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This easy rhubarb compote is as delicious as it is eye-catching! Serve over waffles or pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt, or ice cream.

Hot Pink Rhubarb Compote | A Couple Cooks

Growing up, there was a big old rhubarb plant in the back of my parents garden. It looked like a giant weed. I remember trying a bite of the greenish pink stalk raw from the cutting board as my mom chopped it for a rhubarb crisp. UGH, was it tart and disgusting! But sweetened with sugar and nestled under an oat crumble topping, it was the stuff dreams are made of.

That sweet tart flavor takes me right back to childhood, licking the sticky pink goo from my plate. It’s exactly the inspiration for this rhubarb compote recipe! Keep reading for this fantastic solution to what to do with rhubarb.

How to make rhubarb compote

This year, we decided to start spring early with a rhubarb compote to top some waffles. True to my child self, I gave our son Larson a greenish pink cube of raw rhubarb to chew on from the cutting board. His face crinkled up in confusion, but he kept chewing it all the same. But once sautéed with sugar into a hot pink rhubarb compote, he was a definite fan. After we swirled a smear of it into his oatmeal, he was in heaven.

This rhubarb compote recipe is supremely easy to make. Alex and I typically opt for natural sweeteners like maple syrup, but in a compote the sugar performs some chemistry to break down and thicken the rhubarb, so we decided not to mess with perfection. To make rhubarb compote:

  • Simply chop rhubarb into cubes and then simmer it on the stovetop with sugar. The sugar makes the rhubarb break down into this electric pink sauce.
  • After 10 minutes, place the rhubarb compote in a jar and refrigerate: cooling down the compote helps to thicken it.

Use this rhubarb compote for topping…

From there, you can use the rhubarb compote on anything you like! It’s pretty sweet, so a little of the stuff goes a long way. We served it over these fluffy gluten free waffles, but it would be perfect on pancakes or French toast. Leftover rhubarb compote is perfect to swirl into yogurt, oatmeal, or as a simple dessert, vanilla ice cream. Here’s to the simple, seasonal pleasures: like rhubarb compote in the spring! And aside from the flavor, the vibrant hot pink color can’t be beat.

Here are some recipe that would be perfect with a dollop of rhubarb compote:

This rhubarb compote recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and plant-based.

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Rhubarb compote

Easy Rhubarb Compote

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: About 1 cup 1x


This easy rhubarb compote is as delicious as it is eye-catching! Serve over waffles or pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt, or ice cream.


  • 10 ounces rhubarb, about 4 large stalks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Chop the rhubarb into small cubes, enough for 2 cups.
  2. In a saucepan, stir together the rhubarb and the sugar over low heat. Once it starts to to bubble, cook for about 10 minutes until the rhubarb is broken down and the juices have slightly thickened, mashing with the back of your spoon (exact timing depends on the size of the rhubarb and heat level).
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and vanilla. Transfer to a ball jar and chill for at least an hour, which will thicken the juices even more. Store refrigerated for a few weeks. Serve over waffles, pancakes, or swirled into oatmeal, yogurt, or ice cream.
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Rhubarb Compote, Rhubarb Recipes, What to Do with Rhubarb, Sauce Recipes, Compote, Rhubarb

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. My parents have always had rhubarb and I would only eat it in something sweet. My son, however, has been eating it like celery ever since he was 3 years old. He loves it raw!