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Skinny Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait Recipe

by Jeanette on April 22, 2013 · 19 Comments
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These decadent looking Skinny Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits are deceptively light compared to traditional cheesecake – the secret ingredients in this recipe are low-fat cottage cheese and non-fat Greek yogurt.

Skinny Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits © Jeanette's Healthy Living

As most of you know, I don’t make a lot of sweets, but when I do, I try to lighten them up a bit. My boys love cheesecake, so to indulge their wishes, I made these Skinny Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits the other day for a special treat. Traditional cheesecake recipes are packed with saturated fat, mostly from all the cream cheese. Some recipes also include sour cream and heavy cream in the cheesecake filling.

Skinny Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Over the holidays, I made a Skinny Berry Cheesecake Trifle that was a hit at our Christmas Open House Party.

Skinny Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Today’s recipe is a spin-off from that recipe. Instead of angel food cake, I used gluten-free graham crackers as a layer in these parfaits. To lighten up this recipe from my holiday version, I also cut the sugar in half for this recipe and did not sweeten the strawberries, so this dessert is not overly sweet. If you like, you can add a little sweetener to your strawberries, but my kids didn’t miss it.

Making individual parfaits is a great way to manage portion control. Although I used regular size wine glasses to make these parfaits for my boys, I used a mini wine glass for my own. This is a nice treat when you’re craving Strawberry Cheesecake, but don’t want all the fat and calories of the full-fat version. It’s light, not dense.

Skinny Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits
My boys really enjoyed these Skinny Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits, and my youngest son came back looking for another the next night, but alas, they were all gone.

5 from 1 reviews
Skinny Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait
Prep time
Total time
I used wine glasses to serve these pretty parfaits so the layers are visible. You can make mini parfaits in shot glasses for fun (just chop up the strawberries and crush the graham crackers). For company, you might want to use regular wine glasses.
Serves: 4 (wine glasses)
Skinny Cheesecake Filling
  • 1 cup non-fat or low-fat (1% or 2%) cottage cheese
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoon powdered sugar
Parfait Layers
  • 6 squares gluten-free graham crackers, broken into pieces
  • 2 cups strawberries, cup into bite size pieces
Skinny Cheesecake Filling
  1. Place cottage cheese in a food processor and process until smooth. Add ½ cup powdered sugar, yogurt, and 1½ teaspoons vanilla and process until mixed well.
  2. Beat heavy cream until light peaks form. Add ½ teaspoon vanilla and 1½ teaspoons powdered sugar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into cottage cheese mixture until blended.
Assemble Parfaits
  1. Sprinkle a few graham cracker pieces in the bottom of four serving glasses. Top with some strawberries. Add a dollop of Skinny Cheesecake Filling. Add another layer of graham cracker pieces, strawberries and Skinny Cheesecake Filling. Garnish top with some graham cracker crumbs and a strawberry half.
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  1. Love that you used cottage cheese in this! I think my kiddos would love this!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks Shelly – cottage cheese is such a great secret ingredient – whipped up, it can substitute for cream cheese (although it’s not as thick) in almost any recipe.

  2. Such a great way to lighten up the traditional cheesecake-type desserts!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks Lauren – cheesecake is notoriously rich and my kids (and husband) love it, so I’m glad I was able to recreate a dessert that satisfied their hankering for some strawberry cheesecake in a lighter form.

  3. My father always says that fruit isn’t dessert… but when you cover it with cheesecake, you have a winner!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Funny, I think there are many people who think like your dad, but I agree, call it Strawberry Cheesecake, and it’s a dessert (with fruit tucked inside)

  4. I love these little cheesecake parfaits! They look delicious and perfect for a light dessert to serve after a spring party. Thanks, Jeanette!

  5. I know these are supposed to be for dessert, but I kind of want to have one for breakfast. 😉 Yum!

  6. Yum, looks light and refreshing, which can’t be said of too many desserts!

  7. Mmm! I love parfaits! This one looks killer!

  8. Jerry Simpson says:

    Ok, tried the recipe… to die for :-) Definately going into my fav recipes folder!

  9. Do you use plain Greek yogurt or vanilla?

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Lisa, I used plain non-fat Greek yogurt (unsweetened). This is a light dessert, so it is not overly sweet, so if you are ok with more sugar, adjust the amount of powdered sugar to your liking or use vanilla Greek yogurt which has sugar in it already.

  10. Jeanette this dessert looks amazing!!! So light and fruity :) I love the way you served it!! xox Amy

  11. Lovely recipe. I started using cottage cheese and yogurt as substitutes 45 years ago for the cream cheese and sour cream in my mother-in-law’s fabulous cheesecake recipe! Glad to know you have perfected the idea and passed it on!

    • Kathy, you were way ahead of the game! That is wonderful. I’ve been using cottage cheese and yogurt in savory and sweet dishes as lower fat, higher protein substitutes and found it works really well.

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