Healthy Italian Dessert Recipes

Find healthy, delicious Italian dessert recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Creamy Chocolate Gelato

Rating: 4.33 stars
7
This ultra-chocolaty, dairy-free Sicilian-style gelato--made without eggs or cream--is relatively lean but still creamy-smooth and flavorful. The coconut milk used for the base gives it a silky, rich mouthfeel and a subtle coconut flavor.

Mascarpone-Stuffed Figs

A creamy, honey-scented mascarpone filling makes this fresh fig recipe luxurious, yet still lets the fruit be the star. Serve these pretty stuffed figs to top off a special meal.

Italian Hazelnut Cookies

Rating: 3.9 stars
4
These crispy cookies are made with Piedmontese staples--hazelnuts and eggs--and called Brutti Ma Buoni: literally, “Ugly But Good.” But they are really more plain-looking than “ugly,” and pack a powerful, sweet, nutty burst of flavor, making them welcome at any table.

Almond Cannoli with Lemon-Basil Ricotta Cream Filling

Homemade cannoli shells are filled with a creamy lemon and ricotta cheese filling with a hint of fresh basil for a gourmet dessert. For a shortcut, you can substitute purchased cannoli shells (8 full-size or 16 mini).

Nut & Honey Biscotti

This crunchy Italian cookie recipe isn't traditionally very sweet, so just a touch of honey adds flavor along with mild sweetness. Dipping them in chocolate makes them extra special.

Mango Tiramisù

This healthy take on a classic Italian dessert is far from traditional, thanks to ripe mangoes, agave syrup, and a creamy yogurt filling.

Almond Cookies

The Italian name of these almond cookies, Brutti-Buoni, roughly translates to “ugly but good.” These delicious cookies are traditionally dropped directly on a cookie sheet, but shaping them as directed here gives a more elegant look. Enjoy them for dessert with an espresso.

Double-Chocolate Biscotti

Rating: 4 stars
3
Dense and crunchy, these are the classic Italian dunking cookies. Although they are traditionally dipped in Vin Santo, a sweet Italian dessert wine, these chocolaty biscotti are ultra-satisfying with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.

Strawberry Bruschetta

Rating: 3.8 stars
3
Astoundingly good for minimal effort, this makes an indulgent weekend breakfast or anyday dessert. A judicious smear of mascarpone (half the fat of butter) is part of the luxury, but even lighter low-fat cream cheese will work as well. The real secret is warming the berries just enough to make the flavor bloom and transform their juices into a rosy syrup.

Grilled Prosciutto Peaches

We love these salty-sweet grilled peaches anytime the fruit is in season. Stuffed with goat cheese and honey, they work as a side, appetizer, or even dessert.

Marinated Strawberries

Strawberries are marinated in a sweet balsamic vinegar and mint sauce to make a perfectly refreshing topper for frozen yogurt.

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Strawberries

This creamy Italian dessert is flavored with vanilla bean and topped with fresh strawberries. Feel free to mix it up and substitute blueberries or raspberries, or a combination of all three!
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Inspiration and Ideas

Rosemary-Pine Nut Biscotti
Rating: Unrated
5
These amazing olive oil biscotti are studded with rich, buttery-tasting pine nuts. Try them alongside fruit sorbet, cheese or summer peaches.
Chocolate-Hazelnut Cake
Rating: Unrated
5
Turn this moist, dense and truly chocolaty cake into an elegant dessert by garnishing each serving with a dollop of whipped cream, some fresh raspberries and a light dusting of cocoa. Note that this cake does not contain any leavening: beaten egg whites alone are used to lighten it.

Coffee 'n' Cream Biscotti

These sweet Italian cookies will be perfect with your afternoon or evening coffee. Each coffee-flavored biscotti is covered in melted chocolate and will practically melt in your mouth.