A light and refreshing summer dessert: Vegan Panna Cotta

This plant-based recipe has all the flavor of the Italian favorite, without the extra fat and calories.
This recipe uses almond milk and yogurt in place of heavy cream to cut back on fat and calories.
This recipe uses almond milk and yogurt in place of heavy cream to cut back on fat and calories.Charisse Yu
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By Charisse Yu

Entertaining this summer and need a guilt-free dessert? Transplant your guests from the backyard to a café in Italy, with this plant-based panna cotta. It not only looks beautiful, but it's healthy, too.

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert traditionally using cream. This version is vegan, light and refreshing. You’ll get all the creaminess from rich almond milk and an added fiber punch from the "Strawberry Chia Vegan Jello". It’s bellissimo and easy to make!

While not required, you can easily create this fancy design by tilting glasses in a muffin tin. Simply let the first layer set before adding the second layer. I serve this as a healthy dessert or a fun breakfast option all summer long.

Vanilla Vegan Panna Cotta

Ingredients

Strawberry Chia Vegan "Jello"

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cup strawberries, divided
  • 1 tsp agar agar powder
  • 1/8 cup agave syrup, to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp chia seeds

Vanilla Vegan Panna Cotta

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp agar agar powder
  • 1/8 cup agave syrup, to taste
  • 1/2 cup plain non-dairy yogurt, liquid (drinkable)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

For the Strawberry Chia Vegan "Jello"

In a blender, add 2 1/2 cups of strawberries and all other ingredients except chia seeds and puree until smooth. Strain mixture to remove pulp and pour into a small saucepan. Cook 5-10 minutes, until mixture reduces and thickens into the consistency of a watery jam. Turn off heat and set aside. Mince remaining strawberries. Add strawberries and chia seeds to pan. Stir frequently for 5 minutes, until chia seeds have inflated and are consistently spread throughout the mixture. Pour into glass. For angled effect place glasses on their side in a muffin tin. Chill completely (for 2-3 hours) until set.

For the Vanilla Vegan Panna Cotta

In a small saucepan, add almond milk, agar agar powder and agave and whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring consistently to dissolve agar agar powder. Once everything has dissolved, remove from heat and whisk in yogurt and vanilla. Allow mixture to cool slightly, 2-3 minutes. Pour mixture on top of set "Strawberry Chia Vegan Jello". Cool for 2-3 hours until set.

To serve: Top with berries of choice and a few mint leaves. Dig in!

CORRECTION (Monday, June 24, 2019, 10 :30 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated one ingredient in preparing the "Vanilla Vegan Panna Cotta" recipe. It does not include honey.

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