Rhubarb Sauce

16 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cool 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Rhubarb Sauce is the perfect sweet and tart topping made with just 4 ingredients. It’s perfect for adding to desserts and breakfast recipes.

If you like old fashioned rhubarb pie, this sauce recipe is the perfect way to add the sweet tart, sour cherry-flavor flavor to a variety of recipes. Serve it like Strawberry Topping or Raspberry Sauce over Vanilla Ice Cream or Cheesecake for a delicious finishing touch to classic Desserts

Sabrina’s Rhubarb Sauce Recipe

Rhubarb has a bold, sour flavor that is also slightly sweet, apple flavor. Often you’ll find it paired with strawberry to balance out the tart flavor but with some simple ingredients to sweeten it up, you can also get that delicious rhubarb flavor shine on it’s own. For my easy Rhubarb Sauce, you’ll cook together rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, and water on the stovetop. Then, blend it all into a simple sauce perfect for frozen desserts, cakes, Pancakes, and more. 

My Rhubarb Sauce recipe works by breaking down the rhubarb and sugar ingredients. As you cook the rhubarb, the vegetable will soften and release natural juices. Meanwhile, the sugar will melt and mix with the rhubarb. The vegetable’s bitter flavor will also start to mellow during this process. Once it mixes with the sugar and lemon juice, you’ll have a tasty balance of sweet and sour flavor. 

Rhubarb Sauce ingredients on cutting board
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  • 4 Cups Fresh Rhubarb Slices: The main ingredient in Rhubarb Sauce is fresh rhubarb. Before starting the recipe, rinse the rhubarb under cold water and trim tough, woody parts off of the bottom of the stocks. Be sure to throw out the rhubarb leaves as they are toxic. You can also slice the rhubarb into 1-inch pieces to make them easier to cook down. 
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice: The citric acid in the lemon juice helps highlight the natural rhubarb flavor and enhances the sweetness of the sauce. 
  • 2 Cups Sugar: Make the tart rhubarb flavor more enjoyable by counteracting it with granulated sugar. As the rhubarb and sugar cook, they’ll start to blend into a rich, syrupy sauce. 
  • 2 Cups Water: Add cooking liquid to help cook and soften the sauce ingredients. As the recipe cooks, the liquid will reduce slightly but still helps to smooth out the sauce recipe. 
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Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Pot: Use a large pot or saucepan to cook everything together. Make sure that whatever pot you use is large enough to hold all the ingredients. There also needs to be enough space that you can stir and bring the mixture to a simmer without it bubbling over. 
  • Spoon: Use a wooden spoon to stir and help break down the Rhubarb Sauce as it cooks. 
  • Blender: To break down the rhubarb pieces into a smooth sauce, use a high-power blender or food processor and blend until pureed. An immersion blender would also do the job, just make sure you get all the lumps blended out.
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How to Make

Time needed: 25 minutes.

  1. Cook Rhubarb Mixture

    Put your pot over medium heat and add the rhubarb, white sugar, and fresh lemon juice. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb starts breaking down.Rhubarb Sauce ingredients in a pot

  2. Add Water

    Pour water into the mixture and stir well. Continue to cook while stirring for another 5 minutes. The mixture should start to thicken during this time. Rhubarb Sauce in a pot with water being added

  3. Transfer

    Turn off the heat and let the sauce mixture cool for 5 minutes. Then, pour into your blender to puree. Rhubarb Sauce in the blender

  4. Blend

    Blend until smooth, adding extra water as needed to thin the Rhubarb Sauce to your desired consistency.Rhubarb Sauce in the blender

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Can this be made ahead of time?

Yes, you can make Rhubarb Sauce in advance, store it in the fridge, and use it whenever you have a recipe that you’d like to add sweet and tart flavor to. Let the rhubarb recipe cool, pour it into a glass jar, and seal the lid. Keep the premade sauce in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can also make a double batch and freeze the second batch of sauce for later. 

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Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Rhubarb Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 103 Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.1g0%
Saturated Fat 0.02g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.03g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.01g
Sodium 3mg0%
Potassium 91mg3%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 0.3g1%
Vitamin A 31IU1%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 28mg3%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Cooking Rhubarb Sauce Tips & Tricks

Remember these recipe tips to make perfectly flavored and smooth Rhubarb Sauce. 

