Fast and fresh strawberry coulis. Grab a container of ripe red strawberries and let's make some delicious strawberry sauce to top cheesecake or ice cream, pancakes to waffles, and more. A simple recipe that takes little time. In winter use frozen berries, in spring and summer, use fresh. Freezes too!
The French word coulis basically means puree; a fancy name for a simple strawberry sauce usable in many ways. You see it on restaurant dessert menus, but you can make it at home in a snap.
It's fast and fresh because this recipe (version 1) is not cooked (a coulis does not have to be cooked). If you prefer a quickly cooked strawberry sauce (version 2), those instructions are included as well.
Why You'll Like This Recipe
- Use fresh strawberries or frozen strawberries.
- Use to garnish dishes from breakfast to your favorite dessert.
- Make it no-sugar with monk fruit blend.
- Make it fresh and uncooked, or cooked.
- A simple recipe, 3 ingredient sauce.
For another easy uncooked sauce, try this creamy citrus mango coulis.
- Strawberries: Use fresh red, ripe strawberries when they are in season. When it's not strawberry season, use whole frozen strawberries, thawed.
- Sweetener: I use this monk fruit blend to reduce sugar and it tastes totally the same. Use granulated sugar if you prefer. Try a squirt of this monk fruit simple syrup.
- Lemon juice: Just a little fresh squeezed lemon (the acidity) juice lifts the flavor of strawberry sauce.
- Starch: Optional. Use arrowroot starch if you want to thicken the cooked version of the sauce.
Substitutions and Variations
There are two options to making a homemade strawberry coulis: fresh, uncooked sauce or a cooked sauce. I made both to show you what they look like side by side.
The top one is the cooked sauce, the bottom is the fresh, uncooked sauce. The fresh sauce is a little brighter in color and taste. Even with thickening the cooked sauce, the viscosities were pretty close. Both have a pourable, perfect consistency.
For a slightly thicker sauce, cook the chopped berries with a slurry made of water and either arrowroot or cornstarch.
For a more intense strawberry flavor, skip the cooking and make the uncooked sauce. It's a bit more vibrant and faster to make with no cooking or cooling required.
For a smooth sauce, push the cooked strawberries through a fine-mesh sieve. If you don't mind the fine seeds, skip this step.
For an adult dessert variation, add a little berry liqueur such as Chambord, Cassis, or Framboise. Read more about berry liqueurs in this article.
Recipe Instructions: Two Ways
Here's how to make a homemade strawberry sauce. Some recipes add maple syrup, vanilla extract, or orange juice, but it changes the pure fresh strawberry flavor. I prefer to let the flavor of the strawberries shine.
Although just about every recipe out there is a cooked strawberry sauce or strawberry coulis, you do not have to cook it. Here are directions for both styles.
Prep work 2: Chop the strawberries and move ahead with either the fresh or cooked strawberry coulis instructions.
Fresh Coulis Instructions (uncooked)
A fresh strawberry coulis takes no time to make. Strain if desired to remove seeds.
If the berries are having a hard time blending, add 1 tablespoon of water, but not much more as to not dilute the sauce.
Step 1: Add strawberries, lemon juice and sweetener to a high-speed blender and puree.
Step 2: For a smooth, seedless homemade strawberry coulis, push the sauce through a fine mesh sieve with a ladle or large spoon.
Even though strawberries are a low-pectin fruit, they have enough to provide body to an un-cooked sauce. Although both are delicious, I usually make the quick, uncooked strawberry coulis for it's speed and slightly fresher flavor.
Chef's trick: To remove seeds from a puree, place a fine sieve inside a medium bowl, pour the puree into the sieve and push the puree through the sieve with a ladle or large spoon. A ladle works best and makes fast work of removing seeds.
Cooked Coulis Instructions
Step 1: Add chopped strawberries to a medium saucepan, add the tablespoon of lemon juice and sweetener.
Step 2: Cook strawberries over medium to medium-low heat until thickened, broken down, and syrupy. The cooking time is 8-10 minutes. Put a lid on the pan after it gets going to retain the natural juices. If you want to thicken, do it near the end with a little arrowroot slurry. See recipe card for full directions.
