This super simple, yet creamy and elegant vegan Panna Cotta is made with just 4 ingredients, no refined sugar, no coconut cream, and there’s even an option for no agar agar powder! You’ll love this dairy free vegan twist on a classic Italian dessert!

plate of vegan Panna cotta with strawberry coulis

You are just going to absolutely love this dreamy and creamy vegan Panna cotta! It’s perfectly custard-like and topped with the most delicious strawberry coulis (that’s no sugar added!).

Only 4 ingredients, and a super easy recipe to make that looks and tastes beyond elegant! This vegan Panna cotta is perfect for any vegan dinner party or paired alongside other decadent vegan dessert recipes! There’s even an option to omit the agar agar powder!

 What is panna cotta?

Panna cotta, or “cooked cream” as it literally translates to, is a deliciously creamy and chilled traditional Italian dessert that consists of heavy cream cooked with sugar, real vanilla beans, and gelatin. The ingredients are cooked together, and then chilled, which creates almost a custard-like pudding texture, similar to that of flan or creme brûlée. 

However, as you can see, traditional Panna cotta is not vegan, nor dairy free, as it uses heavy cream (dairy) and gelatin (animal product). Thus, to make a vegan Panna cotta recipe, we must swap out and in a few different ingredients!

vegan Panna cotta with strawberries

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Dairy free milk: Many vegan Panna cotta recipes call for full fat coconut milk, which you can absolutely use in this recipe. However, I also love using cashew milk, oat milk, soy milk, or almond milk (I actually used a combination of cashew and almond milk for the version pictured). It’s still just as creamy and delicious.
  • Maple syrup: I wanted to offer up a refined sugar free version of Panna cotta, and opted for maple syrup. However, you may also use regular organic granulated sugar (to be sure it’s vegan!).
  • Vanilla bean: I used vanilla extract, but you can also stir in 1/4 tsp of vanilla powder or scraped seeds from a vanilla bean pod!
  • Agar agar powder: This is the ingredient we’re swapping in for the gelatin; more on that in the next sections, but I do have an option if you’d rather make your vegan Panna cotta without agar agar! One thing to note: please use agar agar powder and not agar agar flakes! It’s a different method entirely!
  • Strawberry coulis: keeping with the theme of no refined sugars, we’re making a no sugar added strawberry coulis that’s only two ingredients: strawberries and lemon!

What is agar agar?

Most recipes that use gelatin can be veganized and made vegetarian-friendly by using agar agar, or agar agar powder. 

Agar agar is actually a derivative of red algae. It’s very gelatinous in texture, making it a great ingredient for recipes like vegan jelly, vegan gummy worms, or vegan custards.

plates of Panna cotta with strawberries

Overview: How to make vegan panna cotta:

Here’s a quick overview on how to make vegan Panna cotta:

  1. Cook: We’ll first start by cooking the cream. Combine all ingredients in a medium or small saucepan, except for the agar agar, and whisk thoroughly. Heat until boiling, then stir in the agar agar and reduce the heat.
  2. Cool: Pour the Panna cotta mixture into your prepared ramekins or you can use silicone molds. Then place the Panna cotta cups into the fridge to chill and set for at least 2.5 hours, but preferably 3-4 (or overnight!).
  3. While the Panna cotta is setting: We’ll next make the strawberry coulis. Simply cook the strawberries and lemon together until boiling. Then allow the compote mixture to cool for a few minutes before blending until smooth. Chill before serving with your Panna cotta!
  4. Serve: Flip the Panna cotta over onto plates, top with fresh fruit and the strawberry coulis, and enjoy!

How to remove Panna cotta from ramekins:

You can always serve your vegan Panna cotta in the ramekins if you’d like; however, it’s also really fun to de-mold or remove the Panna cotta and plate them!

To plate the Panna cotta: Carefully dip the bottom of the ramekin into a bowl of hot water for 5-10 seconds. Then gently run a butter knife along the top of the Panna cotta. Place a  plate on top of the ramekin, and carefully flip it over. Your Panna cotta should wiggle right out!

No agar agar powder? No problem!

If you’d prefer a vegan Panna cotta that does not use agar agar as the thickener, then you can swap in cornstarch or arrowroot starch. Either one of these will yield a custard-like Panna cotta that’s absolutely dreamy and perfect for a summer dessert!

Panna cotta flavors:

If you don’t want to top your vegan panna cotta with the homemade no sugar added strawberry coulis, you can easily swap in a few of these instead:

  • Make a mixed berries compote or coulis
  • Swap in blueberry or cherry reserve
  • Top with mango puree
  • Drizzle with vegan caramel sauce or vegan Nutella for ultra indulgence
  • Slice fresh grapefruit and oranges with pomegranate seeds
  • Top with fresh mint and berries (raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries are all great!)
pouring strawberry coulis onto vegan panna cotta

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

vegan panna cotta pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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plate of vegan Panna cotta with strawberry coulis

Easy 4 Ingredient Vegan Panna Cotta (No Agar Agar Option!)

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cooling time: 240
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This super simple, yet creamy and elegant vegan Panna Cotta is made with just 4 ingredients, no refined sugar, no coconut cream, and there’s even an option for no agar agar powder! You’ll love this dairy free vegan twist on a classic Italian dessert!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Vegan Panna Cotta:

  • 3 cups (752 mL or 26.2 oz) unsweetened oat milk, cashew milk, almond milk, or a combination of the above
  • 1/2 cup (100 mL) maple syrup*
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract and/or 1/4 tspvanilla bean powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp agar agar powder (see notes for no agar agar option)

No Sugar Added Strawberry Coulis:

  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • Juice from 1/2 medium lemon

Instructions

  1. Prep: Grease four medium ramekins with oil, and set aside. Measure out all ingredients.
  2. Heat: In a medium saucepan, whisk together the oat milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract (if using arrowroot starch in place of agar agar powder, add it here). Bring the mixture to a boil on medium-high heat via the stovetop. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low.
  3. Stir: Add in the agar agar powder, and continue whisking on low heat for 2-3 minutes until the mixture begins to just slightly thicken (for arrowroot starch, you will need to cook longer).
  4. Cool: Pour the mixture into the ramekins evenly. Place the ramekins into the fridge to set for at least 2.5 hours, but preferably 3 or longer.
  5. While the panna cotta is setting: Make the strawberry coulis. In a medium saucepan, mix together the strawberries and lemon juice. Turn the stovetop burner onto medium-high heat, and cover and cook the strawberries until they begin to bubble, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to simmer, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, uncovered. 
  6. Cool: Once the mixture is cooked, set aside to cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Then pour the strawberrymixture into a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Pour back into a jar or bowl, and chill in the refrigerator until the vegan panna cotta is ready to be served.
  7. Serve: Once the panna cotta is set, carefully dip the bottom of one Panna cotta ramekin into a bowl of hot water for 5-10 seconds. Then run a butter knife along the top of the Panna cotta very carefully. Place a small dessert plate on top of every ramekin. Carefully flip the ramekin and plate over together, and allow the panna cotta to slide out. Repeat for each ramekin. Serve with a few tablespoons of strawberry coulis and fresh strawberries. Enjoy!

Notes

No agar agar powder: If you don’t have agar agar powder, you can swap in 1/3 cup of cornstarch or arrowroot starch.

Coconut cream: If you would prefer to make your vegan panna cotta with coconut milk, you can use heavy coconut milk from a can or coconut cream.

Maple syrup: Feel free to swap in an equal amount of granulated sugar for the maple syrup.

Keywords: vegan panna cotta, vegan panna cotta recipe, dairy free panna cotta, panna cotta no gelatin, vegetarian panna cotta