14 Rustic Rhubarb Recipes

Rhubarb, with its tart flavor and vibrant pink stalks, adds a unique dimension to a variety of dishes. A spring vegetable commonly mistaken for a fruit, rhubarb is prized for its distinct taste and versatility in culinary creations, especially desserts. Rhubarb's tartness provides a perfect counterbalance to the sweetness of sugar, creating a tantalizing contrast that gives pies and jams an extra layer of flavor. But rhubarb's culinary prowess extends beyond the dessert realm. Its tartness makes it an excellent addition to savory dishes, particularly when paired with meats like pork or chicken. It may also be combined with other ingredients like onions, garlic, and spices, with rhubarb chutneys or sauces lending a delightful tanginess to savory dishes, elevating them to new heights of flavor profile complexity.

Preparing rhubarb is relatively straightforward, though it requires careful handling due to its naturally acidic nature, and one must always take care to avoid using the toxic leaves. The stalks are typically washed and trimmed before being sliced into pieces suitable for the intended dish. See for yourself by trying out the below rustic rhubarb recipes.

1. Rhubarb Cinnamon Crumble Cake

One of the easiest things to do with rhubarb is to chop it up and fold it into cake batter. This is what happens with this rhubarb cinnamon crumble cake recipe, which calls for the rhubarb mixture to be layered on top of a homemade crust and topped with a sprinkled version of that same crust, mixed with cinnamon and either brown or coconut sugar.

The result is a perfectly balanced, sweet and tart rhubarb pie that could hardly be quicker to whip up, with just 15 minutes of prep and 45 minutes in the oven. Just be sure to put in the required amount of sugar at all stages of the recipe, or you might end up with more tartness than you bargained for.

Recipe: Rhubarb Cinnamon Crumble Cake

2. Rhubarb Custard Pie

This rhubarb custard pie recipe does exactly what the title says — meaning it's comprised of little more than fresh rhubarb and homemade custard. Once you've made the custard and poured it into your pie crust (we recommend a frozen store-bought crust to help save on time), all you have to do is toss in the chopped rhubarb and bake it.

If you're worried about the rhubarb being too tart here, remember that the custard surrounding it contains plenty of sugar. And if you're still not convinced, you can lightly coat those rhubarb pieces in a sweetener of your choice. This classic pie can be served with the optional scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Recipe: Rhubarb Custard Pie

3. Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

The strawberry-rhubarb combination is the stuff of legend, which is why we would be remiss if we left such a pairing off the list. The sweet fruit and tart vegetable bring out the best in each other, which is why this strawberry rhubarb crisp works so well. In total, the prep and cook time takes just 35 minutes.

Above all, this recipe is easy as pie — or easy as crisps, if you will. Just combine the strawberries and rhubarb with orange juice, arrowroot powder, and maple syrup, top it all with a rolled oat and walnut crumble, and bake.

Recipe: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

4. Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Honestly? You can never have too many strawberry rhubarb crisp recipes on hand, especially if each one is easier than the next. This one is particularly simple, as it only requires two main steps: Creating the fruit mixture and putting together the crumble. After that, all you have to do is combine the two and bake.

There is also some flexibility built into this recipe. If you can't find arrowroot starch, feel free to use cornstarch instead. Meanwhile, if your food processor is acting up, you can easily complete the mixing steps with your bare hands.

Recipe: Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

5. Spring Picnic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

While strawberries and rhubarb are late spring, early summer babies, you can make this spring picnic strawberry rhubarb pie any time of the year if you use frozen fruits. Since the recipe calls for the pie to be topped with a crust, it will be less likely to slosh around and spill in your picnic basket.

That said, you don't have to be planning a picnic to make this recipe. You also don't have to make the crust from scratch yourself, as the recipe calls for — but a golden homemade crust certainly does help with the texture and flavor. With just 10 ingredients total and an hour-long bake, a slice of this pie is a comforting yet fresh delight no matter the season.

Recipe: Spring Picnic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

6. Dark Chocolate Rhubarb Brownies

Between the bitterness of the chocolate, tartness of the rhubarb, and sweetness of the sugar, this dark chocolate rhubarb brownie recipe is a true flavor powerhouse. And despite all this complexity, the recipe is fairly easy to make.

Just mix together dark cocoa powder, flour, and salt, and combine that with a blend of butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Next, drop in the diced rhubarb along with dark chocolate chips and chopped hazelnuts. As easy as this seems, it is possible to mess it up a bit: Be sure not to overmix the batter, or it will come out dry. Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes and enjoy this decadent treat.

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Rhubarb Brownies

7. Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Tart

One of the benefits of baking with strawberries and rhubarb is that you get to lay eyes upon that beautiful ruby color before you bite into your quarry. That is most certainly the case with this strawberry rhubarb custard tart, which is open on top — as a tart should be — and proudly displays that vibrant color as soon as it comes out of the oven.

To make the most of this recipe, be sure to use good-quality shortcrust pastry, which will provide a shallower tart. A ready-rolled version will make your task as easy as can be. The rest of the 10-minute prep includes combining your fruit with sugar, flour, and spices with a milk and eggs mixture, and finally, an hour-long bake at 400 F.

