Combine strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and lemon juice in a medium-sized saucepan.
Cook over medium/low heat until berries release their juices (about 5 minutes or so, mixture should be very liquidy).
Bring mixture to a boil and boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes (keep in mind sauce will continue to thicken after cooling).
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, if using.
Allow to cool before serving (over ice cream, pancakes, biscuits, etc.!)
¹You can omit the cornstarch for a looser, less thick strawberry sauce. Keep in mind the sauce will need to cook much longer to reach a consistency that isn't too runny (about 15 minutes or longer).²Optional. You can leave it out for a stronger, fresh strawberry taste, but I love the flavor the vanilla extract adds!