Zesty Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe (Dessert Cravers Heaven)

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Keep in mind the allure of a simple yet tantalizing sauce. I advise you to try the Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe . At the same time, remember the universal rule: the best things you can do in the kitchen involve fresh ingredients. This sauce is perfect for desserts, pancakes, or even toast. You must try adding a dollop to your favorite dessert. All you need are ripe strawberries and fresh rhubarb.

Navigating the bustling markets of the Middle, amidst the aroma of exotic spices, I was reminded of the simple yet unique flavor profiles I’d experienced during my European travels. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe

One particular sauce, reminiscent of a Parisian bistro and a friend’s cozy kitchen in Istanbul, always stood out: the Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce. Many struggle with finding the perfect balance between sweet and tart in their sauces. 

On a visit to a renowned restaurant in Rome, I felt the same dilemma. A chef’s advice? Try the Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe. 

Following his recommendation led to a revelation. All you need is the right blend of ripe strawberries and fresh rhubarb. 

Keep in mind achieving this balance is vital. You’ll get a sauce perfect for various dishes that captures my culinary adventures’ essence. 

Whether it’s a request from eager kids or a memory from travels afar, this sauce never disappoints.

What Is Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce?

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce is a delightful combination of sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb, simmered together until they reach a saucy consistency. 

Often sweetened with sugar or honey, this sauce boasts a vibrant red hue, making it delicious and visually appealing. 

It’s perfect for drizzling over pancakes, ice cream, or desserts. At the same time, it’s versatile enough to pair with savory dishes. 

While strawberries provide the sweetness, rhubarb lends a tangy contrast, creating a harmonious flavor profile. 

History Of Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe 

The exact origins of the Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce are somewhat elusive. However, originally from Asia, rhubarb made its way to Europe in the medieval ages and was primarily used for medicinal purposes. 

Only in the 18th century, particularly in England, that rhubarb began to be recognized for its culinary potential. On the other hand, strawberries have been enjoyed for centuries. 

The combination of these two ingredients likely emerged in the kitchens of England or America. 

While it’s challenging to pinpoint a singular inventor, this sauce is a testament to culinary experimentation, blending old-world ingredients in new, delightful ways.

Interesting Facts About Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe

Dive into the intriguing world of Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce with these fascinating facts. Here are some popular facts about the recipe.

Ancient Roots

While the sauce is modern, strawberries and rhubarb have histories dating back thousands of years, with rhubarb cultivated in China as early as 2700 BC.

Medicinal Use

Rhubarb was first imported to Europe for its medicinal properties, not as a food ingredient.

Color Variation

Depending on the rhubarb’s variety, the sauce can range from deep red to light pink.

Natural Pectin

Strawberries have natural pectin, which helps give the sauce a thick consistency.


Beyond desserts, this sauce is used as a base for salad dressings, or meat glazes in some culinary traditions.

Cultural Significance

The pairing is especially popular in North American and European springtime recipes, marking the start of the fruit harvest season.

Low in Calories

Despite its sweet taste, the sauce is relatively low in calories when minimal sugar is added.

Jar and ingredients

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

The Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce, while universally adored, has seen various regional adaptations:

  • North America: Often thickened with cornstarch, it’s a favorite pie filling or pancake topper.
  • UK: It’s sometimes blended with orange zest for a citrusy kick and served alongside scones or clotted cream.
  • France: Paired with light pastries or crepes, they sometimes add a vanilla or rose water splash for an aromatic touch.
  • Middle-East: While not traditional, modern interpretations infuse it with cardamom or pair it with yogurt-based desserts.
  • Scandinavia: The sauce might be spiced with ginger or cloves and served warm during colder months.

What Will Make You Love This Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe?

