tasted an olive oil gelato.  I admit that olive oil gelato sounds a bit different, but you’ve seriously got to give it a chance!

This stuff was so good that I had to come home and figure out how to make gelato…yeah, it’s that good!  One bite, and you’ll think: ‘wow, this is tasty…but I can’t identify the flavor.’  So you try another bite.  And then another bite.  And the next thing you know, the bowl is empty.

Looking for a unique dessert idea? This Olive Oil Gelato with Balsamic Strawberries will have you asking for seconds...I promise!Back when we lived in Atlanta, there was a gelato shop close to where I lived, and it was always winning awards for the best gelato in the area.  So one day, I stopped in and asked the owner what made gelato different than ice cream.  It turns out that gelato uses a cooked custard base similar to French-style ice cream.  But the difference comes from the fact that gelato uses less cream than ice cream.  (There is a higher proportion of whole milk in gelato instead.)  Setting all food nerdiness aside, I’ll gladly accept a bowl of either gelato or ice cream…but I’ll always reach for gelato first if given the choice!

Looking for a unique dessert idea? This Olive Oil Gelato with Balsamic Strawberries will have you asking for seconds...I promise!Laura and I got to talking about that olive oil gelato the other day, and I decided a batch was long overdue.  After all, I hadn’t made a batch in almost 7 years!  The key to a good olive oil gelato is using good olive oil.  That might sound obvious, but olive oil is the primary (albeit subtle) flavor, so you need to make sure it’s a good olive oil!  For this batch, I used Alessi’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and it was perfect.

But we took this gelato to a whole new level this time.  I’ve always been a fan of adding sliced strawberries to ice cream, so I decided to give that a shot here with this gelato.  And then I got crazy.  I grabbed a bottle of Alessi’s Balsamic Reduction and drizzled that on top of the gelato and strawberries.  I mean, balsamic strawberries is a fairly common thing…so it only made sense to give this one a shot.  And woah.  Just woah!  All of the elements of this dish were tasty in their own right, but together they became magic.  The subtle olive oil flavor pairs so well the strawberries and balsamic reduction.  I know it might sound rather unique, but you owe it to yourself to try this one!

Looking for a unique dessert idea? This Olive Oil Gelato with Balsamic Strawberries will have you asking for seconds...I promise!As I mentioned above, I drizzled a bit of Alessi’s Balsamic Reduction over the gelato and berries.  I’m a big fan of keeping a bottle of this balsamic reduction in the pantry for everything from salads to cheeses.  In case you’re wondering, a balsamic reduction is simply a balsamic vinegar that has been reduced to a sauce-like consistency.  It makes for a great everyday sauce, and it really boosts the flavor in all types of dishes…including dessert!

I’ve long been a fan of Alessi as I find the flavor and quality of their products to be top notch.  Alessi’s reductions don’t include any fillers or thickeners, so the flavor comes through perfectly.  What’s more, they’ve recently expanded their line of balsamic reductions to include flavors like chocolate, coconut and ginger.  Think how good that coconut balsamic reduction would be drizzled over berries…or gelato…or berries and gelato!  You can purchase Alessi’s balsamic reductions (and olive oil!) at your local grocery store or online via Alessi’s website.

I do hope you give this Olive Oil Gelato with Balsamic Strawberries a shot.  It’s unique, but I promise you’ll finish off the whole batch before you know it.  Enjoy, my friends!

Looking for a unique dessert idea? This Olive Oil Gelato with Balsamic Strawberries will have you asking for seconds...I promise!

Olive Oil Gelato with Balsamic Strawberries

Looking for a unique dessert idea?  This Olive Oil Gelato with Balsamic Strawberries will have you asking for seconds…I promise!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Refrigeration Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 311kcal



  • Using a large saucepan, add milk and heavy cream. Place over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot but not boiling. (Tip: Look for little bubbles to form around edge of pan.)
  • Meanwhile, using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar for 4-5 minutes, or until tripled in volume. Reduce speed to medium-low and drizzle in olive oil and vanilla extract. Continue mixing until well combined.
  • Next, add half of the milk in ¼ cup increments, mixing after each addition. Pour yolk mixture back into saucepan with remaining milk; stir until well combined. Heat over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture coats back of a wooden spoon. (Tip: The temperature should be ~175°F if you have a candy thermometer.)
  • Push mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Press plastic wrap to top of bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.
  • Transfer gelato into a smaller container and freeze until firm (~3 hours).
  • Before serving, top with fresh strawberries and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

This Olive Oil Gelato with Balsamic Strawberries post was written by me on behalf of Alessi.
The opinions and recipe are all my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!

Looking for a unique dessert idea? This Olive Oil Gelato with Balsamic Strawberries will have you asking for seconds...I promise!

