Panna Cotta is a classic Italian dessert, yet like with most Italian dishes it can be challenging to create something vegan – well, no worries! This best vegan Panna Cotta has all the flavor of traditional Panna Cotta but is made entirely from plant-based components.
Best part? This creamy dessert is super easy and fast to make and is topped with a vibrant strawberry sauce that’s perfect for any occasion.
Here’s how long it takes to make it:
Total Active Time: ~ 20-30 minutes of active preparation and cooking.
Total incl. Setting: 2-3 hours or overnight
How to Make Vegan Panna Cotta with Strawberry Sauce
You may be intimidated at first when wanting to make this vegan dessert recipe, however, this vegan version is much easier to make than you think!
Simple Ingredients for the Vegan Panna Cotta:
- 2 cups canned full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp agar agar powder (not flakes)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Ingredients for the Strawberry Sauce:
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (or to taste, depending on the sweetness of the berries)
- 1/2 lemon juice
- Optional: 1/2 tsp agar-agar powder (for a thicker sauce)
Garnish option Ingredients:
- Toasted nuts
- Vegan whipped cream
- Mint leaves
- Chocolate chips/chocolate sauce
Alternative Ingredients for Panna Cotta:
- Almond milk – Oat milk, soy milk, rice milk, or coconut cream (if you can find a vegan heavy cream, use that!)
- Granulated sugar – agave syrup, maple syrup, or coconut sugar
- Agar agar – Carrageenan
- Vanilla – vanilla bean paste, infuse milk with a cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, or citrus zest for a different flavor profile
Alternative Ingredients for Strawberry Sauce:
- Berries – Raspberries, blackberries, mix of berries
- Fresh fruit – Mango, pineapple, watermelon
- Agar agar – reduce the sauce over low heat to thicken it naturally or use a small amount of cornstarch slurry
- Sauces – Caramel sauce or chocolate sauce
How to Make Vegan Panna Cotta Step-by-step
Start with the Panna Cotta:
Step 1: Use a small bowl and add the agar-agar with almond milk together, then let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.
Step 2: Meanwhile, take a medium saucepan and combine the coconut milk and sugar, then heat it over medium until the sugar is fully dissolved – stir it occasionally but don’t let it boil.
Step 3: Add the almond milk and agar-agar mixture to the saucepan and bring it to a quick gentle boil over medium-high heat while you keep stirring it for about 2 minutes to activate the agar-agar.
Step 4: Remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract – make sure to still only stir gently.
Step 5: Finally, move the creamy mix to the glasses, bowls, or ramekins before you let it cool off at room temperature and place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours – though overnight is always best.
Prepare the Strawberry Sauce:
Step 6: Take a different small saucepan and add the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice to it – then cook it over medium heat until the strawberries are soft and release their juices.
Step 7 (Optional): For a smooth sauce, you can blend the mixture and then strain it to remove the seeds – personally, I prefer the bigger strawberry chunks in it, though!
Step 8: If you’re using agar-agar to thicken the sauce, sprinkle it over the sauce and simmer it for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Step 9: That’s it! Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool off at room temperature.
Combine it all:
Step 10: Once the Panna Cotta has set it and it has a wobbly texture, spoon the strawberry sauce over the individual glasses or bowls that you prepared prior.
If you want to make it stand out even more, garnish it with a few strawberry slices or mint leaves for an extra touch of elegance – enjoy!
Note: This creamy Panna Cotta recipe will very quickly be among your new favorite desserts! So, make sure to save it!
- If you’re using coconut milk, use the full-fat coconut milk for the creamiest texture.
- Use agar agar powder, not agar agar flakes as they have a different purpose and you won’t get the same texture.
- Strawberries are naturally super sweet, so taste the sauce before you’re adding more sugar to it
- Agar-agar sets much quicker than gelatin, so don’t leave the Panna Cotta at room temperature for too long before putting it in the fridge
- Celebrating something special? Use wine glasses for your Panna Cotta for an extra luxurious feel! Plus point, you don’t have to unmold it!
- You can store the Panna Cotta for up to 3 days, so you can easily plan ahead with this Italian dessert!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Making a vegan Italian recipe can be challenging and intimidating at first, however, it doesn’t have to be! Next to providing you the easiest and most delicious dessert recipes, we also answer all your questions!
What is vegan Panna Cotta made of?
Compared to the traditional Italian classic, the Vegan Panna Cotta is typically made with plant-based milks like coconut or almond milk, a plant-based sweetener, and a vegan gelling agent like agar-agar. You can flavor it with vanilla or other extracts and it can be served with fruit sauces or compotes for that extra touch.
Can I make vegan Panna Cotta without coconut milk?
Yes! There are so many alternatives! You can use other plant-based milks such as almond, soy, oat, or cashew milk to make vegan Panna Cotta. However, keep in mind that coconut milk provides a creamier texture that other plant-based milks might not achieve.
How do I get vegan Panna Cotta to set without gelatin?
There are other gelling agents, such as agar-agar that you can use! It takes heat to activate the seaweed-based ingredient, so your mixture must boil for a few minutes before setting.Print