Here are some compelling reasons that will make you adore the Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe:

  • Balanced Flavors: It strikes a harmonious note between the sweetness of strawberries and the tangy bite of rhubarb.
  • Versatility: Perfect for drizzling over pancakes, swirling into yogurt, or enhancing savory dishes.
  • Simplicity: All you need are fresh ingredients and a bit of time, and you’ll get a sauce that speaks of homemade goodness.
  • Vibrant Hue: Its deep red color adds an eye-catching touch to any dish.
  • Health Benefits: It’s a tasty way to add nutrition packed with vitamins and fiber.
  • Culinary Adventure: It captures the essence of traditional European flavors and modern culinary creativity.
  • Seasonal Delight: Celebrates spring’s fresh produce, reminding you of nature’s bounty.
Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe

Ingredients List

Fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed4 cups (sliced)
Frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed1 (10 ounce) package
Water1/2 cup
Quick-cooking tapioca1/4 cup
Sugar1 cup
Red food coloring4 drops

Ingredient Tips 

  • Rhubarb Selection: Choose firm, crisp stalks. Redder stalks usually yield a sweeter taste.
  • Strawberry Freshness: If using fresh strawberries, ensure they’re ripe but firm to the touch.
  • Water: Filtered water ensures no extraneous flavors interfere with the sauce.
  • Tapioca Alternative: If you don’t have quick-cooking tapioca, add cornstarch as a thickening agent.
  • Sugar Variations: Consider using brown sugar or honey for a different flavor profile.
  • Natural Coloring: If you prefer a natural approach, beet juice can replace red food coloring for a vibrant hue.
  • Storage: Keep rhubarb and fresh strawberries in the refrigerator before use to maintain freshness.
  • Preparation: When slicing rhubarb, remove and discard any leaves, as they contain oxalic acid and can be toxic.

What Are The Variations Of Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe?

The Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe can be customized in various delightful ways:

  • Spiced Up: Add a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom for a warming touch.
  • Zesty Twist: Introduce some lemon or orange zest for a citrusy freshness.
  • Natural Sweeteners: Replace sugar with honey or maple syrup for a nuanced sweetness.
  • Tropical Flare: Mix in some diced pineapple or mango for a tropical variation.
  • Berry Delight: Add blueberries or raspberries to the mix for a berry-packed version.
  • Chia Boost: After cooking, stir in chia seeds, allowing them to swell, adding texture and nutritional value.
  • Ginger Kick: A hint of grated fresh ginger can provide a spicy, aromatic undertone.
  • Creamy Blend: Blend the sauce with a bit of yogurt or cream for a luxurious, velvety finish.

Recipe Directions

Cooking Method: Microwave

  • In a 2-qt. In a microwave-safe dish, combine the fruit (strawberries and rhubarb), water, and tapioca.
  • Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes, allowing the tapioca to absorb the liquid.
  • Cover the dish and microwave on high for 6 minutes.
  • Stir the mixture, ensuring even cooking, and then continue to cook for another 4 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender.
  • Add in the sugar and stir until it’s fully dissolved.
  • Cover and microwave the sugared mixture for another 2 minutes.
  • If desired, stir in the red food coloring to enhance the sauce’s color.
  • The sauce can be served immediately while warm, or you can let it cool and then refrigerate it to serve it chilled.

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce: a symphony of sweet and tart, transforming desserts and breakfasts into gourmet treats.

Scaling The Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe

Scaling the Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce recipe can be straightforward, but there are key points to remember:

  • Double or Halve: The simplest method is to double or halve ingredients. Need to serve more? Double up. Serving just a few? Cut in half.
  • Cooking Time: If scaling up, add a few minutes to ensure even cooking. If scaling down, check for doneness earlier.
  • Container Size: Ensure your microwave-safe dish can accommodate the increased volume when scaling up.
  • Taste: Taste as you go. You might need to adjust the sweetness slightly, especially when increasing the batch.
  • Consistency: Larger batches might need more tapioca for thickness, while smaller ones might need less.
  • Storage: Larger batches mean more sauce; ensure adequate storage space.
Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads?

Absolutely! The Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce’s versatile nature makes it perfect for various culinary uses:

  • Marinade: Its sweet-tart profile can be a delightful base for marinating meats, especially poultry. However, you might need to mix savory elements like garlic or herbs.
  • Dipping Sauce: Try adding a bit of chili or ginger to kick it. It pairs well with spring rolls, fried foods, or grilled meats.
  • Dressing for Salads: Mix it with vinegar, olive oil, and mustard, creating a fruity vinaigrette. It’s perfect for leafy greens or fruit salads.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce?

The Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce, with its delightful blend of sweet and tart, pairs seamlessly with various dishes:


Vanilla ice cream, panna cotta, or cheesecake benefit from its vibrant flavor contrast.


Drizzle it over pancakes and waffles, or fold it into oatmeal for a fruity twist.

Grilled Meats

Especially poultry and pork, where the sauce can act as a glaze or a side.

Baked Goods

Muffins, scones, or biscuits are elevated with a dollop of this sauce.

Yogurt and Parfaits

Enhance the layers with this tangy addition.


Brie or camembert pair wonderfully with its sweetness, perfect for charcuterie boards.


Fill or top them with the sauce for a delightful brunch.


Especially those with goat cheese, nuts, or more fruits, benefiting from its tangy dressing potential.

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipes?

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce has graced many classic dishes, offering its unique flavor profile:

  • Strawberry Rhubarb Pie: An iconic dessert where the sauce acts as a flavorful filling.
  • Puddings & Custards: The sauce provides a tart contrast atop creamy desserts.
  • Parfaits: Layers of yogurt, granola, and sauce create a delightful treat.
  • Pancakes and French Toast: Drizzled on top for a fruity morning boost.
  • Ice Cream Sundae: A scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with the sauce and nuts is timeless.
  • Rhubarb Strawberry Jam: A thicker version, perfect for spreading on toast.
  • Tarts: Mini or full-sized, these pastries often feature the sauce as a primary filling.
  • Cheesecake: A classic creamy cheesecake with this sauce is a match made in heaven.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe Offers?

The Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe presents a captivating dance of flavors and sensations:

  • Sweetness: Strawberries provide a natural sugary delight, further enhanced by added sugar.
  • Tartness: Rhubarb brings a distinct tangy bite, balancing the sauce’s sweetness.
  • Fruity: The combination of strawberries and rhubarb offers a fresh, fruity aroma and taste.
  • Richness: The sauce’s consistency, especially with tapioca, adds a velvety richness.
  • Warmth: When served warm, it imparts a comforting, cozy sensation.
  • Refreshing: Served chilled, it becomes a cool, refreshing treat.
  • Complexity: The interplay between sweet and sour ensures a layered, intriguing palate experience.
  • Brightness: The vibrant red hue reflects a bright, uplifting flavor profile.
Jar and Spoon

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

Yes, the Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce can be stored and preserved for future use:

  • Refrigeration: In an airtight container, the sauce can last up to a week in the refrigerator.
  • Freezing: Fix the sauce in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags for extended storage. It can last up to 12 months but consume within 6 months for optimal flavor.
  • Canning: To preserve for extended periods, you can use the canning method. Properly canned and sealed, the sauce can last up to a year in a cool, dark place.
  • Shelf Life: Once opened or refrigerated, consuming within a week is best for the freshest taste.

What Are The Substitutes For Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce?

While Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce offers a unique flavor, if you’re in a pinch or looking for variations, consider these substitutes:

  • Berry Compotes: A mixed or single berry (like raspberry or blueberry) compote can provide a fruity, tangy profile.
  • Cranberry Sauce: Its tartness can closely resemble rhubarb’s tang.
  • Apple Sauce: Provides a milder, sweeter alternative and a similar texture.
  • Peach Preserves: Offers a different kind of fruity sweetness with a luscious consistency.
  • Mango Chutney: Can serve as an exotic substitute with sweet and tangy flavors.
  • Pomegranate Molasses: For a tangy and rich flavor, albeit with a thicker consistency.
  • Cherry Reduction: Cooked-down cherries with sugar can mimic the sweet-tart balance.
  • Lingonberry Jam: Commonly found in Scandinavian dishes, it has a tartness akin to rhubarb.
Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

Adjusting the consistency of the Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce can be achieved with a few simple techniques:

