Strawberry Syrup

$2.37 recipe / $0.40 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
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Strawberry season is so fleeting and I’m always tempted to buy a ton of strawberries when they’re on sale at the height of the season. So I like to make a quick batch of this strawberry syrup to enjoy that fresh strawberry flavor a little longer. You can use it in all sorts of things from strawberry lemonade, to homemade ice cream (recipe coming soon), or just as a topper for your yogurt, ice cream, waffles, and pancakes. Bonus: if you cook it down a little longer it will thicken up even more and make a delicious homemade strawberry jam!

Side view of a jar of strawberry syrup with a spoon.

What’s in Strawberry Syrup?

Strawberry syrup, at its most basic, is just fresh strawberries and sugar cooked down until they form a delicious and vibrant syrup. I’ve added a little bit of vanilla extract and salt for depth, which really gives the strawberry syrup more dimension. It’s so good that you’ll want to just eat it by the spoonful!

Make it Chunky or Smooth

I like my strawberry syrup to be a little bit chunky with bits of strawberry still in the syrup, but if you prefer a smooth and clear syrup, simply strain the mixture through a fine wire mesh strainer to remove the remaining strawberry flesh. The total volume of the syrup will be slightly reduced after straining.

How to Use Strawberry Syrup

I love spooning strawberry syrup over pancakes, waffles, French toast, ice cream sundaes, or yogurt parfaits. But you can also use it to make lemonade, mix it into cocktails and homemade popsicles, drizzle it over cakes, or blend it into smoothies.

A bowl of ice cream with strawberry syrup on top.

Make Strawberry Syrup or Strawberry Jam

With this one simple recipe you can make either strawberry syrup or strawberry jam! The only difference is how long you simmer the strawberries. A shorter simmer time will have less evaporation and a more syrupy consistency. Simmer longer to evaporate more water and create a thicker, jam-like consistency. And if you accidentally simmer too long and make the syrup thicker than you’d like, you can simply stir in a bit of water to thin it out again.

How Long Does Strawberry Syrup Last?

You can keep this homemade strawberry syrup in the refrigerator for about three weeks, or freeze it for longer storage.

Overhead view of strawberry syrup in a jar with a spoon.
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Strawberry Syrup

Homemade strawberry syrup is so easy to make and it tastes great in and on everything from yogurt and ice cream to waffles and pancakes.
Side view of a jar of strawberry syrup with a spoon.
Servings 6 ¼ cup each
Prep 10 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries ($1.99)
  • 3/4 cup sugar ($0.12)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract ($0.25)
  • 1/8 tsp salt ($0.01)

Instructions 

  • Wash and chop the strawberries into ¼-inch pieces.
  • Add the chopped strawberries and sugar to a saucepot. Stir and cook over medium heat until the strawberries release their liquid and form a syrup in the saucepot.
  • Let the strawberries simmer in the syrup, stirring occasionally, until they break down and lose their shape and the syrup has thickened to your desired consistency (5-10 minutes). Keep in mind the syrup will thicken more after cooling.
  • Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Let the syrup cool. Use the syrup as-is, or strain through a wire mesh strainer for a clear, smooth syrup.

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Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 121kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 1gFat: 0.3gSodium: 49mgFiber: 2g
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Strawberry syrup being spooned over waffles with whipped cream.

How to Make Strawberry Syrup – Step by Step Photos

Strawberries being chopped on a cutting board.

Begin by washing and chopping one pound of fresh strawberries into ¼-inch pieces.

Chopped strawberries and sugar in a saucepot.

Add the chopped strawberries to a medium saucepot along with ¾ cup of sugar.

Strawberries and sugar being stirred in the pot.

Begin to stir and cook the strawberries over medium heat. The sugar will immediately start to draw the water out of the strawberries, creating a syrup.

Simmering strawberries in the saucepot.

Let the strawberries simmer over medium to medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, or until the strawberries have broken down and lost their shape, and the syrup has thickened to your desired consistency. Keep in mind that the syrup will thicken further as it cools.

Thickened strawberries in the pot being stirred with a spoon.

Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and 1/8 tsp salt. You can either use your syrup as-is with the strawberry chunks in it or strain it through a fine wire mesh strainer to make a clear, smooth syrup. I like the bits of strawberry in mine. ;)

Finished strawberry syrup dripping off a spoon into a jar.

Keep your strawberry syrup in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Spoon it over all of your favorite summer foods!

Try These Other Fresh Strawberry Recipes:

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  1. Would it possible to make this with frozen strawberries? Or would that have too much water? Looking forward to trying this!

    1. They probably will have a little more water, but that won’t be an issue because you can just let it simmer a little longer to reduce the mixture. :) That being said, I do find that frozen strawberries sometimes do not have as strong of a flavor as fresh strawberries, so you’ll want to take that into consideration.

  2. Can this recipe be processed in jam jars in a hot water bath, like making jelly?

  3. This time of year, make it with a mix of rhubarb and strawberries and call it rhubarb compote! That’s one of my favorite things to do with fresh rhubarb. It’s absolutely amazing -so simple and fresh and yummy. I like to put it in yogurt, or oatmeal, or on pancakes, or as an upgraded PB&J sandwich. You can also freeze any leftovers in an ice cube tray and then have little cubes of rhubarb compote to thaw and use any time of year :)

  4. We make freezer jam instead of cooked jam and use it on toast, angel cake, or even stirred into vanilla ice cream with fresh lemon juice and zest, then layered with the ice cream in a loaf pan and refrozen to make an ice cream “cake”. The lemon really enhances the strawberry ice cream! I also remember the “Strawberry Misty Cooler” from DQ in the 90s, which was strawberry sundae topping stirred into crushed ice to make a slush drink, and I might try a homemade version.

  5. I’d love to make this and drizzle it over peanut ice cream! If I find good strawberries I’ll make this.