Easy Old Fashioned Honey Rhubarb Sauce (+ Canning Instructions!)

A jar of rhubarb sauce

With so many recipes for rhubarb sauce out there, how do you know which one is the best? I’ll tell you. It’s this one! This Rhubarb sauce recipe is easy, quick, has no fillers or weird instructions, and is sweetened with honey, the good old fashioned way.

Rhubarb is one of those sentimental foods for me. The sour tangy flavor, the pinkish red color, and even the smell all bring back memories of my childhood.

When I was a little girl, I would pick fresh rhubarb in the summertime right in my grandma’s backyard. Underneath her back windows were the huge leaves that we loved to play with too. (But not eat, the leaves can be toxic!)

Rhubarb on a cutting board Recipes

Now my little girls get to pick fresh rhubarb in their grandma’s backyard. It is such a treat for us to walk through the garden and munch on a juicy, tart stalk after playing in the grass.

Rhubarb grows early in the season in my area, and it regrows when you cut it down. So we always get to take home plenty to make our own pies, jams, or sauces.

How to Use Rhubarb Sauce

There are endless possibilities here, folks! Because of rhubarbs tart flavor, it is a great vegetable (yup!) to pair with savory and sweet meals alike.

Rhubarb sauce on a waffle
We love to eat our Rhubarb Sauce on waffles!

From marinating meats, to making rhubarb sauce icecream, here are a bunch of creative ways to use your rhubarb sauce:

  • Marinate Chicken
  • Rub onto Pork Chops
  • Top on Salmon
  • Drizzle on Icecream
  • Spread over Waffles
  • Bake Rhubarb Sauce muffins
  • Make Rhubarb-Apple Sauce
  • Mix into pancakes
  • Make a Yogurt Rhubarb Sauce parfait
  • Add to oatmeal

Can You Make Rhubarb Sauce With Maple Syrup?

making rhubarb sauce

Yes! Making rhubarb sauce with maple syrup gives it a delicious maple flavor.

Maple syrup is ever so slightly less sweet than honey, so you may want to add just a hint more if the sauce isn’t sweet enough for you.

I recommend starting out with a 1-1 swap of maple to honey, letting it cook down until the rhubarb is broken down and thickened, then take a taste. Add more maple by the tablespoon if you desire.

How To Make Rhubarb Sauce With Honey

This recipe comes to me from a vintage cook book I got from my husbands grandmother. The binding is completely crumbling but the recipes are still good!

"The fruit cookbook" Recipes for rhubarb sauce

I love this recipe because it only has TWO ingredients. Rhubarb, and honey.

No water, no cornstarch, no spices (unless you want to experiment!) and no white sugar.

Sometimes, simple is better. To me, this is the best recipe for rhubarb sauce because it is so simple!

Plus it’s easy!

Making the Sauce:

Pick Rhubarb that is tall and ripe. The color is less important than the length. I try to pick rhubarb stalks that are at least 8-10 inches long.

Bring your rhubarb inside and cut off the leaves. Wash the stalks to make sure there are no bugs or dirt left on them.

Chop the rhubarb stalks into half inch thick slices. If your stalks are particularly fat, you can also cut the slices in half the other direction.

Chopping Rhubarb on a cutting board

Place the chopped rhubarb into a sauce pot and pour the honey on top. Stir it all together to make sure the rhubarb is covered. Let it sit for 30 minutes to draw the rhubarb juices out.

honey in a pot, Recipes for rhubarb sauce

After about 30 minutes, bring the mixture to a boil on medium heat. Stir it occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Cook the sauce until the rhubarb is very tender. You can turn the heat down a bit and come check on it every dew minutes. It will dissolve itself and break down into smooth bits.

Wondering how to thicken the sauce?

All you have to do is let it simmer longer. As the rhubarb breaks down and becomes tender, the sauce will smooth and thicken all by itself. You don’t need to add a thickener if you don’t want to!

Once the sauce looks thick enough and smooth enough for you, taste some and add additional honey if you want. I tend to like it on the less sweet side, so sometimes I use even less honey than this base recipe calls for. It’s all up to you!

Boiling a pot of rhubarb sauce

Let the sauce cool, then store it with your method of choice.

Rhubarb sauce lasts in an airtight container for about a week or so in the fridge. Maybe longer, we never have any left to tell!

Can Rhubarb Sauce Be Frozen? How to freeze rhubarb sauce

Yes! In fact, freezing is how I usually store my rhubarb sauce.

I like to freeze my rhubarb sauce in pint sized, wide mouth mason jars. Using wide mouth jars is preferable since they give the sauce more room to expand while freezing.

After the sauce cools, I fill them up and leave about 1-2 inches of head space. Then I screw on the lid and stick it in the freezer! (Don’t forget to label it!)

Leaving headroom is important when freezing liquid in a mason jar. If you don’t the liquid will have nowhere to expand while it freezes and your jar will break.

How To Can Rhubarb Sauce

Honey and Rhubarb

Canning Rhubarb sauce is another great way to store it, since it won’t take up freezer space and only takes a few extra minutes!

In many canning recipes, the rhubarb sauce is actually referred to as a “Rhubarb Stew”, but it is still processed like a fruit.

Did you know that honey can be substituted for sugar fruit-canning recipes? Recipes like this one that are totally honey based are safe for canning, which is awesome!

In fact, fruits can even be canned safely without sugar without needing to adjust the processing time. However, the flavor and texture will obviously change!

To can your rhubarb sauce, don’t allow it to cool after boiling. Pour the rhubarb sauce into hot jars and leave ½ inch headspace. Remove the air bubbles and position lids.

The pressure can, (which is how I can everything), process pints at 5 pounds of pressure, for 8 minutes. Make sure to read the det further canning instructions here and here.

(My recipe as written makes about 3 pints.)

Of all the recipes for rhubarb sauce, you are going to love this one. There is nothing better than old fashioned, honey sweetened, & homemade! Enjoy!

pitcher of rhubarb sauce on counter

Easy Old Fashioned Honey Rhubarb Sauce

This quick and simple Rhubarb Sauce is honey sweetened and can even be canned. Use it to top your favorite breakfasts or desserts, or even as a sweet and tangy meat marinade.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 3 pints


  • 2 Quarts Rhubarb (Chopped into 1/2 inch thick slices)
  • 2/3 Cup Honey


  • Chop the rhubarb into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place into a sauce pot.
  • Pour the honey over the rhubarb, and stir to coat it well. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to draw out the rhubarb juices.
  • After 30 minutes, put the pot on the stove and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until the rhubarb is very tender and starts to dissolve.
  • Once the sauce is thickened how you like, you may add more honey if you desire!
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week, or freeze or can it according to the notes written in the blog post.


To freeze the rhubarb sauce, let the sauce cool and fill your preferred container leaving 1-2 inches of headspace for expansion. 
To can the rhubarb sauce, fill 3 pint jars immediately after boiling and leave 1/2 inch headspace each. Remove air bubbles, position lids, and pressure can at 5 lbs pressure for 8 minutes. Refer to blog post for additional instructions and helpful links regarding altitude changes and quart processing time.
Keyword Condiment, Sauce, Topping

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating