When I was a kid growing up in the Tennessee countryside, early summer was my favorite time of year. Being out of school was part of it, but more importantly, it was strawberry season. We would occasionally grow a few plants in our garden, but our neighbor grew a whole hillside's worth. My sisters and I would grab a few buckets and shuffle over to load them full of bright red berries, admittedly eating our fair share as we went. I would eat them until I got sick, but it never turned me off of the fruit. I still get excited for a basket of in-season strawberries, and you should too. Just look at all the things you can do with them—from fruity desserts to chicken wings to cocktails, here are 21 recipes that capture the season.
Oven-Baked Strawberry-Chipotle Wings With Avocado-Blue Cheese Dip
Juicy strawberries marry with chipotle peppers for a surprising tasty wing sauce that's sweet and smoky. Our simple oven-frying technique gives these wings all of the traditional crispness of deep-fried ones with far less mess. Paired with creamy avocado-blue cheese dip and sprinkled with poppy seeds, there's no shortage of flavor or texture here.
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
This frozen yogurt doesn't have a ton of sugar or fat, but it does have lots of sweet strawberry flavor. Like many frozen strawberry desserts, it will firm up hard, so let it defrost on the counter for 10 minutes or eat it straight as soft serve.
Best Quick and Easy Strawberry Shortcakes
Shortcakes should be your go-to easy summer dessert recipe. Why? They highlight fresh, seasonal strawberries, require very little oven time, and look all-around delicious. By making super-easy cream biscuits, this summer dessert comes together in 25 minutes or less.
Strawberry Almond Cheesecake
Strawberry cheesecake is tall and moist, serving up the middle ground between uber-rich and feather-light. A touch of butter and a few more egg yolks give it a creamy, custardy texture, while the strawberries and a simple almond-flour crust make for a great balance of fruity and nutty.
Tangy Strawberry Fools
The classic British fool, a dessert of fruit and whipped cream, is an ideal warm weather dessert because it's light and has a balance of sweet and tart fruit flavors. Juicy macerated strawberries, strawberry compote, and tangy yogurt are spooned into this refreshing treat that we totally won't judge you for eating as breakfast.
Perfect Strawberry Jam
For perfect strawberry jam, it's essential to use the best farm-stand strawberries you can find. A modest amount of sugar and honey sweeten it just enough, and you're left with a simple jam that preserves fresh strawberry flavor all year 'round.
Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups
If you want to make healthy, low-sugar fruit snacks then...you should probably look elsewhere. This is a homemade Fruit Roll-Up! It's loaded with sugar and corn syrup, mostly pears, and just a teensy amount of actual strawberries with the fibers strained out. It's a fun, sweet trip back to your childhood years.
Imagine a Venn diagram. In the first circle is coffee cake, and in the second, a fruit crumble. In the space between the circles you'll find buckles. Add fresh strawberries for a fruity seasonal dessert that's a buttery and gingery crumble on top and moist vanilla cake on the bottom.
Strawberry-Almond Baked Oatmeal
Oven-baking oatmeal is a great alternative to the stovetop because it's hands-free and it's easy to add in as many extra flavorings (fruit, spices, nuts) as you want. Here, big, juicy strawberries and crunchy almonds will trick you into thinking this dish is more dessert than breakfast.
Strawberry Shortcake on Steroids
If you want to get mad scientist with your dessert, try this amped-up version of strawberry shortcake. Our reinvented version is made with three forms of strawberry (macerated, powdered, and pudding), features ginger-and-lemongrass-flavored choux pastry puff, and is topped with light, refreshing buttermilk granita. It's not traditional, but it is an explosion of flavors and textures that's absolutely worth your while.
Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Sherbet
Homemade sherbet can be a lovely way to showcase fruit in a dessert that's a little less decadent than ice cream, but not quite as sweet as an ice or sorbet. The balsamic and strawberries are up front and center, but it finishes with the tang of buttermilk.
Balsamic-Strawberry Baked Goat Cheese Dip
A highly seasonal and unique appetizer, this dip is tangy goat cheese whipped with cream cheese and honey and baked into a rich base for balsamic strawberries and basil. Serve with crunchy toasted French bread for dunking and a glass of wine.
Strawberries and Cream Pavlova
A wonderfully delicate and sophisticated dessert, pavlova is a tower of soft meringue, billows of cream, and fresh fruit—in this case, fresh strawberries. Cake pans contain the meringues as they bake, making them more manageable. Eat it quick once assembled, as this dessert will only keep a short time before the juicy berries start to melt the meringue away.
Sweet Strawberry Pie
This pie is the perfect celebration of summertime strawberries. Follow your tastebuds and taste the berries before you add the sugar to keep it from turning cloyingly sweet. It's especially good when served outdoors and à la mode.
Juicy summer strawberries are combined with tart lime juice and bright mint in this sweet and sour effervescent vodka cocktail. It's light, not too sugary, and eminently day-drinkable.
Mexican-style horchata made with rice and almonds gets an infusion of fresh strawberries for a fruity, pastel-hued seasonal beverage.
Jim Meehan's Fresa Verde
Warm weather may remind you of a garden full of ripe berries and vegetables, but you wouldn't necessarily think of putting the two together in a glass. This riff on a margarita calls for strawberries, pomegranate molasses, and yes, green peppers. With a consistency between a frozen and "up" margarita, Fresa Verde is a complex and refreshing summer drink.
Strawberry-Balsamic Tequila Sour
Sweet, ripe strawberries are a natural match for balsamic vinegar. Mixed with fresh lime juice and mint, the combination makes for a refreshingly tart-sweet tequila cocktail you'll want in hand all summer long.
Strawberry Mascarpone Shake
Simple is better when it comes to perfectly ripe strawberries, and the same definitely holds true for this shake. Strawberries are the stars, complemented with just a little bit of rich mascarpone and fragrant vanilla bean.
Spicy Strawberry Jalapeño Lemonade
Step up your lemonade game big-time and make strawberry jalapeño lemonade for your next summer gathering. Ripe strawberries are macerated with sugar and jalapeños for a spicy-sweet and totally refreshing summer drink.
Sparkling Strawberry Sangria
Capture the sweetness of red-all-the-way-through berries by making a quick simple syrup, perfect for incorporating into a refreshing sangria. This version uses light, bubbly cava which brings a bright and energetic contrast to the sweetness of the strawberries and other sliced and muddled fruit.
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