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.
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.
Over the holidays, I made a Skinny Berry Cheesecake Trifle that was a hit at our Christmas Open House Party.
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.
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.
Skinny Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait
Skinny Cheesecake Filling
- 1 cup non-fat or low-fat 1% or 2% cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar
- 6 squares gluten-free graham crackers broken into pieces
- 2 cups strawberries cup into bite size pieces
Skinny Cheesecake Filling
Place cottage cheese in a food processor and process until smooth. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar, yogurt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and process until mixed well.
Beat heavy cream until light peaks form. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into cottage cheese mixture until blended.
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.
shelly (cookies and cups) says
Love that you used cottage cheese in this! I think my kiddos would love this!
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.
Lauren at Keep It Sweet says
Such a great way to lighten up the traditional cheesecake-type desserts!
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.
Brian @ A Thought For Food says
My father always says that fruit isn’t dessert… but when you cover it with cheesecake, you have a winner!
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)
Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking says
I love these little cheesecake parfaits! They look delicious and perfect for a light dessert to serve after a spring party. Thanks, Jeanette!
Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies says
I know these are supposed to be for dessert, but I kind of want to have one for breakfast. 😉 Yum!
Yum, looks light and refreshing, which can’t be said of too many desserts!
Thanks Carolyn, this is on the lighter side which I liked for a weeknight treat for my kids.
Russell van Kraayenburg says
Mmm! I love parfaits! This one looks killer!
Thanks Russell – my kids loved these parfaits – as a kid I always thought parfaits were special.
Jerry Simpson says
Ok, tried the recipe… to die for 🙂 Definately going into my fav recipes folder!
Do you use plain Greek yogurt or vanilla?
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.
Amy @ swiss miss in the kitchen says
Jeanette this dessert looks amazing!!! So light and fruity 🙂 I love the way you served it!! xox Amy
Thanks Amy – this is a very light dessert, great for this time of year.
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.