Strawberry Panna Cotta Recipe

Do you ever want a chilled dessert? Something that's reminiscent of a flan, but much lighter in texture and consistency? Panna cotta is the dessert for you. This Italian dessert is made from heavy cream, sugar, and milk. It's easily flavored by infusing it with fruit juice, coffee, or syrups.

Kristen Carli, MS, RD, recipe developer and registered dietitian nutritionist, brings us this strawberry panna cotta dessert that is actually easy enough for any kitchen novice to throw together. It takes less than 30 minutes to make, but requires a chill time of at least 8 hours (or overnight). Carli recommends making this before bed and chilling it overnight to get you prepped for the next day. "This dessert makes an indulgent afternoon snack if you work from home," she says. Um, yes please! Let's elevate our workday afternoon snack break with this light and creamy dessert. We'd suggest drizzling a little strawberry sauce or whipped cream on top to really indulge.

Gather your ingredients for strawberry panna cotta

To make this strawberry panna cotta, first you need to gather your ingredients. Make sure you have fresh strawberries, whole milk, unflavored gelatin powder, granulated sugar, vanilla extract (or vanilla paste), and heavy whipping cream on hand. In terms of equipment, you'll need a fine meshed sieve, a medium saucepan, a baking dish, and 6 ramekins. Now that you have your ingredients and your equipment ready, we can dive right in.

Purée and strain the strawberries

Add the whole strawberries to a food processor. Carli notes that "you do not need to cut off the stems before adding [the] strawberries, as we will strain [them] out." Blend the strawberries until the mixture is smooth. Pour the puréed strawberries through a fine meshed sieve over a small bowl. The sieve will catch the excess pulp, seeds, and stems, leaving only the juice in the bowl. Save the juice but discard the seeds, pulp, and stems.

Add milk and gelatin powder

In a medium saucepan, add the whole milk and sprinkle the gelatin powder on top. You'll need about 1 ½ packages of unflavored gelatin powder, which roughly equates to 3 teaspoons or 1 ½ ounces. Allow the unflavored gelatin powder to sit on top of the whole milk for at least 5 minutes. Carli notes that this process "allows the gelatin to activate and firm up the final product," which is exactly what you want. 

Add the strawberries and sugar and heat the mixture up

Now, add the strawberry juice and the granulated sugar to the small saucepan. Whisk the mixture together until fully incorporated. Place this saucepan on the stove and bring the burner to medium heat. Using a food thermometer, keep an eye on the temperature. Once the contents reach 150 F, remove the saucepan from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool to 120 F before moving on to the next step.

Add vanilla and heavy cream

Once the mixture has cooled to at least 120 F, add the vanilla extract and the heavy cream. Give this mixture a really good whisk until all of the components have been fully incorporated. Carli notes that "you can use vanilla extract or vanilla paste here. Just be sure to only use ¼ teaspoon. The hint of vanilla flavor will help to balance out the strawberry and cream taste of this dish."

Pour into ramekins and chill

Place the six ramekins on a small baking sheet. Transfer the panna cotta mixture into a large glass measuring cup or a pitcher to easily pour it into the ramekins, then distribute the mixture evenly between them. Carefully place the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator. Allow the ramekins to cool completely until the panna cotta sets. This takes at least 8 hours, or overnight. Once you're ready to serve, remove the ramekins from the fridge and enjoy.

Strawberry Panna Cotta Recipe
5 from 36 ratings
This strawberry panna cotta recipe is sweet, fruity, and makes the perfect mid-afternoon dessert to enjoy with a cup of coffee. Plus, it's easy to make.
Prep Time
Cook Time
strawberry panna cotta in ramekin
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 ½ ounces unflavored gelatin powder
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup heavy cream
  1. Add the strawberries into a food processor. Purée until smooth.
  2. Strain the pulp and seeds out of the strawberries using a fine meshed sieve, catching the juice in a small bowl.
  3. In a saucepan, add the milk and gelatin powder. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Heat the saucepan over medium heat. Add the puréed strawberries and sugar. Whisk well. Heat to 150 F. Remove from heat.
  5. Once cooled to 120 F, add the vanilla and heavy cream. Whisk well.
  6. Place 6 ramekins on a small baking sheet. Pour the strawberry panna cotta mix evenly into the ramekins.
  7. Chill the ramekins in the fridge for at least 8 hours before serving.
Calories per Serving 309
Total Fat 22.9 g
Saturated Fat 14.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 83.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 19.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Total Sugars 17.5 g
Sodium 46.1 mg
Protein 8.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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