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    1. Oh, you can definitely have gelato for breakfast, Jeff. In fact, I might have done that when I was in Italy…more than once. 🙂

  1. David, I’m so loving this innovative dish of balsamic strawberries and olive oil gelato! Wow – I don’t think I’ve ever heard of, or, had olive oil gelato – so unque – first I thought it was gelato with a savory spin but in your ingredient list I spy sugar which means it’s regular gelato with a lovely twist!
    When we head over to Italy later this year Lil Shashi’s agenda consists of eating gelato AT LEAST once every day too with stracciatella being her all time fav – though I’m more intrigued by more unique flavors like this Olive oil one and those tea + cardamom and for and rose!
    Happy Wednesday to all of Y’all in the Spiced home!

    1. Why thank you so much, Shashi! I do like the idea of a savory gelato, but this one still falls in the dessert category. It’s such a unique flavor…but it’s so, so good! I’m jealous that you guys get to go to Italy soon. Eat some extra gelato for me? 🙂 Hope you are having a great week so far, my friend!

  2. Oh, I see you’ve opened an ice cream season, David! Although I eat ice cream all year round, I haven’t pulled my ice cream maker yet. I’ve been planning on making olive oil ice cream for a couple of years now, but it hasn’t happened yet. I like gelato, but I prefer to make ice cream at home, especially when it comes to shooting (Just cause gelato tends to melt faster than its heavier siblings). And those flavors – green tea-cardamom and mango-rose sound fabulous, too! I love all of them, but I haven’t mixed them (I only tried mango and cardamom which was great as well). And you know what, David? After trying cardamom and olive oil flavors you have no choice but make some lavender ice cream! Let me know if you need any assistance here:)

    1. Oh yes, ice cream season has arrived, Ben! It might still be cold outside, but it was warm yesterday…so therefore ice cream is fair game! (Heck, you know me…I’ve made ice cream in December before.) Haha! Lavender ice cream you say? Well, how about this–we’ll compromise, and I’ll make an olive oil + lavender gelato. Deal? 🙂

  3. While I can’t make this delicious sounding dessert as I don’t have an ice cream maker, I can vouch for the taste of olive oil gelato to any skeptics out there. I had it at a restaurant and it was delicious. Nice dessert.

    1. Ok. You need to get an ice cream maker, Karen! Seriously…you live down there in the land of hot now. You need an ice cream maker! (They really aren’t all that expensive either…) Thank you so much for the kind words, and for your vote in favor of olive oil gelato. It sounds a bit odd, but man is it awesome! 🙂

  4. It is ice cream season already??? I love the sound of the combination of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I have Italy on my bucket list and I envision myself eating all the gelato, pizza and gelato for every meal.

    1. Oh, it’s always ice cream season, Z! Seriously. I made peppermint ice cream in December one time…of course, I can’t remember what year that was anymore. (I blame Robbie for the memory loss…haha!) Oh my gosh, you HAVE to go to Italy. Shoot me an email if you get it on the schedule, and I can share all types of fun stuff with ya! 🙂

  5. Venice is the most beautiful and romantic city – what a great choice for a honeymoon! I am deeply in love with Italy, their way of life and of course the fantastic food and gelato! Investing in an ice cream maker is high up on my list, would love to experiment with different flavours. The combination of olive oil, balsamic reduction and strawberries sounds unusual and exciting!

    1. Oh my gosh, we loved Venice! We actually took a 2-week trip all over Italy, and man I would love to repeat that trip. Our favorites were Capri and then a little small town in the Chianti region. There’s something about getting into those small towns to really feel like you visited a country, ya know? Anyways, you totally need to get an ice cream maker, Miriam! I know you’d have so much fun with it. (And they aren’t really that expensive if I recall.) First up would have to be this Olive Oil Gelato, though. It’s unique, but oh so good!! Hope you have an awesome weekend, my London friend!

  6. Oh Yes!!! Laura is shining through on this post David :)! Olive Oil Gelato is so Italian; it’s hard not to say it in my best Italian accent. I only eat Gelato when I am visiting Italy; I refuse to eat it in the States, I’m so spoiled. That doesn’t mean I can’t make it myself. That way I’m not cheating on Italy. Rose flavored Gelato sounds super interesting I would love to try that. I bet the flavors of the Olive Oil, Strawberries, and Balsamic Reduction is scrumptious.

    1. Haha! Laura might not be a food blogger, but her influence is all over what I make. And usually it’s a good influence…haha! (Although she typically leaves the baked goods to me…) You know, that’s a totally good point about gelato in the States. We were lucky to have that awesome (and authentic) place in Atlanta, but I haven’t found anywhere up here that has authentic gelato. But you can totally make it if you get desperate and don’t have a trip to Italy coming up soon! 🙂 Thanks, Mary!

  7. Olive oil gelato sounds wonderful, I bet this is delicious. I just purchased an attachment for my Kitchen-aid and have made 3 batches so far of different flavors, will be trying this one for sure. Thanks David.

