10 Remarkable Rhubarb Recipes

10 Remarkable Rhubarb Recipes

Publish Date April 3, 2024

As soon as the first signs of spring are here, most of us want to ditch the heavy, hearty meals that got us through the winter and replace them with light and bright spring meals. It’s also the time we can begin searching the stores for fresh spring produce like asparagus, peas, radishes and strawberries. And let’s not forget rhubarb. Rhubarb is one of the most unique seasonal ingredients that spring has to offer. With its tart flavor and bright color, it pairs well with a variety of desserts and fruit. If you’re a long-time fan, we have plenty of rhubarb recipes ready for you. If you’re curious to try this spring-time delicacy for the first time, we’ve got some tips you won’t want to miss.

Rhubarb Basics

Despite its use in seasonal desserts, many of us are unfamiliar with cooking, baking or even identifying rhubarb. One reason why rhubarb isn’t as well known, could be its limited season. Rhubarb is only available during the late spring and early summer months. Another reason could be that it requires careful preparation. Let’s learn more about rhubarb and how to prepare it so that you can enjoy its sweet and tart taste.

What is Rhubarb?

Rhubarb is a vegetable with a bright red stalk and leafy green tops. It’s typically in season from April to early June, giving it a much shorter season than most of our other seasonal favorites.

What Does Rhubarb Taste Like?

Rhubarb has a tart taste that pairs well with sweet desserts, other fruits and sugar. When cooked, the texture softens, and it releases flavorful juices that make it great for topping ice cream and soaking into cakes. If you aren’t a fan of overly sweet desserts, rhubarb is sure to be a favorite of yours.

How to Cook Rhubarb

Unlike other seasonal ingredients, rhubarb shouldn’t be eaten raw. When preparing, cut off the leafy tops of the stalk and discard. Rhubarb leaves are toxic, so clean your knife or get a new one before continuing to cut your rhubarb. Wash the rhubarb and chop depending on the use. If you’re adding it to baked goods, the rhubarb will bake along with the rest of the ingredients.

If you’re making it on the stove to create a sauce, jam or topping, then add the rhubarb to a pan with some water and sugar to taste. Cook until it breaks down and becomes soft, usually around 10-15 minutes.

You can even grill rhubarb to give it a unique, smoky flavor. Slice the rhubarb into strips and toss with oil and sugar before grilling until tender.

Rhubarb Recipes

Because of its flavor and cook time, one of the best ways to use rhubarb is in baking. When baked, it gets soft and jam-like, creating flavorful juice that soaks into cakes and pie crust. Here are some of our favorite ways to bake with rhubarb.

A Classic Rhubarb Crisp is a great way to showcase this spring-time favorite. The beautiful pink-red color of the rhubarb adds a brightness to this dish in the same way that its tartness does, balancing the heaviness of the crumble. Add a scoop of ice cream while the dish is still hot.

Pies are a great option when baking for an event. You can assemble the pie ahead of time and freeze until you’re ready to bake. This Rhubarb Pie would be perfect for Easter, cookouts or pool parties.

Rhubarb Muffins are a great example of how rhubarb can melt into a baked good. These muffins are moist and flavorful without being overly sweet. They’re perfect for a quick morning treat or as a sweet breakfast.

These Rhubarb Bars have a sweet custard filling that pairs deliciously with the tart rhubarb.

Baking Besties: Strawberry and Rhubarb

There are plenty of classic culinary pairings. Peanut butter and jelly, chips and salsa, mashed potatoes and gravy. Like any classic pairing, rhubarb and strawberry complement each other so well that they often show up in the same recipes. The sweetness of the strawberries mellows out the tart rhubarb and when cooked, the texture of both is very similar. They’re also both in season during late spring and early summer.

To test out this flavor combo, try this Rhubarb Upside Down Strawberry Cake. While the strawberries flavor the cake itself, the rhubarb creates a tart, jam-like topping to offset the sweetness. Or try this Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble for a treat that plays with the texture and flavors of this dynamic duo.

Ready for More Rhubarb?

Once you have the basics down, rhubarb is a versatile and delicious way to say “hello” to spring. Here are more delicious ways to use rhubarb throughout the season.

Spring Into Seasonal Faves

Looking for more fresh ideas using seasonal produce? Visit our blog for even more inspiration, including meal planning and recipes.