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 – thick with a little bit of texture from rhubarb and onions.

Check out: Easy Rhubarb Pulled Pork, Cranberry Molasses BBQ Sauce

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.

Rhubarb BBQ Sauce after it has been pureed – smooth!

Customize Your Homemade BBQ Sauce

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.

Spicy? – add cayenne pepper or finely diced chili peppers.

Smokey? – add liquid smoke, chipotle or smoked paprika

Tangy? – add a little more vinegar

Sweet? – add more brown sugar, molasses or even a little honey

You can also keep it thick and textured or puree it with a blender or immersion blender to make it super smooth.

By the way, if you love the idea of this bbq sauce, but don’t have fresh or frozen rhubarb, you can also use other fruit like peaches, apples, mangos, cranberries, cherries (especially sour cherries) or applesauce. It doesn’t have to be pretty either – it all gets cooked up with tasty spices anyway. For sweeter fruit, you may want to add a splash more vinegar to add more tanginess.

How to Store Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

Homemade barbecue sauce will last about 7-10 days in the fridge. This recipe makes 1 1/2 – 2 cups of sauce. Usually that’s more than what we need at one time, so I freeze in convenient portion sizes (1/2 or 1 cup) for later use.

three jars of smooth rhubarb barbecue sauce one with spoon in it
I keep one jar in the fridge for 7-10 days and the extras I freeze.

How to Use Homemade Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

Use it for all your favourite saucy recipes.

We like it on pulled pork or pulled chicken, on ribs or oven baked BBQ chicken.

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

Recipe for Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

thick rhubarb bbq sauce on spoon above jar
Print Recipe
4.09 from 12 votes

Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

A delicious savory rhubarb recipe, this bbq sauce is fantastic on pulled pork, chicken, burgers, ribs, etc.
Prep : 10 minutes
Cook : 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Getty Stewart


  • 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.
Tried this recipe?Mention @GetGettyS or tag #GetGettyS

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 654kcal | Carbohydrates: 146g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 1567mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 128g | Iron: 5mg
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ sauce, easy barbecue, rhubarb
rhubarb bbq sauce
Perfect for pulled pork.

More Rhubarb Recipes

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

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.

 Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this.


  1. 5 stars
    My rhubarb is just coming up, so I will try this. You know I love this because….rhubarb is a vegetable!

    1. Yahoo! There’s a few fruits and veggies that we mislabel in the kitchen – but they’re tasty no matter what! Did you see some of the other savoury ways I use rhubarb – the vegetable?

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.