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A basic fruit compote for spooning atop angel food cake or pound cake, this Simple Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce recipe is key to leveling up dessert.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Simple Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe
A basic fruit compote for spooning atop angel food cake or pound cake, this Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce recipe is key to leveling up dessert.
There are three fruits synonymous with spring; strawberries, rhubarb, and currants. And every spring, I make a point of doing something with whichever one(s) I can get my hands on.
The recipe I am sharing today for a Simple Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce is a kitchen feat home cooks from beginner to experienced can pull off. Five ingredients, a wee bit of patience and attention to detail, and just under 1 1/2 hours of your time yields the spectacular.
Buy everything FRESH. There is no frozen here IF you want this versatile sauce to taste like the great topping that it is.
Rhubarb season means you have choices in the stalks you purchase. Look for young, tender, bright purply red, SKINNY stalks.
Fresh strawberries are the least difficult to come by. Given homemade strawberry rhubarb sauce is cooked down, look for strawberries that are VERY RIPE, even overripe.
Ingredients for a Simple Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce
- fresh strawberries
- granulated sugar
- lemon juice from a single fresh lemon
- fresh rhubarb
- Kosher salt
How This Recipe Came About…
Don’t expect to reap your daily value of vitamin C just by indulging on a favorite way of enjoying spring’s finest fruits. What you will end up with is a lovely way to brighten sweet desserts that scream seasonal just by looking at them.
I wonder if we will ever know who first decided to combine rhubarb with the humble strawberry. It really is too bad because that person should be appointed a holiday named in their honor in my opinion.
Strawberry rhubarb sauce showcases the sheer tartness of rhubarb with the sweetness of the strawberries it’s introduced to. I have made this sauce as the perfect topping for my homemade cream cheese pound cake.
I’ve also enjoyed its incredible flavor stirred into plain Greek yogurt as a fresh breakfast yogurt parfait and spooned atop homemade vanilla ice cream for a happy ending ice cream sundae.
As for how I first assembled this mighty little masterpiece? An almond shortcake was in high demand for just a little something extra to balance the amount of sugar used in the shortcake.
It is a very good choice whenever fresh fruit can stand alone and be amazing. And this simple recipe will have you deliberating other uses for it in no time.
Can Frozen Fruit Be Used to Make This Sauce?
I know I will be asked. The answer is yes, but why bother? Again…this is five ingredients.
Five ingredients that when gathered at their peak of freshness contribute to a delicious strawberry rhubarb compote the likes of which are NOT going to be experienced from a bag of frozen strawberries.
How To Make This Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe?
Juicing the Strawberries
Grab a medium bowl and begin hulling and chopping enough fresh strawberries to equal 3 cups when all is said and done. Add them to the bowl along with 1/2 cup sugar and a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and give everything a good stir.
Position a medium saucepan on your countertop. Fit a fine mesh sieve atop the saucepan and pour and scrape the strawberry mixture into the sieve.
Allow the berries to drain all of their delightful juices into the saucepan for about 30 minutes. I use a spatula to stir the lot every so often just to ensure all of the liquid drains.
Stewing the Rhubarb
At the end of 30 minutes, I’ve got something very special in that saucepan. I add the drained strawberries back into the bowl. I also add another 1/2 cup sugar to the juices along with a full pound of sliced young rhubarb stems.
Bring the rhubarb mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and add a liberal pinch of Kosher salt. Reduce the heat and cook the rhubarb over medium-low heat. The mixture will be soft, and the liquid reduced and thickened slightly, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Combining the Finished Fruits Into One
Stir the big old bowl of strawberries into the rhubarb compote and remove the saucepan from the heat. At this point, transfer the compote back to the bowl. Allow it to cool to room temperature before serving it, about 45 minutes.
During the cool down, the rhubarb pieces will continue to soften, and the excess liquid will thicken gradually. And that’s it. It’s that simple a delicious sauce. The ONLY thing I’d add if you felt you needed some color would be fresh lemon zest.
Can Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Be Made in Advance?
Yes. And if you are somebody who grows rhubarb, you know as I do that during that time of year when it starts to come in, you can end up with quite a lot of it. This recipe is a great way to use it up without going to a whole lot of expense and trouble.
Assemble the sauce according to the recipe card instructions. Refrigerate until ready to use up to 3 days in advance.
Can Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Be Frozen?
Yes. A fully assembled and cooked sauce may be frozen in zippered plastic freezer-safe bags for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat gently on the stove before cooling and serving.
If you feel you need to thin a previously frozen batch of sauce a little bit, add one tablespoon water or orange juice. Stir until you arrive at the consistency you require.
If You Like This Recipe…
…you might also like:
Simple Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce Recipe
- fine mesh sieve
- 1 pound (3 cups) strawberries fresh; hulled and chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh
- 1 pound rhubarb fresh thin stalks sliced 1/4-inch thick
- pinch Kosher salt
- To a medium sized mixing bowl, add 3 cups fresh hulled and chopped strawberries along with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Stir to combine.
- Position a fine mesh sieve atop a medium saucepan on your countertop. Pour the strawberry mixture into the sieve. Allow the strawberry mixture to drain into the saucepan for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice to allow proper draining.
- At the end of 30 minutes, add the thoroughly drained strawberries back into the bowl. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar to the juice in the saucepan along with the prepared rhubarb pieces. Bring the rhubarb mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and add a liberal pinch of Kosher salt. Reduce the heat and cook the rhubarb over medium-low heat. The mixture will be soft, and the liquid reduced and thickened slightly, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Stir the bowl of strawberries into the rhubarb compote and remove the saucepan from the heat. At this point, transfer the compote back to the bowl. Allow it to cool to room temperature before serving it, about 45 minutes. During cooling, the rhubarb pieces will continue to soften, and the excess liquid will thicken gradually.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.