Rhubarb Recipes: Favorite Ways to Cook With Rhubarb | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Our 15 Favorite Rhubarb Recipes

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15 Delicious Rhubarb Recipes, with rhubarb lattice pie

Rhubarb Pie, Bread, Sauce, and More!

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Ready for rhubarb recipes? In pioneer days, rhubarb was literally called the “pie plant” (for obvious reasons). The tart flavor bakes nicely into pies, crumbles, bread, and cake, and also adds a tangy flavor to savory dishes. You can also try making a rhubarb julep! See 15 delicious ways to use rhubarb. 

Rhubarb is a perennial plant with stalks that resemble celery. But here, the difference ends. The tart, sour flavor of rhubarb is like nothing else.  In the garden, rhubarb is an ornamental vegetable; however, it’s cooked and eaten as a fruit in the kitchen thanks to how well it works as a complement to sweet ingredients.

Many folks combine rhubarb with strawberries, blueberries, or other fruits to balance its tartness. However, there are some of us rhubarb fanatics who prefer the unadulterated, wonderful, sour taste of pure rhubarb. Don’t over-sugar if you don’t want to hide its tart spirit!

Rhubarb Pies

Latticed-Topped Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb pie is often welcomed as the first fruit pie of spring. Here is a straight-up rhubarb pie recipe—especially for those who simply want that unique tart rhubarb flavor to come through strong!

Latticed-Topped Rhubarb Pie
Photo: Tammy Venezia/Shutterstock

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Strawberries and rhubarb are a classic combination. The sweet and sour fruit flavors complement each other.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Photo: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie

Although we adore the combination of rhubarb and strawberries, we have found one that may be even better: raspberries and rhubarb!

Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie. Photo by Sam Jones/Quinn Brein
Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie
Photo: Sam Jones/Quinn Brein

Rhubarb Breads

Rhubarb Bread

A very moist, quick bread best suited for breakfast or tea time. After baking, let the loaf sit for 10 to 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan. Cool completely—preferably overnight—before slicing.

Rhubarb bread
Rhubarb Bread
Photo by Timolina/Shutterstock. 

Rhubarb Muffins

These pack’n go rhubarb muffins will make your day a little brighter!

Rhubarb muffins
Rhubarb Muffins
Photo by Brooke Becker/Shutterstock.

Rhubarb Cakes

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

What better way to start the morning than with a steaming mug of coffee and a generous slice of tangy rhubarb coffee cake with cinnamon-sugar topping?

Rhubarb coffee cake
Rhubarb Coffee Cake
Photo by Sam Jones/Quinn Brein.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Rows of rosy rhubarb, glistening with reduced orange juice, make this Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake particularly beautiful.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
Photo: Anna Witkiewicz/Shutterstock

Rhubarb Crunches

Cherry-Rhubarb Crunch

Even if you don’t usually pair rhubarb with stonefruit, we’d recommend this cherry/rhubarb crunch! Cherry isn’t too sweet, and this makes a wonderfully flavorful dessert!

Rhubarb crunch
Cherry-Rhubarb Crunch
Photo by Sam Jones/Quinn Brein.

Apple-Rhubarb Crunch

We’re not sure that it gets any better than this! We love the classic combination of an apple-rhubarb crisp (we completely endorse eating it for breakfast! Go straight to the recipe.

Apple-Rhubarb Crunch


Strawberry-Rhubarb Soup

This special blend of flavors works as well in soup as it does in pie.

Rhubarb soup
Strawberry-Rhubarb Soup
Photo by Lesya Dolyuk/Shutterstock.

Rhubarb Drinks

Rhubarb Punch

This refreshing Rhubarb Punch is cheering and unexpected and gets such a pretty pink hue from the rhubarb. 

Rhubarb Punch

Rhubarb Julep

Make a Rhubarb Julep! It’s a creative way to use fresh spring rhubarb—plus, it’s something a little different for julep fans!

Rhubarb Julep

Rhubarb Jam, Chutney, Sauce

Blueberry-Rhubarb Jam

Rhubarb adds a pleasant tartness to this jam, and the blueberries provide color and texture.

Blueberry-Rhubarb Jam
Photo: Torok-Bognar Renata/Shutterstock.

Rhubarb Sauce

We love this rhubarb sauce!!! Put it on ice cream, oatmeal, or anything!

Rhubarb Sauce
Rhubarb Sauce
Photo by Shutterstock.

Rhubarb Chutney

Serve this tangy condiment alongside chicken or turkey. Or, spread on bread or crackers as an appetizer with goat cheese and apples.

Rhubarb Chutney. Photo by Sam Jones/Quinn Brein
Rhubarb Chutney

Rhubarb Sauce for Savory Dishes

Rhubarb sauce works in savory dishes, too, adding a wonderfully tangy flavor to chicken, pork, lamb, or game. Here is a simple sauce to heat up:

  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan. Add a 1/2 cup of chopped onion and 1 minced garlic clove. Cook for a minute. Stir in 1 cup of chicken broth. Then add 2 cups of chopped rhubarb, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried). Simmer 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Optional: Stir in a tablespoon or two of melted butter for a more buttery sauce. 

Rhubarb Trivia

Did you know that the word “rhubarb” has other meanings?

  • It’s known that mumbling “rhubarb, rhubarb” when you have nothing else to say at parties will get you by (it closely mimics background chatter).
  • “Rhubarb!” is also an expression of exasperation used especially on the baseball field.
  • Perhaps you’ve seen “Rhubarb,” the 1951 film starring a cat that inherits a baseball team?
  • Rhubarb is an ancient plant traced back to China in 2700 BC. It was used for medicinal purposes—as a laxative, to reduce fever, and to cleanse the body. 
  • Rhubarb leaves are mildly poisonous, so ONLY use the stalks in recipes. 
  • Try growing rhubarb in your garden! See our Growing Guide for Rhubarb.
  • Did you know that you can lighten hair naturally with rhubarb? See how!

What is your favorite rhubarb recipe? Share it with us in the comments below!

About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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