Mom’s Rhubarb Sauce Recipe is an easy to make 5 ingredient recipe that is sweet and tart all at the same time. We love to enjoy this rhubarb sauce on a slice of toasted Homemade Soft White Bread or on top of a slice of Rustic Pound Cake.

Rhubarb Sauce in a pint jar

What is Rhubarb?

Rhubarb is a perennial plant that literally grows like crazy in the right situation. I felt like there was nothing that could knock that plant down without it coming back up again! It is a sturdy plant that is in the fruit family. However, it’s flavor is super tart with no sweetness at all.

The stalk color can range from green to light red. No matter what the color is, however, it can be used the same. The only difference is the color. Check out this photo of the Rhubarb Pie below, the rhubarb I used for that particular pie was more green than red, but it still was delicious!

Often times, rhubarb will be paired with sweeter fruits, such as strawberries, but there is always an amount of sugar included to sweeten up the pot.

The one part of the rhubarb plant that you do not eat is the leaves. The leaves are actually toxic, so be sure to discard them.

Picked Rhubarb stalks

How easy is it to grow your own rhubarb?

Three years I’ve attempted to have my own plants in our new home. Two years we were unsuccessful. However, last year, I put my foot down and told Grumpy he had to listen to me when it came to growing rhubarb.

He had planted it for me twice and insisted I had to tend to it like a garden. He was wrong, and the plant’s lack of survival proved it to me.

I may not know much about growing plants and have a brown thumb for the most part, but you pretty much have to pay no attention to this stuff! Just keep it fertilized and planted where it will get a lot of sunlight.

Cut Rhubarb Stalks

Tips for growing rhubarb plants

Having said that, however, there are some tips you should consider if you want to grow rhubarb.

  • Plant the rhubarb bulbs as early in the spring as possible. This will depend on the region you live in. In New York State, rhubarb starts to stalk out and grow mid-April.
  • Rhubarb needs sunlight, so be sure to plant your rhubarb where it will get plenty of sun.
  • Be sure to fertilize your plants with organic compost. Don’t use chemical fertilizer.
  • And yes, do keep the weeds out.
Mom's Rhubarb Sauce Recipe on a spoon

My love of the sour plant stalk

I have always been a fan of rhubarb. Once those stalks start poking out of the ground, I am watching and waiting patiently for them to get big enough to use!

The rhubarb stalk itself is extremely tart and not all that tasty standing on its own. But add some other ingredients to it, along with a little sugar, and you have a very tasty treat.

Mom used to make Rhubarb Sauce often when I was growing up. This plant was always plentiful back in those days. More so than it has been for me in recent years (unless I visit home!). However, we finally found some transplants and are now growing our own rhubarb.

If you need to buy it, Rhubarb is a seasonal fruit that can be found on roadside stands and in the produce section grocery stores.

Overhead view of rhubarb sauce in a jar with a spoon in the jar

Ingredient substitutions and adaptations

  • Frozen rhubarb can be substituted for fresh rhubarb.
  • Add strawberries to the sauce. Use 2 cups of strawberries and 2 cups of rhubarb.
  • Eliminate the vanilla and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or lemon zest.

How to use rhubarb sauce

Mom’s Rhubarb Sauce is a great recipe and is so versatile. It can be eaten on its own by the spoonful if you wish! Here are a few recipes on my website that call for rhubarb sauce that you may want to try.

This Rhubarb Cheese Danish is a quick and easy breakfast or brunch recipe that uses crescent roll dough, cheese and rhubarb sauce filling.

Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Pudding is one of my very favorite treats! It is a layer of rhubarb sauce in the bottom of a parfait dish, topped with chia pudding. So pretty and so delicious.

Sweet and savory go great together in this Bacon Jalapeno Grilled Cheese with Rhubarb Sauce.

Ingredient substitutions and adaptations

  • Frozen rhubarb can be substituted for fresh rhubarb.
  • Add strawberries to the sauce. Use 2 cups of strawberries and 2 cups of rhubarb.
  • Eliminate the vanilla and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or lemon zest.
Pinnable Image for Rhubarb Sauce

Other rhubarb recipes you may like

Rhubarb Crumb Muffins

Rhubarb Lemonade (Sugar-Free)

Sugar-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

Strawberry Rhubarb Salad

Strawberry Rhubarb Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

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Mom's Rhubarb Sauce Recipe
Yield: 16 servings

Mom's Rhubarb Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Mom’s Rhubarb Sauce Recipe is sweet, tangy and perfect for topping buttered toast, served over top of ice cream, or even to top your grilled chicken! This 5 ingredient recipe is so easy to make. It is also great in pastries and muffins. 


  • 4 cups rhubarb, diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Place Rhubarb, water, salt, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract in heavy bottomed sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a boil and turn down to medium-low heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes. 
  2. Remove from stove top and let cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week. Can freeze for up to 3 months.


One serving equals 2 tablespoons.

Nutrition Information



Amount Per Serving Calories 43

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Rhubarb Sauce Recipe