This delicious Strawberry Coulis is an amazingly tasty sauce that makes every dessert so much better! The intense strawberry flavor is irresistible, yet so easy to make, that you'll be adding it to everything you make - think pancakes, waffles, cheesecakes, and so much more!!
This simple strawberry coulis takes any dessert to the next level of deliciousness!
Have I mentioned yet how incredibly easy this strawberry coulis is to make?! Just 3 ingredients are needed (if I count the lemon juice + zest as 1 ingredient), and no thickening agents are required!
This super simple strawberry sauce is the stuff that takes desserts from tasty to restaurant quality. You've seen it on all those fancy plated desserts on reality TV cooking shows! Now you can make it and find out what all the fuss is about. 🙂
🤔 What Is Coulis?
Coulis is a French term (pronounced koo-LEE) from the old French term 'couleis' which referenced 'to strain' or 'to sieve' or 'strained liquid'. In French cooking, it is a thick sauce made from either strained fruits or vegetables. Originally, the term was for meats that were strained three times!
This strawberry coulis is a pureed sauce using fresh or frozen strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice to make the perfect dessert sauce.
It only takes 3 ingredients to make this super simple strawberry coulis recipe that lets the flavor of the strawberries shine!
- Strawberries - Sliced and chopped, the fresher the better. Frozen berries do work good as well, and are preferred by some. My experience is that the frozen berries take longer to reduce with the stovetop method.
- Sugar - Only ¼ cup needed! You may add more if you like, and the microwave method requires ½ cup of white sugar.
- Lemon Zest - Of course, this can be optional but I highly suggest it! About a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest makes this coulis zing!
- Lemon Juice - Freshly squeezed lemon juice is an amazing addition that adds so much flavor to the sauce. Zest your lemon first, then squeeze the juice for your coulis.
💭 Tips & Recipe Notes
Your coulis will have the perfect consistency for desserts once chilled or you can serve it warm.
Serve warm or chilled strawberry coulis over desserts like cheesecakes, pound cakes, ice cream, and sundaes. Or, use your coulis as a dessert component in such favorites as strawberry shortcake, strawberry lush desserts, icebox cakes, no-bake pies, and more!
Your coulis is also perfect for topping pancakes, waffles, and French toast too! Plus, it's an amazing part of garnishing dessert plates. Serve a fantastic slice of flourless cake in a small pool of the coulis for a stunning presentation!
Trust the timing and only simmer for 5 minutes.
This is more than sufficient to achieve your desired consistency for most applications of your strawberry coulis.
For a more concentrated flavor, or to make a thicker coulis, continue cooking until the strawberry sauce mixture is reduced by ½.
Reducing the coulis heightens the strawberry flavor, which makes the sauce a great contrast to other rich flavors like chocolate.
(optional) While this is a traditional step for making a coulis, I find that many desserts and applications do not need this step.
To strain your coulis, use a sieve or chinois to push the cooked and slightly cooled strawberries through using a wooden spoon or spatula. Doing so will achieve a clear syrup appearance that is seen most frequently when garnishing desserts.
The quickest coulis is made by simply pureeing the fruit and straining before use (without cooking).
I've found that this uncooked coulis separates quickly when using as a garnish, but holds up nicely when combined with other fresh fruit for layering in desserts.
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
Making strawberry coulis is a really easy way to impress your family and friends! It only takes a few minutes of prep time, a few minutes to cook, then let the sauce cool before blending.
- Prepare the berries. Gather your ingredients and wash and hull your strawberries, then either chop or slice the strawberries.
- Add ingredients. Add the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest into a medium saucepan.
- Combine and heat. Using a wooden spoon combine and bring to a low boil stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat and simmer. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Cool the coulis. After 5 minutes of simmering, remove the saucepan with coulis from heat and allow to cool.
- Puree the sauce. Transfer the cooled strawberry sauce to a blender or food processor and puree until the coulis is smooth in appearance.
*Be very careful opening your blender or food processor when dealing with warm liquids!
- (Optional) Strain the puree. If desired, for the most refined coulis appearance, strain the pureed strawberry sauce through either a fine-mesh sieve or chinois strainer.
Use your spoon or spatula to push the sauce through your strainer until the liquid has fully filtered through.
Store your coulis in an airtight jar or storage container in the refrigerator once cooled. The coulis is best used within the first 2 days, however, it can be stored for up to 5-7 days.
To freeze your coulis for use later (which is very handy!) transfer the fully cooled strawberry coulis into a freezer storage jar or container. Leave about 1-inch of space between the coulis and the top of the container for expansion.
Your coulis will freeze for up to 2-3 months. Allow the coulis to thaw in the refrigerator before using.
The difference between a puree and coulis is that the puree is simply that, pureed fruit or vegetables. To make your puree a coulis, it should be strained through a fine-mesh sieve or chinois strainer for a more refined appearance. A compote would have pieces or chunks of whole fruit remaining in the sauce.
The best way to thicken a coulis is to increase the cooking time. This will reduce the coulis into a thickened and concentrated, flavorful sauce.
Coulis is a sauce, so it should have a good liquid consistency similar to that of heavy cream
- 1 lb strawberries (16 ounces)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Wash and remove stems then cut strawberries into small chunks or slices.1 lb strawberries
- In a medium sauce pan add the strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.¼ cup sugar, 1 tbsp lemon zest, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 lb strawberries
- Turn the stovetop up to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally while bringing the contents to a low boil.
- Once at a low boil reduce heat to low or medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, then puree in a blender or food processor.
- (Optional) To make a more refined version you can pour the sauce into a sieve or chinois strainer and push through using a wooden spoon or spatula.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, combine the sugar and lemon juice to make a thick mixture.¼ cup sugar, 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Heat on high for 2 minutes, then stir for about 10 seconds.
- Transfer the hot syrup to a food processor or blender and add the lemon zest and fresh or frozen strawberries. Puree until smooth. Strain if desired (an optional step shown above).1 lb strawberries, 1 tbsp lemon zest
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!