How to Make Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce – Fresh or Frozen Fruit

This strawberry rhubarb sauce is a delicious, versatile sauce that captures the taste of spring. Make this delicious topping with fresh or frozen fruit.

strawberry rhubarb sauce in bowl
The sweet tangy taste of spring!

Also Read: Mandarin Orange Sauce, Stewed Rhubarb, Blueberry Sauce

Use whatever combination of fresh and frozen strawberries and rhubarb you have. In early spring, I often use fresh rhubarb and frozen strawberries.

pancakes on fork with strawberry rhubarb sauce
Perfect for topping all your breakfast favourites.

 Recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

strawberry rhubarb sauce
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

Enjoy this versatile sauce on its own or use it as a topping for oatmeal, ice cream, yogurt, cake, waffles or pancakes or use in other recipes like smoothies, muffins, overnight oats, chia pudding, etc.
Prep : 5 mins
Cook : 15 mins
Servings: 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced rhubarb (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups diced strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2-2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch

Instructions

  • In large saucepan, bring rhubarb, strawberries and 1/2 cup water to boil, about 5-8 minutes. No need to thaw frozen fruit, but be sure to cut it to 1/4 to 1/2 inch equal sized pieces.
  • Add lemon juice and sugar and simmer until fruit is as tender as you'd like. If you like visible pieces of fruit only cook 2-3 minutes, if you like very tender fruit 5-10 minutes.
  • When rhubarb and strawberries are desired tenderness, mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup water until fully dissolved and stir into fruit mixture. Bring to boil, stirring continually. Cook for another 2 minutes until sauce thickens and becomes glossy.
  • Taste and adjust sweetness to your liking. Remove from heat and let cool. Mixture will thicken further as it cools.
  • Keep in fridge for up to 5 days. Fruit sauce with cornstarch does not freeze well.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dessert sauce, frozen fruit, fruit sauce, rhubarb, strawberries
strawberry rhubarb sauce on oatmeal
Strawberry rhubarb sauce on oatmeal and yogurt.

How Tender Do You Like Your Fruit?

I love having visible pieces of fruit in my sauce. To do this, cook the sauce as briefly as possible. It takes about 7-12 minutes of cooking time to sufficiently heat the fruit before adding the cornstarch. Longer cooking time will soften the fruit further, especially the rhubarb which will disintegrate into small pieces.

side by side sauces cooked different lengths
Simply by cooking fruit longer, you’ll get a finer textured sauce. Notice the sauce on the right has more defined pieces of fruit.

If you prefer a very smooth sauce, in addition to cooking the fruit longer, puree your sauce with a blender or strain it through a sieve. For both of these options, I recommend you puree or strain before you add the corn starch. Add the pureed mix back to the pot, heat and then add dissolved cornstarch and boil for 3-5 minutes. You can also adjust sweetness at this point if you’d like.

labneh cheesecake with strawberry rhubarb sauce
Strawberry rhubarb sauce perfect topping for labneh cheesecake.

Ingredients for Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

Strawberries & Rhubarb

Do you prefer more strawberries or more rhubarb? Whichever you prefer – this sauce is totally customizable so change the proportions to what you love most. When you use more strawberries than rhubarb, your sauce will have less natural thickness, so I recommend you use the cornstarch to thicken it.

Want to use just strawberries? Yup, you can do that!

Want to use just rhubarb? Of course, you can do that too! Check out this stewed rhubarb recipe too.

strawberries and rhubarb
A beautiful combination.

Sweetener

I usually use regular granulated sugar in this recipe, but you can use whatever sweetener you prefer. Start with a small amount, taste and adjust to suit your personal preference. The sweetener is just for flavour in this recipe, so vary the amounts as you’d like.

strawberry rhubarb sauce on ice cream
Celebrating spring with strawberry rhubarb sauce on ice cream.

Cornstarch

The rhubarb in this sauce makes it quite thick already, so the cornstarch in this sauce is optional. It will make the sauce thicker and a little more translucent.

If using cornstarch, be sure to dissolve the cornstarch in a little water to dissolve before adding to the pot. A good rule of thumb is to add 1/4 cup liquid to 1-3 Tbsp of cornstarch and use 1 Tbsp of cornstarch for every cup of liquid you want to thicken. You must also bring the mixture to a full boil to activate the thickening power of cornstarch. Stir for about 1- 2 minutes as you begin to see the change until the sauce is glossy and smooth.

start of cooking strawberry rhubarb sauce in pot
At the start of the cooking process, very liquidy.
finished strawberry rhubarb sauce
Thickened with cornstarch for thick, glossy sauce.

Additional Ingredients

For extra flavour consider adding other ingredients like orange zest & juice, fresh peeled ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla extract, rose water, Grand Marnier, etc.

strawberry rhubarb sauce on pancakes

How will you use your strawberry rhubarb sauce?

I’d love to hear your recipe ideas and how you end up using your sauce. Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram at #getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.

Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

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