Panna Cotta with Strawberry Sauce is a classic Italian dessert that’s close to my heart and for good reason…it’s light and silky, easy to make, and never disappoints in flavor or visual appeal!
Serving this light summer-ready dessert after a rich main meal is the ideal way to complete any gastronomical experience when treating your family or hosting guests for a special occasion.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- Panna cotta is a great dessert to make ahead of time since it needs to be chilled.
- This simple treat can be dressed up bright red fruits for a real showstopper dessert - great for special occasions!
- It’s a light and creamy option for those times that you don’t want a heavy and overly rich dessert.
Go ahead and use ramekins to mold this panna cotta or add it to fancy glasses for when you want to wow the guests!
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Note: The full list of this Panna Cotta and Strawberry Sauce recipe ingredients with their amounts and options are listed in the recipe card below.
- Unflavored gelatin
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Heavy cream
- Yogurt - plain or Greek
- Kosher salt
- Vanilla extract
- Fresh strawberries
- Granulated sugar
- Optional: Whole strawberries, whipped cream, slivered almonds, mint leaves
Note: This is an overview of the instructions. The full instructions are in the recipe card below.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle one packet of gelatin over 3 Tablespoons of almond milk.
- Set aside.
- In a medium size sauce pan add the heavy cream, yogurt, ⅓ cup almond milk, confectioner's sugar, and salt.
- Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture is bubbling around the edges. Stir as it is heating so that the sugar dissolves and the cream doesn't scald.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and the gelatin/milk mixture.
- Stir to combine and pour into the desired glasses. Place in refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes.
- Place the rough chopped strawberries in a medium-size saucepan.
- Stir in the cornstarch and sugar and mix well.
- Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, occasionally mashing with a potato masher. Stir frequently.
- When it thickens, let it cool slightly. Place the strawberry mixture on top of the cooled panna cottas.
- Place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until completely cooled.
- Keep in fridge until ready to serve and top the panna cotta with mint leaves, strawberries, almonds, or whipped cream.
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You’ll need the following items to make this recipe successfully.
- Mixing bowls
- Medium Saucepan
- Potato Masher
- Wooden Spoon
- Either 8 (4.8 ounce)or 3 (8 ounce) clear glasses
These are the questions we are most frequently asked about making a panna cotta recipe.
Panna cotta is silky smooth and creamy with a vanilla-flavored body and then topped off with a bright and tangy berry sauce for that perfect balance between sweet and tangy!
While both of these desserts are luxuriously creamy and smooth, creme brulee is traditionally made with an egg-based custard filling while panna cotta calls for the use of gelatin. Creme brulee is topped with a brittle sugar top layer while panna cotta is garnished with a bright berry sauce.
Panna cotta literally means “cooked cream” which is a rather fitting name for this ultra-creamy dessert that’s thickened with gelatin on the stovetop.
This classic Italian dessert isn’t overly sweet thanks to the tangy berry sauce topping. The gelatin in the eggless creamy mixture creates a perfectly smooth and set dessert without it being too rich for those who prefer a lighter dessert. Once you’ve tasted panna cotta, there’s no going back!
- Panna cotta reaches its maximum firmness after 12 hours of chilling so it’s not necessary to make it too far in advance unless this helps your planning. Just make sure that you allow at least 4 hours of chilling time for your dessert to set.
- If your panna cotta hasn’t set after the recommended chilling time, it could be that you didn’t measure the right quantity of gelatin powder. If you opted to use gelatin sheets instead, it’s a possibility that the gelatin added didn’t melt completely or it was boiled which has the result of reducing its thickening effect.
- It’s important not to rush the process when making panna cotta. You could risk this dessert curdling and also feeling grainy if you don’t allow the gelatin to fully dissolve in the milk. This is particularly important where you use gelatin sheets.
- While I’ve made a strawberry sauce for this panna cotta recipe, feel free to make a mixed berry sauce or a raspberry sauce instead! They are all delicious options!
