Roasted Rhubarb

An easy summer dessert, just stalks of colorful rhubarb cooked until just soft in the oven then served with Greek yogurt, rice pudding, ice cream or even stirred into the morning oatmeal!

Roasted Rhubarb ♥, an easy summer dessert, rhubarb baked until just soft in the oven.

Simple Summer Dessert, Made from Scratch. Just Three Ingredients. Real Food, Fresh & Fast. Not just easy, Summer Easy. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Easy DIY. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.

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  • "We had it over low-sugar ice cream. What a delight!" ~ Cyndi

Hey, Rhubarb Lovers.

This may not be Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie – ha! one of the "sponsors" of my Minnesota favorite Prairie Home Companion – but it’ll have rhubarb lovers bopping around the kitchen with excitement.

Easy to make? Check. Flexible to serve? Check. An easy summer dessert? Check again.

Delicious? Triple check.

About This Recipe

Roasted Rhubarb is a simple baked rhubarb dessert (a little different than a sauce or a compote) and a simple method for cooking rhubarb, either fresh or frozen rhubarb. Just toss the cut-up rhubarb with a little sugar and lemon juice, then bake in the oven until it softens.

In a sense, Roasted Rhubarb is like a rhubarb crisp or a rhubarb crumble or a rhubarb clafouti only "naked" – no crispy crust, no buttery crumble, no custard – just the warm, barely sweet fruit.

(Ahem, for the record, rhubarb is a vegetable but in culinary circles, we cook it like fruit.)

There are only three ingredients, each one is distinctive. The rhubarb itself is the star, its puckery sourness is offset by a small measure of sugar and brightened with lemon juice.

Ingredient List = fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb + lemon juice + sugar. Surprised? Yes, that's it!

It takes about 10 minutes to prep the rhubarb for roasting, then about another 30 minutes in the oven.

Roasted Rhubarb's color is dependent on the rhubarb itself. Some rhubarb varieties have bright red stalks which turn into pretty red cooked rhubarb. Other varieties have light green stalks which roast into pretty, pale green cooked rhubarb.

A half pound (225g) of rhubarb makes enough for four servings, this assumes the rhubarb is served with something else: think Greek yogurt or a thick yogurt like labneh, rice pudding, maybe a creamy stovetop custard like the custard I've made my entire adult life. Or vanilla ice cream!

How to Roast Rhubarb: It's Soooo Easy!

Roasting rhubarb is as easy as it gets.

  • Set the oven at 300F, that's 150C for most of the world.
  • If you're using frozen rhubarb, just let thaw it enough that you can break apart the pieces, other than that, zero prep work.
  • If you're new to fresh rhubarb, you may be wondering how to prep it.
  • Wash the rhubarb, just the stalks. Rhubarb leaves are beautiful but contain oxalic acid which in large volumes (like several pounds worth) can be poisonous to people and pets.
  • Think about what you'd like the rhubarb to look like for serving. Will "chunks" look better? They're a little easier to eat. Would "lengths" be more dramatic? Both work great, your call. Trim off and discard the ends of each stalk, then cut into chunks or lengths.
  • Toss the rhubarb with a little lemon juice and sugar. Yes, just three ingredients!
  • Arrange the rhubarb pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet, you might want to line it with parchment paper first to capture the juices and for easy clean-up. This recipe uses just a half pound of rhubarb, a small batch. While you don't want to "mound" the rhubarb pieces, do collect them in the center of the baking sheet, this keeps the juices from spreading out too much, risking burning.
  • Now bake the rhubarb (remember, "bake" is another word for roasting) for about 30 minutes, stirring after 15 or 20 minutes. Check occasionally, you want the rhubarb to soften and get juicy, not burn.
  • Once the rhubarb has softened – and turned all sweet and juicy – it's ready to serve. It's extra-lovely warm but also wonderful at room temperature.

Why Roast Rhubarb in the Oven? Why Not Just Cook It on the Stove?

The answer is simple: same ingredients, different results.

For my family's old-fashioned favorite Custard with Rhubarb Sauce, the rhubarb is cooked on the stove with sugar, with a bit of lemon juice stirred in at the end.

Rhubarb is a little like celery, in that it can get stringy when cooked. Roasting rhubarbs avoids that risk of stringiness, it's easier to keep the rhubarb pieces intact, cooked but slightly firm.

In addition, roasting is hands-off, freeing activity and attention for other things.

Roasted Rhubarb ♥, an easy summer dessert, rhubarb baked until just soft in the oven.

Is All Rhubarb Red? No!

Not all rhubarb is red! I have both "Canadian Red" and a soft-green colored rhubarb growing in my side garden.

But no doubt, that beautiful red color is worth seeking out. If you're picking through rhubarb stalks at the grocery store, look for ones which are the most bright red, both on the outer skin and inside.

But if what you have is green, it has its own beauty and has that same wonderful sour taste that we rhubarb lovers covet.

Another idea, throw a few strawberries into the mix, they'll enhance the red color and heaven knows, rhubarb and strawberries are a classic spring combo.

How to Make Vanilla Sugar

My Roasted Rhubarb calls for vanilla sugar, an ingredient that's common in European baking but much less common in the U.S.

Vanilla sugar is plain granulated sugar that's been infused with vanilla flavor and scent. Some times you can find small packets of pre-made vanilla sugar in the baking aisle but good news, it's easy to make at home in larger (but still small) batches.

