Stewed rhubarb: how to stew rhubarb for sweet and tender results

Stewed rhubarb is delicious with pancakes, French toast or even served with yoghurt – here's how to get it right

stewed rhubarb
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stewed rhubarb has a flavour all of its own. Sweet, but with a lovely tartness also, it makes the perfect topping for pancakes (a Real Homes favourite) or French toast. Plus, it's delicious served with yoghurt, ice cream, or as part of a rhubarb pie. But, how do you stew rhubarb to guarantee success every time? Well, it really is quite simple.

Whether you've picked your rhubarb from the garden, – it's one of the easiest fruits to grow and also amongst the first you'll be able to harvest – have bought some from your local supermarket, farm shop or if you've had it delivered in your weekly fruit and veg box, we'll teach you how to stew rhubarb to perfection. All you'll need is a bit of water and a sweetener of your choice.

Check our the full recipe below, then head over to our food hub for more ideas.

How to stew rhubarb

Wondering how to stew rhubarb so that it's less tart, but not too sweet. It's a tricky balance to strike, but we will show you how with our easy instructions. You will need:

  • Rhubarb, chopped into small chunks an inch, or so, long
  • Water or orange juice and zest
  • Cinnamon
  • Sweetener – choose from sugar, maple syrup or honey


1. Begin by slicing your rhubarb into small chunks, around an inch or so long, before placing in a pan.

2. Add a dash of water to the pan, or the juice and zest of an orange, along with a liberal sprinkle of cinnamon and a good amount of your sweetener of choice. Remember that rhubarb is pretty tart, so you'll need to decide how much sweetener you think you need to make it slightly more enjoyable to eat. You can always add more after tasting.

3. Turn the hob to a low heat and leave your rhubarb to stew. Stir occasionally, and encourage your small chunks of rhubarb to break down and achieve a softer texture. This should take between five and ten minutes.

4. Once you're happy with the texture of your stewed rhubarb, give it a taste and add any more sweetener as you might see fit.

Serve your stewed rhubarb with...

Emily Shaw

Emily first (temporarily) joined the Real Homes team while interning on her summer break from university. After graduating, she worked on several publications before joining Real Homes as Staff Writer full time in mid-2018. She left the brand in 2020 to pursue another career, but still loves a second-hand bargain and sourcing unique finds to make her rented flat reflect her personality.