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Looking for an easy way to enjoy rhubarb? This quick rhubarb sauce is a sweet-tart topping for toast, pound cake, ice cream, and more!
Rhubarb is a welcome sight in spring and early summer.
Vibrant in color and tart in flavor, it makes a natural partner for strawberries, but it’s also delicious on its own.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy it is with this easy rhubarb sauce recipe. It only requires four ingredients (including water) and is ready in minutes.
Plus, it can be enjoyed in so many ways, whether you love it for breakfast or dessert.
What is rhubarb?
Rhubarb is a plant that grows long, pink-red stalks with large, triangular leaves.
The leaves are toxic because they contain high levels of oxalic acid, but the rhubarb stalks can be used in a variety of ways.
Because of the tart flavor, in rhubarb recipes it is most often combined with sugar and fruits to make desserts or even drinks.
How to make rhubarb sauce
To make this sauce, you’ll need 2 cups of diced rhubarb. The number of rhubarb stalks you’ll need will depend on their size; around ½ pound should be enough.
You can use fresh or frozen rhubarb in this recipe. If using frozen, I recommend thawing it first to remove excess water and reduce cooking time.
Don’t worry about the size of the rhubarb chunks too much, as it will break down as it cooks. I slice the stalks to a quarter-inch or half-inch, but even inch-long pieces will work well.
In a small saucepan, combine your chopped rhubarb, granulated sugar, and water. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower heat to medium-low.
Simmer and stir occasionally, until the rhubarb is broken down and the mixture has slightly thickened. It should be jam-like, but not as thick or sticky.
Mix in the nutmeg, then pour into an airtight container, such as a jar or lidded bowl for storage. Let it cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.
I use granulated sugar, but if you want a deeper flavor you can use brown sugar, or even dark brown sugar. Adjust the sweetness to your liking, but remember that rhubarb is meant to be tart!
This recipe makes about 1 cup of rhubarb sauce. It can easily be doubled or even tripled.
Store rhubarb sauce in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
If you want it to last longer, store in the freezer. Make sure to use freezer-safe containers, and leave enough room in the container to allow for expansion as it freezes.
I like Ball Freezer Jars, or you can also use plastic deli containers. The 8 ounce size is perfect for freezing smaller portions. Rhubarb sauce will last 3-6 months in the freezer.
Please note that this recipe is NOT suitable for canning. It must be stored in the fridge or freezer, not the pantry.
My rhubarb sauce recipe keeps the rhubarb flavor at the forefront, but you can try other additions to make it your own.
Swap in half strawberries to make a saucy twist on the classic pie.
Add orange or lemon zest for a bright citrus kick.
Mix in your favorite spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, or ginger. For a savory bite, try ground black pepper.
Ways to enjoy rhubarb sauce
This sauce is thick, similar to a rhubarb compote, so it can be used in a variety of ways! Serve warm, or chilled straight from the fridge.
Try it on a simple pound cake, angel food cake, or cheesecake.
Spread onto toast, bagels, or English muffins.
Spoon it onto vanilla ice cream or your favorite yogurt.
Use as a sauce for duck or pheasant.
Serve as part of a cheese plate with blue cheese, or poured over cream cheese and served with crackers.
You’ll love this tart and sweet rhubarb sauce. Make it today and keep the season going!
- 2 cups sliced rhubarb, about 8 ounces
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- In a small saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low.
- Simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is broken down and the sauce is somewhat thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg. Pour into a jar or lidded bowl and let cool before storing in the refrigerator.