Creamy, rich and delicious! This vanilla yogurt panna cotta gets drizzled with honey and topped with some sweet crunchy candied walnuts. Yogurt, milk, sugar, gelatin, vanilla extract, honey, walnuts, agave nectar, and brown sugar. An easy make ahead dessert that everyone will love!
What is a Panna Cotta
A panna cotta is an Italian dessert that literally means “cooked cream.” It’s cream (or some other creamy liquid) that has been thickened with gelatin and refrigerated. It’s then either unmolded or not and usually served with some sort of sauce.
After I made my very first panna cotta, I was completely hooked. It’s so easy and elegant and I love that you can make it not just with cream, but with any creamy type liquid. My formula is 3 cups of liquid to 1 gelatin packet. I’ve made them with Nutella and over the holidays I made one using Holiday Nog.
Once you start making panna cottas, you’ll start to see the possibilities everywhere!
Ingredients for this Panna Cotta
- Whole Milk – you can use cream if you want it richer and creamier or 2% if you want it lighter and not as creamy.
- Gelatin – one gelatin packet which is 2 1/4 teaspoons.
- Sugar – white, granulated.
- Plain Yogurt – can use Vanilla Yogurt. Full fat will be creamier, lower fat not as rich and creamy.
- Vanilla Extract – I use my Homemade Vanilla Extract.
- Honey – for serving
Ingredients for Candied Walnuts
- Agave nectar – can use honey.
- Brown Sugar – light or dark.
- Kosher salt
How to Make Panna Cotta
Pour the milk into a saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let sit for 5 minutes to soften. Then, over a medium heat, stir to dissolve the gelatin. Add the sugar and stir until it is dissolved also.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the yogurt and vanilla extract. Pour into one large bowl or into six 1/2 cup ramekins. If you plan on unmolding them, very lightly grease with a cooking spray. I usually just leave mine in their bowls. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
How to Make Candied Walnuts
Making these candied walnuts is so easy! Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with cooking spray – making sure they won’t stick. In a bowl, stir together the walnuts, brown sugar, agave nectar and a pinch of salt.
Spread them in a single layer on the baking sheet, be sure and break up any clumps. Bake them for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
These walnuts are great for just snacking on their own or use them to top other desserts.
Looking for more easy make ahead desserts:
Vanilla Yogurt Panna Cotta with Honey and Candied Walnuts
Vanilla Yogurt Panna Cotta with Honey and Candied Walnuts is a healthier dessert that you can feel good about eating.
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 1/4 teaspoons gelatin
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups walnuts
- 4 tablespoons agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- pinch of kosher salt
Place milk in a small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over the top. Let sit for about 5 minutes for the gelatin to soften.
Turn burner on to medium and stir until all gelatin is dissolved. Add sugar and continue stirring until sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat and whisk in yogurt, vanilla extract and salt.
Pour by 1/2 cups into 6 individual dessert dishes. Chill in fridge for at least two hours, but preferably 4-6 or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl combine walnuts, agave nectar, brown sugar and salt. Stir to coat walnuts evenly.
Spread in a single layer on baking sheet, breaking up clumps. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and store in an airtight container.
To serve, remove from refrigerator, drizzle with honey and top with candied walnuts.
- Panna Cotta will need to chill at least for 2 hours in the fridge.
- Milk - whole milk will make a creamier and richer panna cotta. Can use lowfat, but it won't be as rich or creamy.
- Yogurt - full fat will be the richest and creamiest, low fat will not be as rich or creamy.
- The recipe makes more candied walnuts than you need, but you'll find plenty of uses for them - even just as snacks! Store in an air tight container.
This was originally posted in 2015 and has been updated for 2019.