Rhubarb Compote

Rhubarb Compote is a truly quick and easy recipe with just three simple ingredients. This tasty compote is a perfect way to preserve the zesty flavor of rhubarb.

a glass bowl filled with rhubarb compote.

Rhubarb has a short season so buy a bunch while you can.

After you make the perfect Rhubarb Pie you can chop and freeze the stalks, or you can cook them into this lovely compote.

Making compote is a quick and easy way to preserve rhubarb that doesn’t involve canning, pectin or any complicated procedures.


ingredients for rhubarb compote in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes

  • Rhubarb – I recommend using fresh rhubarb to make compote. You can use frozen rhubarb but the rhubarb will break down more as it’s cooked.
  • Sugar – Rhubarb is quite tart and needs sugar to balance the flavor and to preserve it. If you like your rhubarb extra tangy, start with 6 oz of sugar and adjust to your taste.
  • Salt – A pinch of salt helps balance the flavor of the compote.
  • Other flavors – I don’t add any other flavors because I want to taste pure rhubarb. But you can add orange zest, ground ginger, cinnamon or vanilla extract, as they are all complementary flavors.

Process Photos

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

four photos showing rhubarb with  sugar as it macerates.
  • Add the sugar and salt to the chopped rhubarb.
  • Toss the mixture together and set it aside to macerate for 1 hour.
  • Every 15 minutes stir the rhubarb.
  • After 1 hour the rhubarb should have released some juice.
four photos showing rhubarb compote cooking.
  • Cook the rhubarb over medium-low heat until the sugar melts and forms a syrup with the rhubarb juice.
  • Increase the heat to medium. The rhubarb will continue to release more juice.
  • Simmer the rhubarb for about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Cook until the rhubarb is tender but the chunks are mostly intact. If you continue to cook the compote the rhubarb will break down and become more of a sauce/puree. If that’s what you’re after, cook it a little longer.
a pot with rhubarb compote and a measuring cup with compote.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the compote to a heat proof container.
  • The recipe yields about 2 cups of compote. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until serving.

How to make Rhubarb Fool

A “fool” is a traditional British dessert made by simply folding fruit preserves into a creamy base.

To make Rhubarb Fool whip 1 cup of heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Fold 2 cups of Rhubarb Compote into the whipped cream. Leave the mixture slightly under-folded so there are discernible streaks of compote in the cream base. This will make 6-8 servings.

Ways to serve Rhubarb Compote


Rhubarb Compote will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks and can be frozen for 2-3 months. After freezing the compote will be less chunky.

a glass bowl filled with yogurt and rhubarb compote.
a glass bowl filled with rhubarb compote.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 review

Rhubarb Compote Recipe

Rhubarb Compote is a truly quick and easy recipe with just three simple ingredients. This tasty compote is a perfect way to preserve the zesty flavor of rhubarb. This recipe makes 2 cups of compote.
Prep Time10 minutes
Bake Time8 minutes
Macerating Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 18 minutes
8 Servings
Save Recipe


  • 8 oz granulated sugar (1 cup, adjust to taste)
  • 16 oz rhubarb (cut into 1" chunks)
  • teaspoon table salt


  • In a large saucepan, toss 16 oz rhubarb with 8 oz granulated sugar and ⅛ teaspoon table salt. Set the pan aside for 1 hour to macerate the rhubarb. Mix the sugar and rhubarb every 15 minutes or so while it's macerating.
  • Cook over low heat until the sugar melts into a syrup and begins to simmer. Increase the heat to medium and simmer the compote for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Cook until the pieces of rhubarb are tender but mostly intact. (see note)
  • Immediately pour the compote into a clean bowl.
  • Cool to room temperature. Use right away or refrigerate until serving.

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If you want a compote that is more like a puree or sauce, continue to cook until the rhubarb falls apart.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 58IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I really did not believe that this would work with no water, but it is the Best rhubarb compote I’ve ever made. Just go slow and wait for the sugar to pull out the juices and then low heat until it’s syrupy. I’ve been looking for this recipe for 40 years!