Light Chocolate Panna Cotta

Light Chocolate Panna Cotta
I had another recipe planned for today.

That is until I made this.  

Would you believe this is virtually fat free and is simply amazing!  

What is it you ask?   Is it pudding?  Is it mousse?  

Why its Panna Cotta my friends.  

Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert consisting of simply milk, cream and sugar.  It has a light, creamy texture and is a perfect dessert to satisfy a sweet tooth.

By substituting whole milk or heavy cream in exchange for skim milk and non fat yogurt you can still get the desired consistency known in Panna Cotta without all the extra fat and calories.  Better yet making this with chocolate and using unsweetened cocoa powder which is substantially lower in calories and fat than semi-sweet chocolate you get the rich chocolate flavor while drastically reducing the fat and calories.

In this recipe I used a half a cup of unsweetened cocoa powder which has approximately 80 calories and 4 grams a fat total (only 10 calories and .5 grams a fat per tablespoon) versus using the same amount of semi-sweet chocolate bar that would have approximately 560 calories and 32 grams of fat total (70 calories and 4 grams of fat per 1/2 oz in the Nestle Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate Bar).  

I also use non-fat vanilla yogurt opposed to Greek yogurt.  I love Greek yogurt but for this recipe I didn’t want to have that tang that can come with Greek yogurt.   I wanted it smooth and using vanilla non-fat yogurt gives the hint of vanilla and blends well with the chocolate.

Go ahead try this and indulge.  You’ll be happy you did!  

Light Chocolate Panna Cotta

Light Chocolate Panna Cotta

Light Chocolate Panna Cotta

Light Chocolate Panna Cotta


Light Chocolate Panna Cotta


  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 packet (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup vanilla non-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Fat free whip cream for serving (optional)
  • Fresh sliced strawberries for serving (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of chocolate and white chocolate shavings for serving (optional)


  1. Add cold skim milk to a medium saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin on top of milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  2. Place saucepan on stove over medium-low heat and stir until gelatin is dissolved, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Gently stir in yogurt, unsweetened cocoa powder and sugar and stir until cocoa and sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour mixture into serving glasses, and let set for 2-3 hours or overnight.
  5. Serve topped with fat free whip cream, fresh sliced strawberries and/or chocolate and white chocolate shavings.

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Light Chocolate Panna Cotta

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  1. This looks fantastic! I am having company this weekend and am going to try it! I love your site. I’m sorry you don’t have TONS of votes on the Top 25 foodie Moms because you deserve it!

  2. Hi! I’ve made this and it turned out beautifully! I wanted to know if there is a way to make this recipe without the chocolate? I want to make a vanilla panna cotta and can’t find a recipe without cream!

  3. Hi!
    This looks great but I was wondering, if i didn’t want to use cocoa powder do i need to substitute it for something else or can I just leave it out?

    1. Hi Luke, I have not tried this recipe without leaving out the cocoa powder so I don’t know how it would turn out. It might be worth a try leaving it out and adding some lemon zest. If you try it let me know how it turns out without it.

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