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Easy Rhubarb Sauce Recipe (4 Simple Ingredients)

Our sweet and tart Simple Rhubarb Sauce recipe has just four ingredients (including water). You’ll love this effortless recipe. Drizzle its vibrant flavors over a scoop of creamy ice cream, swirling it into your morning yogurt, or using it as a zesty glaze for roasted meats.

Top down view of two white bowls filled with rhubarb sauce - Hostess At Heart

Our Rhubarb Sauce Recipe is easy to make, versatile to use, ready fast, and a cost-effective recipe, too. Plus, it makes everything taste like summer!

Growing up, rhubarb was something that marked the beginning of summer. We couldn’t wait for it to get big enough to pick. I’ve read that most rhubarb is consumed raw. That really surprised me because it is so tart that it makes me pucker up just thinking about it. I’d rather bake it up into a delicious Rhubarb Cake or Strawberry Rhubarb Bread!

Why We Love Rhubarb Sauce

My mother made an amazing rhubarb pie, and she always made a big batch of rhubarb sauce. I ate it like applesauce and also loved spooning it over vanilla ice cream.

Like so many things, any extra rhubarb would get canned. A jar of that sauce in the middle of a cold winter day was like ambrosia when served with a piping hot cup of soup. I don’t can anymore, but rhubarb and this rhubarb sauce recipe freezes perfectly! I love using rhubarb in all kinds of recipes because it brings back the comforting memories of home, childhood, and Summer vacation.

What to look for when choosing rhubarb

I always thought rhubarb was ready to pick when it turned red or pink. It turns out that the color doesn’t affect the taste so just make sure you pick it before it takes on a woody texture, a sign that it’s no longer desirable to eat.

You want the rhubarb to be firm, not limp. If the rhubarb appears dry, it’s not fresh.

When rhubarb season rolls around, rhubarb can be found in supermarkets and farmer’s markets in late Spring or early Summer. Pull the entire rhubarb stalks from the rhubarb plant leaves and all. One of the easiest ways to keep raw rhubarb from drying out is to remove the leaves and wrap the cut end in a damp paper towel. Store uncovered refrigerator.

Fresh sliced rhubarb in a white bowl with stalks of rhubarb on an antique tray.

I included some fun facts about rhubarb and my fun story in the Easy Rhubarb Dessert Recipe post.

Ingredients for Rhubarb Sauce

  • Rhubarb. Fresh can be found in supermarkets and farmer’s markets in late Spring or early Summer. You can also use frozen rhubarb for this recipe.
  • Water.
  • Sugar. White granulated sugar, sugar substitute, or brown sugar can be used.
  • Tapioca. I’ve always used tapioca as a thickening agent in this recipe, just as my mom did. They now have a quick-cooking tapioca version, so it doesn’t take that long to put together.

How to Make Rhubarb Sauce

Making our simple recipe for rhubarb sauce with tapioca is incredibly easy! Just combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan, and cook it on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until everything softens, and it’s ready to serve!

Hostess Tips

  • The perfect balance of sweet and tart flavor is different for everyone. I recommend waiting to add additional sugar until after cooking the fruit sauce. It takes a while until the sugar dissolves and blends with the other ingredients.
  • If you have large quantities of rhubarb, cut it up and freeze it so you can enjoy delicious rhubarb recipes all year long.
  • Don’t cook the sauce on too high of heat and you may want to lower the temp as the liquid evaporates so the sauce doesn’t burn.
  • We don’t mind our sauce to have a chunky texture. However, depending on how you want to use your delicious sauce, you can make it smoother with an immersion blender or food processor.
Closeup view of a white dish filled with homemade rhubarb sauce. Hostess At Heart

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to peel fresh rhubarb before you cook it?

No. Just like celery, you simply trim off the ends, and leaves, and slice the stalks. The plant’s leaves are poisonous, so you should discard them. If the rhubarb has started to brown on the edges, you can trim that off. Do not use the rhubarb once it starts to get woody and tough.

Which is sweeter red or green rhubarb?

