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Canning Stewed Rhubarb

Canning stewed rhubarb is an easy and incredibly worthwhile preservation project. It is delicious and a great way to use up an abundant harvest.

This is one of those easy rhubarb recipes that you’ll be so glad is in your back pocket and one you’ll likely repeat year after year for its versatility.

Jars of labeled stewed rhubarb on a wood table with text overlay.

Let’s face it there’s only so much rhubarb pie a person can eat, saving some for later feels like a prudent thing. This recipe will put an end to all that wondering about what to do with rhubarb every spring season.

Is Rhubarb a fruit or vegetable?

Rhubarb is technically a vegetable. However it is a vegetable that we eat like a fruit and a high acid vegetable, at that, making it safe for water bath canning.

Rhubarb stalks in a metal bucket sitting on the ground, surrounded by fresh rhubarb leaves.

It’s also a vegetable that we treat like a fruit in that we most often combine it with other fruits and use like a fruit in most recipes.

An Easy Preserve

Stewed rhubarb is simply sliced rhubarb mixed with sugar and gently boiled.

That mixture of sugar, rhubarb, and juice is then put into jars and canned.

It doesn’t get much easier, no making of sugar syrup, no need to worry about gel stage, etc.

Jars of labeled stewed rhubarb on a wood table.

It’s also easy to double or triple, if desired. Make lots to give away to friends and family who will appreciate it come winter.

How to Prepare Rhubarb

Once the rhubarb is pulled from the plant, remove the leaves. The leaves are poisonous and should not be eaten.

Then simply wash the stalks. A rinse under cool water is generally enough to remove any surface dirt. Some stems might need a light scrub with a brush to remove any stubborn bits of dirt or mud.

After the wash simply shake off any moisture and proceed with the recipe.

How to Cut Rhubarb

You will have most success with a very sharp knife. Rhubarb can be kind of stringy, this isn’t a problem at all but you can reduce the instances of those stringy bits essentially peeling your stalks by making sure to use a sharp knife.

Place the rhubarb onto your cutting board with the flatter edge down. Cut the rhubarb into one inch pieces for this recipe by simply slicing with your sharp knife. Make quick work of it by lining up two or three stalks to cut through at once.

White bowls full of chopped rhubarb pieces sitting next to stalks of uncut rhubarb on a cutting board.

Ways to Use Stewed Rhubarb

These beautiful jars are a simple addition to many meals in winter:

  • Use as a pancake / waffle topping instead of syrups
  • Mix in with oatmeal and other hot cereals for a flavorful, fruity punch
  • Top ice cream, poundcake, or sweet shortcake biscuits for an easy dessert
  • Dumplings! Put a jar or two into a pot and heat, add dumpling batter and cook until the dumplings are cooked and fluffy.
  • Stir into homemade yogurt
  • Pour a jar or two into the bottom of a pie plate and top with oats and melted butter for a crisp-style dessert.
Yield: 7 Half Pints

Canning Stewed Rhubarb

Canning stewed rhubarb is a super easy and tasty way to preserve rhubarb for winter while giving the home cook multiple ways to use it up later in the year when everyone is ready to enjoy the tart flavor again.

Canning stewed rhubarb is a super easy and tasty way to preserve rhubarb for winter while giving the home cook multiple ways to use it up later in the year when everyone is ready to enjoy the tart flavor again.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Canning Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 12 Cups Sliced Rhubarb
  • 1 ½ Cups Sugar


  1. In a large pot combine the rhubarb and sugar, mixing well. Cover and let stand until juice begins to release from the fruit.
  2. While the fruit stands, get the boiling water canner going and get jars, lids, and rings ready.
  3. Once some water has started to release from the rhubarb, bring it to a gentle boil, stirring to prevent scorching. Ladle the stewed rhubarb into hot jars leaving 1/2" headspace. Clean rims, put on lids and rings.
  4. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for elevation.


Scale the recipe up or down by figuring 1/2 Cup sugar for every 4 Cups of chopped rhubarb

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/2 Cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 105Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 2gSugar: 23gProtein: 1g

We try our best but cannot guarantee that nutrition information is 100% accurate.

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Saturday 9th of September 2023

I fill a Dutch oven about 1/2 full of cut up rhubarb and then about half cover with water. wash and cut up 1 lb strawberries. Add to rhubarb, start with about a cup of sugar and then taste as it cooks and add more sugar if needed. Cook til the rhubarb comes apart and it will get redder as it cooks. Stew for an hr. It won’t be real thick, but once it cools it is a very nice red consistency It is so good with a piece of toast.


Sunday 4th of June 2023

Do you think I could I could do the whole recipe and then freeze 8n small containers?

Kathie Lapcevic

Saturday 17th of June 2023

I think you definitely could.


Sunday 7th of May 2023

How long would I can it in a steam canner, instead of a water bath canner? Same amount of time? Thanks!

Jennifer Mason

Sunday 9th of April 2023

Hi how long will an unopened jar last in a cupboard?

Kathie Lapcevic

Wednesday 12th of April 2023

Canned foods should be used up within 1 year.


Sunday 12th of June 2022

Has anyone tried to make this with a sugar free substitute like monk fruit or stevia?

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