Savory Strawberry Sauce with Grilled Salmon

Pan seared salmon with savory strawberry sauce

Pan Seared Salmon with Savory Strawberry Sauce

Several years ago, Ranger Craig and I took the two Sassy Bennett gals to see the Washington Coast.  We found a tiny little Inn that just so happened to have a restaurant.  Score!  Maybe.

It was in a remote area of Western Washington, and honestly, I was a little hesitant as to what this little Inn might offer in the way of a dinner menu.  Well hold the phone and pinch my arm!  My taste buds were pleasantly surprised.   Not only did they serve my two gals favorite, fried calamari, but they also served grilled salmon with a savory strawberry sauce.  Yep, a savory strawberry sauce.  It was incredible.

I’ve tried to re-create this sauce as simply as possible.  Most fruit sauces are a reduction sauce of some sort and typically require time and attention.  However,  I wanted the pure, sweet, delicious taste of the strawberries to prevail,  while spicing it up with something fun.  Chipotle chili powder seemed the perfect kick.  Full disclosure… this was also my chipotle chili powder phase.  What can I say, I was enamored with chipotle chili powder.

This recipe would never have been perfected without the assistance of my fabulous recipe testers!  Thank you Ann, Teri and Kim for testing this recipe and giving me valuable feedback!  And thanks to my guy, Ranger Craig, for taste testing yet another recipe with chipotle chili powder. 🙂

Savory Strawberry Sauce over Grilled Salmon

Savory Strawberry Sauce

4 servings


1 lb fresh organic strawberries (watch for local organic strawberries at your Farmer’s Markets)

1 teaspoon grapeseed oil or butter

¼ – ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger

¼ – 1/2 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder or 1/2 teaspoon Thai Kitchen Roasted Red Chili Paste

¼ cup white wine (can substitute with water and a teaspoon of white wine vinegar or lemon)

1-2 tablespoons strawberry preserves (or more to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

Serve over grilled salmon or try it over grilled or roasted pork tenderloin.


Slice the strawberries.  Transfer the strawberries to a sauce pan, add the oil or butter and heat on medium heat.

Stir in the fresh grated ginger, chipotle chili powder or chili paste, white wine and preserves.  Bring the sauce to a lively simmer and let the sauce simmer on low for about 5 minutes.

Take it off the heat and let it sit while you grill the fish or roast the pork.  The longer it sits the more the flavors will develop.  It can be served room temp over hot off the grill fish or hot out of the oven pork.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

OptionsA nice chipotle substitution is Thai Kitchen’s Asian Roasted Red Chili Paste.  If you prefer savory but not spicy, omit the chili powder/chili paste and add a teaspoon or two of lemon zest.

Recipe tester, Ann Detlef, recommended substituting Gran Marnier for the white wine (less than 1/4 cup), especially if serving with roasted pork.  Ann rolled her pork in olive oil, spices, kosher salt and ginger and then grilled the pork.  You could also roast the pork as well.  Yummy!



  1. Hi! I just wanted to let you know I made this last evening, with a switch in fruit, it was delicious! I switched out the strawberries for raspberries and used Thai sweet chili sauce. I loved it, athough I think some heat like your recipe would have been even better. I’ll try it out with strawberries next time. 🙂

    • Oh yay! Love to hear those lovely stories. Yes, I do love a good bite to my sauces. But I am so in love with Thai sweet chili sauce too! I think I add it to everything. 🙂 Thanks for letting me know!

  2. This will be a perfect dish for this weekend and to celebrate the dragon boat races while overlooking the harbor.

  3. That looks glorious – chili & strawberries!

  4. Karista, this is absolutely superb, I have never made a savory sauce from strawberries. i cannot wait to taste this.. c

  5. I had a savory and spicy strawberry sauce last summer at a nice restaurant. I can’t wait to try your recipe.

    • Thanks Karen! That’s exactly how this recipe came about, I had sampled savory strawberry sauce in a restaurant. I left the restaurant kicking myself for not asking about the specific ingredients. It was a much richer tasting strawberry sauce and I’m sure a reduction sauce that cooked for hours. I didn’t want to prepare something so fussy so I went with fresh and spicy. I think it worked. My family loves this sauce and uses it over grilled chicken too.

  6. You’re blog and recipes are looking so berry, berry good!!!

  7. Why? Why do we not live closer to one another? I need a companion to ooh and ahh over this dish with me. My husband, he simply won’t eat salmon, but I love it! Oh, and you’ve paired it with strawberries? Seriously? Dinner and dessert? In the same meal?
    Okay, so you with the exclamation points, and me with question marks, together we make one grammatically exuberant team. 😉
    You’ve left me hungry, Karista. As usual . . .

    ~ C

    • Haha! Dinner and dessert in the same meal… never thought of it quite like that. Fabulous Cara! And if we lived closer I’d be bringing all my test recipe food to your house. As long as it was a success test recipe of course. 🙂

  8. This sounds delightful Karista, and somehow the chipotle and the strawberry make great sense to me. I love fruit flavors with spice, and with fish. Years and years ago a local restaurant made mussels cooked in a strawberry, wine and butter sauce…amazing, and a testament to just how versatile they are. I’ll be trying your dish! P.S. love your new header/site look!

    • Thanks Betsy! I need to get it re-sized a bit smaller so the entire lemon shows up. 🙂 And I love the idea of mussels in strawberry, wine and butter sauce! Wow! I would love to have that dish for dinner.

  9. I never would have come up with a savory sauce with strawberries and chipotle. I am soooooo curious to try this. I hear that we have some homegrown strawberries for sale here in Ontario so I am going to find some and try this!

    • It does sound strange doesn’t it? But when it hits your tongue, wow, the flavors are briliant together and perfectly suited to grilled fish or poultry. I love it with fresh strawberries, but frozen thawed strawberries would probably work too.

  10. Savoury strawberry sauce sounds heavenly – now if only strawberries were in season here!
    🙂 Mandy

    • I think you’re about to enter your winter season? I always forget that. You could use some lovely frozen strawberries, thawed and drained. I haven’t tried but I think it would work.

  11. Reblogged this on Karista's Kitchen and commented:

    This is one of my earlier recipes that I prepare every summer. Fresh strawberries make the best summer desserts, but they also make the lovliest savory sauces for grilled fish and meat. I tweaked the recipe a bit and updated the pictures. Beautifully delicious!


  1. […] Savory Strawberry Sauce with Grilled Salmon […]

  2. […] to Karista at for the recipe.  She made this with Savory Strawberry Sauce, which I have a feeling would be even […]

  3. […] Savory Strawberry Sauce.  So perfect for grilled salmon but just as delicious with grilled chicken. Savory Strawberry […]

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