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Strawberry Compote (or Strawberry Sauce)

A quick and simple Strawberry Compote with a hint of orange is the perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, and even ice cream. All you need are a few ingredients and 10 minutes to make this delicious strawberry sauce.

Strawberry Compote in a jar

Strawberry season is here, and fresh juicy strawberries rarely ever make it to the next day. So if you’ve been meaning to take your breakfast pancakes to the next level with a delicious strawberry sauce, be sure to buy extra berries for this specific task.

How to make Strawberry Compote

Strawberry compote ingredients

  • Strawberries – fresh strawberries are the main ingredient of this recipe. Choose berries with deep red color, and strong aroma for the best flavor. However, if you are making this compote outside of strawberry season, frozen berries will work.
  • Orange zest – to keep the flavor bright, but the orange flavor won’t be noticeable. You can also use lemon zest.
  • Orange juice – the acidity in orange juice helps preserve the bright color of the cooked strawberries and it also adds a boost of natural pectin in the mixture. You can substitute lemon juice to pair with lemon zest, if using.
  • Sugar – I use just two tablespoons of sugar to sweeten, but you can add more sugar to taste especially if you use lemon juice instead of orange juice.
  • Salt – just a pinch is needed to enhance the flavor of the compote.
A basket of strawberries

A basket of fresh strawberries for Strawberry Compote recipe

Cooking the strawberries

Making this strawberry compote recipe is super simple. All you need to do is stir all the ingredients together and cook it over medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes until the fruits are softened and the mixture thickens slightly.

If you are using frozen berries, the cooking time may need to be longer as frozen berries release more water and will take longer to reduce and thicken.

How do you thicken strawberry sauce?

Strawberries contain a small amount of natural pectin, which helps things gel together. So do orange and lemon. In this recipe, the compote is thickened naturally from the available pectin in the strawberries and orange juice, and from reducing the cooking liquid just enough.

With that being said, this compote is not thick like jam. It is spoonable, pourable, and saucy, perfect for spooning on top of all sorts of summer treats.

Strawberry Compote in a pan

Cooking Strawberry Sauce in a pan

Baker’s Tips

  • While cooking, if you see that the berries are starting to disintegrate and there is still a lot of juice, you can remove some or all of the fruits, keep cooking to reduce the juice down, then add the fruits back in to keep pieces of fruits intact.
  • Note that the strawberry compote will continue to thicken as it cools.


Store your homemade strawberry sauce in a clean jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

You can also freeze the compote to keep it for even longer. Divide the batch into smaller portions before freezing so you only need to defrost as much as you’re going to use. The easiest way is to use an ice cube tray to freeze the sauce solid, then pop them out and store the cubes in a freezer bag.

Is this recipe appropriate for canning?

This strawberry compote recipe is not made for canning, the sugar content is too low.

Strawberry Compote on a spoon

Endless ways to serve strawberry sauce

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!

Strawberry Compote in a jar

Strawberry Compote (Strawberry Sauce)

A quick and simple Strawberry Compote with a hint of orange is the perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, and even ice cream. All you need are a few ingredients and 10 minutes to make this delicious strawberry sauce.
5 from 5 votes
Print Rate
Course: Condiment, Dessert, Filling
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 (1/4 cup portions)
Calories: 45kcal
Author: Trang



  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (from ½ an orange)
  • 3 - 4 tablespoon orange juice (from ½ an orange)
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • A pinch of salt


  • Wash, hull and quarter the strawberries.
  • Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan.
  • Cook over medium heat for 5 - 10 minutes stirring frequently until some of the berries disintegrate and some remain whole but soft, and the sauce thickens slightly.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool, the sauce will thicken more as it cools down.
  • Transfer to jars and refrigerate for up to two weeks.



  • Frozen strawberries can be used instead of fresh strawberries.
  • Increase cooking time if using frozen berries since they will release extra liquid.
  • Lemon juice and lemon zest can be used in place of orange.
  • Increase the amount of sugar to your taste or if using lemon juice.


Serving: 89g | Calories: 45kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @WildWildWhisk or tag #WildWildWhisk!

Strawberry compote in a jar

This post was originally published on 4/30/2018. The post has been updated and republished on 5/11/2020 with the latest improvements, extra tips, and a video to help you in the kitchen.


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  1. Barbara
    June 10, 2020 /

    I just made this and I can’t wait to try it! I substituted honey and maple syrup for the sugar. Thanks for the recipe 🤗🤗

    • Trang
      June 11, 2020 /

      Thanks Barbara! I hope you enjoy it!

      • Ligia Greco
        June 18, 2020 /

        Hi if i want to make a big batch to store for a long period of time … and i mean batch about 9 lbs pf strawberries… should i follow the same recipe
        Proportionally or is there a diferent recipe for a big batch

        • Trang
          June 18, 2020 /

          Hi Ligia, I do not have a big batch recipe, scaling up should be totally fine. But please note that this recipe is very low in sugar so it is not suitable for canning, and it only keeps in the fridge for about two weeks. Your only other option is to freeze it.

  2. Debbie
    May 24, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Delicious and easy! I used the lemon juice and zest. Glad you had the note about adding more sugar to taste when using lemon juice.

    • Trang
      May 24, 2020 /

      Glad the note helps Debbie! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review 🙂

  3. Jenny
    April 25, 2020 /

    Can you freeze strawberry compote?

    • Trang
      April 25, 2020 /

      I’ve never tried it since it keeps in the fridge for 1 – 2 weeks. But if you want to keep it longer, I suggest freezing in small batches so you can defrost only as much as you need to each time.

  4. Tati
    August 4, 2019 /

    5 stars
    Made this recipe with my nephew to top on pancakes and it turned out amazing! The simple instructions were a plus to cooking with kids as well.

    • Trang
      August 4, 2019 /

      Thanks Tati for the feedback! I’m glad you had fun making this with your nephew 🙂

  5. Joanna Richards
    June 21, 2019 /

    I just made this with our glut of strawberries. It’s absolutely delicious and so simple. I put a little lemon in at the end out of habit. I can confirm that it’s spectacular with granola and yogurt for breakfast. Thanks for the recipe! X

    • Trang
      June 22, 2019 /

      Thanks for your feedback Joanna!

    • Katy
      April 9, 2020 /

      Making yogurt now, came here to find a recipe to add the strawberries to it in the morning with some granola!

      • Trang
        April 10, 2020 /

        This compote would be perfect in yogurt with granola, Katy!

  6. McKinzie
    March 29, 2019 /

    Spinning this on some Angel food cake ?

  7. May 6, 2018 /

    5 stars
    Need to try this. I love cooking with fresh strawberries

  8. May 1, 2018 /

    5 stars
    This would be so good on literally everything! Now I need to go get some strawberries so I can make this!

  9. April
    May 1, 2018 /

    5 stars
    I just bought a bunch of strawberries! I have to try this 🙂

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