Growing up I remember the fresh batch of strawberries out of the garden. Picked at the peak of perfection, my mother would promptly cut them up and add about a tablespoon of sugar to them around lunch time.
There they sat until after dinner when she would get out the sponge cakes that came from the center section when you first walked into Walmart, and the imitation whipped cream aptly named “Cool Whip”. She would then proceed to add garden fresh strawberries to fake and super fake.
I loved the strawberries, hated the other stuff. I would pretend to enjoy the rubberiness of the sponge cake and the weird taste of the cool whip but secretly just enjoy the mouthful of strawberry and sugary goodness, praying that I could get away with throwing away the rest.
I still despise the taste of the sponge cake and cool whip and to this day will not make that as a dessert. Instead, when strawberry season rolls around, I reach for these:
Great Strawberry Recipes to Use This Spring
1. Strawberry Bacon Salad
I am not a salad fan for the most part but this is one of the few exceptions to the rule. You can add any ingredients you like but my personal favorites are spinach, strawberries, bacon, sauteed onions, and a sweet dressing.
The crisp, saltiness of the bacon blends in perfectly with the freshness of the spinach and strawberries, combined perfectly with the sweetness of the dressing. It's a melting pot of salad goodness that makes for a healthy mid-day refresh.
2. Strawberry Stuffed French Toast
Strawberries are a perfect sweet component to many different breakfasts. This is a perfect weekend treat and healthy to boot!
Grab a cup of coffee and spend about twenty-five minutes busy in the kitchen before sitting down to a well-deserved meal.
3. Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal
This one is a childhood favorite, hands down. I grew up on the Instant Version but making it on my own has made all the difference. During strawberry season I use this strawberry and cream oatmeal recipe. I dehydrate some of my strawberries and then make my own instant version to last until fall gets here and it feels wrong to eat strawberries.
4. Strawberry Jam
Being a culinary teacher, I made this with my students in the spring time when I am teaching them how to can. This is the boil water canning recipe we use. Fruits are high in acid which means that you do not have to worry about botulism and getting sick, just make sure that the container is fully sealed and it basically preserves itself.
Another fun thing about making this jam is you can give it away as a gift. This past year we had a new superintendent, and our class chose to give one of their jams to him as a welcome gift from the Family and Consumer Science/Food department!
5. Strawberry Butter
Since we are on the topic of really easy things to make that are super yummy, try making strawberry butter. Strawberry butter is simply taking the hours old strawberries and sugar medley, mashing them down and straining. Take the chunks that are left and mix together with real butter.
Once it is good and mixed, you can spread it on toast, an English muffin or, my personal favorite, a toasted bagel. You can also put it in a container and save it for later. Be careful though, if people know it's in the fridge, it will go quickly!
6. Strawberry Pie
You should have seen this one coming. It is pretty much a given that when there are strawberries, there is strawberry pie.
Thankfully, my mother makes this with her first batch of strawberries now instead of the imitation strawberry sponge cake. Not so thankfully, we live hours apart and she sends me pictures. Our growing season is a bit different so I just have to agonize and plan for when ours comes back.
This recipe calls for strawberry jello, sugar, strawberries and a pie crust. It's extra simple which makes it a nice go-to recipe on a busy night. You can make it while you are making dinner, sit it in the fridge and enjoy it after everyone has eaten all their vegetables.
7. Creamy Strawberry Pie
Maybe you are like me and prefer anything with cream. When talking about pie, this one is more my style. She calls for golden Oreos but, in all chocolate goodness, I would purchase the chocolate ones. If they are homemade or organic, even better. I mean, they are getting crushed up anyways, right?
The recipe on this site calls for almost the exact same ingredients as the original strawberry pie I posted but adds whipped topping (to which I say, whipping cream whipped) and cream cheese.
Consider me sold.
8. Strawberry in Drinks
Really, we could chalk this one up to any drink that you can add flavoring to. I really like strawberry sweet tea and strawberry lemonade.
This recipe calls for less sugar which makes me really happy. One thing that I would change is adding different flavors to the drink such as basil. The extra burst of freshness adds a pop to the sweetness of the strawberries.
9. Strawberry Cheesecake
I like this cheesecake because it brings a rich flavor and the swirl of the strawberries make for a beautiful cake.
This cheesecake would be a perfect gift for an event you are going to and it is sure to win over the taste buds of everyone there. It also seems pretty easy, the author asked for help making cheesecake and the strawberry swirled cheesecake was recommended by her friend. Guess what? She succeeded!
10. No-bake Strawberry Cheesecake
If you want the cheesiness of a cheesecake but desire it to be light or do not want to spend as much time, then a no bake is the way to go. This recipe is, honestly, my preferred method of making a cheesecake.
It is what I started out with and what seems the easiest to me. They say practice makes perfect and maybe that is why I prefer it.
It combines the strawberries and this makes for a great tasting late spring/early summer treat.
11. Strawberry Cheesecake Chimichangas
Maybe it's the Texan in me, maybe its the love of anything deep fried, but definitely add chimichangas to your list of things to make when your garden produces an abundance of strawberries. Add to that the sweet spiciness of the cinnamon and oh my goodness!
Let's admit it – after a while, you start to scratch your head. Fear not! Now you can make this chimichanga recipe and bake in the cheesy fried goodness.
12. Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups
This is a personal favorite of mine. I absolutely love making my girls' fruit roll-ups. It helps them to feel more like their friends who eat store bought food while giving me quality assurance.
It's super simple as well. Blend strawberries and sugar together in a food processor. You want to get them as smooth as possible.
Pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread SUPER thin and bake at 170 degrees until dry. You get it too dry and it will be more like strawberry chips but I promise, it's still edible.
13. Strawberry Gummies
Just like fruit roll-ups, gummies make everyone happy. It is even more fun if you have small cookie cutters. We have some in the shape of stars, hearts, and even bunnies. I am sure that over the next several years we will be adding more to our collection.
The recipe is super simple: puree your strawberries, add it to jello that has been prepped but not chilled. A thin layer is better than thick jello in the pan. Once set, grease your cutter with Crisco and cut out as many as you can. Naturally, you should eat the leftovers and enjoy!
14. Strawberry Sour Cream Scones
My oldest fell in love with scones several years ago when we started frequenting our local coffee shop in the afternoons. The coffees shop and park while momma studied worked really well during my undergraduate days.
She loved the crumbiness combined with the sweetness of the chocolate chip. Naturally, I really like when I can get specialty ones in season. Blueberry in the summer, pumpkin chocolate chip in the fall, plain scones in the winter, and strawberry scones in the spring.
When I asked her one day if she wanted to try making scones at home, she got this shocked look on her face as she said, “Wow! I didn't know you could do that!” This, naturally, turned into excitement. I pulled out this recipe and we both happily cooked away, knowing that pretty soon we would have melt-in-your-mouth scones topped with butter.
15. Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate Covered Strawberries are a perfect sweet treat. I know very few people that don't like them. I think the juiciness of the strawberry combined with the crunchiness of the chocolate makes for a wonderful taste. It's not a wonder that these are given to loved ones for special occasions, such as Valentine's Day.
This recipe is pretty simple but she does go into detail about how to make them perfectly, from making sure the strawberries are chilled hard but not frozen, to how to handle them when dipping. Again, a fairly straightforward recipe but the tips make it worthwhile reading.