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Simple Strawberry Sauce

simple strawberry sauce in jar with drip on the side

This fresh and simple strawberry sauce will become your new summer staple. It is quick and easy to make and is the ideal dessert topping, delicious in strawberry lemonade, or fresh and cool frozen into fruit bars. So many options!

Whip this up in minutes using fresh or frozen strawberries. It doesn’t take long at all for the berries to soften and, when they do, you can blend them into pourable strawberry goodness. 

The Story Behind the Sauce

This sauce came about because I had some strawberries in the frig that had seen better days. For some reason, no one was eating them. Those of you with kids can probably relate. My kids are great but if they have to wash or trim a fruit, they simply won’t eat it. If I wash and trim everything, then set it in a bowl on the kitchen counter, they descend like locusts and eat every last bit. Apparently it’s all or nothing!

I admit that for me, too, sometimes that extra step of washing and trimming berries seems like way too much. I mean, logically I understand that it’s not that hard and won’t take much time. But the idea of doing it makes me want to avoid it.

Which all leads to strawberries on their last legs sitting in the frig begging to made into something amazing in as little time as possible. So, this amazingly delicious simple strawberry sauce was born!

If you made our Simple Fresh Strawberry Pie, you will recognize the technique here, as the sauce that coats the berries in that pie is very similar to this one. The difference is this one doesn’t need to thicken as much, so it doesn’t need the cornstarch used in the pie filling.

Now let’s dive in and tackle those strawberries!

simple strawberry sauce in jar top view

Start with the Strawberries

The key here is to cook the strawberries with a little sugar until they are mashable. That’s it! Start with berries that have been trimmed of their stems and leaves. The best way to do this is to use the tip of a paring knife to cut out just the stem, rather than chopping off the entire top of the berry, to make use of all of that wonderful fruit.

I like to use berries that aren’t perfect, like they have maybe just begun to turn the corner from peak ripeness. Maybe they are a tiny bit bruised or not looking their best. Those are the best for this sauce. They carry a ton of flavor, but because they are no longer the beauty queens they once were, you won’t want to use them for other things where the whole berries are on display.

Frozen berries are great for this recipe, too. Most frozen berries are picked at the peak of ripeness, then preserved through freezing right away, so they have great flavor for things like this sauce. Once frozen, berries are no longer good in fresh preparations because the freezing process changes their internal structure. This change is what makes them perfect for this sauce, as they break down easily and that is what we want them to do! There is no need to thaw them.

simple strawberry sauce in jar with fresh strawberries on the side

Put Your Simple Strawberry Sauce Together (in minutes!)

Throw the strawberries in a medium pot and heat on medium with a little sugar. Taste your berries first. If they are super sweet, use less sugar; if they are a bit sour, use more sugar. Stir it together and keep stirring until the sugar melts and the berries begin to release their juices. Add just a touch of salt, too, which will enhance the sweet berry flavor.

Both the heat and the juice work to dissolve the sugar so that it doesn’t stick to the pan and burn. This initial process takes about 2 minutes. When you look at the juices on a spoon or spatula, you won’t be able to see the sugar crystals. Instead, it will look like a smooth liquid. This liquid should be bubbling around the berries.

This is your cue to turn down the heat and allow the berries to continue to soften. Stir it occasionally until the fruit mashes easily when pressed with your spoon or spatula, around 10 minutes. Mash them with a spoon or potato masher for a chunkier sauce. To create a smoother sauce, use a blender. (I like an immersion blender like this one for blending right in the pot.) For the absolute smoothest sauce, strain it after blending. Try making it different ways for different uses to discover your favorites!

Remove it from the heat and add a little lemon juice to brighten it up, then cool completely before storing in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a month.

simple strawberry sauce drizzled over pancakes

The Possibilities are Endless!

Here are some ways to use your wonderful finished sauce:

  • Drizzle over ice cream, strawberry shortcake, or cake (It’s excellent drizzled over our Lemon Bundt Cake!)
  • Serve it over pancakes or waffles
  • Use it to make strawberry lemonade
  • Freeze in molds to make frozen fruit bars
  • Swirl some into muffin or cake batter to add strawberry flavor
  • Add it to seltzer or club soda to make a refreshing strawberry beverage
  • Stir some into yogurt for breakfast or a healthy snack (excellent when also topped with granola!)
  • Use it in a fruit smoothie
  • Use it to make a strawberry milkshake

What other ways can you come up with? Share your favorites and your own delicious creations in the comments!

Enjoy!

simple strawberry sauce drizzled over vanilla ice cream
simple strawberry sauce in jar top view

Simple Strawberry Sauce

This fresh and simple strawberry sauce will become your new summer staple. It is quick and easy and can be used in so many ways all summer long!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound strawberries fresh or frozen, stems and leaves removed
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)

Instructions
 

  • Halve the strawberries and put them in a medium pot. Stir in the sugar and salt, then heat on medium until the sugar dissolves and the berries begin to release their juices, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries are very soft, about 10 minutes. Mash them with the back of a spoon or with a potato masher.
    1 pound strawberries, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. If desired, puree with an immersion blender (or in a free-standing blender) for a smoother sauce. Allow to cool, then store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
    1 tablespoon lemon juice

Notes

This recipe can be multiplied without issue and frozen berries, which break down easily, are perfect here. Just make sure you choose berries with no added sugar.
Here are some ways you can use this simple strawberry sauce:
  • Drizzle over ice cream, strawberry shortcake, or cake
  • Serve it with pancakes or waffles
  • Use it to make strawberry lemonade
  • Freeze in molds to make frozen fruit bars
  • Swirl some into muffin or cake batter to add strawberry flavor
  • Add it to seltzer to make a refreshing strawberry beverage
  • Stir it into yogurt and top with granola
  • Use it to make a fruit smoothie or strawberry milkshake
Keyword strawberry, strawberry sauce

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