Easy Healthy Desserts

12 Healthy Desserts That Are Easy to Make

Satisfy your sweet tooth guilt-free with these dietitian-approved, healthy desserts recipes that are a snap to make.

This article is based on reporting that features expert sources.

Close-up of a beautiful woman baking muffins

Satisfy your cravings in a healthy way.

A sweet tooth is meant to be satisfied – even if you’re watching your weight. Dessert, after all, is one of life’s pleasures, and deprivation typically backfires. The trick to getting a treat is making smart choices and substitutions.

“Take advantage of foods that are naturally sweet and simply delicious,” says Keri Gans, a registered dietitian based in New York and author of “The Small Change Diet.”

More specifically, you should steer clear of fatty ingredients, such as creamy whipped topping or butter, and stick with fresh fruit and low-fat choices.

Here are 12 dessert recipes that are as healthy as they are tasty. All are designed to be a single serving unless otherwise noted.

Grilled pineapple rings

1. Grilled fruit

You can’t go wrong with fruit.

“Fruit is naturally sweet and can take the edge off sugar cravings, but the real benefit of fruit is that it’s relatively low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants,” says Kailey Proctor, an oncology dietitian at City of Hope in Southern California.

Try throwing pineapple, banana, apple or pear slices on the grill. Grilling concentrates flavor by reducing water content while also caramelizing the fruit’s natural sugars, making it taste even sweeter.

The following recipe makes about 8 slices depending on the thickness and size of the fruit (pineapple in this case). A single slice is a serving.


  • 1 whole fresh pineapple cut into 100-gram slices.


  1. Peel, core and cut a fresh pineapple into rings.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill, and lightly grease the grate with the oil of your choice.
  3. Grill pineapple slices until grill marks appear and it’s warmed through, usually about 3 minutes, depending on the heat of the grill.

A 100-gram slice of pineapple contains about:

  • Calories: 50.
  • Carbs: 13 grams.
  • Protein: 0.5 grams.
  • Fat: 0 grams.
Close-up of homemade dark chocolate shavings

2. Dark chocolate bark

Dawn Jackson “DJ” Blatner, a Chicago-based registered dietitian and author of “The Superfood Swap,” offers an easy chocolate bark recipe.

“It’s a healthy option because dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate, and it contains more cocoa, which may make it heart-smart,” she explains.


  • 1 ounce of plain, dark chocolate (select a 70% to 85% cacao solids type).
  • ⅓ cup (40 grams) of dried tart cherries.


  1. Melt dark chocolate, and spread it on parchment paper.
  2. Sprinkle in healthy ingredients, like tart cherries.
  3. Refrigerate for 5 minutes before breaking into small pieces.


  • Calories: About 300 calories.
  • Carbs: 44 grams.
  • Fat: 12 grams.
  • Protein: 3 grams.
One young beautiful woman preparing healthy summer breakfast. Smoothie bowl with fresh fruits, berries, nuts, seeds and peanut butter.

3. Peanut butter chocolate chip yogurt

Proctor recommends this super-fast, high-protein dessert you can make on your busiest day.


  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
  • 1 tablespoon of mini chocolate chips.
  • 1 tablespoon of honey.
  • 1 small container of plain Greek yogurt.


  1. Add ingredients to a small container of plain Greek yogurt.
  2. Give it a good stir.
  3. Enjoy.


  • Calories: About 330 calories (using less honey lightens the calorie load).
  • Carbs: 43 grams.
  • Fat: 12 grams.
  • Protein: 15 grams.


Healthy serving of yogurt with berries and granola

4. Yogurt parfait

Emily Rice, a registered dietitian with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, says she likes a yogurt parfait for a delicious and healthy dessert.

She uses low-fat Greek yogurt as the base because of its protein content. She then adds mixed berries for sweetness, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. She tops it off with homemade granola, which includes oats, peanut butter, nuts, seeds and honey to add healthy fat and fiber.

The calorie count for the following recipe depends on which toppings you use and how liberally you sprinkle them.


  • ¾ cup nonfat Greek yogurt.
  • ½ cup mixed berries.
  • ¼ cup granola.


