It's Rhubarb Season! These Are Our Best Sweet and Savory Recipes for This Spring Treat
Also known as pieplant, rhubarb is delicious in all kinds of desserts and baked goods—not just pies. It also works well in savory dishes. Here, you'll find all of our favorite rhubarb recipes.
Wondering what to do with all that rhubarb popping up in your garden or at the farmers' market? Fans of the spring vegetable eagerly await the arrival of rhubarb season each year—if you look forward to it each year, consider planting rhubarb at home. An easy-to-grow perennial, sow rhubarb crowns once (you typically don't start it from seeds) and it'll come up year after year. Lucky for you, we're also rhubarb connoisseurs, and that means that we have a collection of recipes that'll help you make the most of this tasty, colorful spring crop.
Rhubarb, either in the garden or in the market, is a delicious sign that the start of spring is officially here; soon there will be asparagus and other seasonal treats, but because rhubarb season is relatively short, you'll want to make the most of its fleeting time. Bakers everywhere love the rosy hue and tart taste of rhubarb, and they use it in pies, crisps, and cakes. Beyond baking, roast rhubarb with rosé wine for an elegant spring dessert or make rhubarb custards or a most refreshing Chilled Rhubarb and Raspberry Soup.
But don't think rhubarb recipes are all desserts; botanically speaking, rhubarb is a vegetable, but one that we treat as a fruit. It has a very tart flavor and is always cooked with a sweetener, even when used for savory recipes. Try it in a rhubarb-cherry sauce served with meat or a spring salad with goat cheese.
Here's what you need to know to make the most of rhubarb: Look for thin, red-pink crisp stalks, as these will have the best texture. If the stalks are floppy, this is a good indication that they were picked too long ago; you'll want to leave those behind. When you get home, wrap the rhubarb stalks in plastic and refrigerate for up to one week. You can also freeze rhubarb and enjoy it for months to come. To use rhubarb, rinse it well then trim the bottoms and tops of the stalks. If there are any leaves, slice off and discard (the leaves are toxic). If the stalks are stringy, remove with a small paring knife, as you would for celery.
Now the fun part: There are so many ways to cook rhubarb. Be sure to try rhubarb as a compote or a refreshing drink as well as baked in muffins. And don't forget how well its sweet-tart flavor pairs with savory foods!
Rhubarb Custard Tart
The secret to success with this stunning tart is blind-baking the crust. Pop it in the oven before making the filling—this helps it get firm and crunchy, which means you won't end up with a soggy bottom as the simple custard and scored rhubarb stalks get baked in.
Looking for an easy rhubarb dessert? Try this cobbler, which has a biscuit topping made from an all-purpose flour and almond flour dough over a filling of greenmarket-fresh rhubarb and hardy Granny Smith apples. The filling sweetened with sugar plus a tiny bit of ginger and lemon for bite.
Roasted Rhubarb-and-Sour-Cherry Compote
This intensely sweet-tart condiment is as versatile as it is vivacious. Sour cherries (fresh or frozen) pack a punch, and they keep their color when roasted with rhubarb and a splash of orange juice. Use it on top of your morning yogurt, serve it on a cheese plate, or purée it to use in a vibrant spring cocktail.
Roasted Rhubarb-and-Cherry Gimlet
Strawberry-Rhubarb Rolled Pavlova
Have you heard about the ace pairing that is strawberries with rhubarb? This might just be their best outing yet. It's a tubular take on the usual mounded pavlova and is at once easy and elegant. Meringue is spread thinly then baked. The filling is Rhubarb-Raspberry Jam, sliced strawberries, and whipped cream, all rolled up in the chewy meringue.
Pan Roasted Chicken with Rhubarb
Remember that rhubarb is, botanically speaking, a vegetable so it's not surprising that it plays so well in this easy sauce spiced with aromatic blend of turmeric, cumin, garlic, onion, and ginger. Use the sauce to simmer chicken breasts in, then serve everything with white rice or flatbreads.
Rhubarb Crumb Cake
Vibrant stalks of rhubarb and an irresistible streusel topping crown this moist sour-cream cake.
It's time to get familiar with this super-versatile condiment: We love it on cheese plates or mixed with savory ingredients like chopped parsley, olive oil, and red-pepper flakes to make a relish for grilled steak or pork chops.
Green Salad with Roasted Beets and Pickled Rhubarb
It's usually coaxed in a sweeter direction, but rhubarb brightens savory recipes in some cultures, too. An American example is pickles. Our brine of white vinegar, sugar, and star anise gives Pickled Rhubarb a bread-and-butter-pickle flavor made for slaws, sandwiches, and this salad of roasted beets and tender lettuces.
