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Canning Stewed Rhubarb

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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

Ingredients

  • 12 Cups Sliced Rhubarb
  • 1 ½ Cups Sugar

Instructions

  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.

Notes

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:

Yield:

14

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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Merla

Tuesday 22nd of June 2021

If I use a pressure canner what pressure and how long?

Kathie Lapcevic

Wednesday 23rd of June 2021

There's some advice for pressure canning rhubarb here but I've never tried it: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_02/rhubarb_stewed.html

Dolores Moses

Monday 31st of May 2021

I do this same thing, only I add a little vanilla to mine. Makes it even better in my opinion.

Kathie Lapcevic

Monday 31st of May 2021

That sounds super tasty!

Janet

Friday 19th of June 2020

Love this recipe! So easy! I did not have enough half pints so used one pint and that one turned out fine.

Carole Leone

Tuesday 16th of June 2020

Could you use this as a pie filling? What would you need to add?

Lady Skorski

Saturday 28th of August 2021

@Carole Leone, you can definitely make pie filling! For rhubarb, get some Instant ClearJel (not to be confused with SureJel). For every 8 cups of rhubarb add 6 Tbsp+2 tsp. Follow directions on package. You can also use Pie Filling Enhancer, for every 8 cups of rhubarb use 1 cup enhancer but you must reduce you sugar by 1/2 cup, since the enhancer has sugar in it. Hope this helps.

Kathie Lapcevic

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

Probably though I haven't tried it yet. You'd want something to help it set, some eggs & flour maybe. I have an apple butter pie recipe here: https://homespunseasonalliving.com/apple-butter-pie/ - I imagine the stewed rhubarb could work as a substitute for apple butter but I can't promise. I keep wanting to try a stewed rhubarb pie but never seem to get around to it.

mike

Saturday 30th of May 2020

What do you think about a little beet juice for coloring. When I cook beets there's that beautiful purple juice..maybe a good sub for food colors.?

Kathie Lapcevic

Sunday 31st of May 2020

My concern about adding beet juice is that it will lower the acidity level which isn't good for canning.

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