Learn not just one but two ways to prepare rhubarb sauce. Make use of the freshest rhubarb of the season.
Rhubarb sauce, two ways, from Cheap Recipe Blog

Out of all the reasons I love rhubarb (the tartness, the color, the versatility, etc.), my favorite is this: It’s free.

When I go home to visit my parents in southwest Minnesota, there are no less than three rhubarb patches that we have permission to pick from. Thanks to a couple of bachelor neighbors and my aunt and uncle, I consider May to be my free food month.

Last weekend, my parents and I picked a whole lot of rhubarb. Eleven cups when it was all chopped up:

Fresh rhubarb

I was reminded of a simple rhubarb recipe when I attended a Norwegian-themed dinner at a local senior center (Don’t worry: People of all ages are welcome!)

They served a delicious rhubarb sauce with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Simple, yet perfectly appropriate for May.

Cooked rhubarb sauce, from Cheap Recipe Blog

Two Different Ways To Prepare Rhubarb Sauce

I decided to make rhubarb sauce, which is quite possibly the easiest way to prepare this plant.

I experimented with two different preparation methods:

  • Cooked on the stovetop:  Simply combine chopped rhubarb, sugar, and water in a saucepan and cook it for about 15 minutes. See below for exact recipe. This method resulted in a golden color (see photo directly above) that resembled homemade applesauce.
  • Grilled: I wanted to see how rhubarb would taste when grilled. I prepared a tin foil pouch, placed about a cup of rhubarb with a few tablespoons of sugar and a bit of butter, sealed, and grilled for about 15 minutes. The sauce was delicious, and turned a lovely pink (see top photo, above.) I also placed a few stalks directly on the grill to see what would happen. The rhubarb stalks soften nicely and were deliciously tart. Note to self: Use this plain grilled rhubarb as a burger topping!

Grilled rhubarb sauce, from Cheap Recipe Blog

How To Use Rhubarb Sauce

Here are a few ideas for how to use your cooked or grilled rhubarb sauce:

  • As an ice cream topping
  • Plain, topped with whipped cream
  • As a topping on pound cake
  • As a topping on French toast
  • As a topping on toast
  • Stirred into oatmeal
  • As a sauce on a turkey and cheese panini
  • As a topping on grilled chicken
  • As an option on a European-style breakfast buffet

Rhubarb custard cake from Cheap Recipe Blog

Get the recipe: Rhubarb custard cake

Because I got the rhubarb for free from a neighbor’s patch, this sauce cost me virtually nothing.

Eleven cups of rhubarb was enough to make 6 small jars of rhubarb sauce, which are canned and ready for use throughout the year.


Cooked rhubarb sauce, from Cheap Recipe Blog

Cooked Rhubarb Sauce

Yield: 6 half pint jars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

You may wish to use a bit more sugar if your rhubarb is especially tart.


  • 10 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Dash of cinnamon, optional


  1. Place rhubarb, sugar, and water in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The rhubarb will soften and become a sauce.
  2. Add a dash of cinnamon, if desired. Serve warm or chilled. Or can sauce for future use.

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