  1. Place Greek yogurt in a bowl.
  2. Add berries and granola.
  3. Enjoy.


  • Calories: About 250.
  • Carbs: 45 grams.
  • Fat: About 3.5 grams.
  • Protein: 13 grams.
Bowl of fresh mixed berries and yogurt with farm fresh strawberries, blackberries and blueberries served on a wooden table

5. Ricotta and berries

Ricotta and berries can be a delicious and healthy dessert.

“If you’re in the mood for ice cream, this can do the trick,” Gans says. “It’s creamy, sweet and low in calories.”


  • 1 cup mixed berries.
  • ¼ cup low-fat ricotta.


  1. Add mixed berries and low-fat ricotta to a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into a glass. Enjoy.


  • Calories: 130.
  • Carbs: 20 grams.
  • Fat: 3.5 grams.
  • Protein: 8 grams.
fresh apple crumble

6. Healthy apple pie

Fall’s best flavors – apple and cinnamon – are great any time of the year, especially with this incredibly easy recipe.


  • 1 medium apple cut in half and cored.
  • 2 tablespoons of low-fat Greek yogurt.
  • 1 tablespoon of butter cut in half.
  • 1 crushed graham cracker.
  • Dash of cinnamon.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place both halves of the apple in a baking dish, cut side up.
  3. Place one half of the butter into the center of each apple half.
  4. Bake until the apple is soft, about 40 minutes.
  5. Top with Greek yogurt, crushed graham cracker and cinnamon.


  • Calories: About 215.
  • Carbs: 38 grams.
  • Fat: 0.5 grams.
  • Protein: 3.5 grams.
Creme Brulee with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, red currants and mint

7. Greek yogurt berry brulee

For another Greek yogurt-based treat, this healthy low-calorie, easy-to-make option is packed with protein, vitamin C and calcium.


  • 1 container (170 grams) of nonfat Greek yogurt.
  • ¼ cup blueberries.
  • 1 teaspoon sugar.


  1. Spread plain, nonfat Greek yogurt over fresh berries in a small serving bowl.
  2. Sprinkle on a teaspoon of sugar.
  3. Use a culinary torch to burn the sugar for a minute or two, until it’s golden.
  4. Serve, and enjoy.


  • Calories: About 140.
  • Carbs: 15 grams.
  • Fat: 0 grams.
  • Protein: 17 grams.
Nicecream - ice cream made of frozen banana

8. Banana ice cream with toppings

Simple banana-based desserts can substitute for ice cream while providing potassium and fiber.

Proctor’s soft-serve version of banana ice cream, for instance, calls for blending a frozen banana in a food processor with a tablespoon of peanut butter.

“By adding peanut butter, you get heart-healthy fats and a little bit of protein for satiety,” she says.


  • 1 whole banana.
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
  • 1 tablespoon of mini chocolate chips.


  1. Add frozen banana chunks and peanut butter to a food processor.
  2. Blend until it creates a creamy, ice cream-like texture.
  3. Pour into a serving glass, sprinkle on mini chocolate chips.
  4. Enjoy.


  • Calories: 270.
  • Carbs: 39 grams.
  • Fat: 12.5 grams.
  • Protein: 6 grams.


Healthy organic energy granola bites with nuts, cacao, banana and honey - vegan vegetarian raw snack or meal

9. Chocolate chia and almond bites

Blatner offers a great recipe for sweet, crunchy, chewy bites that really satisfy.

Ingredients (makes 8 servings):

  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted.
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons of water.
  • 4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • ½ cup of raw almonds.
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped raw almonds.
  • 3 tablespoons of chia seeds, split.


  1. Add pitted dates and water to a food processor or blender.
  2. Blend until a sticky paste forms.
  3. Add in cocoa powder, almonds and chia seeds to create a solid dough.
  4. Shape the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls, and then refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.

Nutrition (serving size: 2 bites):

  • Calories: 156.
  • Carbs: 23 grams.
  • Fat: 7 grams.
  • Protein: 4 grams.
Ice Cream Sandwich with chocolate and wafers.

10. Mini ice cream sandwiches

Who doesn’t love the classic American dessert, the ice cream sandwich? Lighten up this childhood favorite with frozen yogurt and dark chocolate for less sugar and lower calories.

Ingredients (makes 4 sandwiches):

  • 8 vanilla wafer cookies.
  • 1 cup frozen yogurt.
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dark chocolate.


