This recipe is for all you bakers and dessert fanatics that once thought sweet tooth satisfaction could only be achieved with chocolate bars and baked goods. I’m making the case that panna cotta is really the perfect dessert that rivals any cookie or cake; it requires as little as four ingredients, merits an easy clean-up and is completely customizable.

The Italian phrase for “cooked cream,” traditional panna cotta comprises heavy cream, a sweetener and gelatin. The end product is a creamy pudding of sorts with mouthfeel crossing that of jello and a dense custard. This recipe calls for an additional ingredient – Greek yogurt – which lends a refreshing tartness to this decadent treat.


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Wait Time: 3-4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours

Servings: 8



Photo by Nguyen Le

1 gelatin packet (2 1/4 teaspoons)
8 ounces of heavy cream
1 tub (17.6 ounces) of Greek yogurt (your flavor of choice)
1/3 cup sugar
Recommended toppings: fruits, nuts, honey, shaved chocolate
Serving containers – dessert cups, ramekins or glasses


1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the two tablespoons of cold water and let it settle for about five minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the cream, sugar and vanilla (optional) to a gentle simmer. Turn off the heat and let cool for one minute.


Photo by Nguyen Le

3. Scoop out the gelatin (at this point it should be a solidified chunk) and gently stir and dissolve it into the heated cream and sugar mixture. DO NOT place the gelatin directly into the simmering liquid because the gelatin will denature.

4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk and loosen the Greek yogurt until it’s smooth and lump-free.

5. Pour in the cream mixture gradually as you continue to whisk.

6. Pour the mixture into ramekins or dessert cups and refrigerate until set- at least 3 hours.


Photo by Nguyen Le

7. Finish with your topping of choice. Add a dollop of your favorite jam, sprinkle with chopped nuts and shaved chocolate  or scatter on diced stone fruits or berries —enjoy!


Photo by Nguyen Le


Photo by Nguyen Le