Skip to Content

18 Light Desserts After a Heavy Meal: Light Dessert Recipes After Dinner

If you’re looking for light desserts that go well with a heavy meal, opt for a fruit salad or a parfait. Fruit salads are a perfect way to get a healthy dose of fruit in your diet. Parfaits are similar to a smoothie, but they use milk instead of juice.

Light Desserts After a Heavy Meal

Soups, stews, and pasta are the usual suspects for a hearty meal.

But what happens if you have a really heavy dinner?

If you don’t want to be bloated or full all day, then there are a few light desserts that can make you feel good without weighing you down.

Coffee Cake, Rice Pudding, Cheesecake, and Ice Cream are all examples of light desserts you can enjoy after a meal.

In addition, a dessert can add variety to a dinner party, since not everyone enjoys eating the same meal all the time.

A variety of foods can be included in a dessert such as fruits, breads, cakes, cookies, and more.

There is no rule on how much fruit is served with dessert.

However, it is important to keep the amount of sugar, carbs, and fats low in the dessert itself so that you don’t have a bloated belly afterwards.

What are some of the best dessert recipes that go well after heavy meals?

After a heavy meal, light desserts are perfect to indulge in. Desserts like cheesecake, ice cream, pudding, and even cake can all be delicious after a big meal.

18 Best Light Desserts After a Heavy Meal

Light Desserts After a Heavy Meal

A light dessert is something you can enjoy after a big meal. It can be as simple as a slice of cake or as elaborate as a soufflé. A light dessert is usually served after a meal to satisfy your sweet tooth.

  1. Strawberry and Mint Parfait: Light and refreshing, this parfait is sure to satisfy even the hungriest appetites. It’s easy to make, too. With only three ingredients, you’re sure to find this recipe on your list for a quick and healthy dessert.
  2. Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries: Panna cotta is one of my favorite desserts, and when topped with fresh berries and a dollop of whipped cream, it becomes an even more decadent dessert. This recipe calls for raspberries and strawberries, but if you prefer peaches or plums, that’s okay!
  3. Almond Macaroon Cookies: The almond macaroons are the perfect sweet treat to have around after dinner! The crunchy almond cookies are the perfect mix between sweet and salty.
  4. Lemon Meringue Cookies: A classic cookie recipe, these lemon meringue cookies are just as good as the original recipe. A perfect light dessert to have in the freezer when you need a sweet pick-me-up.
  5. Peach and Blackberry Crisp: When you’re looking for an easy dessert to make after a heavy meal, this crisp is definitely going to get the job done. The combination of ripe peaches, blackberries and a little lemon juice is just the thing to perk up your palate after a hearty dinner.
  6. Lemon Blueberry Tartlets: The tartlets are perfect for when you’re in a hurry, but still want something satisfying to eat. The sweet lemon filling gets infused with fresh blueberries and the tart crust is topped with sugar and lemon. This tart will keep your sweet tooth satisfied for hours!
  7. Chocolate Chip Cookies: Cookies are a great dessert that you can whip up in a flash. They are perfect to have on hand for a quick and easy dessert after a heavy meal. Chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorites, and I love how they are so versatile. There are literally thousands of recipes out there that use chocolate chips! You can add flavorings like cinnamon, nutmeg, or even citrus zests to get a different result!
  8. Cinnamon Cookies: Cinnamon and sugar are an unbeatable combination. Add in oats and you have a cookie that has a lot of health benefits, too. These cookies are perfect for snacking!
  9. Sorbet: With the cold and flu season in full swing, you should know that sorbets are the perfect dessert to cool off after a heavy meal. If you’re looking for a new dessert recipe to try, try making your own strawberry sorbet. It takes only minutes to make and it tastes amazing.
  10. Mango Panna Cotta: A panna cotta is a creamy Italian dessert made from cream and gelatin, which when set and refrigerated, becomes a custard-like dessert. The difference between a pudding and a custard is the thickening agent—puddings rely on starch, while custards use eggs and cream. This dessert tastes delicious because it uses mango as its thickening agent, and is also a great way to introduce your kids to the wonders of this tropical fruit!
  11. Cheesecake: Cheesecake is the ultimate summer dessert! You can go the easy route and just buy a pre-made cheesecake, or you can make your own cheesecake. Whether you want something sweet, sour, savory, or creamy, it’s all possible with cheesecake!
  12. Coconut Yogurt Cake: If you like coconut, this cake is for you. Coconut and banana are a great combination and the cake is light and delicious!
  13. Pumpkin Cake: If you like pumpkin pie, but don’t want the hassle of making a crust, then try this super simple pumpkin cake! You won’t regret it.
  14. Strawberry Shortcake: Everyone loves strawberries! Who doesn’t? This strawberry shortcake is the epitome of summer. It has all of the flavors of the season: fresh berries, sweet whipped cream, vanilla wafers, and a rich, flaky biscuit crust. Make sure you serve this on a beautiful platter to make a statement.
  15. Chocolate-Hazelnut Layer Cake: This cake has chocolate, hazelnuts, and a touch of espresso to make it extra delicious. The crunchy edges and gooey center make this dessert a delicious and light treat. Serve this for dessert at your next barbecue.
  16. Strawberries with Vanilla Yogurt: Who said you can’t have dessert after a big meal? When I want dessert, I order a chocolate-hazelnut layer cake and then take a minute to make some homemade strawberry yogurt. Topped with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of fresh mint, this dessert will make you forget all about your waistline!
  17. Lemon Ice Cream: If you’re looking for something light to serve after a barbecue, lemon ice cream is a perfect choice. It’s low in calories, high in protein and will help to keep you satisfied!
  18. Fresh Fruit Platter: When I think about this recipe, I think of the best things to eat on a summer day. Fresh fruits like melons, peaches, apricots and berries are the perfect complement to any barbecue. Make sure to bring some along and enjoy them as you watch the sunset!