To finish, pour cooked strawberries into a blender and puree. For a smooth strawberry coulis, pour the strawberry puree through a fine sieve, pressing the puree with a ladle or the back of a spoon to grind out the seeds.
Chef's Tip: Why arrowroot versus a cornstarch slurry? Arrowroot leaves a sauce, especially a fruit sauce, glossy with no aftertaste (it's flavorless). Cornstarch can leave it cloudy with a bit of an aftertaste. Arrowroot is also grain-free. Use it for sauces, soups, stews, and puddings. Read more about cooking with arrowroot here.
Serve it cold or room temperature. Strawberry coulis is the perfect sauce for:
- Desserts: cheesecake, frozen yogurt, ice cream sundaes, over a slice of angel food or pound cake, with this decadent chocolate tart or this lemon olive oil cake. Stir into a parfait glass of lightly sweetened whipped cream and make a dessert called a "fool". Serve beautiful red strawberry coulis with panna cotta.
- Breakfasts: pancakes, waffles, French toast, fresh plain yogurt or a Greek yogurt bowl, even oatmeal or easy overnight oats with chia seeds.
- Appetizers: try it over a baked brie with crackers or baguette.
- If your kids like strawberry milk, stir in a couple of tablespoons.
Use within 5 days when refrigerated or freeze. To freeze, try a silicone ice cube tray like this. They're great for freezing broth too.
Coulis basically means puree in French. It's a culinary term referring to a pureed and strained sauce of fruit or vegetables. A couli is usually smooth, different than a strawberry compote, more of a chunky, jammy condiment. Coulis can be either uncooked or cooked.
The acidity in lemon juice lifts the flavor of strawberry coulis and other berry sauces. And use fresh lemon juice, it makes a difference. Just a little does the trick. Too much takes away from the fresh sweetness of the sauce.
No, fruit coulis does not need to be cooked. It is meant to be a fresh, brightly flavored sauce, more so than a cooked strawberry sauce. Both are delicious, just a little different.
To thicken a fruit coulis you will need to briefly cook it so that a thickener such as cornstarch, arrowroot starch, or kudzu will do their jobs and thicken. Start by making a "slurry" (starch mixed with a little cold water) until very smooth. Then, add to a small pan of hot coulis and cook for a minute or two until thickened. Slurries are generally added at the end of a cooking process. The coulis will thicken further upon cooling. For more information, enjoy this article about working with arrowroot.
More Strawberry Recipes
⭐️Did you Make This Recipe?
If you make this recipe, please add your comment. I appreciate your feedback and enjoy hearing from you. If you loved it, please give it a 5-star rating! They really help other readers
Simple Homemade Strawberry Coulis Recipe
- 16 ounces fresh strawberries
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon monk fruit or sugar
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch to thicken the cooked sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons berry liqueur such as Chambord or Cassis for an adult dessert sauce
- Wash fresh strawberries, slice off the top, then chop into small pieces.
Uncooked Strawberry Coulis
- Place chopped strawberries in a high-speed blender and puree with the lemon juice and sweetener until it's smooth. Set a fine sieve over a bowl, pour in pureed berries, and push the berries through to remove seeds. A ladle works best, or a large spoon. Taste and adjust the sweetness level if needed with a little more sweetener.
Cooked Strawberry Coulis
- Place the chopped berries in a medium saucepan with the lemon juice and sweetener. A pan called a saucier works great as it has sloped sides. Bring the berries to a simmer over medium heat, turn the heat down, put a lid on the pan, and cook 8-10 minutes until the berries are broken down and juicy. If you want to thicken the sauce, do it at this time.
- To thicken the cooked sauce, add the starch to 2 teaspoons of cold water and mix until smooth. Stir this into the simmering berries. Cook another 1-2 minutes for the starch to do it's work. Puree the berries and strain for a smoother sauce if desired. Serve warm or cold.
- Strawberry coulis keeps 4 days in the refrigerator and freezes well.