Fresh Strawberry Sauce

strawberry sauce in a bowl

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
44 Calories
0g Fat
11g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 44
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 0g
Calcium 10mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This strawberry sauce is sweet, luscious, and a tiny bit tangy. It comes together with just a few ingredients and only a short amount of time on the stove. Use this sauce as a topping on cheesecake or homemade ice cream. It's also delicious on pancakes and waffles, or spooned on top of yogurt.

The freshest, most ripe berries will make the most flavorful sauce. Make sure to choose strawberries that are bright red and have nice green leaves. Even better, make this sauce during strawberry season and use fresh from the market or pick your own. This recipe calls for using a slurry (mixture of cornstarch and water), which adds a glossy finish and thicker texture, but you can eliminate it if you like.


  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries (washed)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for strawberry sauce
  2. Hull the strawberries by cutting the green tops along with the white center out of the strawberry. Insert the knife into the top of the strawberry and turn until the green top and white center are completely cut out.

    top of strawberry cut off on a cutting board
  3. Dice half of the strawberries; cut the remaining strawberries in half and set aside.

    cut strawberries
  4. Add the diced strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and vanilla extract to a large pot. Cook over medium-low heat, breaking up the strawberries with the back of a spoon as you cook, for 3 to 5 minutes.

    strawberry sauce cooked in a pan
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with the water and add it to the strawberry mixture. Stir to combine and mix in the strawberries halves. Cook for another 3 minutes or until the halves have just slightly softened.

    strawberry sauce cooked in a pan
  6. Allow to cool slightly.

    homemade strawberry sauce
  7. Use to top your favorite cakes, ice creams, or pancakes and waffles, and enjoy.


Hulling strawberries (versus simply cutting off the top) wastes less of the strawberry and removes the white center to help keep the sauce a bright red.

Recipe Variations

  • Balsamic Strawberry Sauce: Add 1 tablespoon of aged balsamic vinegar when you add in the cornstarch. This will create an intense and tangy flavor.
  • Orange Strawberry Sauce: Zest 1 orange into the strawberry sauce when it is almost done cooking.
  • Adult Strawberry Sauce: Stir in 1 tablespoon of kirsch or other fruit brandy for an alcoholic treat that is delicious on top of ice cream.
  • Mixed Berry Sauce: Try substituting half of the strawberries for raspberries. You can also add blueberries or blackberries.
  • Uncooked Strawberry Sauce: You don't have to cook the sauce to make a delicious strawberry topping. You can simply add the lemon juice and sugar to the chopped berries and allow them to sit out and macerate for 10 to 15 minutes. This will create a bright flavored sauce that is less syrupy.

How to Store

  • The sauce may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least a week.
  • For longer storage, feel free to can the sauce. Ladle the hot sauce into jars, wipe down the rim of the jar, attach the lid and ring, and tighten. Place in the hot water bath in the canner and boil for 15 minutes. Let sit to cool.
  • You can also freeze the sauce, after it cools, place it into a freezer-safe container or bag and put in the freezer. It will last for up to three months.