Basil Yogurt Panna Cotta with Blueberries

Panna Cottas are a custard made with cream and gelatin.  Panna cottas are deceptively easy and one of our favorite dishes to make for guests throughout the year using different flavorings and variations.  Basil Yogurt Panna Cotta with Blueberries is our summer version, one we have made a little tangy with the addition of Greek yogurt and lemon.  We originally created this basil Panna cotta as a dessert to bring to a dinner at our friends' house who loves all things Italian and basil.  We loved it and have been making it ever since!

If you are in the Pittsburgh area, come down to the Pittsburgh Public Market this Saturday (August 16) between 12-2 pm try a free sample of our Basil Yogurt Panna Cotta with Blueberries and say hi! 


Yield: Serves 8


  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin
  • 1 3/4 cups whipping cream, divided
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 1/4 cups Greek style low-fat yogurt, unflavored 
  • 1 cup blueberries (for garnish)
  • handful of purple basil leaves (for garnish)


  1. In a small bowl, combine warm water, lemon juice, and gelatin.  Whisk and let stand to soften for 1 minute.
  2. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together 1 cup whipping cream and sugar until sugar is dissolved and the mixture just reaches a simmer.  Remove from heat.
  3. Pour warm hot mixture into a food processor or blender and add basil leaves.  Puree until smooth.
  4. Strain the basil cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Add gelatin mixture, remaining 3/4 cup whipping cream, and yogurt to the large bowl.  Whisk thoroughly until smooth.
  5. Pour the panna cotta into 8 small bowls, ramekins or serving dishes. Allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour before covering and refrigerating.  Allow to set up in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (up to 1 day).  
  6. For serving, remove from the fridge 5-10 minutes prior to serving and garnish with fresh blueberries and basil leaves.

Note: These panna cottas are a wonderful canvas to experiment with flavors. Vanilla, mint, lime or lavender are all great alternatives to basil.