vanilla chia pannacotta

November 28, 2013mayurisjikoni
Blog post


Recently held birthday party with friends gave me the opportunity to make this silky, smooth and creamy Vanilla Chia Panna Cotta. As a result, got the opportunity to take better photos which so badly needed to be updated. The Group Foodies_Redoing Old Posts allows me to focus on my old posts to add better photos, write a better post and importantly gives me the chance to make sure the recipe works to the hilt. I’m so grateful to Renu for giving us this opportunity.

Vanilla Chia Panna Cotta

 Making panna cotta one of the most easiest desserts. I love the creamy texture. I remember the first time I ever ordered panna cotta off the menu at an Italian Restaurant in Bangalore, not knowing what to expect. First spoonful of the creamy dessert in my mouth and I immediately fell in love with it. Since then have made the luscious creamy dessert so many times at home. Making a Vanilla Panna Cotta is my favorite as it can be served with fresh fruit, fruit sauces or coulis, pureed fruit, chocolate sauce etc. The options are endless. Adding chia seeds to this it was just to add a bit of texture. 


What is a Panna Cotta?

Panna Cotta is actually an Italian dessert, generally made from cream and a bit of milk and gelatin. It is unmolded and served with a sauce. The creamy mixture can be infused with spices and flavors. Panna Cotta means cooked cream. It is believed to a dessert from the Piedmont region of Italy. The panna cotta was usually flavored with rum or marsala. How creamy the pain cotta turns out depends on the quality of cream used and the proportion of cream and milk used.


Gelatin or Agar Agar

Panna cotta can be made using gelatin or agar agar. I’ve made it using both depending on the availability of gelatin or agar agar. Must admit, I prefer the gelatin version but to make it vegan or vegetarian friendly I omit it.


To Unmold or not

I’ve made panna cotta for Diwali, Pre Wedding Celebrations and also for Birthday parties. Its a dessert that most people enjoy. When I’m entertaining a large crowd then unfolding desserts is time consuming. Therefore, I prefer using cute little bowls, ramekins or small cups or glasses.  Mango FoolMilk Pudding with Jelly, Pomegranate and Vanilla Panna CottaThandai Mousse are a few examples of desserts I have prepared for parties.

If you want to unmold it that make sure you grease the molds with flavorless oil. Run a sharp knife around the edges and the vanilla panna cotta will slip off. Top it with sauce, or chopped fruits and nuts. You can set the panna cotta in one big bowl, unmold it and cut it serve.


What toppings have I tried Vanilla Panna Cotta with?

I’ve used simple passion fruit sauce, also strawberry sauce. I’ve also served it with chopped strawberries, mangoes and nuts. With Vanilla flavored panna cotta, you have so many options.


Dietary Tips:

  • Its gluten free
  • For a Vegan friendly version replace the cream with coconut cream. Don’t use gelatin. Use a vegan friendly agar agar or carrageenan or a vegan jel.
  • Gelatin is usually made from animal skin and bones so its not vegetarian or vegan friendly. Replace the gelatin with agar agar, carrageenan or vegan jel.

vanilla chia panna cotta 1

vanilla chia panna cotta 4

vanilla chia panna cotta 3

vanilla chia panna cotta 2


Makes 8

Ingredients for the Vanilla Layer:

2 cups double/whipping cream

⅓ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup thick coconut milk

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 packet (7g / ¼oz) or 2½ tsp gelatin or 4 tbsp agar flakes or 4 tsp agar agar powder



Makes about ¾ cup

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ – 1 cup sugar

1 tbsp butter

a pinch of salt

1 cup milk

½ tbsp plain flour

1 tsp vanilla extract or ½ tsp cinnamon powder


Preparation of the Vanilla Panna Cotta:

  1. Soak the chia seeds in warm water for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Add milk into a saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin or agar agar and mix gently.
  3. Let the gelatin /agar agar bloom for 10-15 minutes.
  4. in the meantime get your bowls or glasses ready.
  5. Add sugar to the milk.
  6. Heat the milk mixture over low heat stirring all the time till the gelatin or agar agar melts.
  7. Let the mixture become hot but not boiling.
  8. Take the pan off the heat.
  9. Add the cream and vanilla extract and mix well.
  10. Drain out any access water from the chia seeds. Add the seeds to the vanilla mixture. Mix well.
  11. Pour the vanilla mixture equally into 8 containers.
  12. Put the containers with the panna cotta in the fridge to set. Let it set overnight or for 3-4 hours.

Preparation of the Home Made Chocolate Sauce:

  1. Mix cocoa, sugar and flour well till there are no lumps left. 
  2. Put milk and butter in a pan.
  3. Heat it over medium heat till it becomes hot.
  4. Whisking the milk, add the cocoa mixture in batches.
  5. Lower the heat and let the sauce cook till it becomes thick. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Remember to stir or whisk often so that it doesn’t get burnt at the bottom.
  6. Add flavoring of your choice, mix well and let it cool.
  7. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge till required.

