How to Make Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce – A Savory Rhubarb Recipe

This rhubarb barbecue sauce is a unique, tasty way to enjoy rhubarb. It’s a delicious savory rhubarb recipe that’s ideal for barbecue favorites like  pulled pork, chicken, ribs or burgers.

rhubarb bbq sauce

Check out: Easy Rhubarb Pulled Pork

Your guests and family will be pleasantly surprised to hear rhubarb makes an appearance in this tasty sauce. They’ll love the perfect blend of spicy, tart and sweet.

I was happy to share this recipe with the Manitoba Canola Growers. You’ll also find this recipe on their CanolaEatWell website along with professional photos like this.

rhubarb bbq sauce mcga

We love the recipe just as is, but the beauty of homemade is that you get to make it the way you like it best. This recipe is versatile enough that you can adjust some of the seasonings to make it the perfect sauce for you. Do you like it spicy? Add more cayenne pepper or better yet, replace the cayenne pepper with finely diced chili peppers. Do you like it smoky? Add liquid smoke or smoky paprika until you reach your preferred level of smokiness. Do you like it sweet? Add more brown sugar, molasses or even a little honey.

I find, I get two or three recipes out of one batch. I simply freeze any leftovers in small jam jars (leaving enough headspace for expansion). That way, I have fresh, homemade BBQ sauce whenever I need it.

Recipe for Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

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5 from 4 votes

Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

A delicious savory rhubarb recipe, this bbq sauce is fantastic on pulled pork, chicken, burgers, ribs, etc.
Prep : 10 mins
Cook : 45 mins
Servings: 2 cups


  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • ½ cup diced onion ½ medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups rhubarb fresh or frozen, diced (4-5 stalks)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can tomato paste (156 ml, 5.5 oz)
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp liquid smoke or smoked paprika optional


  • In a large saucepan, heat canola oil over medium heat.
  • Add onion and garlic and sauté until glassy, not brown about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add rhubarb and water. Cook 5 minutes or until rhubarb starts to soften.
  • Mix in brown sugar, tomato paste, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and Worcestershire, salt, pepper and liquid smoke/smoked paprika. Bring to boil then simmer on low for 30 to 45 minutes until rhubarb breaks down and sauce thickens.
  • For a smooth finish, use an immersion blender or food processor to puree sauce.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference. Make it sweeter with sugar, tangier with vinegar or hotter with more cayenne.
  • Store in refrigerator for 7 to 10 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


Makes 2 cups.
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rhubarb pulled pork bun with slaw
Rhubarb BBQ sauce is perfect for rhubarb pulled pork.

More Rhubarb Recipes

Looking for more ways to use your rhubarb? Check out the other rhubarb recipes on this site:

Rhubarb and Caramelized Onion Focaccia

Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam

Rhubarb Fruit Leather

Rhubarb Honey Bran Muffins

Honey Rhubarb Sesame Chicken

Rhubarb Juice

Rhubarb Poppyseed Dressing

Rhubarb Cinnamon Buns

Rhubarb Cornmeal Surprise Muffins

Stewed Rhubarb

French Toast Fingers with Stewed Rhubarb

Chia Seed Rhubarb and Strawberry Preserve

How to Freeze Rhubarb

What do you like in a BBQ sauce? Do you like it sweet, hot, smokey, thin, thick…?  Let me know your favorite either down below or on Instagram @getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.

Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist, speaker, frequent media guest and writer dedicated to putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of several recipe books on enjoying and preserving fruit, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

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