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Strawberry and rhubarb are magical together. Strawberry rhubarb sauce is one of the easiest, most rewarding ways to enjoy this epic flavor combo. And it’s equally at home at breakfast or dessert!

strawberry rhubarb sauce in jam jars
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Why we love this recipe

This timeless flavor combination is one of the gifts that spring gives us for having put us through winter. Cooking the fruit down together with a little bit of brown sugar gently amplifies the magic without getting in its way. This compote is:

  • Super-easy to make
  • Lightly sweet, bright, and almost floral
  • Great for breakfast (think yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles)
  • Great for dessert (think ice cream, crêpes, mini tart shells)
  • Freezable

Ingredients

Here’s all you need to make this recipe.

rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, and water in bowls
  • Halve or quarter the strawberries depending on size. Try to have all fruit in similar-sized pieces.
  • Slice the rhubarb stalks into 1/2-inch segments.
  • For brown sugar, you can be very flexible. When we have light Muscovado sugar in the house, I like to use that for its more nuanced, slightly smoky flavor. But regular light brown sugar works great too, and you could experiment with other sweeteners if you like.

How to make it

Here’s what you’ll do to make this recipe. It’s super-easy and just needs about 20 minutes to cook down.

steps to make strawberry rhubarb sauce
  1. Remove and discard any leaves from the rhubarb, and trim the ends. Then slice into segments. Hull and halve (or quarter) the strawberries.
  2. Stir everything up in a medium pot.
  3. Simmer it uncovered until the fruit breaks down and some of the water has cooked off.
  4. Pour it into jars and let cool slightly before serving, thoroughly before keeping in the fridge.

Expert tips and FAQs

How long does this recipe keep?

You can keep this sauce in a nice cold fridge for up to two weeks and in the freezer for up to a year.

Does strawberry rhubarb sauce freeze well?

Is sure does! You can freeze it for up to a year.

What is compote, anyway?

Compote comes from the Latin word for mixture. It’s fruit simmered in sugar, sometimes with additional seasonings. This dish has medieval roots and was originally thought to balance the effects of humidity on the body. I…just eat it because it tastes great.

Can you freeze rhubarb?

You can! If you want to make this or other recipes out of season, here’s how to do it quickly and easily.

Can you can this recipe?

We don’t recommend canning this recipe. Try our Strawberry Rhubarb Jam instead!

Optional additions and substitutions

I love the simplicity of this basic strawberry rhubarb sauce. But you can have fun adding flavors if you like! Here are some places to start:

  • A sprig of fresh rosemary and one of thyme
  • A pinch of ground cardamom, a pinch of ground cinnamon, some grated ginger and/or a splash of vanilla extract (added after cooking)
  • A little bit of orange
  • Replace some or all of the brown sugar with honey or maple syrup

How to serve strawberry rhubarb sauce

This is one of those fun, flexible recipes that can just as easily be breakfast as dessert. Here are some of our favorite things to spoon it over:

strawberry rhubarb sauce (compote) in a jam jar

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strawberry rhubarb sauce in a jam jar
5 from 2 votes

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce (Strawberry Rhubarb Compote)

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
The bright flavor of this simple, versatile strawberry rhubarb sauce is deepened by a bit of brown sugar. You can use more intense, brooding Muscovado sugar to lean into that side of things if you like. It's fabulous either way.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound (454 grams) rhubarb stalks, sliced into 1/2-inch segments
  • 1 pound (454 grams) strawberries, halved
  • ½ cup (106 grams) light brown sugar or light Muscovado sugar
  • ½ cup water

Instructions 

  • Place all ingredients in a medium pot.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer briskly, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  • Cool slightly (or completely if you like) before serving.

Notes

  1. You can use either regular brown sugar or Muscovado sugar in this recipe. Muscovado sugar has natural molasses and a deeper flavor, which is a nice counterpart to the brightness of rhubarb. Both options are great!
  2. Strawberry rhubarb sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to a year.
  3. Here are some fun optional add-ins: A sprig of fresh rosemary and one of thyme // A pinch of ground cardamom, a pinch of ground cinnamon, some grated ginger and/or a splash of vanilla extract (added after cooking) // A little bit of orange

Nutrition

Calories: 43kcal, Carbohydrates: 10.5g, Protein: 0.6g, Fat: 0.2g, Fiber: 1.4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Sauces and Condiments
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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8 Comments

  1. Nice shot you took. This is my first time here and I must compliment you on this very well-designed site. I can’t comment about rhubarb though, as we don’t have it here. Cheers!

  2. I just love the color and the flavor of rhubarb….
    This recipe sound so wonderful… Totally Bookmarked!

  3. Hi, this is a great post. I wondered if you would like to link it in to the new Food on Friday which is running right now over at Carole’s Chatter. We are collecting recipes using rhubarb. This is the link . I hope you pop over to check it out. There are some great recipes already linked in.

  4. I’m now hoping I have some rhubarb left because this sounds delicious! The perfect way to welcome in the warmer weather, if it ever arrives…

  5. I have not tried rhubarb before. But I am willing to try this because I love strawberry. The food looks so yummy and sweet. It is really nice to try it on spring since the delicious taste seems to complement everything. It will be great dessert for everyone. Thanks for the recipe

  6. Oh, love this! We’ve been having our own “springter” here in Denver… so no sign of rhubarb yet. This time last year, however, in sunny San Diego, I was making compote out my ears and putting it on oatmeal and scones and the like. SO MUCH YUM.