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Beige surface with white bowl containing strawberry compote.

Easy Strawberry Compote

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A compote is a step short of a topping or sauce, where the fruit is cooked briefly with a sweetener until it releases its natural juices. It's quick, easy, and has a deep strawberry flavor. A sweet, perfect topping for pancakes, rice pudding, french toast, ice cream, strawberry shortcakes, and other desserts. 

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: About 5 cups


  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons water


  1. Wash the strawberries, hull them, cut them in half, or leave them whole if small, and put them in a large bowl with the sugar. 
  2. Mix lightly and let stand 45 minutes to macerate. The strawberries will release their natural juices.
  3. Put the berries with the juice, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as it starts to boil, lower the heat. 
  4. Cook over medium-low heat until it comes to a slow simmer stirring a few times until the liquid starts to thicken and the berries soften slightly. You can cook them more or less depending on how soft you like them, but we don’t want the strawberries to turn to mush or break up much.
  5. Transfer the fruit to a bowl leaving the syrup in the saucepan. Using a skimmer or other type of colander for this step makes it very easy. 
  6. Cook the juice a minute or two more so it thickens further and pour it over the fruit. 
  7. Let the mixture cool down and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap or put it in an airtight container or glass jar before refrigerating it. It lasts several weeks in the fridge. 
  8. Use it cold, at room temperature, or warm, it's really up to you depending on what you serve it with. 


Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!

Other berries: you can substitute the strawberries for other fresh berries (or frozen). But, keep in mind that compote recipes work best with more sturdy ones like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries than with more delicate ones like raspberries.

Uses: this strawberry compote recipe is lighter than a regular topping or sauce. And one of those easy recipes that's great for breakfast food like waffles, pancakes, porridge or oatmeal (my favorite way), chia pudding, french toast, or granola and plain yogurt, and also for desserts like vanilla ice cream, pound cake slice with a dollop of whipped cream, or cheesecake.

Amount of sugar: it can be adjusted depending on how sweet you want the finished sauce by adding a few extra tablespoons of sugar. But a fruit compote uses less sugar than a jam or thick topping with cornstarch.

Other sweeteners: if you don't want to use sugar, you can add honey or maple syrup or some other type of sugar syrup you like to the saucepan with the strawberries and the water.

Flavorings: citrus can be used to flavor this homemade strawberry compote recipe. Add some orange zest or lemon zest at the beginning or a few drops of vanilla extract. Also, a tablespoon of orange liqueur can be added for a more sophisticated flavor. 

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: International


  • Serving Size: 1/8
  • Calories: 32
  • Sugar: 6.2 g
  • Sodium: 1.8 mg
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.9 g
  • Protein: 0.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg