This parfait dessert was a favorite among CNN Wellness recipe testers.
CNN  — 

Ricotta is whipped with cream cheese to give a thick, rich filling that complements crunchy granola and juicy strawberries. The protein-rich ricotta and high-fiber oats provide the perfect combo for a healthy yet decadent parfait dessert.

You can make the filling and the granola a day ahead; storing the ricotta mixture in the fridge overnight will make it nice and cold. On day of serving, assemble the components right before serving.

Makes 4 servings



  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated orange zest


  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup


  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, finely chopped
  • Fresh mint sprigs for garnish


Look for bright red strawberries with fresh green caps. Keep the fruit dry and refrigerated until prep.

1. Make the filling: In a food processor, add cream cheese, ricotta, maple syrup, vanilla extract and orange zest. Mix on medium speed until ricotta filling is thick and creamy, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

2. Make the granola: In a medium bowl, add the oats, almonds, salt and cinnamon. Mix and set aside. In a skillet over medium-low heat, add avocado oil and maple syrup and stir until bubbly, about 30 seconds. Add the oat mixture and mix well until oats are fully coated.

Continue mixing until oats are toasted and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer oats to a plate. Let cool completely. Make ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead; store overnight in an airtight container.

3. To assemble, add 2 1/2 tablespoons granola in each of 4 parfait glasses. Layer with 2 1/2 tablespoons ricotta filling, using a mini silicone spatula to scrape out the measuring spoon.

Using a mini spatula makes layering the ricotta filling easier.

Next, layer 3 tablespoons strawberries in each glass. Repeat for another layer each of granola, ricotta filling and strawberries. Garnish with mint and serve immediately.

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Rahaf Al Bochi is a registered dietitian nutritionist, media expert and founder of Olive Tree Nutrition, a nutrition consulting company specializing in Mediterranean eating and women’s health.