This is an easy, 3 ingredient, strawberry coulis recipe that really lets the intense flavor and color of the strawberries shine. It is the perfect sauce to compliment to ice cream, cakes, cheesecakes, pancakes or cocktails.
Strawberry coulis is a smooth sauce that my mom always made and we always had in our fridge. It was easy for her to make, kept well in the fridge and a delicious topping for ice cream sundaes, for strawberry milkshakes, and to drizzle over flourless chocolate or cheesecake.
The word 'coulis' always sounded so fancy to me as a kid, but it is really just a strawberry sauce and one of the easiest things to make with incredible versatility. Like my mom, I always make this during strawberry season for all kinds of things. We also use it on panna cotta, cheesecakes, and to top my lemon ricotta cake.
What is a strawberry coulis
The word makes it sound fancy, but all it is simply a strawberry sauce. Literally that's it. It is a smooth, 3 ingredient sauce made from pureed and strained strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. You can use fresh or frozen strawberries, depending on the season and availability.
Why you'll love this recipe
Aside from being incredibly simple and made with just 3 ingredients...
- This recipe contains no thickeners. It makes a smooth thick sauce without any additional ingredients.
- It is glossy and a lovely bright red color.
- It has a great intense strawberry flavor. Since this coulis recipe only has three ingredients, the strawberry is the really the star of the show.
- It is a great way to use strawberries that are nearly expired. If you happen to have too many strawberries and some are about to be or are slightly passed their prime, making a strawberry coulis is a great way not to waste them.
Really, 3 ingredients. I was not joking.
- Strawberries. Use fresh if in season, frozen is more than fine for out of season times.
- Lemon juice. The acidity brightens up and helps enhance the strawberry flavor
As easy as the ingredient list, how to make strawberry coulis is three simple steps.
Combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes. The strawberries will soften and release all their juices and create a compote. Remove from the heat and throw everything - strawberries, juice and all - in a blender or even a food processor and puree until totally smooth. I run the sauce through a sieve after pureeing to make sure it is totally smooth, but that is totally optional.
Variations and ingredient swaps
Since this is such a simple recipe that really focuses on a gorgeous seasonal fruit, the only variations or swap I can give you is to choose a different berry to make a coulis recipe. The remaining ingredients would remain the same, but you could do raspberry coulis or blackberry instead of strawberry.
Tips for success
It is pretty difficult to mess this up, but a few things to make sure this turns out exceptional:
- Don't overcook. SImmering too longer will make the sauce too thick and it won't blend well.
- Don't try to smash the strawberries. Chunky strawberry sauce is not a coulis, it is a compote, which is delicious, but not the same thing.
Best ways to use
I mean, I wouldn't chastise you for eating this with a spoon, but I do have some great ideas for strawberry coulis...
- This is the pairs perfectly with my 3 ingredient strawberry mousse, use it in place of pureeing the strawberries and sugar in the recipe and drizzle over the mousse when serving
- Cheesecake topping. Vanilla, chocolate, lemon, this would be amazing as a topping on any of these cheesecake flavors
- Cocktails. Make a gorgeous strawberry margarita, or a strawberry vodka lemonade. Be creative!
- Non alcohol drinks. Skip the vodka and make a refreshing strawberry lemonade for kids (and adults).
- Panna cotta. I love panna cotta, it is light and refreshing as a dessert and a bright strawberry coulis would be an awesome garnish.
- Ice cream. Doesn't have to just be vanilla. Chocolate and strawberry is a match made in heaven and some coulis over a bowl of chocolate ice cream would be amazing.
Other strawberry recipes
Strawberry season is just about here and strawberry coulis isn't the only amazing strawberry recipe you'll find, here are some other great ones:
- 1 lb strawberries quartered
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes, maybe a little less. The strawberries should be broken down and the pan should have a lot of liquid.
- Place the cooked berries and all the liquid in the saucepan in a blender and puree until totally smooth.
- Pour the coulis through a strainer to make sure it is totally smooth.
You can freeze this in a freezer safe container for up to three months. Thaw before serving.