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.

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.

Raspberry-Prosecco Pops

These pops are like a frozen Bellini, except the peach puree is swapped for raspberry in this frozen dessert recipe. Feel free to use leftover Prosecco here--the bubbles don't make it through the freezing process, but the flavor is delicious.

Italian Hazelnut Cookies

Rating: 3.9 stars
3
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.

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.

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.

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.

Strawberry Bruschetta

Rating: 3.8 stars
2
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.

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.

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!

Marinated Strawberries

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

Tiramisu Shots

This health-conscious makeover of a classic Tiramisu dessert uses silken tofu instead of mascarpone cheese, contains no alcohol, and is served in shot glasses for smaller portions. It's a lower-fat dessert that's simple to make, tastes delicious, and wins big points for presentation.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Cherries with Ricotta & Toasted Almonds

Rating: Unrated
2
Warm cherries topped with luscious ricotta cheese and toasted almonds makes for a rich-tasting--yet calorie-conscious--treat.

Pignoli Cookies

This crispy-on-the-bottom-and-chewy-on-the-inside gluten-free cookie recipe is a twist on a traditional Italian holiday treat, pignoli, or pine nut cookies. Look for almond paste--a mixture of ground almonds and sugar (available in tubes or sometimes tubs)--near other baking supplies in well-stocked supermarkets or specialty stores. Sweeter marzipan doesn't work well in these cookies.

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).