Rhubarb Sauce

Recipe for Rhubarb Sauce
photo: Shutterstock


2 cups water
2 even cups sugar
3 pounds rhubarb cut into 1-inch pieces


Make a syrup with the water and sugar. Boil together a few minutes.

Add rhubarb to syrup when it starts boiling in center. Watch closely and let boil just 1 minute.

Now here is the trick that makes ordinary rhubarb sauce a Sauce Deluxe: Pour into a bowl or pan with a tight cover. Leave tightly covered until cold, and you will find a sauce very different from any you have ever eaten.

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Rhubarb sauce

I made this rhubarb sauce and canned it. First, I followed the recipe exactly. I was able to make sense of some of the missing info. I had 4 1/2 lbs of rhubarb so I adjusted the ingredients. It took hours for this batch to cool. I had to add some instant tapioca to thicken it to a consistency we like and I added more sugar. I reheated the sauce and put into hot 1/2 pint jars and used my water bath canner. I got 16 jars.

Rhubarb Sauce Recipe

The directions don't make sense as they are written. It would make sense if the recipe said: Add rhubarb to syrup. Then, when it starts boiling in center, watch closely and let boil just 1 minute.


Best Rhubarb Sauce Ever! Made this recipe and followed the instructions; including the comment to bring the sauce back to a boil before timing the 1 minute. It's perfect and wonderful! One suggestion is to update the recipe to include "bringing the sauce back to a full rolling boil before timing 1 minute" so it will help others make the sauce perfectly. Thank you and I'm excited to share and enjoy this sauce!

Rhubarb sauce

I made the sauce as directed
Way way too much water or so i thought but decided to try it being intrigued by the cover and cool methid.
It was extremely watery and very lovely - so i strained it and got 2 1/2 quarts of sauce of the right consistency and 2 1/2 quarts of the most neautiful pink syrup that i will make into jelly - a happy side effect - a two-fer without the work.
The sauce and syrup were not acidic as usual which was very nice. This sauce was very mild and a bit less tasty than i usually make.
I recommend much less water - perhaps this was a typo and the water amount should have been 1/2 cup water or less? And i measured everything carefully and weighed the fruit which was freshly picked.
Or the cooking time should be a little more?
My experience is always that given time cooking and cooling rhubarb sauce thickens up very nicely.
At any rate, im not unhappy because I’ll have beautiful jelly as well.
So for that, this recipe is a keeper!!!!!

homemade rhubarb sauce

The Editors's picture

Hi, Lydia. We’re glad you ultimately enjoyed the recipe, but that is not a typo for the amount of water. In order to make a simple syrup, ½ cup would not be enough for 2 cups of sugar.

Made your Rhubarb Sauce

Hi Stella!
So...I made your Rhubarb Sauce! My goal was to find a good recipe to "put up" so I could take some for my Mom, when I visit in August. Growing up, I can remember her saying how much she loved ice cream topped with rhubarb sauce, but I don't remember her making it more than a couple of times. I looked at a number of recipes, all relatively similar. But yours stuck out to me. I followed each step of your recipe. I even guarded the bowl of cooling cooked sauce so that curious minds didn't open the tight fitting lid before it was completely cooled. I somehow managed to protect that sauce until it was completely cooled. I couldn't wait to try it!! And I wasn't disappointed. It was excellent!! My husband (with the curious mind) loved it too!! I can't wait for August to come so I can surprise my Mom. I know she'll be thrilled Thanks so much!!

Cool down directions for recipe vs hot sauce for canning

For those canning this particular recipe.....according to Stella, the key to this rhubarb sauce is to cover it tightly and let it cool down. If you're canning this sauce, are you letting it cool as per the instructions and then reheating it for hot sauce to go into the canning jars? Or are you putting it right into the canning jars immediately after cooking without the cool down.

canning rhubarb

The Editors's picture

Hi, Lisa. We recommend going through with the cool down.

Cool down before canning

Thanks for your reply! Just happen to be making it now!!

My Mom made the exact same

My Mom made the exact same rhubarb sauce. Her rhubarb pies I miss the pie. Delicious no strawberries just rhubarb.


I would like to process this in 8 oz jars. How long would you water bath these?

If you don't get any canning

If you don't get any canning answers, consider freezing the syrup in the Ball Jar - just leave an inch of headroom for expansion. I freeze everything I don't know how to can in Ball Jars.

I have canned it before you

I have canned it before you have to have jars just like for jam hot,clean, and hot clean lids.Dry the lid before placeing on top and make sure no fruit is on the rim, leave a space at the top and listen to hear the snap I boil my rhubarb till it looks broken and stringy yes with the sugar and water and some times I put a bit of lemon juice not allot. If you would feel better you can boil your jars for a half hr but I never with the last batch and it wont last long lovely with cream or ice cream.

10 minutes for 1/2 pints, 15

10 minutes for 1/2 pints, 15 minutes for pints.

For any questions regarding

For any questions regarding canning, go to the National Center for Home Food Preservation. I'd include the link, but the Almanac won't allow embedded links.

A good rule of thumb is about

A good rule of thumb is about 10 minutes from hot cooked contents being added to the jar.
Really all you want is for the jars to seal.

The only items we pressure cook are green beans and tomatoes.

'airtight' ?

Would stretching a clingwrap film suffice for this ? Or are we talking a plastic lid ? Or even a big stainless steel stew-pan with its lid in which the sauce has been prepared ?

I would never place plastic

I would never place plastic wrap against hot food - chemicals from the plastic wrap can leach into the food.

How do convert pounds into cups?

This sounds amazing! Do you have any idea how many stalks I would use. Or, cups of cut up rhubarb? I don't have a scale. Thanks!

Rhubarb sauce pound to cups

Hi Darla
i just made the sauce. it would very on the size of your stakes. but, my 3 pounds of Rhubarb cut-up came to 10 cups.
hope that helps

There's something missing

There's something missing here. It says "...let boil just 1 minute." However, the instant you add the rhubarb to the boiling syrup, the boiling stops, and it takes several minutes to start boiling again. When do you start timing the one minute? When you add the rhubarb (in which case it doesn't "boil") or when the syrup begins to boil again?

Hi Charles, thanks for

The Editors's picture

Hi Charles, thanks for commenting. You should start timing (1 minute) when the syrup and rhubarb starts boiling again, after you've added the rhubarb. Enjoy!