  1. Put a small scoop of light vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt between two vanilla wafers.
  2. Roll the sandwich in finely chopped dark or bittersweet chocolate so that it sticks to the ice cream.

Nutrition (serving size: 2 sandwiches):

  • Calories: 278.
  • Carbs: 43 grams.
  • Fat: About 11 grams.
  • Protein: 4 grams.
Fresh strawberries dipped in dark chocolate on blue wooden background

11. Dark chocolate-dipped fruit

This dessert couldn’t be easier: You just microwave a dark chocolate bar until it’s almost melted, and then dip in the fruit of your choice. Strawberries, mango, papaya, apricot or banana are all great selections.

“It’s a nourishing and filling option, since fruit is loaded with fiber and water,” Blatner says.

Plus, the antioxidants in cocoa are thought to boost the flexibility of blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Because dark chocolate has a higher concentration of cocoa than milk chocolate, it contains more of these helpful compounds.

Ingredients (makes 2 servings):

  • 1 bar (about 100 grams) of dark chocolate. Opt for a 70% to 85% cacao solids bar.
  • 2 cups (about 144 grams) fresh strawberries.


  1. Place a dark chocolate bar into a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave on medium power until chocolate is almost completely melted, about a minute.
  3. Stir chocolate to smooth.
  4. Dip fruit of your choice into chocolate, and place on a parchment-lined baking tray.
  5. Let cool, or refrigerate for 10 minutes to set chocolate.

Nutrition (per serving):

  • Calories: 350.
  • Carbs: 34 grams.
  • Fat: 22 grams.
  • Protein: 5 grams.


Step by step cooking Energy balls. Step 1. Start cooking. Healthy raw dessert , vegetarian sugar free candies made of dates, almond, peanut butter, cocoa powder and coconut flakes. Flat lay.

12. Peanut butter-stuffed dates

Another go-to healthy dessert recipe Proctor recommends is the easy-to-prepare peanut butter-stuffed date.

“Dates are nature’s candy, so they give the same sweet taste most expect from dessert but are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, such as potassium,” Proctor says.


  • 4 pitted dates.
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
  • 1 tablespoon of mini chocolate chips.


  1. Stuff four pitted dates with equal amounts of peanut butter.
  2. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.


  • Calories: 260.
  • Carbs: 37 grams.
  • Fat: 12 grams.
  • Protein: 6 grams.
Shot of a young couple using a digital tablet while preparing breakfast at home

Focus on portion size.

Rice notes that desserts can be sweet or savory.

“Instead of focusing on exactly how many calories are in the dessert, focus more on portion sizes and adding in a source of fiber and/or protein to give you a sense of satiety for that craving,” she advises.

Proctor adds that just because it’s dessert doesn’t mean it can’t do some nutritional lifting.

Healthy desserts are a great way to get nutrients that you may have missed during the day,” she points out. “They might not always taste like the real thing, but they don’t put a huge dent in your caloric intake and often provide you with additional nutrients.”

Mother and son having fun baking cookies together

Best healthy and easy-to-make desserts

  • Grilled fruit.
  • Dark chocolate bark.
  • Peanut butter chocolate chip yogurt.
  • Yogurt parfait.
  • Ricotta and berries.
  • Healthy apple pie.
  • Greek yogurt berry brulee.
  • Banana ice cream with toppings.
  • Chocolate chia and almond bites.
  • Mini ice cream sandwiches.
  • Dark chocolate-dipped fruit.
  • Peanut butter-stuffed dates.




Updated on Feb. 28, 2024: The story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.


The U.S. News Health team delivers accurate information about health, nutrition and fitness, as well as in-depth medical condition guides. All of our stories rely on multiple, independent sources and experts in the field, such as medical doctors and licensed nutritionists. To learn more about how we keep our content accurate and trustworthy, read our editorial guidelines.

DJ Blatner, RDN, CSSD

Blatner is a Chicago-based registered dietitian nutritionist and certified specialist in sports dietetics. She is the author of “The Flexitarian Diet” and “The Superfood Swap.”

Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN

Gans is a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City, author of “The Small Change Diet” and podcast host of The Keri Report.

Kailey Proctor, MPH, RDN, CSO

Proctor is an oncology dietitian at City of Hope in Southern California.

Emily Rice, MCR, RDN, LD