Stewed Rhubarb (3 Ingredients Recipe) (2024)

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Super quick to make and with 3 ingredients only, this Stewed Rhubarb Recipe makes a delicious fruity sauce that can be used to top your favourite desserts, cakes, yogurt or sweet breakfast dishes!

Stewed Rhubarb (3 Ingredients Recipe) (1)
Jump to:
  • Why we love this recipe
  • Rhubarb Stew Ingredients
  • How to stew Rhubarb
  • Recipe FAQs
  • Storing the fruit stew
  • Can I freeze this rhubarb sauce?
  • How to use this Rhubarb Compote
  • Recipe
  • Comments

Why we love this recipe

Got some fresh rhubarb and looking for a quick and easy rhubarb recipe? This rhubarb compote is for you! Making stew is one of the best ways to cook rhubarb if you ask me. It is so quickly made and create an absolutely delicious rhubarb sauce that is super versatile.

Made with 3 ingredients only, this is simply the best stewed rhubarb recipe ever. Just like Stewed Pears in Winter, this recipe can easily be customised with the addition of your favourite spices, condiments or even fruits!

I used this stew to make a Rhubarb Custard Tart and it was absolutely delicious. It will also be great over ice cream, with fresh fruits or as a breakfast and dessert topping!

Rhubarb Stew Ingredients

3 Ingredients is all it takes to make this recipe (scroll down to recipe card for all quantities):

  • Fresh Rhubarb
  • Water
  • Sugar

Very, very simple, right!?

You can use any type of rhubarb you want for this recipe. The one I find here is Red Rhubarb, but Green Rhubarb will work fine as well.

Stewed Rhubarb (3 Ingredients Recipe) (2)

Optional Additions

I personally LOVE to add Lime Juice and Zest to this stew as it brings a delicious tang, but it is completely optional. You can also use Lemon instead, or Oranges if you'd prefer something sweeter.

Other fruits like Strawberries or Apples could also be used to make this stew.

Many spices will also work perfectly with this recipe. Ground Ginger always makes a delicious addition to Rhubarb, but many other spices will work very well too such as Cardamom or Nutmeg.

For the rhubarb compote I used in my Rhubarb Custard Tart, I used Cinnamon and Star Anise. It brought a delicious warm flavour to the fruits!

The combinations and possibilities are infinite!

Stewed Rhubarb (3 Ingredients Recipe) (3)

How to stew Rhubarb

The best way to stew rhubarb is to simply put all the ingredients in a small pot and let the heat do the work. It's that easy!

  • First, wash the Rhubarb and remove the bottom of the stalks and the leaves (they are poisonous - never eat rhubarb leaves!).
  • Slice the Rhubarb Stalks into small pieces - the smaller they are cut, the faster they will cook.
  • Place the sliced Rhubarbs into a small pot and cover with the Water and Caster Sugar. Give it a quick stir so that the sugar is evenly distributed.
  • Optional: the the juice and zest of a Lime and mix it in.
  • Turn on a low to medium heat and leave to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, regularly stirring. Depending on how ripe the fruits are, you might need to cook it for longer.

I recommend to taste the stew once it is cooked and adjust the Sugar level if needed. Some rhubarb are more tarts than other, so you might need to add more sweetness to it. Simply stir in a little bit more sugar and let it dissolve into the sauce.

The rhubarb stew is ready when the fruits have broken apart and start to form a thick sauce with small chunks of fruits. You can leave it to cook for longer if you want the stew to reduce more and have no more rhubarb chunks. It is completely up to you.

To have a completely smooth sauce, you can also blend the stew with an immersion blender than pour it through a thin-mesh sieve to keep a smooth liquid sauce only.

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Recipe FAQs

Can I use frozen Rhubarb?

Yes, you can use frozen rhubarb if you have some. Place them directly in the pot with the rest of the ingredients and increase the cooking time to allow for them to thaw on the stove.

Should you peel rhubarb?

The rhubarb I use did not need to be peeled, but that just really depends on your rhubarb. If your fruits are rather stringy and tough, then yes you should peel the rhubarb for a nicer texture.

Can I make this recipe with No Sugar?

If you are looking for a more healthy stewed rhubarb recipe, it can actually be made without sugar. You can make stewed rhubarb with Honey, Maple Syrup, Agave Syrup for example (or your choice of natural liquid sweetener) or even with unrefined Coconut Sugar.

The stew will have more liquid in it though, so you might have to cook it for longer to allow for extra moisture to evaporate and create a thicker sauce.

Can I can or preserve it?