5 Easy Light Desserts for a Dinner Party

Fruit Skewers

Hosting a dinner party can be a lot of work, but it’s always nice to end the meal on a sweet note. If you’re looking for some easy and light dessert ideas to serve at your next dinner party, here are five options to consider:

  1. Fruit Skewers – Cut up a variety of colorful fruit and skewer them for a fun and easy dessert. You can even add a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of cinnamon for some extra flavor.
  2. Lemon Sorbet – A light and refreshing sorbet is a perfect dessert for a warm weather dinner party. You can make it yourself or buy it from the store, and serve it in small bowls or glasses for an elegant presentation.
  3. Greek Yogurt with Berries – Top a small serving of Greek yogurt with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup for a simple and healthy dessert that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  4. Dark Chocolate Bark – Melt some dark chocolate and spread it out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add toppings like chopped nuts, dried fruit, or shredded coconut, and let it harden in the fridge. Break it up into pieces and serve as a light and indulgent dessert.
  5. Poached Pears – Poaching pears in a light syrup with cinnamon and vanilla can create a sophisticated dessert that’s easy to make ahead of time. Serve them with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a little extra indulgence.

5 Super Fancy Light Desserts

Raspberry Soufflé

If you’re looking to impress your guests with a truly luxurious dessert, these five super fancy light desserts are sure to do the trick:

  1. Raspberry Soufflé – A perfectly executed soufflé is an impressive dessert that’s sure to wow your guests. A raspberry soufflé is a light and fruity option that’s perfect for spring or summer dinner parties.
  2. Lemon Panna Cotta – Panna cotta is a creamy and elegant dessert that’s surprisingly easy to make. Lemon panna cotta is a refreshing and light option that’s perfect for serving after a heavy meal.
  3. Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries – Chocolate-dipped strawberries are a classic and elegant dessert that’s perfect for any occasion. You can even add a touch of extra luxury by dusting them with gold or silver edible glitter.
  4. Coconut Macaroons– These classic French cookies are light and airy, with a crisp exterior and a chewy interior. You can even dip them in chocolate or add a drizzle of caramel for a touch of extra indulgence.
  5. Apricot Tart with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – A beautiful and flavorful apricot tart is the perfect light dessert for a fancy dinner party. Serve it with a scoop of high-quality vanilla bean ice cream for a touch of extra decadence.

What is the best ice cream to eat after dinner?