Final Preparation:

  1. Take the set panna cotta out of the fridge.
  2. Pour the cool chocolate sauce over it, about 1-2 tbsp. 
  3. Put the panna cotta back in the fridge. 
  4. Let it chill for 1-2 hours.
  5. Serve chilled.


  • You can use ready made chocolate sauce.
  • You can replace the coconut milk with a milk of your choice.
  • Instead of chocolate sauce top it with your favorite fresh fruit coulis or sauce e.g. strawberry, blackberry, mango, raspberry, passion fruitetc. 
  • For a vegan version replace the whipping cream with coconut cream.
  • You can top it also with chopped fresh fruit of your choice.
  • The sweetness of the sauce totally depends on how sweet you want it.

Pin for Later:

vanilla chia panna cotta


A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962



  • Shey divine

    November 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I love that chia seeds in pannacotta …
    Thank you for linking it to my event ..

    Event announcement – let's cook for Christmas
    Do link your entries .

  • Gheza e shiriin

    December 17, 2013 at 7:03 am

    Looks delicious aunty.

  • Shailaja R

    June 5, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Looks delicious. Thanks for linking.

  • Anonymous

    July 19, 2014 at 11:56 pm


  • Renu Agrawal Dongre

    December 29, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    I am loving the look and everything of this dessert or panna cotta. I love panna cotta but never made it. Bookmarking this to try soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 30, 2019 at 10:29 am

      Thanks Renu, I too love panna cotta.

  • poonampagar

    December 31, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    This dessert is a treat to eyes and i am sure to the taste buds as well. Coconut milk and chocolate combo sounds super delicious and those chia seeds look just wow !

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 1, 2020 at 10:17 am

      Thank you so much Poonam, it tastes good and you’re right with chocolate and coconut its a wonderful combination of flavors.

  • Lata Lala

    January 9, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    The combination of vanilla chia for panacotta sounds and look delicious 😋 coconut and chocolate must have elevated the taste and it’s a such a gorgeous treat for your tastebuds.
    The clicks are awesome Mayuri.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 9, 2020 at 5:54 pm

      Thank you so much Lata. Coconut and chocolate pair very well.

  • greenbowl2soulgmailcom

    January 10, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    This looks so delicious can’t believe that the recipe is so simple. Will make it for my husband on Valentine’s day. Thanks for sharing the vegetarian substitute it’s really useful as I have recently turned vegetarian.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 10, 2020 at 9:03 pm

      You’re welcome Vandana and really hope you both love the dessert.

    2. Shailender Sharma

      January 14, 2020 at 8:50 pm

      Your pictures are really engaging & beautiful. Would love to try this delicious and mouthwatering simple and easy recipe.

      1. mayurisjikoni

        January 15, 2020 at 3:45 pm

        Thank you so much, please do try it and give me a feedback.

  • Padma Veeranki

    January 15, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    Such a visual treat Mayuri…Loving it!! Definitely going to try this droolicious dessert..Want to grab a glass from the screen and polish it off…Yummy share 😋

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 16, 2020 at 6:49 pm

      Thank you so much Padma. Please try out the recipe and hope you’ll give a feedback.

  • Sandhya

    January 16, 2020 at 12:20 am

    Panacotta is my favorite Italian dessert and your recipe with coconut milk is tempting m eto mak eit right away! looks so yummy and festive, Mayuri!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 16, 2020 at 6:48 pm

      Thank you so much Sandhya.

  • Jagruti’s Cooking Odyssey

    January 16, 2020 at 11:16 am

    Love panna cotta and chia and both in one dish, makes me so happy. Being this recipe so simple and easy to make one can make any time.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 16, 2020 at 6:45 pm

      Thanks Jagruti, I love making panna cotta as its easy and one can use so many different topping options.

  • Sandhya Ramakrishnan

    January 17, 2020 at 7:13 am

    What a beautiful dish this is! The chia seeds not just adds a healthy ingredient, but also adds beauty to the dish. I will be using agar agar to make this. Thanks for the measurement to try it out.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 18, 2020 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks Sandhya, I’ve made it with agar agar and it turns out nice.

  • jayashreetrao

    January 17, 2020 at 9:40 am

    Love this pannacotta with chia. It looks so delish and perfect for a party treat.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 18, 2020 at 7:17 pm

      Thank you so much Jayashree.

  • Priya Srinivasan

    January 19, 2020 at 11:35 am

    Such a pretty dish mayuriji!!! i love panacottas for it is such a versatile and an easy dessert to make!!! love the addition of chia seeds, adds a nice texture to the smooth panacotta!!! That chocolate sauce on top must take it to another level!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 19, 2020 at 1:39 pm

      Thank you so much Priya, I love making vanilla pannacotta as I can vary the topping every time. It tastes really good with chocolate sauce.

  • Lathiskitchen

    January 24, 2020 at 1:59 am

    Wow, the panna cotta looks fabulous. I loved you used chia seeds. I’m in the look out for more recipes to use chia seeds

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 25, 2020 at 7:34 pm

      Thanks Lathiya.

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