    1. Oh yes! Definitely make this one, Cheri! Olive oil gelato is such a unique flavor, but honestly it’s delicious. And then the strawberries + balsamic on top really bring it all together into one heck of an awesome (and fancy!) dessert. I do hope you enjoy this one as much as we did! 🙂

    1. I totally agree with you, Manali…Olive Oil Gelato sounds so unique. But it is so, so tasty! 🙂 I definitely encourage making a batch…and make sure to add the balsamic strawberries, too. Yum! Thanks, my friend!

  8. Your pics are gorgeous, David! I didn’t know the exact difference between gelato and ice-cream so thanks for that 😉 Your always good for a little factoid! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, hubby and I would love to go to Italy. One day, I’m sure. I know that every day would probably be planned around food, lol 😀 This looks so good and love the balsamic reduction with the strawberries. And olive oil gelato? So unique! I’ll take 2, no 3, scoops please and thank you 🙂

    1. Why thank you very much, Dawn! Yeah, I always wondered what made gelato different than ice cream…I mean they are similar, but there’s such a unique difference there, too. And now you know! 🙂 Yes! Go to Italy! I think any trip to Italy has to be centered heavily around food. I know Laura and I pretty much ate our way across Italy for our honeymoon…and it was awesome! But to get ready for your trip, I say make a batch of this Olive Oil Gelato. It’s a unique flavor, but man is this one delicious…and the balsamic + strawberries really takes it to a whole new level!

    1. So Olive Oil Ice Cream and Olive Oil Gelato would be similar for sure. Actually, I can’t say that I’ve ever had the ice cream version. But I can attest for the gelato version being delicious! 🙂 And then the balsamic berries on top? This is one perfect dessert if you ask me! Thanks, Kevin!

  9. This does sound unique! But what’s not to love? It’s filled with amazing flavors and right now I am totally into everything with fresh strawberries! I think I’m coming out of winter hibernation and want fresh, fresh, fresh!

    1. Yes to fresh strawberries! Have you ever had strawberries drizzled with balsamic glaze? It’ll blow your mind! And then put that over Olive Oil Gelato? Yeah, that’s a dessert that’ll have you going back for more. Trust me. 🙂 And I agree with you, Kathy…I’m 100% ready to come out of hibernation now! Soon, my friend, soon!

  10. I thought I’d tried every kind of gelato available because I love that stuff! I’ve never had an olive oil version and really need to get on that because it sounds amazing! You totally went over the top with those balsamic strawberries!

    1. Oh man, you totally need to get on the olive oil flavor, Rachelle! It’s a unique one…but it is oh so delicious, too! And then the balsamic berries on top really brings the whole dessert together. In fact, I kinda wish I hadn’t polished this off over the weekend…I could use a bowl of this on a Monday morning. Haha! Hope you guys had an awesome weekend down there! 🙂

  11. I am 100% with you, when in Italy, you simply must eat gelato every day! It is unreal there. One day in Venice, my husband & I had gelato 2x in one day 🙂 This gelato looks delicious! I’ve never had olive oil gelato but I’d love to try it, and strawberries with ice cream is always a good idea.

    1. Yup, gelato twice in a day is totally not unreasonable when you’re in Italy! I wonder if you guys visited the same gelato place in Venice as we did? Either way, I am all about some delicious gelato…and this olive oil version totally hit the spot. And the balsamic berries on top took this one to a whole new level. In fact, it reminded us of our trip to Italy! 🙂 Hope you and your husband had an awesome weekend, Nicole…thanks!

  12. Our favorite gelato shop in Italy was in Bologna – we thought that our favorite flavor was Panna, then discovered that it wasn’t a flavor at all, but whipped cream that you were supposed to order as a topping. lol!

    Olive oil is one of my favorite flavors on the planet – why not an ice cream flavor!? I think this is genius. Tucking this recipe away to try when the weather warms up. Thanks, David!

    1. Hah! I love the panna story there, Marissa. 🙂 I haven’t had the chance to visit Bologna yet, but I’m thinking I need to put it (and its gelato shops!) on the agenda for the next time we visit Italy. Do pull this recipe out once the weather warms up. Strawberries will be in season soon, too…and the balsamic berries on top of this one really take it to a whole new level. Thanks so much!

    1. Haha! Little bowl of heaven…I love that description, Amanda! 🙂 Olive oil gelato is indeed a unique flavor, but woah is it good! And then add in the balsamic berries? Sign me up! Thanks so much!

  13. Gelato ONCE a day in Italy? Dude, I’m disappointed, although you redeem yourself with Cappuccino and the stracciatella, although the sachertorte is up there too. That is so awesome that you tried some fun flavors and this twist?! I’d be keen for it!

    1. Hahaha…hey, when in Italy, eat gelato…and pasta! 🙂 I’ll put sachertorte on the list for the next time we make it over there. And do give the olive oil gelato a shot…but don’t forget to add the balsamic berries on top!

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