- Create a layered dessert, allowing the first layer to set enough before adding the strawberry sauce followed by another layer of panna cotta!
- For added decadence, use another dessert sauce topping instead of a fruit sauce such as hot fudge sauce.
- Add some pieces of freshly sliced strawberries on top of each serving of panna cotta for that extra wow-factor.
- Make a chocolate-flavored panna cotta by adding in some cocoa powder to the milk and gelatin mixture.
- For extra creaminess, use dairy milk instead of almond milk.
Leftover panna cotta or panna cotta made in advance can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Make sure that the dessert is completely cool before covering the ramekin or container with plastic wrap.
I don’t recommend freezing panna cotta as you risk the dairy separating. While the only dairy in this recipe is Greek yogurt, if you used dairy-based milk instead of almond milk then there’s a higher risk of it separating.
📗 Related Recipes
If you love desserts with a silky smooth, creamy consistency, then be sure to bookmark my Amazing Basic No-Churn Ice Cream, Lemon Tart With Almond Biscotti Crust, or this Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake. Just thinking about these gets my mouth watering!
🍽 Serve with
While this panna cotta with strawberry sauce is truly delicious served as is, you could add a mix of fresh berries as garnish or even enjoy this creamy dessert alongside a fruit salad or a scoop of this Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream.
Almond flakes sprinkled on top of the dessert would also add an interesting texture.
📞 Chiacchierata (chat)
Sometimes less is more and while this panna cotta with strawberry sauce is by no means an ordinary dessert, it sure does offer a lighter sweet option for those who don’t enjoy rich desserts or when trying to find that perfect dessert to follow a heavy and decadent main meal.
I always have fun dressing up my panna cotta in single-serving glasses - it’s a great way to get the full effect of the creamy panna cotta, topped with vibrant strawberry sauce and slices of fresh fruit! It’s in a class of its own!
If you're as crazy for strawberries as we are, next time try our recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake recipe. It's the ideal dessert for those special occasions.
And if creamy desserts are your "jam" well then, you simply must try our Classic Watergate Salad. We've made if for years and it's always a huge hit.
What's new? Check out my All Our Way Store on Amazon. We'll be adding more items we love and use or wish we had to make cooking fun and easy.
📝 Recipe Card
This panna cotta with strawberry sauce is a creamy eggless dessert, thickened with gelatin powder, and topped off with bright and tangy strawberry sauce. It’s simple yet incredibly classy and tastes like more!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
Italian Panna Cotta With Strawberry Sauce
- 8 Clear Glasses (4.3 ounces) May use 3 (8 ounce glasses)
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin .25 ounce
- 3 Tablespoons Almond milk unsweetened
- ⅓ cup Almond milk unsweetened
- 2 cups Heavy cream
- ⅓ cup Yogurt plain or Greek
- ½ cup Confectioner's sugar
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 2 cups Strawberries chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- ¼ cup Granulated sugar
- Whole strawberries, whipped cream, slivered almonds, mint leaves Optional garnishes
- Begin by sprinkling the gelatin over the 3 Tablespoons of almond milk in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium size saucepan, over medium/medium-high heat, heat the heavy cream, yogurt, ⅓ cup almond milk, confectioner's sugar, and salt until the mixture is bubbling around the edges, about 2-3 minutes.
- Be sure to stir as it is heating so that the sugar dissolves and the cream doesn't scald.
- Remove the pan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and the gelatin/almond milk mixture to the pan and stir to combine. Pour into 8(4.8ounce)glasses.
- Place in the refrigerator and cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until the top is firm enough to hold the strawberries.
- Mix the strawberries with the cornstarch and sugar in a medium-size saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, occasionally mashing with a potato masher or fork, until the strawberries soften and the juices thicken. Stir frequently. Let slightly cool.
- Place the strawberry mixture on top of the cooled panna cottas. Place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until completely cooled.
- Top each with a whole strawberry, whipped cream, slivered almonds or mint leaves for garnish (optional).
- Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.