This easy 3 ingredient Stewed Rhubarb recipe is a perfect way to use up seasonal rhubarb. Simply add chopped rhubarb to a pot along with sugar, water, and vanilla and cook until soft for a versatile sauce or topping. Try it on custard, yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream etc...
If you’re new to cooking with rhubarb, stewed rhubarb is a great starter recipe!
If you're wondering how to cook rhubarb, then this is the recipe for you. It's quick, easy and tastes incredible.
Rhubarb is a stalk vegetable that has a similar texture to celery. The color is a reddish pink and when it’s cooked down, it gives everything a beautiful natural pink color and a delicious tangy taste.
Stewed rhubarb is essentially rhubarb that is placed in a pan with water, sugar, and an optional flavoring like vanilla.
It’s simmered for 5-7 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender. Easy peasy!
You can chop the rhubarb as big or as small as you prefer depending on how you’re going to use it.
The taste is slightly sweet and tart making it great as a topping for desserts or to eat on its own.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
This cooked rhubarb is a great beginner recipe if you’re new to rhubarb.
The entire recipe cooks up in 5-7 minutes. It's a really quick recipe!
Makes a great topping to your favorite dessert or breakfast.
This is SUCH an easy recipe and tastes incredible.
It keeps in the fridge for a week, so make a big batch of stewed rhubarb and use it in different ways.
You only need 3 ingredients: rhubarb, sugar and vanilla (plus water!).
The pink color is visually stunning and all natural.
It's a great way to use up seasonal rhubarb (though you could use frozen rhubarb too!).
- Fresh Rhubarb - You’ll need fresh rhubarb for this recipe. Make sure you wash it well!
- Caster Sugar- Adds a sweetness that balances out the natural tart flavor in the rhubarb.
- Vanilla Extract - Adds a hint of vanilla flavor.
- Water - Gives the rhubarb a liquid to simmer and break down in.
Step By Step Tutorial
Follow this step-by-step photo tutorial, then scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and method.
Prepare your rhubarb. Fully wash the rhubarb stalks and chop them into finger sized pieces or smaller if you prefer.
Simmer the rhubarb. Add the prepared rhubarb into a pot with water, sugar, and vanilla extract. Bring the heat to a boil, then down to a simmer until the rhubarb is soft, but still holds it's shape.
Remove & serve. Let it cool for 5 minutes, before serving on your favorite dessert or sweet breakfast foods.
Rhubarb tends to still have dirt on it when it’s in the grocery store, therefore make sure you thoroughly wash it.
Do not eat the leaves of the rhubarb plant as they are toxic and can cause stomach discomfort.
Depending on how you’re using the rhubarb, you can cut the the rhubarb into smaller or longer shapes.
Do not overcook the rhubarb or it will become mushy. You want to cook it until it holds its shape, but is also fork tender.
If you find that your rhubarb isn’t sweet enough, feel free to add as much caster sugar as you need to create the taste you enjoy.
Eat a bowl plain and top with a dollop of Whipped Coconut Cream.
Layer stewed rhubarb in a Yogurt Parfait.
Pour some on top of a serving of Baked Oats.
Makes a great topping for Almond Milk Pancakes.
Add a dish to a Pancake Board, along with some Stewed Pears and Stewed Plums and Grilled Nectarines. They make delicious toppings for breakfast.
Try it spooned over New York Cheesecake.
Instead of vanilla extract, try using lemon, orange, or lime zest to add a bright citrus flavor to the rhubarb.
Add some chopped peeled pears.
Halfway through cooking, add some chopped strawberries.
Add a touch of cinnamon or ground ginger to the pot for a warming flavor.
Feel free to add your favorite berries to the mix for a fruity stewed rhubarb.
You can use green or red rhubarb to make this recipe.
Storing: Stewed rhubarb will keep fresh for up to two weeks in the fridge in an airtight container or sealed jar.
Freezing: Cooked and cooled stewed rhubarb can be stored in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.
The easiest way to cook and prepare rhubarb is by stewing it in a pot of water and sugar. Boil, then simmer until soft.
Rhubarb does not need to be peeled before stewing and will break down easily in the hot water mixture. It just needs to be washed first.
Rhubarb is high in antioxidants making it a healthy option to consume often. If you don’t want to use sugar in this recipe, you can use honey, agave, or maple syrup.
Botanically, rhubarb is a stem vegetable. However, it is usually treated as a fruit in culinary terms and used in sweet dishes.
Rhubarb can be roasted, stewed, cooked and blended, slow cooked and poached.
More Rhubarb Recipes
If you love this stewed rhubarb recipes, be sure to use up seasonal rhubarb with these other tasty recipes too! Be inspired if you're wondering how to cook rhubarb.
Nigella's Rhubarb and Custard Trifle
Check out the Veggie Desserts + Cakes cookbook on Amazon
- 14 oz (400g) rhubarb
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Cut the rhubarb into finger-sized pieces.
- Put it into a small pot with the sugar, water, and vanilla and stir it together.
- Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 5-7 mins, gently stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is soft but still holds its shape.
- Rhubarb tends to still have dirt on it when it’s in the grocery store, so make sure you thoroughly wash it.
- Do not eat any leaves of the rhubarb plant as they are toxic and can cause stomach discomfort.
- Depending on how you’re using the rhubarb, you can cut the the rhubarb into smaller or longer shapes.
- Do not overcook the rhubarb or it will become mushy. You want to cook it until it holds its shape but is also fork tender.
- If you find that your rhubarb isn’t sweet enough, feel free to add as much caster sugar as you need to create the taste you enjoy.
- Instead of vanilla extract, try using lemon, orange, or lime zest to add a bright citrus flavor to the rhubarb.
- Add a touch of cinnamon or ground ginger to the pot for a warming flavor.
- Feel free to add your favorite berries to the mix for a fruity stewed rhubarb.
- You can use green or red rhubarb to make this recipe.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.
I can't get enough rhubarb right now, this was perfect and so easy!
Rhubarb always reminds me of my grandparents who grew it and baked with it all the time. Thanks for the reminder to make it stewed! So easy and tasty.
This rhubarb looks so delicious and very yummy! My daughter is going to love this for her pancakes in the morning. Can't wait to try this out very soon!
I bet this stewed rhubarb would be perfect topped on vanilla ice cream. Now I'm excited to try this! Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Just as gorgeous on breakfast granola and yoghurt as it is with ice cream for dessert - what a great way to use a glut of home-grown rhubarb, thanks!