Coconut Panna Cotta with Peach Coulis

Coconut Panna Cotta with Peach Coulis {Gluten-Free, Vegetarian} | Wheat-Free Meat-Free

I bought half a peck of peaches at the farmer’s market last week. (Mike sent me with instructions to “buy lots of fruit.”) That was perhaps a bit too much for just the two of us. But I was in luck because I learned about a monthly vegetarian event called Veggie/Fruit a Month, and this month Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook chose peaches for the theme.

Now I only had to decide what to make with these peaches. A crisp or a crumble or a cobbler seemed too obvious. I flipped through most of my cookbooks looking for inspiration. Then in Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking I saw a recipe for coconut panna cotta with summer berry coulis. Perfect.

Panna cotta means “cooked cream.” It’s an Italian dessert (I seem to be on a roll with those lately), wherein sweetened cream is mixed with gelatin and allowed to set. All manner of flavorings can be added. I changed Heidi’s recipe around a bit: nixing the cow milk in favor of all coconut, and switching the berry coulis out for peaches. But, like her recipe, I used agar flakes as Mike doesn’t eat gelatin. This works nicely though, because now it can be enjoyed by vegan and vegetarian alike. (And the meat-eaters too I suppose.) ;)

Coconut Panna Cotta

  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon agar flakes
  • neutral tasting oil or coconut oil
  1. Mix coconut milk and agar flakes in a small saucepan. Stir well. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow the agar flakes to soften. Meanwhile, lightly oil 4 small ramekins.
  2. Add the sugar and heat the mixture over medium-low heat until the milk begins to simmer. Allow to simmer for a few minutes while whisking well. Remove from heat and divide the coconut milk between the ramekins. Place ramekins in the refrigerator to cool and set.

Peach Coulis

  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh peaches plus 8 peach slices for garnish (~4 medium peaches)
  • 1-2 tablespoons white sugar (depending on how ripe your peaches are)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Place all ingredients (minus the garnish-intended peach slices) in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-low until peaches have released their juices and the syrup begins to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes then remove from heat. Allow to cool.
  2. Place peaches and syrup in a food processor and process until smooth. (Alternatively use a blender or immersion blender.) Move to refrigerator to cool.

When ready to serve:

  1. Spoon some of the peach coulis onto the center of a small plate.
  2. Set the bottom of a ramekin in hot water for 30-45 seconds. Run a butter knife around the edge of the ramekin. Invert the ramekin over the peach coulis and let the panna cotta slip out. (It may take a little shaking.)
  3. Top with more peach coulis and a couple peach slices for garnish.
  4. Repeat with the remaining ramekins and serve.

Serves 4

Heidi notes that if for some reason the agar does not completely dissolve, strain the coconut milk through a sieve and push the flakes through. Then continue to divide the mixture between the ramekins.

This was another recipe where I made this version with the pureed coulis, then decided that I wanted to try it without pureeing the peaches, then couldn’t decide which one I liked better. The panna cotta itself has a very creamy custardy mouthfeel, so pureed peaches led to a very smooth dessert. Leaving the peaches chopped adds some texture, although the peaches are still pretty soft. I should note that in both versions I peeled the peaches. I imagine if you left the skin on, you’d add more texture that way as well.

I think the recipe is also pretty adaptable in terms of flavors. I played around with infusing the coconut milk with ginger but couldn’t get the flavor to my liking. A little splash of vanilla in the coconut milk might be nice. You could play around with the flavors of the coulis too. Peach and thyme are frequently paired, maybe add a sprig of fresh thyme to the peaches while they’re cooking? Or add in some berries? Peach-blackberry coulis sounds good.

This recipe is also being shared in Slightly Indulgent TuesdayGluten-Free Wednesdays and Seasonal Sundays.


Looking for More Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes?

Take a look at my book, The Wheat-Free Meat-Free Cookbook: 100 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes.

A sampling of the recipes included:
  • Breakfasts: Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins, Yeasted Waffles, Gooey Butter Cake,
  • Sides: Patatas Bravas, Pea and New Potato Salad, Braised Celery,
  • Mains: Corn Waffle Sandwiches, Enchiladas with Green Sauce, Pesto Asparagus Galette, and
  • Desserts: Blueberry Mango Crisp, Baklava Rolls, Amaretto Cake.

You can see the full recipe list on the Amazon page.


  1. lovely ! am just drooling here

  2. Ha, thanks!

  3. Kalinda, you’re amazing.

  4. I tried using agar flakes once with disastrous results. This looks amazing though, and I suspect it would really work! I’ll have to try agar flakes again for this. Thanks for the recipe! It looks pretty easy, and delicious!

  5. Oh Carolyn /blush

    Gina, I hadn’t really done much with agar flakes before, so I don’t have any words of wisdom. All I can say is that they worked.

  6. This looks so good, and I love that it’s made with coconut milk. I’ll have to look for agar flakes.

  7. I found them at Whole Foods. I don’t know if you have one near you. You can definitely find them online.

  8. Peach and coconut sound amazing together. Love that you used agar agar. I have it on hand, but made such a mess of a recipe some time ago, that it’s just sitting waiting for me to try again. This recipe gives me a lot of yummy encouragement. Thanks, Kalinda, for your AFAM contribution.

  9. This is absolutely DELICIOUS! I made it last night with Xanthan gum instead of Agar flakes and it worked wonderfully!
    Great post – THANK YOU!

  10. A nice twist on the classic panna cotta and a beautiful dessert. I am leaning towards trying agar flakes too, instead of gelatin.

  11. Susan: Apparently, you’re not the only one. I guess I got lucky.

    Melissa: I’m so glad to hear you liked it. (And that xanthan gum worked for you.)

    Simona: Here’s hoping the agar works out for you.

  12. Delicious! I love panna cotta’s! The peach coulis looks great with it!

  13. I hadn’t had too much experience with them, but I was happy with the way this one turned out.

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