Strawberry Compote

Make this easy strawberry compote in just 20 minutes! Bursting with fresh strawberry flavor, it's a delicious topping for ice cream, waffles, and more.

Strawberry compote

If I’m not eating summer strawberries straight out of the carton, I’m using them to make this strawberry compote recipe. It calls for just 4 ingredients, cooks up in 20 minutes, and tastes so good that I could eat half a batch straight off a spoon. This strawberry compote is lightly sweet, bright with lemon, and bursting with fresh strawberry flavor. It’s thick enough to spread on toast like jam, but it also makes a great topping for ice cream, pancakes, waffles, and Greek yogurt…the possibilities here are endless.

And good news! Even though this strawberry sauce is AMAZING with peak-season strawberries, you don’t actually need them to make it. The recipe works just as nicely with frozen berries as it does with fresh, so you can enjoy it year-round.

Fresh strawberries on marble surface next to maple syrup, lemons, and bottle of vanilla extract

How to Make Strawberry Compote

To make this strawberry compote recipe, you’ll need four simple ingredients:

  • Strawberries – Fresh or frozen.
  • Maple syrup – For sweetness.
  • Fresh lemon juice – Its bright, tangy flavor balances the sweet strawberries.
  • And vanilla extract – For warm depth of flavor.

First, hull and chop the strawberries. The size of the pieces of fruit is up to you—the larger they are, the chunkier the compote will be.

Next, combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 18 minutes. The compote is ready when the strawberries are soft and juicy.

Remove the strawberry sauce from the heat. It will thicken as it cools. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container and storing it in the fridge.

Tip: I like to enjoy this recipe as a chunky fruit sauce, but if you prefer a smooth sauce, you can puree it with an immersion blender or using an upright blender.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Using Frozen Strawberries?

Let them sit at room temperature for an hour, or zap them in the microwave to thaw slightly.

When they’re soft enough to chop, cut them up and add them to the pot along with any juices they’ve released while thawing. Proceed with the recipe as written!

Hand stirring strawberry sauce in pot with spoon

How to Use Strawberry Compote

This delicious strawberry sauce is a wonderful topping for desserts, breakfast foods, and more. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use it:

  • On pancakes, waffles, or French toast. The ultimate weekend brunch!
  • On cake. It would be fabulous on angel food cake or cheesecake. I also love it on slices of my lemon yogurt cake.
  • As a strawberry topping for ice cream. I love a sundae with vanilla ice cream, strawberry compote, and toasted pecans.
  • In strawberry shortcake. Skip the fresh strawberries, and layer the biscuits with strawberry compote and whipped cream.
  • With oats. Spoon it over hot oatmeal or overnight oats, or swirl it into yogurt with your favorite granola.
  • On chia pudding. The BEST grab-and-go breakfast.
  • On toast. By itself or with butter, peanut butter, or almond butter.
  • On a sandwich. Think strawberry compote + arugula + brie.

How do you like to use strawberry compote? Let me know in the comments!


I love this easy strawberry compote recipe as written, but if you want to change it up, by all means, do! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Swap the fruit. Use a mix of berries instead of just strawberries. Raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries would all be great here.
  • Add some spice. Stir in a little cinnamon or some freshly grated ginger.
  • Amp up the citrus. Add orange or lemon zest.

Let me know what variations you try!

How to Store and Freeze Strawberry Compote

Allow the strawberry compote to cool completely after cooking. Then, transfer it to an airtight container or jar and store it in the fridge for up to a week.

Fruit compote also freezes well for up to 3 months. Freeze larger quantities in containers or jars, or freeze individual portions in an ice cube tray. Once the compote ice cubes are fully frozen, you can transfer them to freezer bags and thaw one or two cubes at a time as needed.

Defrost frozen compote in the microwave, or transfer it to the fridge to thaw overnight.

Strawberry compote recipe

More Favorite Strawberry Recipes

If you love this strawberry compote, try one of these delicious strawberry recipes next:

Can’t get enough compote? Check out this blueberry compote recipe!

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Strawberry Compote

rate this recipe:
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves 4
This easy strawberry compote is bursting with fresh strawberry flavor! It's a delicious topping for ice cream, waffles, toast, and more. We love it served warm or cold. See the post above for additional serving suggestions.



  • Combine the strawberries, maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the strawberries are soft and juicy.
  • Remove from the heat. The compote will thicken as it cools.
5 from 10 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.