Recipe: Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Tart

8. Rhubarb Pound Cake with Black Tea Cream

Rhubarb is so unique and tasty on its own that the history of baking can be forgiven for not providing more rhubarb recipes that involve the addition of spices. That said, we're glad that this rhubarb pound cake with black tea cream exists because the cardamom and orange zest make stellar accompaniments to our star vegetable.

Be sure to prepare the black tea cream first, so you have it ready for when you want to sample your first bite of pound cake. The cream will need to chill for at least four hours, while prep and baking the pound cake will take just short of an hour and a half, so plan ahead.

Recipe: Rhubarb Pound Cake with Black Tea Cream

9. Rhubarb Muffins with Strawberry Streusel

Blueberry muffins are great and all, but sometimes we get bored with the same old recipe. Enter this rhubarb muffin and strawberry streusel alternative, which might just replace your favorite summer blueberry muffins for good. That said, the sweet, tart, lightness of the fruit mixed with the warmth of the brown sugar and cinnamon mean this delightful breakfast treat could just as easily be enjoyed year-round.

Just make sure to use freeze-dried strawberries. While fresh rhubarb won't impart much moisture to your muffins, fresh strawberries tend to bring about the universal flood. The added benefit is that the crumbly nature of freeze-dried strawberries can help give the top of these muffins an attractive layer of red dust.

Recipe: Rhubarb Muffins with Strawberry Streusel

10. Waffles with Charred Rhubarb

While it's common to see waffles topped with fresh fruit like strawberries and blueberries, the same cannot be said for rhubarb. That is a mistake, in our humble opinion. Luckily, it's one that can be rectified with this recipe for waffles with charred rhubarb.

Just be ready to put in a little more work than you would for fresh fruit. First, you'll need to poach some rhubarb in sugar and grapefruit juice to increase its sweetness and counterbalance the tartness. Then, you'll need to char some other rhubarb and fold it into the waffle batter. Serve the rhubarb waffles topped with the poached rhubarb, your favorite maple syrup, a dollop of whipped cream, and — why not? — add in some fresh strawberries for the sake of tradition.

Recipe: Waffles with Charred Rhubarb

11. Rhubarb Ginger Fizz

On days when you want to spruce up your classic gin fizz — traditionally made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg whites — consider adding some rhubarb to the equation. Our rhubarb ginger fizz does just that, along with a dash of crystalized ginger for a classy garnish.

If rhubarb sounds intimidating to use in cocktails, don't worry. The key is to make simple syrup and infuse it with chopped rhubarb, fresh ginger, sugar, and lemon juice, which effectively whittles your cocktail's ingredient list down to just a handful of items, plus the garnish. All that's left is to combine the syrup with gin and chilled Prosecco.

Recipe: Rhubarb Ginger Fizz

12. Shrimp Fried Rice with Rhubarb

While rhubarb is most often used in sweet applications, when it's used for something savory, it tastes nothing short of magical. One such meal is this shrimp fried rice with pickled rhubarb, which boasts unique flavors that add a surprising tart element to this normally mild dish.

The process is simple, but you will need to start it a few days in advance. First of all, the pickle rhubarb pieces will need at least two days to settle into their juices. Second, it's best to use day-old rice, as it's drier than fresh rice and therefore more amenable to frying. But throwing the meal together itself? That takes under a half hour. If you don't own a wok, a larger skillet will do. Before digging in, sprinkle the dish with some sesame seeds.

Recipe: Shrimp Fried Rice with Rhubarb

13. Kite Tail Cider Cocktail with Rhubarb Simple Syrup

For the best results, make this kite tail cider cocktail with rhubarb simple syrup using a dry white cider, which will play nicely with the tartness of the rhubarb. Once the rhubarb simple syrup is made — using just rhubarb pieces, sugar, and water — add it to your muddled mint and lemon wedge, along with some bourbon, in a cocktail shaker.

Finally, place some ice in the shaker and shake all the ingredients together for at least 10 to 20 seconds. This will ensure the drink is well chilled and that the flavors are evenly distributed. Top it off with that dry white cider and mint leaf garnish.

Recipe: Kite Tail Cider Cocktail with Rhubarb Simple Syrup

14. Rhubarb Galette with Strawberry-Lavender Glaze

If you're short on ideas for what dessert to bring to your next picnic, we have just the thing for you: Our picnic dessert recipe for rhubarb galette with strawberry-lavender glaze will leave you with no doubt that you've made the right decision in making it.

First of all, if you place the rhubarb correctly, creating nice shapes and patterns on top of a golden crust, the result will be a feast for the eyes. Second, the flavor — provided by the tart rhubarb and sweet and floral notes of the lavender glaze — will stun the tastebuds. To save on time, make the glaze while the galette bakes at 400 F for about 40 minutes. Once the dessert has cooled, you can finish it off with some lavender whipped cream.

Recipe: Rhubarb Galette with Strawberry-Lavender Glaze