Since vanilla sugar is usually used in small amounts, you might want to start with just 1 or 2 cups of sugar.

For every cup of sugar, use one fresh and plump vanilla bean. With a small sharp knife, cut into the center of the vanilla bean, top to bottom, without cutting through the bean. (The fresher the bean, the easier this is but don't worry if your beans are pretty dried out, they work too.) With the knife or your fingers, open the vanilla bean, revealing tiny bits of vanilla seeds/flecks in the center. With the flat of the knife, scrape out these seeds/flecks and drop them into the sugar. With the back of a spoon, press the seeds/flecks into the sugar to distribute them throughout.

Put the sugar into a glass jar with a tight lid, preferably one with some extra room. Insert the vanilla bean into the sugar, cutting it if needed so it'll fit. Now shake well, distributing the vanilla even more.

Now comes the only hard part! Wait at least two weeks for the vanilla flavor to develop, shaking the bottle occasionally.

But here's the good news. The vanilla sugar will keep for months, let's even say up to a year.

In fact, if you ever use vanilla beans for something else, just the scrapings, just stick that "used up" ol' vanilla bean right into the sugar, it'll still impart vanilla flavor. In this way, you can develop stronger and stronger vanilla sugar over time, just by adding vanilla beans and even replenishing the sugar too.

One last thing. Vanilla beans are super-expensive at the grocery store. Instead, I order whole vanilla beans from where vanilla beans aren't exactly cheap but are less expensive.

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this simple rhubarb recipe hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Roasted Rhubarb ♥, an easy summer dessert, rhubarb cooked until just soft in the oven.


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 40 minutes
Serves 4
  • 8 ounces (225g) fresh or frozen rhubarb
  • Juice of a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) vanilla sugar or plain sugar

Heat oven to 300F/150C. Cut the rhubarb stalks into chunks or lengths. Toss them with lemon juice and sugar. Arrange the rhubarb in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes, just until soft and warmed through, juicy but not yet "sauce". Serve warm or at room temperature.

ALANNA’s TIPS I’ve served Roasted Rhubarb over Greek yogurt and rice pudding – parfaits would be sexy to serve! It’s great for breakfast, just stir some into your morning oatmeal and lovely with cool, creamy custard too. Vanilla sugar is quite special in Roasted Rhubarb. If there's time, you may want to DIY it, How to Make Vanilla Sugar. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving (assumes 4): 61 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 2mg Sodium; 16g Carb; 1g Fiber; 13g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 3 & Freestyle & myWW green 3 & blue 3 & purple 3 & future WW points CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 1-2/3 servings (1g protein).

Rhubarb Lovers, Rejoice!

~ rhubarb recipes ~
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Perfect All-Rhubarb Pie ♥, a summer masterpiece and a perfect balance of sweet and tart and cinnamon.

Rhubarb Cake ♥, simple, rustic rhubarb cake, less sweet to really taste rhubarb's 'sour'.
  • THE RECIPE Rhubarb Cake Simple and rustic, less sweet to taste rhubarb's wonderful "sour".
  • ANOTHER TAKE Rhubarb Muffins Whole grain, less sweet.

Upside-Down Rhubarb Cheesecake ♥, layers of fresh or frozen rhubarb and cheesecake, that luscious combination of rhubarb-sour and cheesecake-creamy. Make it in a simple pie plate or in cute mini ramekins!

More "Summer Easy" Sweet Endings

~ easy summer desserts ~
Easy Summer Recipes ♥, a collection of easy-to-remember and memorable recipes especially for summer. Less cookin'. More livin'. It's the summer's motto!
Mojito Strawberries ♥, a quick and simple strawberry dessert inspired by the Cuban cocktail called the mojito.

Naked Peach Cobbler ♥, a peach cobbler makeover, all about the peaches, saving 200 calories by skipping the topping. But if someone in the family wants a topping? It's super easy to mix 'n' match, some with, some without.

Grape Salad with Almonds & Cilantro ♥, an unusual fruit salad (grapes, mango, apples, etc), savory and sweet at the same time.

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~ rhubarb ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2009 & 20222

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. But you must admit that the red one looks soooo much more appealing (the colour of rhubarb on that top photo is stunning!!)

  2. This recipe has my teeth on edge! Just thinking about not-totally-cooked rhubarb makes me shudder - LOL. Sorry Alanna, but I don't think I'll try this one ;-p.

  3. Yummy...sounds delicious...mouthwatering snapshots.

  4. Alanna,

    At the age of 52, I had rhubarb last night for the first time in my life - and I used your idea for roasting it. We had it over low-sugar ice cream. What a delight! My husband says he remembers eating mushy, stringy rhubarb as a child - his mother would cook it in a pot and serve it with nothing else. So for years he's resisted my trying it. Now we are sooo glad we did. It was wonderful. Next up is another new-to-me vegetable, bok choy.

  5. Pille ~ Thanks! The red is pretty, for sure!

    Kevin ~ So easy, SO yum.

    Sally ~ Oh I wish I could make this for you!

    Dave ~ Thanks!

    Cyndi ~ Good for you and your husband for being adventurous eaters! I'm so glad you loved the rhubarb, its simplicity stuns me.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna