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Melon and Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta

6 Servings

Cook Time
1 hr 15 mins

Chill Time
2 hrs 40 mins

Total Time
3 hrs 55 mins

Although as silky as the Italian classic, this version is lighter and more refreshing, with yogurt standing in for half of the cream—and diced fruit adding bursts of sweetness.

Melon and Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta

Iain Bagwell
 2 tsp unflavored gelatin
 1 ¾ cups heavy whipping cream
  cup plus 2 tbsp. honey
 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds set aside
 1 ½ cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
 3 tbsp lemon juice, divided
 1 tsp lemon zest, divided
 1 tbsp minced crystallized ginger, divided
 2 ½ cups diced, tender, fullflavored orange or green melon such as cantaloupe, honeydew, Charentais, Ha’Ogen, or Galia, divided
 1 ½ tbsp chopped fresh mint, plus mint leaves for serving

Make panna cotta: Pour 2 tbsp. cold water into a medium bowl and stir in gelatin. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.


Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat cream, 1/3 cup honey, and vanilla bean and seeds, stirring often, until steaming, 4 to 5 minutes. Discard vanilla bean. Whisk cream mixture into gelatin until gelatin fully dissolves. Whisk in yogurt and 1 tbsp. lemon juice until smooth. Set aside.


Prepare melon layer: In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, 1 tbsp. each honey and lemon juice, and 11/2 tsp. ginger. Drain any liquid from melon, then stir 11/4 cups fruit into lemon mixture.


Set 6 ramekins (6-oz. size) in a rimmed pan. Spoon ­melon mixture evenly into ramekins. Pour 2/3 cup panna ­cotta mixture into each ramekin; if needed, stir once or twice so fruit isn’t stuck at the bottom. Chill panna cotta, covered, until set, at least 4 hours. Chill remaining diced melon, lemon juice, and zest separately.


Run a small metal spatula or table knife around each panna cotta to loosen. Let stand at room temperature about 5 minutes, then invert a small plate over each ramekin and give it a firm shake to release panna cotta.


Just before serving, combine remaining honey, ginger, lemon zest and juice, and chopped mint. Drain any juice from reserved melon, then stir melon into lemon mixture. Spoon over panna cotta and top with mint leaves.

MAKE AHEAD: Through step 4, up to 1 day, chilled.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 6

Servings 0

Amount Per Serving
Calories 414Calories from Fat 257
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g45%

Saturated Fat 18g90%
Cholesterol 87mg29%
Sodium 55mg3%
Total Carbohydrate 33g11%

Dietary Fiber 0.8g4%
Protein 9.1g19%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.