This strawberry compote recipe makes a thick, sweet sauce that’s perfect for drizzling over ice cream, waffles, cheesecake and more!

Strawberry Compote

Got ripe berries? Here’s a strawberry recipe that’s quick and versatile: Strawberry Compote! Cooking down strawberries with a bit of sugar reduces it into glossy, luxurious tangy sauce that’s like an amped version of biting into a berry. It’s perfect for topping for ice cream, cheesecake, pancakes, and more! A compote is a great way to use fruit that’s almost overripe, but there’s no need to wait for that for this recipe. Anytime is the perfect excuse to make compote! Let’s go.

Ingredients for strawberry compote

A compote is a fruit sauce where the fruit is cooked with water, sugar, and seasonings until thickened. Compote works as a sweet sauce for desserts, or to spoon over breakfast items like yogurt, oatmeal and waffles. This strawberry compote has a minimal ingredient list and comes together in just 15 minutes! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh strawberries
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Vanilla
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
Strawberry Compote

How to make strawberry compote (basic steps)

Strawberry compote is quick and simple to make: you’ll need about 5 minutes to prep the strawberries and 5 minutes to cook them. If you’re ready to get started, jump to the recipe below. Otherwise, here are the basic steps:

  • Heat the strawberries, sugar, water and lemon zest over medium heat in a saucepan.
  • Cook about 5 to 7 minutes, until the berries start to break down.
  • Add the cornstarch slurry and stir until the sauce thickens.
  • Mash the berries until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
  • Add the vanilla and salt, then cool. The compote thickens quite a bit as it cools. If it becomes too thick, you can stir in a little more water.

On using a cornstarch slurry

This strawberry compote recipe uses a cornstarch slurry: a mix of cornstarch and water (or another room temperature liquid). If dry cornstarch is added directly to a dish, it clumps up. So it’s best to add it to sauces and stir fries mixed with a little liquid first.

Cornstarch must be heated to around 203°F for the thickening to occur. It’s called “starch gelatinization”: the process where the the particles of cornstarch absorb water. You’ll notice that once you add the cornstarch slurry to the warm sauce, it immediately starts to thicken: the starch gelatinization has been activated!

Strawberry Compote

Storage info

How long does homemade strawberry compote last? Store it refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Or, you can freeze it in a freezer safe container for up to 6 months. Compote becomes very thick when it’s cooled, so make sure to bring to room temperature or warm it on the stovetop before serving (especially if you’re serving with a warm food like pancakes or waffles).

Ways to serve strawberry compote

There are so many ways to serve strawberry compote! This fruit sauce is versatile enough to work with desserts or breakfast food items. Here are a few ideas for how to serve fruit compote:

Strawberry Compote

And that’s it! Let us know if you try this strawberry compote and what you think.

More strawberry recipes

Got more berries? Here are a few more strawberry recipes to try:

This strawberry compote recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Strawberry Compote

Easy Strawberry Compote

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 ½ cups 1x


This strawberry compote recipe makes a thick, sweet sauce that’s perfect for drizzling over ice cream, waffles, cheesecake and more!


  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Clean, hull and quarter the strawberries.
  2. Add the strawberries to a small saucepan with the sugar, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally while it bubbles gently.
  3. After about 5 to 7 minutes when strawberries start to break down, whisk 2 tablespoons water with 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Pour the mixture into the pan and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat. Mash the strawberries to the desired texture with a potato masher or fork.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla. Taste and add additional sugar if desired, depending on the ripeness of your berries. The compote will thicken as it cools. If it’s too thick, add a little water.
  5. Serve warm or cooled slightly. Store in a sealed container refrigerated for up to 2 weeks (or cool and freeze up to 6 months). Warm on the stovetop before serving.
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Sauce
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Strawberry compote, strawberry compote recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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