Quick Strawberry Compote

Quick strawberry compote recipe

​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings

Strawberry compote is really easy to make. All you need are a few bright spring berries, a bit of sugar, and a splash of water or juice. In about 10 minutes of cooking time you'll have a deliciously sweet and tangy bread topper.

For our recipe, just two tablespoons of sugar for one pound of strawberries is all you need, and the amounts are easily adjusted up or down depending on how much fruit you're using. Our batch makes 1 pint, for 8 total servings.

Use strawberry compote like you'd use jam, but check our suggestions below to make the best use of this easy and wonderful homemade compote.


  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice or water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for strawberry compote recipe
    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Rinse the strawberries, pat them dry, and then hull the fruit. To do this, insert a knife at an angle under the leaf cap, twist to cut out the leaves and white core underneath. Discard the tip and repeat the process with all the berries. Cut very large berries in half or quarters; leave smaller berries whole.

    Rinse the strawberries
    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  3. Place the berries in a saucepan. Add the sugar and juice or water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the strawberries are all soft and just starting to fall apart and the liquid thickens, between 5 to 10 minutes.

    Put berries in saucepan
    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  4. Taste, and add more sugar if necessary. The compote will thicken a little while it cools off, but if you think it's too thin, mix 1 tablespoon of water with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and add it to the saucepan. Stir well and remove from heat.

    Taste compote
    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Let the compote cool off completely. Transfer to a clean pint jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

    Let compote cool
    ​The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

What Is the Difference Between Compote and Jam?

Compote and jam are two different products made from similar ingredients. Compotes have bigger pieces of fruit in them, even smaller berries can even be kept whole, whereas jam has smaller pieces of fruit, sometimes even pureed. Compotes are not canned and have less sugar than jam.

Tasty Additions and Substitutions

One easy way to add different flavors is to switch out the water or juice for another liquid:

  • Add red wine or a berry liqueur. Even if the alcohol evaporates during cooking, the flavor will still be there, adding an adult kick to the compote.
  • Add balsamic vinegar for a tangy and sweet-tart edge.
  • Add lemon juice to tone down the sweetness of the berries.

Here are a few other great ways to play with the flavor:

  • Up the citrus with 1/2 teaspoon of orange or lemon zest.
  • Add a tangy-savory component with 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger.
  • Spice things up with a small minced fresh chile.
  • Use a mix of berries: raspberries are a particularly good choice and will keep the red hue bright, but any other fruits will work. Blueberries and blackberries may muddy the color but add a wonderful fresh flavor.

How to Use Strawberry Compote

It will surprise you how many foods perk up with some compote:

How to Store and Freeze

  • Fresh compote can be kept in the fridge in a glass jar or airtight container, covered, for up to 2 weeks. Always use a clean utensil to take some out, and never use an already-licked spoon to get more, as the bacteria in the saliva can grow in your food and spoil it very easily.
  • If you made a bigger batch, let the compote cool completely before placing it in freezer bags. Keep in the freezer for up to 6 months and thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using it. Heat up in a saucepan and add a teaspoon of water if needed.