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Coconut Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6

This panna cotta is a delicious option for those on dairy-free diets, vegans (see the tip on gelatin), or anyone who loves coconut. It’s a little less glossy than traditional panna cotta, with a sophisticated matte look. The smooth purple blueberry sauce makes a dramatic contrast. Save a few extra blueberries for garnish, if you like.


For the sauce

  • 12 oz. (about 2-1/2 cups) fresh or thawed frozen blueberries
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch table salt

For the panna cottas

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 13-1/2-oz. cans coconut milk, well shaken
  • 2 tsp. unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch table salt

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 360
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 240
  • Fat (g): 27
  • Saturated Fat (g): 24
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 70
  • Carbohydrates (g): 29
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Sugar (g): 21
  • Protein (g): 3


Make the sauce

  • In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, and 1/4 cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium, and boil, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to burst, about 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pushing down on the berries to extract the juice. Return to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch. Stir into the blueberry sauce, and cook until it begins to thicken, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla and salt. Let cool to room temperature.

Make the panna cottas

  • Lightly spray six 6- to 8-oz. ramekins, small bowls, or pastry molds with cooking spray.
  • Put 1 can of the coconut milk in a 2-quart saucepan and sprinkle with the gelatin. Allow the gelatin to soften for about 5 minutes. Place the saucepan over low heat and whisk in the sugar until the gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Rub a little between your fingers to check. (Avoid simmering, which destroys the gelatin’s thickening ability; if you see bubbles, remove from the heat and let it cool.)
  • Off the heat, whisk in the remaining can of coconut milk, the vanilla, and salt.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large measuring cup and divide among the prepared ramekins. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set, 1 to 2 hours.
  • Serve the panna cottas in their ramekins, or unmold: Moisten six serving plates with a little warm water (this makes it easier to center the panna cottas). Loosen the edges of a panna cotta with a fingertip, then slowly invert it onto a plate. Gently jiggle the ramekin side to side until the panna cotta slips out. Lift the ramekin, reposition the panna cotta on the plate, if needed, and pat the plate dry. Serve, chilled for a firm panna cotta or at room temperature for a softer one, with the sauce.

Make Ahead Tips

The sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.

The panna cottas can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated, covered.


For a vegetarian panna cotta, you can substitute Vegetable Jel for the gelatin.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • NordyGirl | 06/10/2019

    This is a review for the blueberry sauce, not the pan cotta...

    Amazing and easy blueberry sauce!! I use it for pancake and waffle topping, and because of that, I do not strain out the berries. SOOO good, tastes like it takes a long time to make, but it's so easy. FYI, I use frozen local berries, I don't even bother thawing them.

  • SikaB | 12/10/2018

    I made this dessert for a Hanukkah dinner because my sister-in-law has a gluten and dairy allergy. This was an amazing and forgiving recipe. I ran out of gelatin while I was making this. I think I put in 1 1/2 tsp of gelatin, so I was really worried that they wouldn't turn out. However, they firmed up fine after 3 hours and were easy to turn out from the molds. It was a light and refreshing dessert after a heavy meal. Everyone loved it (sister-in-law included).

  • cooker_nyc | 01/08/2017

    I made the blueberry sauce only -- this sauce is quite good, full of berry flavor, lots of lemon brightness, and not too sweet. Takes about 10 minutes to make but is a little fussy -- 2 trips to the stove, plus pressing through mesh sieve.

  • mjmiller | 03/29/2016

    I made this as an Easter dessert. The flavor was very nice, but it did not unfold properly. It was too loose, so I left them in the ramekins. I followed the recipe exactly, so just wondering if it needed more gelatin? The blueberry sauce was a nice complement and I sprinkled each serving with toasted coconut.

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