Not-Fried Fried Ice Cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for cooling off with ice cream. Celebrate the warm days of summer with this salty, crispy, creamy, and addictively delicious Not-Fried Fried Ice Cream. Just be warned, it’s so good and so easy this will be on repeat all season long!

Not-Fried Fried Ice Cream

There is just something completely magical about the combination of salty and sweet. It doesn’t matter if it’s Potato Chip Krispie Treats with Chocolate or this Mexican restaurant favorite, it’s a combination that is totally satisfying and crave worthy. This ice cream creation combines a delicate and crispy coating of salty and savory potato chips with creamy, dreamy, and beloved vanilla ice cream. Don’t forget the cherry on top!

What is Fried Ice Cream?

Fried ice cream is a restaurant favorite that combines hard frozen ice cream with either a tempura batter or coating like crushed tortilla chips or corn flakes. No one knows exactly where this dessert was invented but it’s often attributed to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

This is most likely a completely American invention that has found itself associated with national cuisines. You will often find it on Mexican restaurants covered in cinnamon spiced tortilla chips or corn flakes, drizzled with honey. This is thank to it’s popularity as the signature dessert of Chi-Chi’s starting in the 80s.

Asian restaurants often put this on their menu as well. Unlike the versions found at Mexican restaurants the Asian version often uses flavors like red bean, taro, or green tea and dip the ice cream into tempura batter before frying.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy Process – The only actual cooking required for this quick and easy ice cream confection is crisping up the crushed potato chips in butter and sugar. The rest is simply assembly. You can even make the potato chip coating ahead of time allowing you to make these in a matter of mere minutes.
  • Minimal Ingredients – You only need five basic ingredients to create this restaurant worthy ice cream dessert at home. You probably already have all of them on hand!
  • Customizable – Feel free to mix up the flavor profile and use your favorite flavor of ice cream. You can have fun with this and easily make it your own.


Not-Fried Fired Ice Cream is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. It comes together easily and besides being ridiculously delicious and fun, it also only requires a handful of basic ingredients. The next time you’re reaching for a bag of potato chips, remember, they’re not just for your burgers any more.

  • Vanilla Ice Cream –Vanilla ice cream is the classic flavor for classic fried ice cream. Pick your favorite variety.
  • Potato Chips – This is where the fun twist comes in and all of the savory flavor comes from. Skip the corn flake crust and go with crushed potato chips. These get browned up in butter and brown sugar for that perfect balance of sweet and salt.
  • Brown Sugar – Gives the potato chips a slightly caramelized flavor.
  • Butter – Helps toast up the potato chips.
  • Chocolate Syrup – There is nothing like a finishing flourish of chocolate syrup to take your ice cream dessert to the next level.
  • Toppings – Completely optional but a swirl of whipped cream and pert crown of a cherry make this feel like an occasion.

How to Make Not-Fried Fried Ice Cream

Whether you grew up having tempura battered fried ice cream at your favorite Chinese restaurant or a cinnamon tortilla version at a Mexican restaurant, it’s a dessert often associated with dinner out. Bring that restaurant flavor straight to your kitchen with these easy steps.

Time needed: 25 minutes

Vanilla ice cream is coated in a crispy, salty, slightly sweet potato chip crust.

  1. Pregame

    Crush your potato chips so they’re sandy.

  2. Melt

    Add the butter and brown sugar to a skillet over medium low heat. Keep stirring until both the sugar and butter have melted.

  3. Sauté

    Add the potato chips to the pan. Stir them so they are fully coated in the butter mixture. Allow them to sauté for a couple of minutes.

  4. Cool Down

    Transfer the potato chip mixture to a bowl and allow the to cool completely.

  5. Roll

    Roll your vanilla ice cream into 3″ to 4″ balls.

  6. Coat

    Gently roll your ice cream balls into the potato chip coating, making sure they’re completely covered. Place in serving bowls.

  7. Finishing Touch

    Drizzle chocolate syrup over the top. Garnish with whipped cream and a cherry if desired.

How to Make This Recipe Gluten and Dairy Free

By using potato chips this fried ice cream recipe is naturally gluten free. You can easily make this dairy free by using your favorite dairy free ice cream and whipped topping.


Take the help of ice cream’s best friend! Use an ice cream scoop to make uniform sized, pretty balls of perfectly rolled ice cream. You can serve this on a plate, in parfait glasses, or even cocktail glasses. Have fun with your presentation!

Top Tip for Not-Fried Fried Ice Cream

Are you looking for a fun and easy dessert to make ahead of time? Start with the potato chip mixture and allow it to fully cool. Then transfer it to an airtight container or zip top bag and keep it stored at room temperature.

You can also make the ice cream balls ahead of time. Place the rolled balls of ice cream onto a baking sheet and then immediately place the baking sheet into the freezer. When you’re ready to roll them in the potato chip mixture allow them to sit out for a couple of minutes just to slightly soften up on the outside.

Not-Fried Fried Ice Cream

Not-Fried Fried Ice Cream

Celebrate the warm days of summer with this salty, crispy, creamy, and addictively delicious Not-Fried Fried Ice Cream.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 Skillet
  • 1 ice cream scoop


  • vanilla ice cream
  • 6 oz plain potato chips
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • chocolate syrup
  • whipped cream and cherries, optional


  • Finely crush your potato chips.
  • Heat a skillet over medium-low heat with the butter and sugar. Stir until they're completely melted.
  • Add the potato chips and stir to make sure they're fully coated. Allow them to cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Transfer the potato chip mixture to a bowl and let it cool completely.
  • Roll your vanilla ice cream into 3" to 4" solid balls.
  • Place them into the potato chip mixture and roll to fully coat.
  • Top your fried ice cream with a drizzle of chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and a cherry if desired.
  • Enjoy!
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