This strawberry compote recipe will take you right to the heart of the Mediterranean with its subtle aromatic notes of honey, rose water, and fresh mint. Spoon it over yogurt in the morning or chocolate cake for dessert!

a spoonful of strawberry compote being lifted from a jar of strawberry compote.
Photo Credits: Mariam Hamdy

This is not your everyday strawberry compote! Inspired by classic Turkish dessert flavorings, this roasted strawberry compote is as delicious as it is surprising. 

Unlike classic berry compote made on the stovetop, I roast the strawberries here for an irresistible depth of flavor. And, though mint and lemon zest bring a fresh summery flavor, rose water is the elusive ingredient. It enhances the floral notes of the strawberries and will leave guests wondering what exactly makes this complex compote different from any they’ve tried before. 

The rustic texture of strawberry compote leaves some of the berries intact, making it heavenly over bowls of creamy Greek yogurt or Strawberry Frozen Yogurt. Top your pancakes with it in the morning or use it to complement your afternoon cheese board, or as a dip for Simit or Barbari bread for a sweet-and-savory late-night treat. Whatever you do, don’t let a drop go to waste!

Table of Contents
  1. What is Rose Water?
  2. What is Compote?
  3. What is in Strawberry Compote?
  4. How to Make Strawberry Compote
  5. What to Serve with Strawberry Compote
  6. Leftovers and Making Ahead
  7. More Sweet Mediterranean Delights
  8. Strawberry Compote with Rose, Honey, and Mint Recipe

What is Rose Water?

Rose water is an aromatic water made from rose petals. It gives a floral quality to everything from dessert to cosmetics.

During the Ottoman Empire, rose water was a popular addition to confections, toiletries, naturopathic products, and used in cultural ceremonies. Today, it's still as abundant in Turkey as it was centuries ago. You’ll find it in everything from Turkish delight to baklava and sherbert.

To make rose water, rose petals are picked by hand and simmered with water at very low temperatures. The collected steam captures the essence of the rose in a bottle. You can learn all about rose water, how to cook with it, and how it's made in our "What Is Rose Water And How Do You Use It" essential guide.

What is Compote?

A compote is a chunky fruit sauce. You can make compote with a variety of fruits, with fresh berry compote being the most common. To make compote, simply stew fruit with a sweetener like sugar or honey until it becomes soft and juicy. From there, you can add citrus and herbs for depth of flavor.

Because strawberries are higher in their own natural acidity, I didn’t add citrus juice to this recipe. That said, you can always adjust with a squeeze of lemon to taste.

Compotes are most often used as a topping for desserts. They also pair wonderfully with savory dishes, from grilled cheese to roast lamb (think cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving).

ingredients for strawberry compote including strawberries, vanilla extract, rosewater, honey, lemon zest, and mint.

What is in Strawberry Compote?

This compote is made with a handful of ingredients, yet its subtle complexity surpasses any ordinary fruit topping. To make strawberry compote, you'll need:

  • Fresh strawberries: Ripe strawberries at the peak of the season are ideal, but don’t worry if your strawberries aren’t picture perfect. The roasting process and aromatic ingredients perfumes and concentrates even less vibrant strawberries. 
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract or vanilla bean both work well to enhance the flavor.
  • Rose water: Look for food-grade rose water. Cosmetic rose waters often have additives that aren’t safe to consume and usually have a very strong smell. Check the international aisle at your local grocer or find our favorite all natural rose water at our shop
  • Honey: High-quality honey, like our Greek Alfa honey, clover, or other light-colored honey works best. The milder taste allows the sweetness from the strawberries to shine.
  • Herbs and Citrus: Lemon zest adds a bright citrusy note to the compote. Mint and strawberries are a quintessential mix of sweet and refreshing.
strawberry compote in a bowl next to a bowl of strawberries and a bowl of mint.

How to Make Strawberry Compote

Strawberry Compote is easy and quick to prepare while still being impressive thanks to the blend of uniquely Mediterranean ingredients.

  • Get ready: Preheat your oven to 375°F. Gently wash and dry 1 pound of strawberries completely to ensure that the honey mixture doesn’t become diluted by excess water. Once dry, slice off their tops and cut them in half. 
  • Coat the strawberries: Add the strawberries to a large mixing bowl. Add ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon rose water, 2 ½ teaspoons honey, and ¼ teaspoon each of lemon zest and minced mint leaves. Mix gently until the strawberries are fully coated.
  • Roast the strawberries: Evenly distribute the strawberry mixture on a baking pan with 1-inch sides. Roast for 35 minutes, mixing halfway through. Once roasted, transfer to a heat-safe bowl, scraping the pan so that no juices are left behind.strawberry halves and their juices evenly distributed on a baking sheet.
  • Mash the strawberries: Mash the strawberry mixture rustically with a fork. Press until the juices release but there are still chunks of strawberry remaining.strawberry compote in a bowl.
  • Enjoy: Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving, topping with fresh mint leaves and lemon zest if desired.

