This is the best homemade strawberry sauce and topping recipe we’ve tried, and we’ve tweaked and tested a bunch! It’s super quick, uses minimal ingredients and can be easily adjusted to suit your taste. You can store a portion in the freezer, gift some in a small jar to friends, or use it as a topping on your favorite ice cream, cheesecake, or angel food cake. It also makes a sweet side sauce to your favorite Amish Friendship Bread recipe.
Make this whenever you have an abundance of fresh strawberries. This recipe also works great with frozen strawberries whenever you’re craving a homemade treat.
Sauce, Compote or Coulis?
Foodie commenters, I’m heading you off at the pass! I use these terms interchangeably but there are subtle differences:
- A sauce refers to any liquid condiment.
- Compote is fruit that’s slow-cooked in a sugar syrup, usually with small chunks of fruit.
- Coulis is thickly-strained puréed fruit with no seeds or skin remaining.
I like my “sauce” chunky, which makes it more “compote” and less “coulis.” Make sense? 🙂 But we have picky eaters in our house so I have a couple shortcuts to make everyone happy.
How to Make Our Easy Homemade Strawberry Sauce
- Prep your strawberries (1 lb, approximately 500 grams or 1 pint): if using fresh, rinse, remove hulls and slice (I slice in quarters when it’s time to add to the pan to save an extra bowl). If using frozen, there’s no need to thaw, just slice when you’re ready. If you know you like smaller chunks, I find it easier to chop them up at this stage rather than take out a blender later. Less cleaning, please!
- I use cornstarch but you can skip this step if you prefer. Otherwise, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 3 tablespoons warm water in a saucepan until well mixed. I use a silicone whisk.
- Add ⅓ cup sugar, strawberries (quartered), 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (optional). Place saucepan over medium heat, stirring until bubbly.
- Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can use the back of a wooden spoon to mash up the strawberries if desired.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool. Serve warm.
- Once cool, store the excess in a sealed container in the fridge (up to 1 week), or pour into a freezer-safe container and freeze (up to 4-6 months).
Uses for Strawberry Sauce and Variations
This recipe is super versatile, and can be made thicker (as a topping or filling) or thinner (as a drizzle or sauce) depending on its use.
You can substitute other berries like raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries in lieu of strawberries, and adjust the sugar as needed. If you prefer a thicker sauce but don’t want to use cornstarch, skip the cornstarch AND water, using only lemon juice, sugar, and the berries — the berries will release their own liquid. You can also substitute fresh orange juice for the lemon juice. The vanilla is optional as well. Remember that the sauce will thicken as it sits and once it goes into the refrigerator.
Our household is divided between chunky and strained, so I will generally run a small portion through a sieve so my husband can have it as a topping on his ice cream (he’s a purist, no fruit chunks) and I can dollop a generous spoonful on my waffles on the weekend.
Try our Easy Strawberry Sauce with any of these Amish Friendship Bread recipes:
Easy Strawberry Sauce Topping
- If using fresh strawberries, rinse and remove hulls. Slice in halves or quarters — I do this when it's time to add the strawberries to the pan. If using frozen strawberries, there's no need to thaw them, just slice and add when you're ready. If you know you like smaller chunks, I find it easier to chop them up smaller at this stage rather than take out a blender later.
- In a small saucepan, combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 3 tablespoons warm water until well mixed (I use a small silicone whisk).
- Add sugar, cut strawberries, lemon juice (optional), and vanilla (optional). Place saucepan over medium heat, stirring until bubbly.
- Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool. If using immediately, serve warm.
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