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, breads and cakes, and also adds a tangy flavor to savory dishes. You can also try making a rhubarb julep! See 15 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 unadultrated wonderful sour taste of pure rhubarb. Don’t oversugar if you don’t want to hide it’s tart spirit!
Latticed-Topped Rhubarb Pe
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!
Strawberries and rhubarb are a classic combination. The sweet and sour fruit flavors compliment each other.
Photo: Africa Studio/Shutterstock
Although we adore the combination of rhubarb and strawberries, we have found one that may be even better: raspberries and rhubarb!
A very moist quick bread best suited for breakfast or tea time. After baking, let loaf sit for 10 to 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan. Cool completely—preferably overnight—before slicing.
These pack ‘n go rhubarb muffins will make your day a little brighter!
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?
Rows of rosy rhubarb, glistening with reduced orange juice, make this Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake particularly beautiful.
Even if you don’t usually pair rhubarb, we’d recommend this cherry/rhubarb crunch! Cherry isn’t too sweet and this makes a wonderfully flavorful dessert!
See our video on how to make this delicious Apple-Rhubarb Crunch! Or, go straight to the recipe.
This special blend of flavors works as well in soup as it does in pie.
This refreshing Rhubarb Punch is cheering and unexpected, and gets such a pretty pink hue from the rhubarb.
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 Jam, Chutney, Sauce
Rhubarb adds a pleasant tartness to this jam, and the blueberries provide color and texture.
We love this rhubarb sauce!!! Put it on ice cream, oatmeal, anything!
Serve this tangy condiment alongside chicken or turkey. Or, spread on bread or crackers as an appetizer with goat cheese and apples.
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 sauce pan. Add a ½ 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.
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 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 rhubarb? See how.