What to Serve with Strawberry Compote

Strawberry compote pairs well with both sweet and savory dishes. This makes your choices practically endless! Serve over your favorite vanilla ice cream, strawberry pudding, or custard, spoon it over breakfast foods like Greek yogurt or healthy blueberry muffins, and don’t shy away from trying it with pork chops and baked cheeses.

yogurt topped with strawberry compote in a bowl next to 2 strawberry halves, a jar of strawberry compote, a bowl of strawberries and a bowl of mint.

Leftovers and Making Ahead

To make ahead or store leftovers, simply let the mixture cool before placing it in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.

Unlike its close cousin, jam, compote doesn’t use excess sugar for preservation. Less sugar means the fresh flavors can shine, enhancing the strawberries' natural sweetness. Because it's not preserved, though, it's best kept in the fridge and not suitable for waterbath canning or storing in the cupboard.

When you’re ready for a delicious serving of fresh strawberry compote, enjoy cold, let the mixture come to room temperature or gently warm it in a pan on low.

More Sweet Mediterranean Delights

Browse all Mediterranean Recipes.

Visit Our Shop.

Ó•Florale 100% Natural Rose Water

Made using a time-honored distillation process, a splash adds a delicate and aromatic quality to sweet and savory dishes, from compotes and rice pudding to ice-cold lemonade.

a bottle of O Florale rose water.
5 from 3 votes

Strawberry Compote with Rose, Honey, and Mint

A picture of Candace Nagy.Candace Nagy
a spoonful of strawberry compote being lifted from a jar of strawberry compote.
This strawberry compote boasts a Mediterranean flair with its delicate hints of honey, rose water, and fresh mint. Roasting the strawberries in the oven draws out their deeply sweet and tart flavors, and gives the compote a slightly caramelized quality. It's finished with a rustic texture that makes the perfect topping for creamy yogurt, vanilla ice cream, Strawberry Frozen Yogurt, or pancakes. Or, serve as a complement to salty cheeses in a classic charcuterie board.
Prep – 15 minutes
Cook – 35 minutes
Total – 50 minutes
Cuisine:
American/Mediterranean
Serves – 6
Course:
Dessert

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, cleaned and dried
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon food-grade rose water
  • 2 ½ tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon minced mint leaves
  • Fresh mint leaves and lemon zest, for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Get ready: Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  • Prep the strawberries: Hull the strawberries (slice off their stems and any bright white part at the top). Slice them in half and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss in the vanilla, rose water, honey, lemon zest, and mint.
  • Roast: Evenly distribute the strawberry mixture onto a baking pan with 1-inch sides. Roast for 35 minutes, mixing halfway through.
  • Mash: Carefully scrape the roast strawberries into a large mixing bowl. Mash rustically with a fork until the juices release but there are still chunks of strawberry remaining.
  • Serve: Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve spooned over ice cream, pancakes, Greek yogurt, or alongside a charcuterie board. Optionally, garnish with lemon zest and mint.

Notes

  • High-quality summer strawberries often come caked in dirt. To wash them thoroughly, let them soak in a bowl of cold water as you remove their tops.
  • To make ahead or store leftovers, let the mixture cool completely. Place in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to use, let the mixture come to room temperature or gently warm it in a pan on low heat.
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oilshoneyjams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 51.8kcalCarbohydrates: 13.1gProtein: 0.5gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gSodium: 1.1mgPotassium: 120.9mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 10.9gVitamin A: 9.3IUVitamin C: 44.6mgCalcium: 12.8mgIron: 0.3mg
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Candace Nagy is a passionate food writer who gets excited about sharing new ways of looking at the foods we eat, from food origins and heritage to systems and science, and everything in between. A Los Angeles native, she explores food through the lens of culture, class and creativity, often taking cues from the foods she grew up eating and those she has discovered during her travels. Her writing can be found at EatingWell, The Spruce Eats, Clean Plates, and elsewhere in the vast internet universe.
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5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Comments

  1. Mieka says:

    Can this recipe be processed for canning?

  2. Brenda says:

    5 stars
    We’re having a cooler day today, so I made this for a dinner I’m hosting on Saturday. The aroma while roasting is absolutely tantalizing! I can’t wait to taste it. (I did lick the spoon after putting it in the bowl post-roasting. Yum!) We’re having it for dessert after having prosciutto and melon, sharazi salad, and grilled harissa chicken. My mouth is watering……

  3. Brenda says:

    5 stars
    This looks delicious! Could it also be cooked on the stovetop?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Sure, Brenda! We actually have a stovetop Berry Compote you can use as a guide.