Rhubarb sauce is so easy to make and it’s a perfect way to prepare the first fruits of spring (or maybe I should say vegetable!).
Why you’ll love it: Such an easy recipe, and a nice change from applesauce.
How long it takes: 20 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: sharp knife, saucepan
Fruit or vegetable, rhubarb is making a comeback. Found in many home gardens, a rhubarb plant is the plant that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving. It’s pretty impossible to kill a rhubarb plant — not that you would ever want to!
Rhubarb is a harbinger of spring. Just when we think winter is going to last forever, the snow melts, the ground warms up a bit, and up through the ground, pink knobs of rhubarb emerge. The stalks grow so rapidly, you can literally see the change overnight. Stretching toward the sun, long stalks with gigantic leaves beckon to be made into delicious spring time treats.
Low in calories, rhubarb is high in Vitamin K and fiber. It’s sort of like a spring tonic. Here in Michigan, it’s absolutely the first crop to be harvested in the spring, and it’s always so welcome.
My mom always made rhubarb sauce with rhubarb fresh from her garden. It’s so easy and flavorful. Since it’s really quite sour on its own, you need to add a fair amount of sugar to make it palatable. Experiment a little and you’ll find just the right balance of tart/sweet for you.
If you’re looking for a sweeter, thicker consistency, try this rhubarb jam from Ten Acre Baker.
How To Make Rhubarb Sauce
Think of rhubarb sauce like applesauce. It’s basically cooked fruit with a little sweetener, in this case, sugar.
Preparing the stalks to cook is easy. Simply cut off the leaves. Don’t be tempted to eat the leaves because they contain a substance that is toxic when eaten in large quantities. Wash the stalks thoroughly, and chop with a really sharp knife into one inch pieces.
Put the chopped rhubarb into a large saucepan, add a splash of water (not too much, rhubarb is pretty juicy on its own), and sugar. Cook over medium to low heat until the rhubarb chunks have broken down and formed a nice sauce.
You can double or triple this recipe easily since there are only a couple of ingredients. It just depends on how much rhubarb you’re lucky enough to have. You could also add some strawberries. It’s a very forgiving recipe!
How to serve rhubarb sauce
Serve rhubarb sauce at room temperature or chilled. You can easily make a big bowl of it and keep it in the fridge for a week. It’s ready to eat any time you are.
Eat a bowl of rhubarb sauce for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Serve it as a delicious sauce for pancakes or waffles for breakfast. Stir it into plain yogurt. Top vanilla bean ice cream or pound cake with rhubarb sauce for dessert.
There’s no need to peel rhubarb. Even though it may look kind of stringy, it will all cook down and be perfectly tender and edible.
Lucky you! Keep reading for lots of great rhubarb recipes or learn how to freeze rhubarb. It’s so easy and keeps for months in your freezer, ready when you need it.
Rhubarb is a vegetable that’s more commonly used as a fruit. You certainly can eat it raw but it is super tart and not very pleasant to just munch on. Add very thin slices to salads for a nice crunch and burst of flavor. Never eat the leaves because they contain a toxic substance.
Storage and Freezing Tips
Rhubarb sauce can be stored in the fridge in a tightly covered container for up to a week. Rhubarb sauce freezes well. Put into freezer containers and freeze up to 6 months. It’s best thawed overnight in the refrigerator.
You can also freeze raw rhubarb to use later if you have an excess. Wash, dry, and cut into small pieces (about 1-inch). Spread on a sheet pan and freeze for about an hour until frozen. Then, move it to an airtight storage container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months. This method prevents the pieces from sticking together.
More rhubarb recipes
Looking for more delicious rhubarb recipes? Try:
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
- Rhubarb Cardamom Shortbread Bars
- Rhubarb Instant Pot Cake (Rhubarb Upside Down Cake)
- Rhubarb and Nutmeg Cake
- Roasted Rhubarb by The Spruce Eats
- Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce by Taste of Home
- 4 cups roughly chopped rhubarb (about 1 inch pieces)
- ½ cup sugar, more to taste
- ¼ cup water
- Put all ingredients into a large saucepan. Cook on medium heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until rhubarb chunks are soft and sauce is desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust sweetness. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
- Recipe can be easily doubled or tripled depending on how much rhubarb you have.
- Rhubarb sauce can be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for up to six months in a freezer safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- If desired, add a couple drops of red food coloring.
- For strawberry rhubarb sauce: Substitute 2 cups sliced strawberries for 2 cups of the rhubarb.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.