Why I didn’t think of this recipe years ago is beyond me. Simply put, if you want something to refresh your palate after a heavy meal and give you just a hint of sweetness and plenty of satisfaction, then this is for you. It’s probably the most surprising little sorbet you could try–it sounds like it shouldn’t work but it really, really does.– Sabrina Ghayour


So, you might be taken back at the suggestion of swirling a little bit of black pepper into your lime frozen yogurt but it’s actually a truly inspired idea. Black pepper is primarily used in savory dishes for a touch of heat but it has sublime floral and fruity undertones. And the creamy fat in the yogurt tamps down the spiciness a little bit, leaving you with a flavor profile that works really well with the lime frozen yogurt. Use whole black pepper that you’ve ground freshly for the occasion, it makes all the difference.

Three assorted bowls of lime frozen yogurt with black pepper with a spoon on the side.

Lime Frozen Yogurt with Black Pepper

5 / 7 votes
I love it so much that I could happily eat it every day, especially when the weather is warmer.
David Leite
CuisineMiddle Eastern
Servings6 servings
Calories82 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Churn Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes


  • Ice cream maker


  • 2 cups store-bought or homemade Greek yogurt,
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 fat lime, preferably organic
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, lime zest and juice, and pepper.
  • Pour the yogurt mixture into an ice-cream maker and churn for about 15 minutes, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This frozen yogurt is best served straight from the ice-cream maker.
Simply Cookbook

Adapted From

Simply: Easy Everyday Dishes

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 82 kcalCarbohydrates: 14 gProtein: 7 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 3 mgSodium: 24 mgPotassium: 110 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 12 gVitamin A: 10 IUVitamin C: 3 mgCalcium: 79 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2020 Sabrina Ghayour. Photo © 2020 Kris Kirkham. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

As the recipe mentions, this is a refreshing frozen yogurt. I feel like it would make a great dessert after a spicy meal. The only funky part was finding crushed peppercorns now and then in my mouth when eating it. I added a pinch of coarse salt, which I add to all ice cream recipes. I also appreciate that this didn’t make a whole quart of frozen yogurt, I like the scaled-down amount.

Bright refresher with a crisp balance of lime and creamy yogurt, and the accent of black pepper that makes this lime frozen yogurt with black pepper completely enticing. The black pepper and lime seem to boldly go in independent directions, yet together create a delicious tension. The math-inclined side of the household described it as orthogonal (at right angles), a word I’ve never used to describe food before. These are such intense elements, yet together they build an accord with the creamy tartness of the yogurt that I don’t think you’d get with milk or cream.

This recipe comes together with so little work, the biggest decision is to make sure your ice cream maker bowl is in the freezer the night before. I almost always have Greek yogurt on hand as well as limes. No worries about if you should use full fat, it delivers a creamy result with non-fat. I did sift the powdered sugar so there were no lumps and tossed the zest and pepper in a bit of the sifted sugar to help make sure the zest didn’t clump.

Normally my ice cream maker takes about 20 minutes, but I think I’d stop short of that next batch, maybe 15 minutes, as getting the last frozen layer out called for some creative persistence, but after one taste I wasn’t about to leave any behind. Although this seems like a small batch, I think the refreshing intensity works so well I’d serve it as a palate cleanser in smaller portions. Two small scoops in a cortado or affogato-size cup were a perfect cooler on a triple-digit summer day.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely amazing!! I was looking for a healthier alternative to ice cream and this is it. I never dreamed it would taste so good, but the addition of pepper takes it to the next level. Genius! Thanks!!

  2. 5 stars
    This was a fantastic ending to an Indian dinner party. I made especially for a dinner guest who can’t eat eggs, thus this simple frozen yogurt fit the bill. The black pepper was unexpected and surprising, and I’ll make it again.