Your favorite Italian bakery specialty, made into a dip: but the best part is, it’s actually a lightened-up version. Yes, believe it or not, this lightened-up cannoli dip is lower calorie but similar in flavor to that delicious pastry filling we have all grown to love and enjoy. Mixed with part-skim ricotta, plain non-fat Greek yogurt, and sprinkled with mini chocolate chips, this dip is ideal for serving with fresh fruit or your favorite graham crackers or cookies. This dip is perfect to have on hand when your sweet tooth kicks in.
What is a cannoli?
A cannoli is a tube-shaped pastry filled with a sweet cream mixture, typically made with ricotta (sometimes mascarpone cheese) and often times mixed with chocolate chips or other delicious toppings like dried fruit. If you are anything like me, my favorite part of a cannoli is the filling. Often times, I don’t even eat the shell, I just eat the filling by itself.
The filling is deliciously sweet and creamy. There are many recipes out there replicating the creamy filling as a dip, served with either whole cannoli shells that you can fill yourself, or served with broken cannoli shells as “chips.” You can also serve cannoli cream with sweet pita chips or cookies.
I wanted to recreate that delicious cannoli filling, but lightened-up.
I love this recipe to serve as a sweet snack or dessert with fresh fruit (like strawberries, as shown here) or with graham crackers (my favorite are chocolate ones that are flaked with extra sugar). It’s great for a crowd as a fun dessert, or to make for yourself to have on hand to curb your sweet tooth.
What will I need to make lightened-up cannoli dip?
Here is the list of ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe:
- part-skim ricotta
- plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- vanilla extract
- confectioner’s sugar
- mini chocolate chips
You can serve this dip with:
- chocolate graham crackers
- cinnamon-sugar pita chips
You can also use it as a spread on toast for something different in the morning, and top with some fresh berries!
What is ricotta?
Ricotta is a creamy cheese; it is soft, and unsalted, which makes it ideal for use in desserts, like cannoli filling. Part-skim ricotta is ricotta made with lighter milk, rather than whole-milk. I love using it in recipes.
Do I need to use yogurt?
Yogurt is used here to stretch the ricotta without adding lots of additional calories. This is truly the key to how this recipe is “lightened-up.” Although the taste of the yogurt is not overpowering, you can taste a bit of the tangy yogurt flavor in this dish.
Can I use sugar free chocolate chips? Can I use sugar replacements?
You definitely can make this recipe your own and sub in sugar free chocolate chips and other sugar replacements. However, so little is used here, that it won’t impact the stats that much. I recommend using the real deal here, especially if serving to a crowd.
What makes this dip “lightened-up?”
The main ingredients that were swapped here to make this a lighter version of classic cannoli filling are the part-skim ricotta (which has lower calories and lower fat than the original, full-fat version) and the use of plain non-fat Greek yogurt to stretch the ricotta cheese out more.
Otherwise, real sugar is used here (just less of it than the original version) and real, mini chocolate chips (again, just a smaller quantity of what the original might have).
Even though the ingredients have been scaled back and modified, this recipe is a great alterative to the original if you are craving that cannoli flavor.
How to make lightened-up cannoli dip
This recipe is really just combining all of the ingredients, and chilling in the fridge. It takes all of five minutes to make this recipe, which makes it a great, quick snack or dessert to whip up whenever you want it!
Simply add the ricotta, yogurt, vanilla extract, and sugar to a bowl, and whisk together. Then, fold in the chocolate chips.
To serve this dip, prepare a dish or platter with your items for dipping, and place the dip in a bowl in the center. It couldn’t be easier!
How to store this lightened-up cannoli dip
This dip will be good in the fridge for a couple of days (if you can make it last that long without eating it!). Store it in the fridge in an air-tight container or a small bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap.
You can easily double, triple, or quadruple this recipe to feed a crowd. Simple use the toggle bar on the recipe card to create however many servings you wish.
Note: This recipe as written yields 3/4 cup of dip, or 12 tablespoons. The stats noted below are for 1 tablespoon of the dip. The stats do not include the strawberries or crackers included in the photos.
Lightened-Up Cannoli Dip
- small bowl
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
- 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2.5 tbsp confectioner's sugar
- 2 tsp mini chocolate chips
- Combine the ricotta, yogurt, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar in a bowl.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- 1 WW point per tablespoon (all WW plans)
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