When it comes to choosing the best ice cream to eat after dinner, there are a few things to consider. Here are some tips to help you make the best choice:

  1. Look for low-sugar options – Ice cream can be high in added sugars, which can lead to energy crashes and negative health effects. Look for ice creams that are low in sugar, or try sorbet or frozen yogurt for a lighter option.
  2. Choose high-quality ingredients – The quality of the ingredients used in ice cream can make a big difference in the taste and texture. Look for ice creams that use real, whole ingredients like milk, cream, and natural flavors.
  3. Consider your dietary restrictions – If you’re lactose intolerant or vegan, there are plenty of non-dairy options available. Look for coconut milk, almond milk, or soy milk-based ice creams for a delicious and satisfying dessert.
  4. Stick to small portions – While it can be tempting to indulge in a large bowl of ice cream after dinner, it’s best to stick to small portions to avoid overdoing it. Try a small scoop or two, or serve ice cream in small dishes to help control your portion size.
  5. Choose your favorite flavor – Ultimately, the best ice cream to eat after dinner is the one that you enjoy the most! Whether you prefer classic vanilla, rich chocolate, or something fruity and unique, choose the flavor that makes you happiest.


How long should you wait to eat dessert after dinner?

It’s generally recommended to wait at least 30 minutes after finishing your main meal before indulging in dessert. This allows time for your body to start digesting your meal and can help prevent digestive discomfort.

What is a good healthy dessert option for after dinner?

There are plenty of healthy dessert options to choose from! Some good choices include fresh fruit, sorbet, yogurt with fruit or nuts, chia seed pudding, or dark chocolate with nuts or fruit. These options are lower in calories and sugar than traditional desserts and can help satisfy your sweet tooth without undoing your healthy eating efforts.

Is it okay to have dessert after every meal?

It’s not necessary to have dessert after every meal, but it’s okay to indulge occasionally as long as you are mindful of your portion sizes and don’t go overboard. Eating dessert in moderation can actually help you maintain a healthy diet by preventing feelings of deprivation and helping you stick to your healthy eating plan long-term.

Why you should eat dessert first?

While it may seem counterintuitive, eating dessert first can actually be a good idea for some people. This is because when you eat your dessert first, you may be more likely to eat a smaller portion of your main meal. Additionally, starting your meal with something sweet can help prevent feelings of deprivation and make it easier to stick to your healthy eating plan.

Which dessert is best after dinner?

The best dessert after dinner is one that you enjoy and that fits into your overall healthy eating plan. Some good options include fresh fruit, a small serving of sorbet, or a small piece of dark chocolate.

What dessert is good for an upset stomach?

If you have an upset stomach, it’s best to avoid rich or heavy desserts and opt for lighter options that are easier on your digestive system. Good choices include fresh fruit, sorbet, or plain yogurt with a little honey or maple syrup.

What is the healthiest dessert to have?

The healthiest dessert options are those that are low in added sugar and calories and that contain plenty of fiber and nutrients. Some good choices include fresh fruit, chia seed pudding, or a small piece of dark chocolate.

What is a light dessert after fondue?

Fondue can be quite rich and heavy, so a light dessert is a good choice to balance things out. Some good options include fresh fruit, sorbet, or a small serving of plain yogurt with a little honey or maple syrup. Alternatively, you could try a light mousse or a small serving of angel food cake with fresh berries.


So, what are some good desserts to serve after a heavy meal?

The perfect light dessert is one that you can eat without feeling guilty. You want to avoid the heavier desserts that are full of calories, like pies, cakes, and puddings.

Some great options for a light dessert include cheesecake, pudding, custard, and mousse. If you’re looking for something a little more savory, try an Italian ice cream. It’s similar to gelato but is made with milk instead of cream.

Foods that Start with Sh

18 Light Desserts After a Heavy Meal

After a big meal, you may want to opt for a lighter dessert. One of the best options is a banana split, which is often served in a parfait style. Another popular option is a chocolate mousse or cheesecake.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 315 kcal


  • Strawberry and Mint Parfait
  • Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries
  • Almond Macaroon Cookies
  • Lemon Meringue Cookies
  • Peach and Blackberry Crisp
  • Lemon Blueberry Tartlets
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Cinnamon Cookies
  • Sorbet
  • Mango Panna Cotta
  • Cheesecake
  • Coconut Yogurt Cake
  • Pumpkin Cake
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Chocolate-Hazelnut Layer Cake
  • Strawberries with Vanilla Yogurt
  • Lemon Ice Cream
  • Fresh Fruit Platter


  • Pick any of these delicious light desserts.
  • Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
  • Be ready in no time!
Keyword Light Desserts After a Heavy Meal
CEO at Happy Muncher | | Website | + posts

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.

Recipe Rating