Yogurt Panna Cotta, Two Ways


Yogurt Panna Cotta
Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Thyme Garnish


Fat-free Yogurt Panna Cotta
Lavender Honey
Lavender Flower Garnish



Panna Cotta is traditionally made with cream.  This version is made with non-fat Greek yogurt and non-fat kefir. Last July I found out I needed to lower my cholesterol, since then I’ve really enjoyed researching and creating heart healthy dishes.

This fat-free Yogurt Kefir Panna Cotta recipe is healthy and versatile. Top with fresh fruit, fruit coulis, preserves, premium gourmet honey or olive oil! Are you wondering why bother to make a fat-free dessert then add olive oil? The unhealthy saturated fat and cholesterol are removed and replaced with healthy monounsaturated fat. And it is fabulous!

Fat-free Yogurt Kefir Panna Cotta Recipe

  • 2 1/2 t. unflavored gelatin (one packet)
  • 1 1/2 c. non-fat kefir
  • 1 1/2 c. non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. vanilla extract

Sprinkle gelatin over 3 T. cold water, stir and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.

Whisk yogurt in a large bowl.


Heat kefir, sugar and salt over low heat. When sugar has dissolved, remove from heat, add gelatin and vanilla then stir. Let cool slightly.

Gradually whisk the warm kefir mixture into the yogurt. Pour into ramekins or amuse bouche cups. Let come to room temperature before covering. Chill at least 6 hours.

I’m in love with these 2 oz. amuse bouche cups. This small portion is perfect for the olive oil panna cotta. Simply drizzle a small amount of top-quality fruity olive oil over the top, add a sprinkling of sea salt and fresh thyme. Unusual and  intriguing, this version rocks!


To make an elegant and completely fat-free dessert, simply drizzle lavender (or another monofloral) honey over the inverted panna cotta, garnish with lavender flowers. Both versions are heart healthy, totally satisfying and terrific for entertaining.

Not  convinced? We make a delicious whole milk/heavy cream version with a pomegranate reduction, that recipe can be found here.

32 thoughts on “Yogurt Panna Cotta, Two Ways”

  1. I am completely in love with this recipe! #1: I’ve made panna cotta before (the unhealthy way) and found it delightful (of course) but lightening it up is exciting. #2 I love kefir! I’ve never bought it before choosing always to make my own, but it takes a lot of forethought as it needs to set on the counter for 24 hours and then be in the fridge for 8 hours after that before using. I’m glad to hear the store bought kefir is good.

  2. I’m going to do this over the weekend. I am trigued by the olive oil and sea salt – loving the honey. Think vincotto or a good balsamic must slightly reduced, wine jam – there is so much you can do. And it is beautiful. Sigh. This will be a very sweet project.

  3. Ooh, controversial recipe! Well, maybe for me – had a not-great experience with jellied skim. But kefir and yogurt seem to offer almost the same voluptuousness that cream has. Plus there is the olive oil – great addition!!

  4. Lori Lynn, this is my favourite kind of panna cotta. Just as you’ve used greek yogurt, I had something similar in Greece…love the slight tartness balanced with the sweetness.

    I take small spoonfuls and let it melt in my mouth.

  5. The dessert screams elegance and sophistication..who would ever think they are also somewhat healthy? I love the finishes of olive oil or lavender honey.

  6. I am totally in love with your photos of this lovely creation!
    (I was raised ‘drinking’ yogurt…it came in milk bottles and was thick but runny enough to drink. It tasted great with fresh wheat bread from the local bakery.)
    The new blog format is so very elegant too.

  7. This looks wonderful, Lori Lynn. I love that it is fat free. I actually have some Stony Field Farm fat free yogurt in the fridge now. Hmm….

  8. Yum! I love Kefir and have been drinking it since a little girl! It’s so good to see your use of it here! Very delicious and healthy Lori!

  9. I have made this for my son’s birthday (he wanted a healthy dessert and these are stunning). I would love to post this on my examiner site and link to you. I had some changes – less sugar and used vanilla yogurt – so didn’t add vanilla – but I would love readers to see yours.

  10. Believe it or not I just had my first taste of panna cotta this weekend. It was delicious, but looking at the recipe and all that cream, certainly not something I’d indulge in too often. I’m very curious to try this version now!

  11. I very rarely trust anything that is non-fat and I have never heard of kefir, but I do trust you, especially since you perfumed the pannacotta so delicately with lavender honey. The lavender blossom garnish is stunning – makes me want to take up watercolors (I should learn how to draw stick men first, perhaps).

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