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Vegan Mango & Vanilla Panna Cotta (GF, DF, VG)

cup of mango vanilla panna cotta
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Panna Cotta Celebration

The first time I had panna cotta was my freshman year of high school. I still remember it like it was yesterday. A new Italian restaurant had just opened up in my hometown, and my parents thought it was a great opportunity to celebrate my first day of high school by treating me to a 3-course meal. At the time, I was already a HUGE foodie, so I was ALL IN.

The meal started off with a soup of some sort, followed by a nicely seared salmon dish, then finished off with a raspberry panna cotta. OH BOY. I still remember my first bite into this iconic Italian dessert — so creamy, so light, and oh so refreshing!

Since that experience, I’ve developed quite the affinity for panna cotta. In fact, come to one of my dinner parties and you’re bound to find me serving panna cotta for dessert! My favorite kind? Mango & Vanilla Panna Cotta!

What is Panna Cotta?

In the traditional Italian sense, panna cotta is a light and creamy dessert made with heavy cream, full-fat milk, sugar, and gelatin. In fact, the term “panna cotta” literally means “cooked cream.” Typically, you’re bound to find vanilla-based panna cotta that can be served as is, or mixed with fruits such as mangoes or raspberries!

How Do You Make Panna Cotta Vegan-Friendly?

While I absolutely LOVE eating panna cotta the traditional way, I wanted to make this dessert available for my vegan friends to try too. I mean, good friends dont let their friends miss out on something as good as this!

Unfortunately, even after substituting the cream and milk with vegan-friendly options, the biggest challenge in making a vegan panna cotta is to recreate the “jelly-like” consistency that is key to any good panna cotta. Typically made with gelatin, this panna cotta recipe uses agar-agar, a 100% vegan-friendly gelatin substitute made of seaweed!

Thankfully, I have seen my mother use agar-agar in some of her recipes growing up. So at least I was familiar with how it works! And after lots of tweaking and testing in the kitchen, I think I’ve finally nailed down the perfect VEGAN panna cotta recipe!

Ingredients to Make Vegan Panna Cotta   

Vanilla Panna Cotta Layer

Mango Panna Cotta Layer

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Where Can I Buy Agar-Agar?

To make vegan panna cotta, you absolutely need agar-agar. While still relatively new to the United States, you are most likely to find agar-agar at your local health food stores, Asian supermarkets, or more conveniently, online! Here are some of my favorite agar-agar brands currently for sale online:

How to Make Vegan Panna Cotta 

For the Vanilla Layer

  1. Into a medium pot, add coconut milk and sugar over medium-high heat. Once mixture is boiling, add in agar-agar powder and whisk to combine. Add in the vanilla extract, then stir for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Pour the vanilla mixture into 6 dessert cups (you may fill more if you use smaller sized cups). Chill in the fridge for at least 45 minutes, or until set.

For the Mango Layer

  1. Meanwhile, add coconut cream, almond milk, and sugar into the same medium pot over medium-high heat. Once mixture is boiling, add in agar-agar powder and whisk to combine. Turn off the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Then add in the mango puree. Stir to combine.
  2. Once the vanilla layer has firmed up, divide the mango mixture into the same 6 cups to form a layer on top of the vanilla panna cotta. Chill in the fridge for at least 45 minutes, or until set.

Serving Instructions

  1. Once both layers are set and cool, remove panna cotta from fridge and garnish with extra mango slices and mint leaves. Serve immediately. ENJOY!

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cup of mango vanilla panna cotta

Vegan Mango & Vanilla Panna Cotta (GF, DF, V)

DWELL by Michelle
This delicious Mango & Vanilla Panna Cotta takes its inspiration from the iconic Italian dessert. This time, we've given this classic dessert a vegan makeover that highlights refreshing mango flavors without sacrificing the smooth and creamy texture you look for in traditional panna cotta. The secret? Agar-agar! Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Vegan.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Rest Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 152 kcal

Ingredients
  

Vanilla Panna Cotta Layer

Mango Panna Cotta Layer

Instructions
 

For the Vanilla Layer

  • Into a medium pot, add coconut milk and sugar over medium-high heat. Once mixture is boiling, add in agar-agar powder and whisk to combine. Add in the vanilla extract, then stir for 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour the vanilla mixture into 6 dessert cups (you may fill more if you use smaller sized cups). Chill in the fridge for at least 45 minutes, or until set.

For the Mango Layer

  • Meanwhile, add coconut cream, almond milk, and sugar into the same medium pot over medium-high heat. Once mixture is boiling, add in agar-agar powder and whisk to combine. Turn off the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Then add in the mango puree. Stir to combine.
  • Once the vanilla layer has firmed up, divide the mango mixture into the same 6 cups to form a layer on top of the vanilla panna cotta. Chill in the fridge for at least 45 minutes, or until set.

Serving Instructions

  • Once both layers are set and cool, remove panna cotta from fridge and garnish with extra mango slices and mint leaves. Serve immediately. ENJOY!

Notes

* Make sure that both vanilla and mango mixtures are boiling before stirring in the agar-agar powder to prevent it from gelling up too soon. 
 
Keyword agar agar, coconut cream, coconut milk, easy dessert recipes, Gluten-Free, how to make panna cotta, italian dessert, mango, panna cotta, sweet recipe, vegan, without gelatin

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11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    First time trying panna cotta because I’ve never found one that’s vegan at the restaurants and I’m soooooo happy I tried this. Easily one of my favorite desserts EVER!

  2. 5 stars
    Yes, maam! Made these vegan panna cotta this afternoon with the girls and we are obsessed! We didn’t have mango so we subbed it with frozen cherries, but very delicious overall.