No, this recipe is not made to be preserved or canned. There is not enough sugar in it to safely preserve it at room temperature for long period of time, so it should be kept in the fridge.

Storing the fruit stew

Once the rhubarb has cooked, leave it to cool down. Then transfer it into a clean, sealed jar or clean container and keep it in the fridge. I simply used an old jam jar to store the stew.

This recipe will keep for 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Can I freeze this rhubarb sauce?

Made this recipe in advance or during the short rhubarb season and wondering if you can freeze stewed rhubarb for later? The answer is: absolutely!

Freezing stewed rhubarb is very easy. Once the sauce has completely cooled down, transfer it into a freezer-friendly container or freezing bag. You can also freeze it in small portions using an ice tray for example.

It will keep fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months (but could be kept frozen for much longer if you want).

How to use this Rhubarb Compote

There are SO many delicious ways to use this rhubarb sauce. My favourite (and most simple) way to eat this stewed rhubarb is with Greek Yogurt. But the possibilities are infinite!

What to do with stewed rhubarb:

  • drizzle it over Yogurt, Ice Cream, Custard, Puddings,...
  • use it as a Tart or Cake Filling / Topping
  • enjoy it as a topping for Pancakes, Waffles, French Toast,... anything breakfast!
  • serve it with Granola or Muesli
  • pour it over Cheesecake
  • eat it with fresh fruits like Berries
Stewed Rhubarb (3 Ingredients Recipe) (6)

More Toppings & Sauces

  • Raspberry Coulis
  • Whipped Ganache Frosting
  • Mixed Berry Compote
  • Easy Strawberry Coulis
  • Mango Coulis
  • Easy Blueberry Compote
  • Low Sugar Lemon Curd
  • Blueberry Coulis

Made this recipe?
Let us know if you liked it by leaving a comment below, and tag us on Instagram @a.baking.journey with a photo of your creation!


Stewed Rhubarb (3 Ingredients Recipe) (7)

Stewed Rhubarb

Super quick to make and with 3 ingredients only, this Stewed Rhubarb Recipe makes a delicious fruity sauce that can be used to top your favourite desserts, cakes, yogurt or sweet breakfast dishes!

4.79 from 37 votes

Print Pin Rate

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes minutes

Servings: 1 large jar

Calories: 435kcal

Author: Sylvie


  • 500 gr (1 lb) Fresh Rhubarb
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) Water
  • 80 gr (1/3 cup) White Sugar - (*)
  • 1 Lime - Juice & Zest - optional


I highly recommend using the measurements in grams & ml (instead of cups & spoons) for more accuracy and better results.


  • Wash the Rhubarb and discard the bottom of the stalks and leaves.

  • Slice the Rhubarb into small pieces and place them in a medium size Pot. Add the Water, Sugar and Lime Juice & Zest (optional). Stir to combine.

  • Place on the stove on low to medium heat and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the rhubarb pieces are breaking apart (1), occasionally stiring. The stew is ready once most of the rhubarb chunks have turned into a thick sauce (2).

  • Remove from the heat and leave to cool down completely, then transfer into a sealed jar. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Tried this recipe? Make sure to leave a comment and star rating below!


  1. Depending on the type of rhubarb you use and how ripe it is, the cooking time might vary. The rhubarb will naturally break apart and turn into a thick sauce when ready. The time of cooking also depends on the consistency you are looking for;
    - stop the cooking as soon as the stew comes together if you want a more liquid sauce
    - keep cooking the fruits and leave it to reduce for a few more minutes if you want a thicker sauce
  2. After 15 minutes, most of my rhubarbs had turned into a sauce but I still had a few small pieces of fruits, which I like. If you want a smoother sauce, you can cook it for longer until all the fruits have broken apart.

(*) Note that some rhubarb can be naturally sweet while others are more tart. I recommend tasting the stew once it is cooked and adjust the sweetness level if it tastes to sour to your. Simply add a little bit more sugar (start with 1 tbsp) and stir it in the warm sauce until dissolved.


Calories: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 110g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 1508mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 86g | Vitamin A: 510IU | Vitamin C: 60mg | Calcium: 452mg | Iron: 2mg

Tried this Recipe?Leave a comment + star rating below and tag us @a.baking.journey on Instagram with a photo of your creation!

Stewed Rhubarb (3 Ingredients Recipe) (2024)


How to cook rhubarb without it going mushy? ›

Method. Put the rhubarb into a saucepan with the orange zest, juice, sugar and 2 tbsp water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 8 mins until the rhubarb is cooked but still holds its shape.