  • Thicken: Add more quick-cooking tapioca or cornstarch mixed with a little water. Cook until the desired thickness is reached.
  • Thin Out: If the sauce is too thick, add small amounts of water or fruit juice and simmer briefly.
  • Blending: Blend the sauce using a hand or countertop blender for a smoother consistency.
  • Reduce: Simmer the sauce longer, allowing excess water to evaporate, resulting in a thicker consistency.
  • Straining: Stain out the fruit pieces for a clearer, more liquid sauce.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

Whether to serve the Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce cold or warm largely depends on its intended use and personal preference:

  • Cold: After refrigeration, the sauce has a refreshing quality. It’s perfect for summer desserts, with ice cream or atop cold cheesecakes.
  • Warm: Serving it warm brings out its comforting attributes. It’s ideal drizzled over pancakes, waffles, or warm puddings.
  • Dishes: Warm sauce works best for savory applications, like a glaze for grilled meats. Conversely, a chilled version is preferred for fruit salads or yogurt parfaits.
  • Texture: Cooling the sauce can slightly thicken its consistency while warming it may make it more fluid.
Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values

The Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce is a delightful blend of nutrition and flavor. Rich in vitamin C from strawberries, it helps boost immunity. 

Rhubarb contributes dietary fiber, aiding digestion. However, the added sugar raises the calorie content, so moderation is key. 

The sauce also provides trace amounts of calcium, potassium, and antioxidants. While it’s not a significant source of protein or fats, its vibrant mix offers a refreshing, nutritionally enriched complement to various dishes.

What Are The Total Calories In Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce?

One would need the exact measurements and specific ingredients to determine the total calories in Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce, as different brands and variations can affect the calorie count. However, a general estimate for a basic recipe:

  • Rhubarb: 20-25 calories/cup
  • Strawberries: 50 calories/cup
  • Sugar: 774 calories/cup

Considering other minor ingredients, a typical serving (about a quarter cup) of Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce might contain approximately 50-80 calories. 

Tangy rhubarb and sweet strawberries meld in a delightful dance of flavor; perfect for drizzling or dipping.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce 

The Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce caters to various dietary needs, but here are some potential restrictions and considerations:

  • Vegan: As long as no animal-derived products like honey are used, it’s suitable for vegans.
  • Gluten-Free: Inherently gluten-free; however, ensure no cross-contamination in preparation.
  • Nut-Free: Naturally nut-free, but always check cross-contamination, especially if using store-bought ingredients.
  • Diabetic: High in natural sugars and added sugars, which may not be suitable for people with diabetes.
  • Low-Calorie: While relatively low in calories, moderation is critical due to sugar content.
  • Paleo: Sugar and certain tapiocas might not be paleo-friendly; opt for natural sweeteners.
  • Keto: Not suitable due to high sugar and carb content.
  • Allergies: Rare but possible allergies to strawberries or rhubarb should be considered.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

While making the Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce, a few common pitfalls can impact the final result:

  • Overcooking Rhubarb: This can make it too mushy, causing it to lose its distinct texture.
  • Too Much Sugar: Adding excessive sugar can overpower the tartness of the rhubarb, negating the balance.
  • Skimping on Rest Time: Not allowing the tapioca to rest might result in a sauce that’s not adequately thickened.
  • Uneven Cooking: In microwaves, uneven cooking can lead to some parts being overcooked while others remain undercooked.
  • Inconsistent Slicing: Unevenly sliced rhubarb can lead to inconsistent texture and uneven cooking.
  • Overuse of Food Coloring: Too much can give an artificial appearance and flavor.
  • Not Adjusting to Taste: It’s crucial to taste as you go and adjust sweetness or tartness as needed.
  • Improper Storage: Not storing it in an airtight container or leaving it out for too long can reduce its shelf life.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

Leftover Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce can be repurposed in imaginative ways:

  • Smoothie Base: Blend with yogurt and ice for a fruity drink.
  • Cocktail Mixer: Mix with gin or vodka and top with soda for a refreshing beverage.
  • Gelato Swirl: Swirl into homemade vanilla gelato or ice cream.
  • Fruit Salad Dressing: Drizzle over a mix of fresh fruits.
  • Muffin Filling: Add inside muffin batter before baking for a sweet center.
  • Toast Spread: Spread on toast with cream cheese or butter.
  • Oatmeal Flavoring: Mix into morning oats or porridge.
  • Popsicle Ingredient: Freeze with yogurt or coconut milk for fruity popsicles.
Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Microwave-Safe Dish: Essential for cooking the sauce evenly in the microwave.
  • Stirring Spoon: Preferably wooden or silicone to mix ingredients without scratching the dish.
  • Measuring Cups and spoons: For precise ingredient portions.
  • Blender/Hand Blender: If a smoother consistency is desired.
  • Strainer: Useful if you prefer a sauce without fruit chunks.
  • Airtight Containers: For storing leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Canning Jars: If you plan to preserve the sauce for extended periods.
  • Thermometer: Useful for ensuring the sauce reaches a safe temperature, especially if canning.
  • Saucepan: If you cook the sauce on a stovetop instead of a microwave.
  • Ladle: For transferring the sauce into storage containers without spills.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Use Fresh Strawberries Instead Of Frozen Ones?

Yes, fresh strawberries can be used. Ensure they are ripe but still firm for the best results.

How Long Can I Store The Sauce In The Refrigerator?

The sauce can last up to a week in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container.

Is There An Alternative To Using Sugar In The Recipe?

Certainly! You can substitute sugar with alternatives like honey, maple syrup, or even artificial sweeteners, adjusting to taste.

Can I Cook The Sauce On The Stovetop Instead Of A Microwave?

Yes, you can simmer the sauce on the stovetop, stirring occasionally until the rhubarb is tender and the sauce reaches the desired consistency.

Is The Food Coloring Necessary?

The food coloring is optional and primarily used to enhance the visual appeal of the sauce. If you prefer a natural approach, you can skip it without affecting the flavor.

Zesty Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe (Dessert Cravers Heaven)

5 from 2 votes
Course: Sauces


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Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce is a delightful, fruity condiment that combines the sweet and tart flavors of ripe strawberries and tangy rhubarb. Simmered with sugar and a hint of lemon juice, this sauce is a vibrant red, making it perfect as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, pancakes, or as a filling for pies and desserts. It’s a versatile and delicious way to enjoy the flavors of spring and summer.


  • 4 cups 4 Fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed ¬†(sliced)

  • 10 ounce 10 Frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Water

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 Quick-cooking tapioca

  • 1 cup 1 Sugar

  • 4 4 Red food coloring (¬†drops)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Prepare Ingredients: Gather your strawberries, rhubarb, water, tapioca, sugar, and optional food coloring.
  • Combine In Dish: In a 2-qt. Combine the strawberries, rhubarb, water, and tapioca in a microwave-safe dish. Mix them well.
  • Let Stand: Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes, ensuring the tapioca starts to absorb some liquid.
  • First Microwave Phase: Cover the dish with its lid or a microwave-safe cover. Microwave on high for 6 minutes.
  • Stir And Check: Remove the dish and stir the mixture well, ensuring even cooking.
  • Second Microwave Phase: Cover again and microwave for another 4 minutes or until you find the rhubarb has turned tender.
  • Add Sugar: Once out of the microwave, stir in the sugar until it’s well dissolved.
  • Final Microwave Phase: Cover the dish and microwave for 2 minutes, ensuring the sugar is well incorporated.
  • Food Coloring: If you’re aiming for a more vibrant color, stir in a few drops of food coloring until you achieve the desired hue.
  • Serve: Depending on your preference, serve the sauce either warm, right out of the microwave, or let it cool and refrigerate to serve chilled later.

Recipe Video


  • Sweetness: Always adjust sugar according to the rhubarb’s tartness and the strawberries’ sweetness.
  • Consistency: The sauce naturally thickens upon cooling; keep this in mind when adjusting its consistency during cooking.
  • Variations: Easily adaptable. Incorporate other fruits or flavors for unique twists.
  • Nutrition: While flavorful, remember it’s high in sugar, so moderation is essential for those watching sugar intake.
  • Pairings: Its flavor profile makes it an excellent companion to sweet and savory dishes. Experiment to find your perfect pairing!
  • Seasonality: Best made during spring when strawberries and rhubarb are in season, ensuring optimal flavor and freshness.

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