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What Goes With Rhubarb ? Here Are The Best Flavor Pairings

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Looking for the best combinations for rhubarb ? Maybe you want to switch up your rhubarb pie, or maybe you’d like to make some rhubarb sorbet, who knows ?

In any case you should know from the get-go that rhubarb is very versatile. It’s a vegetable alright, but folks use it more like a fruit than anything else.

From that point you can imagine the myriad of possibilities you have. Still, we’ll give you a few ideas on what to pair rhubarb with. Maybe you’ll discover something new and exciting !

what goes with rhubarb

What goes with rhubarb ?

Rhubarb has a tart, slightly sweet flavor that goes very well with strawberries, forest fruit, pineapple, mango, peaches, apricots, nectarines, apples, cinnamon, caramel, vanilla, honey, maple syrup, butter, and heavy cream. Rhubarb is also great with gamey meat like duck, goose, beef, turkey, or venison.

You can try rhubarb in any flavor combination you want really. It adds tartness and a very slight bitterness to any dish, so it’s good to balance an overly sweet dish or fruit.

What does rhubarb taste like ?

Rhubarb tastes very similar to a tart green apple, but not as sweet. So think of where you would normally use green apples. Caramel apples ? Apple pie ? A salad ? A tart sauce for meat ?

Rhubarb is pretty hard to eat on its own, so it’s almost always necessary to add some sugar or some form of sweetener. You can sweeten rhubarb without sugar too, by adding honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, what have you. Even if you use rhubarb in a savory dish, you may want to add just a pinch of sugar.

When buying rhubarb make sure you get the plumpest, shiniest stalks out there. They should have some red and a little sweetness. Some types aren’t very red and they retain some green in their stalk, but that’s okay.

Read also: When Is Rhubarb In Season ? 

Fruit that goes well with rhubarb

Some of the best fruits that go well with rhubarb are the sweetest, or at least the ones that have a very strong flavor. So you can try:

  • strawberries, a classic for a reason
  • forest fruit, be it blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, anything you like
  • pineapple will cut a little through rhubarb’s tartness
  • mango is a little tart but very flavorful
  • peach, apricot, nectarine are all delicious and summery, just like rhubarb
  • apples are a great choice, but they have their own tartness so use these with lots of dough or batter

There’s really no end to rhubarb combinations. If you want to keep a red theme you can also try cherries, sour cherries, or cranberries.

rhubarb strawberry

Savory rhubarb combinations

A good savory combination for rhubarb is to use it with gamey, red meats. The tart and slightly sweet rhubarb can really cut through a strong venison or mutton flavor, or even through something more mild like turkey.

For this purpose, use rhubarb just like you would cranberry sauce. Preparation steps are exactly the same.

Another option would be to use rhubarb, thinly sliced or chopped into small cubes, in salads. We recommend using strong flavors like Parmesan, blue cheese, prosciutto among the ingredients to give rhubarb something to stand against.

Read also: What Part Of Rhubarb Is Edible ? 

What do you put rhubarb in ?

Rhubarb can be added to anything you’d normally add fruits. So pies, cakes, smoothies, jams, preserves, and even jello are all great uses for rhubarb.

rhubarb cake

You can add rhubarb to a fruit salad, or a savory salad as described above. The only caveat is to account for its crunchiness. Rhubarb is a very crispy veggie-fruit and it provides a lot of texture.

For this reason most people like to use rhubarb in foods or sweets that require cooking down the fruit. So something like a pie filling would work well for rhubarb. The heat will soften the rhubarb, and the added sweetness will bring out its natural flavor.

Possibly the most basic combination of all of rhubarb and strawberry. It’s usually as a pie filling, and it’s a great step for anyone who would like to try their hand at rhubarb for the first time. One of the best recipes can be found here, and it will walk you through everything you need to know about using rhubarb in a pie.

Can you eat rhubarb raw ?

Yes, you can eat raw rhubarb. Since it’s just a little sweet you’ll first notice the tartness of rhubarb. We recommend you pair raw rhubarb with a sweet sauce or dip , or at least plain sugar. Other options include honey, maple syrup, Nutella, or anything you think may work.

Another option is to chop up some rhubarb and add it to a smoothie. The blender will take care of the fibers in rhubarb and you’ll be able to drink the whole thing. We recommend a combination of rhubarb, nectarines, a bit of sugar, a carrot, and water as needed.

Rhubarb is really delicious but it needs some help in the sweetness department. True, it has its own sweetness but it’s not enough. The tart note is brings to any recipe is definitely going to life the entire dish.

After all, some recipes or dishes are simply too ‘heavy’ or rich, and you need something fruity and tart to cut through all that.


I hope this article will help you know what are the best flavor pairings to get the best out of rhubarb. It is a very versatile vegetable that is used more like a fruit and it can have a lot of things that go well with it.

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