Rhubarb-Strawberry Lattice Pie
Here we have the classic rhubarb pairing, made with a top crust that shows off the glorious fruit filling. This pie can also be made with a mix of rhubarb and raspberries.
Rhubarb and strawberries are enhanced with sugar and fresh lemon juice and thickened with cornstarch for the filling in this showstopping tart.
Rhubarb and Beets
Toss rhubarb and baby beets with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast until tender. Scatter some toasted walnuts on top for crunch before serving.
Pavlova with Rhubarb and Pistachios
Here's a recipe that's as delicious as it is beautiful! The sweet-tart baked rhubarb contrasts with crunchy pistachios and the crispy yet soft and sugary meringue.
Pistachio-Rhubarb Yogurt Cake
Sweet and moist, with just the right amounts of roasted rhubarb and ground pistachios throughout, this cake makes a spectacular spring dessert. Serve with more roasted rhubarb swirled into yogurt.
Rhubarb-Raspberry Cheesecake Squares
A ruby-red gelée of rhubarb and raspberries tops the creamy filling and graham-cracker crust in this easy cheesecake.
You can make these cake squares dotted with rhubarb and topped with a crunchy crumb topping up to a day in advance.
Homemade rhubarb syrup, gin, Prosecco, and lemons are all you need to make this pretty-in-pink beverage. Try it at your next brunch.
We love the eye-catching chunks of tart rhubarb in these sweet, moist buttermilk muffins. They'll be the first to go at your spring brunch.
Simmer rhubarb with rosé wine and a trio of spices—vanilla bean, cinnamon, and star anise—then serve with vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt for an elegant spring dessert.
Rosy Rhubarb-Meringue Cake
Seeking an over-the-top Easter or spring dessert? Look no further than this sky-high meringue cake topped with fresh whipped cream and homemade rhubarb compote.
Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
Whether you put it on a pedestal or not, this pretty cake with a delicate crumb base is a winner—it's one of Martha's favorite recipes.
Pork Chops with Rhubarb-Cherry Sauce
One for the savory side, this lively sauce matches rhubarb with dried cherries, onion, and a splash of balsamic. It pairs well with pork chops or chicken; also try it spread on a slice of goat-cheese-topped bread for a genius crostini.
Bubbly, fruity, and altogether festive, this fresh take on sangria is made with sparkling wine, orange juice, cooked rhubarb, and strawberries.
Rhubarb Meringue Pie
Better than lemon? We think so; the classic meringue pie is certainly prettier when made with a rhubarb curd.
Baked Thick-Cut Bacon with Rhubarb Chutney
Chutney is a versatile fruity condiment adds another dimension to all kinds of dishes, like cheese, cured meats, and roast chicken or pork. When paired with bacon, it takes brunch to the next level.
As in rhubarb crumb pie; some fruit fillings might be a tad sweet for the crumble topping, but not this one that's all rhubarb.
Rhubarb Salad with Goat Cheese
Fast, delicious, and different, this simple salad combines roasted rhubarb with arugula, fennel, and walnuts in a light balsamic dressing.
Easier than pie and just as tasty (even tastier?) is this crisp. Our recipe calls for rhubarb and strawberries under a crunchy oat topping. Finish with fresh basil leaves.
Poached Rhubarb with Elderflower Sabayon
Simmer rhubarb with water, sugar, vanilla bean, and lemon zest until tender, then finish with a warm, frothy St-Germain-spiked sabayon.
Our most spectacular rhubarb recipe, this gorgeous tart calls for arranging short pieces of rhubarb in a herringbone pattern but it would be just as delicious without the careful arrangement. The combination of tart rhubarb with fragrant vanilla bean is one we're going to try again and again.
Chilled Rhubarb and Raspberry Soup
So refreshing, this sweet-tart dessert soup takes rhubarb far from its usual pie-cake-crisp territory.
Rhubarb Crumb Bars
Going to the sweet—and buttery—side, these streusel bars are an irresistible teatime treat.
Another classic pairing for rhubarb: Here, the plant's sweet-tart flavor shines through in a creamy custard. Our recipe simplifies the technique—no water bath required—but doesn't compromise on taste.
Just three ingredients—lots of rhubarb, some sugar, and a little fresh ginger—create this compote that goes so well with yogurt, ice cream, pound cake, and lots more.
For breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon snack, these glorious rhubarb scones are just the thing. Just a little buckwheat flour added to the all-purpose flour makes them super flavorful. They're especially delicious when served with our pretty Strawberry Butter.
Classic Rhubarb Fool with Farm-Fresh Cream
This classic warm-weather English dessert is light and sweet with the contrasting tartness of rhubarb. And with only three ingredients—rhubarb, cream, and sugar—making it is simplicity itself.