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Fresh Strawberry Compote

Fresh Strawberry Compote makes any dessert better!  Ripe strawberries are cooked down into a sweet, luscious sauce that can be used to top anything from vanilla ice cream to French toast.  It is the perfect way to turn your strawberries into everyone’s favorite condiment!

A bowl of strawberry compote next to a lemon and some fresh strawberries.

Don’t you just love strawberry season?  There is nothing quite like bringing home a basket of sweet juicy strawberries!   And strawberry compote is the perfect way enjoy that just picked freshness in a multitude of ways.

With just a few simple ingredients and about 15 minutes of your time, you can have a delicious strawberry sauce that you can use to elevate any dessert, breakfast or snack from good to amazing!  I love to serve this over my Italian Ricotta Cheesecake or my Almond Cake.

Other easy but tasty ways to use those fresh strawberries are in my Strawberries and Cream dessert or Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies. Both are sooo yummy!

A bowl of strawberries, a lemon, a bowl of sugar and a small bowl of cornstarch with labels over each item.

Ingredients You Need to Make Strawberry Compote

  • Fresh Strawberries – Ripe fruit has the highest sugar content.  So, try to select the ripest strawberries you can find for the sweetest tasting sauce.  
  • Sugar – A little sugar is added to enhance the natural sweetness of the fruit.
  • Lemon Juice – Creates a bit of tang and balances the sweetness from the strawberries and the sugar.
  • Cornstarch – This is used to further thicken the sauce, but using it is optional.  The sauce will thicken a bit naturally, but if you want a thicker compote, go ahead and use the cornstarch. Check out the cooking tips below to see how to use it.
3 photos: 1 of a bowl of cut strawberries, 1 of a saucepan with berries and lemon zest and the third of a saucepan of strawberry sauce.

How to Make This Simple Strawberry Compote Recipe

  1. Prepare the strawberries – Wash the berries and let them drain for a minute or two to let the excess liquid run off.  Depending on the size of your strawberries you may need to cut them.  
  2. Cook the strawberries – Place the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan.  Stir them to combine and cook over medium heat.  Make sure to stir them often.  The berries will start to release their liquid and the sauce will start to thicken as it simmers.  
  3. Cool – Remove the compote from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature before using.  The compote will thicken a bit more as it cools.

Cooking Tips For Making the Best Fruit Compote

  • If you have small berries, you can leave them whole, but if you have larger berries you will want to quarter them.
  • Cook your compote over low heat.  You want to draw the liquid out of the fruit slowly for maximum flavor and to allow the fruit juices to thicken.  This will also keep the fruit from breaking down too quickly, so you still have whole pieces of fruit in your sauce.
  • You can start with a little less sugar if you like and taste the sauce as it is cooking to adjust the sweetness to your liking.
  • You can use honey, maple syrup or agave syrup in place of the granulated sugar.
  • For a thick sauce, create a cornstarch slurry by mixing two teaspoons of cornstarch with two teaspoons of water.  Then add it to the berries at the beginning of the cooking process. 
  • If you want a smoother compote, use a potato masher while the sauce is cooking to break up the chunks of fruit.  You can also use an immersion blender to create an even  smoother texture.  I would do this after you remove it from the heat. 

Flavor Variations

  • Make a mixed berry compote by adding blue berries, black berries or raspberries. 
  • The steps in this recipe can be followed to make any fresh fruit compote.
  • For lemonier flavor, add some lemon zest.
  • Substitute orange juice for the lemon juice.
  • Add some vanilla extract (almond is also delicious).
  • Stir in a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar at the end for a pop of flavor. 
A glass bowl of chunky strawberry sauce.

How To Use This Versatile Strawberry Compote

This sauce is the perfect topping for so many dishes and it is delicious warm or cold. But I have to admit that I love to eat this right out of the jar!  

Of course this goes great with vanilla ice cream, but it also makes a wonderful strawberry topping for pancakes, waffles or French toast.  As a snack, try spooning this sauce over scones, biscuits or crostini topped with goat cheese.  You can even add it to a summer salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  

How to Store, Freeze and Reheat

Cool the compote to room temperature, then it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 7-10 days.  I like to store it in a glass jar or a plastic container with a tight fitting lid.

​Stored in a freezer safe container, compote can be frozen for 2-3 months.

This strawberry compote can be reheated in a sauce pan set over medium low heat.  Allow it to thaw completely before reheating it.

A bowl of strawberry compote, a lemon and some strawberries.

FAQ

What is a compote?

The word compote means “mixture” in French.  A fruit compote is a chunky sauce made from fresh or dried fruits which have been cooked down with sugar.

What is the difference between a compote, coulis and jam?

Although all three are made with sweetened fruit, a compote is a sauce that has chunks of fruit in it, while a coulis is made by crushing the fruit and then straining the mixture through sieve to make a smooth sauce.  Jams are thicker and the fruit has either been crushed or it cut into smaller chunks making it easier to spread.

How do you thicken a compote?

Adding a slurry of cornstarch and water to the fruit and sugar will thicken the sauce as it simmers. Make sure to dissolve the cornstarch in water before stirring it into the fruit mixture or the cornstarch may not dissolve completely in the compote.

I love to get your feedback so if you tried this Strawberry Compote or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below.  I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you! 

You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more recipes your family will love! 

A glass bowl of chunky strawberry sauce.

Easy Strawberry Compote Recipe

It is easy to make fresh strawberry compote for topping ice cream, pancakes, cheesecake or a multitude of other foods. This sweet topping will become your favorite fruity condiment!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Sauce, condiment, topping
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups
Calories 159 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. Strawberries fresh or frozen
  • 2 – 3 tbsp. Lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Lemon Zest optional
  • 2 tsp Cornstarch optional

Instructions
 

  • Wash the strawberries and allow then to drain for a minute or two. If the berries are large, quarter them.
  • Add the berries, lemon juice, sugar and lemon zest to a medium sauce pan set over medium low heat. Stir the berries until the sugar has melted and they start to release some of their liquid. Continue cooking for 7-10 minutes. The berries will start to soften and the liquid will begin to thicken. When the sauce coats the back of a spoon, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  • To make a thicker compote, dissolve the cornstarch in 2 teaspoons of water and add it to the berries at the beginning of the cooking process. Cook over medium low heat, stirring often until the sauce as thickened.
  • When the mixture has cooled it is ready to use or pour it into an airtight container and refrigerate.

Notes

Cooking Tips

  • If you have small berries you can leave them whole, but if you have larger berries you will want to quarter them. 
  • Don’t cook your compote on high heat.  You want to draw the liquid out of the fruit slowly for maximum flavor and to allow the fruit juices to thicken.  This will also keep the fruit from breaking down too quickly so you still have whole pieces of fruit in your sauce.
  • You can start with a little less sugar if you like and taste the sauce as it is cooking to adjust the sweetness to your liking.
  • The sugar in this recipe can be substituted with maple syrup, honey or agave syrup.
  • If you want a smoother compote, use a potato masher while the sauce is cooking to break up the chunks of fruit.  You can also use an immersion blender to create an even smoother texture.  I would do this after you remove it from the heat. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2cupsCalories: 159kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 3mgPotassium: 389mgFiber: 5gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 30IUVitamin C: 150mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg
Keyword fruit, topping, sugar, easy
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