Panna cotta is a dessert that looks deceptively simple, yet every mouthful is completely moreish. Light and creamy panna cotta is ideal for a warm summer evening, but it serves as the perfect base for flavorings year round.
There’s only one problem: that pesky gelatin.
Gelatin can be very tricky to cook with. Too much, and the panna cotta turns firm. Too little, and it doesn’t set at all. Plus, gelatin is made from proteins extracted from the skin and bones of animals, meaning it isn’t vegetarian.
A massive annoyance for veggies, vegans, and anyone trying to cut back on meat consumption.
Thankfully, there are more than a few alternatives. Making a panna cotta without gelatin doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, I’ve rounded up 25 amazing recipes, without a single touch of gelatin.
The only hard part is choosing which one to make! (All of them. I recommend making all of them.)
If you’re interested in making panna cotta without gelatin for the first time, this is the recipe to try. With just 4 simple ingredients going, Live Eat Learn uses agar-agar to set their panna cotta perfectly.
Everything’s finished off with an incredibly simple raspberry topping, for a refreshing summer time dessert
Recipe Link: https://www.liveeatlearn.com/vegan-panna-cotta/
Mango panna cotta is an absolute classic. At least, it should be. This recipe combines mango with cardamom, saffron, and butterscotch, for layers of deliciousness.
I recommend making your own mango purée using fresh fruit. It’s well worth the effort for the ripe juiciness.
If you’re having a summer party, I can’t recommend this recipe enough. The light and airy panna cotta rests on top of thick puréed mango, for a simple, but delicious, panna cotta.
Everyone will think it took you hours, when you actually only spent 15 minutes cooking.
Organic coconut and almond milk go into this surprisingly healthy take on panna cotta. The slight bitterness of coffee makes a fantastic contrast to the creamy panna cotta. Every flavor is perfectly balanced – and it’s low in calories.
This recipe removes the gelatin, and the agar-agar, and chooses to use simple cornstarch. If you’ve found agar-agar tricky to master (or difficult to find), this is an easy substitution.
The final result is a soft dessert, with plenty of that iconic panna cotta wobble.
Recipe Link: https://mypureplants.com/vegan-panna-cotta/
Whole milk and cream are combined here to make a panna cotta that feels extra luxurious. Top it with your favorite fruits to cut through the creaminess, or take it up a notch with a caramel sauce.
For an incredible after dinner dessert, you can’t go wrong with this coffee panna cotta. A coffee jello is layered on top of the coffee flavored panna cotta, for a zingy finish.
A sophisticated dessert, with a light texture. Ideal for finishing a big meal.
Recipe Link: https://cookingjourneyblog.com/coffee-panna-cotta/
It’s difficult to find a more classic summer dessert than strawberry panna cotta. The addition of rose makes this aromatic and richly fragrant. Close your eyes, sit back, and pretend you’re in an English country garden, enjoying a sunny afternoon.
The quest to find the creamiest panna cotta is a never ending search, but this recipe thinks it has it nailed.
Using egg whites in place of gelatin, only 4 ingredients are necessary to achieve that creamy richness. Topped with a traditional caramel, these are simple, yet elegant.
Recipe Link: https://norecipes.com/best-panna-cotta-recipe/
Chocolate panna cotta doesn’t need much explanation to get the mouth watering. The combination of dark and milk chocolate creates a recipe that’s not too sweet, not too bitter, and just right.
Enjoy the comforting chocolate flavors on a colder evening, or as an interesting twist on a holiday dessert.
Mango and strawberry are perhaps two of the greatest panna cotta toppings, so of course they need to be combined. Condensed milk and cornflour make this dessert thick and luscious, but the ripe fruits cut through any excess.
The soft taste of apricots and the gentle flavorings of panna cotta make a surprisingly flavorful dessert. Every mouthful sits lightly on the tongue, and it smells incredible. This is a dessert to devour slowly, appreciating every bite.
If you’ve only been eating cardamom in savory foods, then you’ve been missing out. Just a small pinch of cardamom will infuse into the milk, giving it an aromatic finish.
Combined with almond, this panna cotta is a silky blend of savory and sweet.
What’s better than one Italian dessert? Two Italian desserts, of course! Mascarpone is added to the panna cotta mixture, to more closely mimic the whipped texture of tiramisu.
A dash of Kahlua makes this a boozy treat for sophisticated diners.
Recipe Link: https://www.ruchiskitchen.com/tiramisu-panna-cotta/
Coconut milk is a vegetarian’s dream, as it’s so adaptable to so many recipes. Here it’s used to form the firme base of the panna cotta, and tastes good enough to work as a flavoring on its own.
But you don’t want to miss the honey citrus compote either! Golden honey and sharp citrus are an ideal accompaniment to the subtly sweet panna cotta.
Recipe Link: https://lepetiteats.com/coconut-milk-panna-cotta/
What’s better than chocolate? Double chocolate, obviously! Cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and coconut milk are combined for an easy homemade chocolate dessert that works for vegans!
This is sure to be a hit with anyone who tries it.
You really have to take a look at this super cute panna cotta. Decorated with smears of edible colors and flavored with Thandai, this is a perfect panna cotta for big occasions.
Thandai is an Indian drink, flavored with a complex mixture of spices. It’s traditionally served during Holi, and the panna cotta bursts with jewel tones to reflect this festival of color.
Mint chocolate can be a bit of a divisive flavor, but I’m a big fan of the refreshing twist mint adds to chocolate.
If you’re looking to convert someone, then try this easy panna cotta recipe. It combines heavy cream with egg whites, to get that firm-but-soft panna cotta texture.
You only need 3 ingredients to make the base of this lemon panna cotta, which is perfectly scrumptious on its own. And if you want to make the mango compote accompaniment, you don’t need to do much shopping either.
Few fruits say “Italian summer” like lemon, and this panna cotta can transport you to the Sicilian Coast with one bite.
This dessert is a blend of Italian and Indian flavorings that tastes exotic, but is simple to make. The agar-agar combines with coconut milk for a silky finish that’s suitable for vegans.
Definitely one to make on a hot day, as summer winds down.
Lemon, blackberries, and basil. Honestly, what more could you ask for? Lemon and blackberries provide a sharpness that bites against the creamy panna cotta, and basil tops it all off with a sophisticated savoriness.
Saffron is a pretty luxurious ingredient, and one that makes an impressive date night dessert. The combination of rose and cardamom makes this dish incredibly fragrant, and just that bit exotic.
Saffron and cardamom are flavors that slowly infuse, so every bite is rich with subtle aromas.
Raspberry works so well with panna cotta because it has just the right level of sharpness, combined with sweetness.
The raspberries are blended right into the coconut milk, so you get a smooth finish that’s still loaded with deliciousness.
If you haven’t tried persimmon yet, then what have you been waiting for. This sadly underappreciated fruit is soft, sweet, and incredibly good for you.
Enjoy them in this panna cotta with a hint of rum, for an exotic taking dessert that’s sure to impress any guests (and maybe even yourself). Keep an eye out for Fuyu persimmons, which work perfectly.
White chocolate has its critics, but they obviously haven’t tried it in panna cotta! Here, it only builds on the cream texture, bringing an extra depth. This dessert is completely addictive, so I’m lucky it’s easy to make.
You might be planning your second batch before you’re done with the first!