What is the best sweetener for rhubarb? ›

My advice is yes, try honey! The recipe pictured above (and linked below) includes some honey along with the sugar; try making it with just the honey and see how it turns out. Sometimes, depending on how tender and fresh the rhubarb is, I even cut the sugar down by half.

Why is my stewed rhubarb watery? ›

If the Rhubarb is frozen in whole, i.e. the stalks, let it thaw until it's easy to cut into pieces. Why is my Stewed Rhubarb watery? Rhubarb has a high water content, making it runny when cooking.

Do you add water to rhubarb when cooking? ›

Directions. Place rhubarb in a large pot and fill with enough water so that it is almost covered. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat until starting to fall apart, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

What takes the tartness out of rhubarb? ›

"Once you let it simmer, and it's soft, let it sit overnight. Now you have these tender ribbons that you can jar up, or you can put them on anything." Removing the first layer of skin will take away its "rubbery taste" and bring out the stalk's most appealing flavors, and the brown sugar will temper the tartness.

Should rhubarb be peeled before stewing? ›

Maincrop rhubarb can sometimes have tough, stringy ribs, so after washing it, strip these off with a small, sharp knife and slice the stalk thinly or thickly as required. Forced rhubarb should be tender enough not to need peeling – just wash, then trim the top and bottom of the stalks and slice.

Does rhubarb raise blood sugar? ›

Antioxidant properties and the presence of flavonoids in rhubarb, including Quercetin, have been effective on blood glucose level and metabolic disorders in diabetes [21]. One of the most important properties of rhubarb is that it causes the pancreas to secrete insulin and hence reduces blood glucose level [22, 23].

How to eat rhubarb without adding sugar? ›

To keep it sugar free you could use a little stevia, for a low fructose option you could use either rice syrup or coconut nectar, or if you're a honey fan, a little raw honey would combine beautifully with the ginger and vanilla.

What does rhubarb do to your body? ›

Studies show that rhubarb helps lower your bad cholesterol levels as well as your total cholesterol. Lower cholesterol levels reduce your risk for heart disease and heart attack. The vitamin K in rhubarb may also aid in preventing the calcification of blood vessels.

Is stewed rhubarb a laxative? ›

Rhubarb is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives can cause diarrhea and decrease potassium levels. Taking rhubarb with other stimulant laxatives might cause more diarrhea and very low potassium levels.

Is stewed rhubarb good for you? ›

Rhubarb is also a great source of vitamin K1, which is important for blood clotting and bone health. A half cup of cooked rhubarb provides more than one-third of the recommended dietary intake of vitamin K1, along with two grams of fiber (which helps prevent colorectal cancer), some calcium and vitamin C.

How do you get the most Flavour out of rhubarb? ›

You need just 1 main ingredient plus some ginger, sugar, and lime juice.
  1. Mix the rhubarb, ginger juice, and some sugar and let sit overnight. ...
  2. Cook the mixture and strain off the rhubarb juice.
  3. Cook the rhubarb juice with some more sugar and lime juice.
  4. Process in a boiling water bath and store.
Jun 20, 2019

How much baking soda do I put in rhubarb? ›

Neutralizing Rhubarb's Acidity

Once the rhubarb has given up its juices, pull it from the oven and stir in a quarter teaspoon of baking soda using a heat-resistant spatula.

How long does stewed rhubarb last in the fridge? ›

The stewed rhubarb can be eaten straight away - top with natural yoghurt, granola, custard or preferred toppings. The rhubarb can be kept covered in the fridge for up to a week.

What's the best way to prepare rhubarb? ›

To prepare: Wash the stems and cut off the leaves and the ends. Cut into 2cm lengths, removing any strings if necessary. Stew or poach in some water and a little sugar. When making a crumble or a pie, the rhubarb does not need to be cooked first.

How do you get moisture out of rhubarb? ›

Macerate Your Rhubarb With Sugar To Draw Out Excess Liquid

Mixing fruit with sugar draws out moisture through the process of osmosis, which happens when water naturally balances out by migrating from the cells in your fruit to the dissolved sugar molecules on the surface, the same way it does with salt.

Why is my rhubarb going soft? ›

Rhubarb plants can be prone to honey fungus, crown rot and viruses. Any of these diseases will weaken the plant and it is best to dig up affected plants and start again on a new site. Crown rot is the most common. It's a fungal infection at the base of the stalks, and causes the crowns to turn brown and soft.

How do you keep rhubarb pie from getting soggy? ›

Mixing your fresh fruit with sugar and letting it sit is called maceration, and it helps draw excess liquid out of your rhubarb before it cooks out and leaves your pie soggy.

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