Sweet and Savoury Rhubarb Recipes

rhubarb soup

Rhubarb is easy to grow and has many nutritional properties (see below). It is technically a vegetable but is usually cooked as a fruit requiring a lot of sugar so it’s worth using rhubarb in savoury recipes as well.

All these recipe ideas would probably work with gooseberries as well but you might want to strain the seeds out.

Savoury Rhubarb Recipe Ideas

You can substitute rhubarb for lemon and lime in many recipes. Here are some we have tried:

Rhubarb & Carrot/Sweet Potato/Butternut Squash Soup

Roast the rhubarb and carrots in the oven with some oil, onions and your favourite spices (I use Thai spices). You can use sweet potato or swede as well as or instead of carrot – any sweet root vegetable works well.

Once the veg are cooked, blitz them and add stock and/or coconut milk.  You don’t need to add any lime as you get all the sour you need from the rhubarb. Season to taste.

Serve hot or chilled. I garnished with yoghurt & chive flowers (see above photo).

Thai Curry with Rhubarb

I started to make Thai curry once before realising we didn’t have any coconut milk or limes. Quick thinking was required… I blitzed a tin of haricot beans (any pale bean will do) to make a white, creamy sauce and added thai green curry paste, a spoonful of coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of cooked rhubarb for the citric tang. It was a big success.

Rhubarb Chutney 

A loyal subscriber sent this recipe in with a glowing recommendation. The quantities here yield around 3 kg of Rhubarb Chutney. It requires 2.5 kg of rhubarb, 1kg of onions, 2 pints of white vinegar, 1kg of granulated sugar, 1/2 a teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of ground ginger and 3 teaspoons of mixed spice.

Cut the washed and dried rhubarb into small chunks; mince the peeled onions. Place in a pan with one-third of the vinegar, the sugar, salt ginger and spice, and simmer gently until the rhubarb is soft. Add the remaining vinegar and simmer to the required consistency, stirring frequently. For a hot chutney, use 3 teaspoons of curry powder instead of the mixed spice. Pot at once.


I now substitute lemon in hummous with cooked rhubarb and a friend has done likewise with gooseberry and it works! No quantities I’m afraid – just keep adding and tasting…


Sweet Rhubarb Recipes

Here are some more unusual sweet rhubarb recipes to try:

Rhubarb Curd

Rhubarb Flapjacks

Rhubarb Fool Cupcakes

Rhubarb and White Chocolate Swiss Roll


Nutritional Properties

According to nutrition-and-you.com rhubarb is one of the lowest calorie vegetables and it holds some vital phyto-nutrients such as dietary fibre, poly-phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Further, its petioles contain no saturated fats or cholesterol.

The stalks are rich in several B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.

Red colour stalks carry more vitamin-A than in the green varieties. Further, the stalks also contain small amounts of poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds like ß-carotene, zea xanthin, and lutein. These compounds convert into vitamin A inside the human body and deliver same protective effects of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant which is required by the body for maintaining integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for healthy eye-sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A may help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

As in other greens like kale and spinach, rhubarb stalks provide good amounts of vitamin-K.  Vitamin K has a potential role in bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Its stalks also contain healthy levels of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. However, most of these minerals do not absorb into the body as they undergo chelation into insoluble.

Just make sure your rhubarb is properly cooked, don’t have too much of it and definitely don’t any leaves because they are loaded with oxalates which can steal minerals from the body and are slightly toxic.


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