  1. Avoid Bitter Rhubarb Sauce
    • Rhubarb is quite bitter on its own, which is why it’s important to add sugar to make the sauce more enjoyable. Depending on how ripe the rhubarb you’re using is, the recipe may turn out more or less bitter. Taste test after adding the sugar, and add a little more as needed to taste. 
  2. Thicken the Sauce
    • If you’re Rhubarb Sauce is turning out too watery, you can continue to cook until the liquid reduces. If it still seems thin to you, try mixing cornstarch and water into a cornstarch slurry and adding a little to the sauce mixture to thicken it. 
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What to Pair With Homemade Rhubarb Sauce

Breakfast: Delicious Rhubarb Sauce makes the perfect flavorful topping to add to breakfast recipes. For a quick and tasty meal, spread it over toast or spoon the rhubarb topping over a bowl of Greek yogurt, overnight oats, or oatmeal. It also tastes great over breakfast griddle favorites too! Drizzle the sauce over Sheet Pan Pancakes, Blueberry Waffles, or Berry Stuffed French Toast

Dessert: Homemade Rhubarb Sauce is equally amazing when used as a dessert topping. Add it to French Vanilla Ice Cream, Baked Strawberry Pie, Pound Cake, or Lemon Cheesecake.

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How to Store

Store: To keep leftover Rhubarb Sauce fresh, wait for it to cool to room temperature. Then, pour the cooled sauce into a jar, glass bottle, or another airtight container. (Try using a funnel to pour the sauce into your storage container without spilling.) Once you’ve sealed the container, put the sauce in the fridge to keep stored for 7-10 days. 

Freeze: For a longer storage option, pour cooled Rhubarb Sauce into a freezer bag or another freezer-safe container to keep frozen for up to 3 months. Let the frozen rhubarb recipe thaw in the fridge before serving. 

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Ideas to Serve

You can serve Rhubarb Sauce warm or chilled, depending on your preference. After blending, pour the sauce into a sauce boat or syrup dispenser to set on the dessert or breakfast table. Drizzle in a zig-zag motion over breakfast or dessert dishes. You can also get really fancy and fill a ziplock bag or piping bag, then create a design with dots, swirls, or lines on the plate.

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Slow Cooker Rhubarb Sauce

To make your Rhubarb Sauce in the crockpot, add the ingredients to a 3-quart slow cooker and stir. Cover the cooker and set to low for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat once the rhubarb is tender. Let cool, and then transfer to a blender to puree. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to peel rhubarb for the sauce?

There’s no need to peel your rhubarb. However, it is essential to remove the leaves, which are toxic. Then, slice off the tough root portion.

Can I make sugar-free rhubarb sauce?

Because rhubarb has a naturally bitter and tart flavor, this sauce is unpleasant tasting without a sweetening ingredient. However, you can try other ingredients like coconut sugar, agave nectar, or honey to sweeten the mixture instead of sugar. To reduce the amount of sweetener needed, you can also add sweeter fruits like strawberries to the rhubarb mixture. This will just change the flavor of the recipe. 

What is Rhubarb?

Rhubarb is a vegetable known for its bright pinkish-red color and unique tangy flavor that is like a cross between a sour cherry and green apple.

When is Rhubarb in season?

It comes in peak season during the spring and early summer, making it the perfect time to take advantage of the ingredients and make this delicious sauce. 

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Rhubarb Sauce

Rhubarb Sauce is the perfect sweet and tart topping made with just 4 ingredients. It's perfect for adding to desserts and breakfast recipes.
Yield 16 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 4 cups red rhubarb , sliced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water


  • Add rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice to a pot on medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally until they start breaking down, about 10 minutes.
  • Add in water, stir well.
  • Cook, stirring frequently, for another 5 minutes until it begins to thicken.
  • Turn off the heat and let cool 5 minutes before adding to a blender to puree.
  • Thin out with a bit of water if necessary.


Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 31IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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Easy Rhubarb Sauce Variations

  • Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce: Strawberry and rhubarb are a classic flavor pairing often used in fruit pies and other springtime recipes. To add strawberry to this recipe, use 2 cups rhubarb, and 2 cups strawberries. Hull and slice the strawberries and add them to the pot to cook down with the rhubarb and sugar mixture. 
  • Flavoring Ingredients: You can change up and enhance the flavor of homemade Rhubarb Sauce with a variety of delicious mix-ins. For a richer, sweetened flavor, add ½ teaspoon of vanilla bean paste. To contrast the sweet and tart with a warm, spiced flavor, mix in a dash of cinnamon or grated nutmeg. Or, for more citrus flavor, add fresh orange juice and orange zest. 
  • Brown Sugar: Give Rhubarb Sauce a richer, caramelized flavor by swapping out the white sugar for brown sugar. Alternatively, use half brown sugar and half white sugar in the sauce. 
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More Fruit Topping Recipes

Rhubarb Sauce collate of finished sauce in a jar and sauce over vanilla ice cream. Recipe name in blue banner

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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