There is no significant difference in flavor between red and green rhubarb. The color is simply an indication of the type of rhubarb grown. There are six common varieties, with colors ranging from bright red to speckled to green.

Best way to store rhubarb sauce?

Refrigerate the sauce in an airtight container. You can simply put plastic wrap over a bowl, or place it in a mason jar with a lid, and will keep for about a week.

Can you freeze rhubarb sauce?

Yes. It freezes perfectly and will keep for up to six months. You can use freezer-quality bags or any freezer-safe container and freeze it in smaller portions for individual servings.

How to reheat rhubarb sauce?

You can reheat the sauce on the stovetop or in a microwave. Always stir after microwaving to remove any hot spots.

What to Serve with Homemade Rhubarb Sauce

  • Use it as a delicious topping for ice cream.
  • Layered with plain yogurt for a parfait.
  • Spooned over a pound cake or angel food cake.
  • Slathered on an English muffin or toast like a jam.
  • Use it like syrup on pancakes.
  • Puree the sauce and sweeten drinks such as tea or lemonade.
  • Pour it over grilled or baked meat as a sauce.
  • Serve the sauce as a sweet side to any meal just like you would applesauce.

Recipe variations

You can add apples, strawberries, cherries, cranberries, or raspberries to the rhubarb for a new twist on this Rhubarb Sauce Recipe.

Closeup view of cooked rubarb sauce in a small white bowl - Hostess At Heart

If you enjoyed our sweet rhubarb sauce I think you’ll like these recipes too!

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Angled view of two dishes filled with homemade rhubarb sauce. Hostess At Heart

3 Ingredient Simple Rhubarb Sauce

Author: Julie Menghini
Our easy Rhubarb Sauce recipe uses 3 simple ingredients. It's delicious over ice cream, mixed in a yogurt parfait, or a sauce on roasted meat.
4.87 from 23 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Salad, Sauce
Cuisine American
Keyword: Rhubarb Sauce
Servings: 6


  • 3 cups rhubarb chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp tapioca quick cook variety


  • Combine all of the ingredients into a saucepan. Cook until softened.
  • Store covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.


You can add other fruit to the rhubarb for delicious variations such as strawberries, apples, or cherries.


Calories: 117kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 4mgPotassium: 176mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 60IUVitamin C: 4.9mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 0.2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

This recipe was originally shared on 6/6/2019 and has been updated to add tips and substitutions to improve our readers’ experience. No changes were made to the recipe.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Don’t forget to pin it for later and follow me on Pinterest for more delicious recipes like this one!

An angled view of homemade rhubarb sauce for Pinterest - Hostess At Heart
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 19th of August 2020

My grandma always made rhubarb jelly and I LOVED it on ice cream. I never got that recipe from her, but this one brings back such wonderful memories! Seiously people! Try this over ice cream! It's AMAZING!

Julie Menghini

Wednesday 19th of August 2020

That sounds amazing! Note to self next spring!! Thank you.

Denise R Enger

Tuesday 30th of June 2020

Can I put this in canning jars and heat will seal the jars?

Julie Menghini

Thursday 2nd of July 2020

Yes, you can. Everything in this recipe is ingredients that are used in the canned version.


Monday 8th of June 2020

Could you use regular tapico instead of quick cook if i cooked it separately? My mother used this same recipe but she has been gone for 17 years. She always used the quick cook but all I have on hand is regular. Thanks


Julie Menghini

Monday 8th of June 2020

Hi Cheri! You can use regular tapioca. That's all we had at one time right? The cook time will need to be adjusted to make sure it dissolves as I'm sure you know.


Thursday 20th of June 2019

This is my kind of sauce. I used to eat rhubarb straight from my grandma's garden when I was a kid. I love the flavor.

Julie Menghini

Thursday 20th of June 2019

Thank you! We ate it that way too and boy do I pucker up just thinking about it!


Thursday 20th of June 2019

I love how this delicious sauce can be used in so many ways. I will try it on ice cream and I think it would be wonderful over waffles as well with some whipped cream.

Julie Menghini

Thursday 20th of June 2019

Thank you, Vicky! We love it on ice cream!

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