Recipe: Easy Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

Dessert Recipes, Fruit Recipes

By: Deborah Murphy, MS, RD, LDN


The beautiful pink color and tart flavor of rhubarb is the perfect filling for this easy rhubarb crisp recipe. We highly recommend serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Spring and summer is prime time for fruit desserts like fruit crisps. When it comes to easy desserts, crisp is our go-to since you don’t have to make a pie crust. And I love making this sweet-tart, easy rhubarb crisp recipe as soon as I can get our hands on the first stalks of fresh rhubarb in the spring. 

Feel free to make this recipe your own by mixing up your rhubarb with other fruits for the filling (I highly recommend strawberries). To serve, top this jammy rhubarb crisp with a scoop of ice cream for the ultimate summer dessert.

Have a sweet tooth? Try my grilled peaches & pineapple recipe, or my list of favorite low-calorie desserts!

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    Ingredients for Rhubarb Crisp

    Use these simple ingredients to make my easy rhubarb crisp, your new favorite summer dessert!

    raw ingredients to make rhubarb crisp on counter
    • Rhubarb: we like to use fresh rhubarb for this crisp, but you can use frozen rhubarb that has been thawed if that is what you have on hand.
    • Granulated Sugar & Brown Sugar: you’ll use some white sugar to sweeten the rhubarb filling and brown sugar to sweeten the topping. 
    • Cornstarch: when the cornstarch combines with the juice from the rhubarb in the oven it helps create a thick, saucy filling. 
    • Flour: helps the crumble topping stick together in pea-sized pieces. 
    • Orange: some citrus adds the perfect balance to the tart rhubarb. Orange and rhubarb are delicious flavors together. We recommend using fresh squeezed orange juice since you’ll need some zest as well. 
    • Butter: cold butter works best for making the crumble topping. You can use solid coconut oil if you prefer. 
    • Oats: we love the chewy texture that oats add to the crisp topping. Old fashioned oats are our go-to but quick oats can be used as well.
    • Pecans: nuts add a delicious crunch and flavor to the topping – we used pecans, but you can also use walnuts or almonds, which are actually a great fat burning food.

    Variations

    There are several rhubarb crisp variations you can use to make this summer dessert your own!

    Make it Vegan: use vegan butter or coconut oil for the crumble topping to make a vegan version of this delicious dessert.

    Make it Gluten Free: use gluten free certified oats and a 1:1 gluten free baking flour or almond flour instead of the all purpose flour in the crumble topping. 

    Add Apples: you can also make this crisp with a combination of apples and rhubarb. Replace 1 lb of the rhubarb with 2-3 sliced apples for the fruit filling. 

    Add Strawberries: make it a strawberry rhubarb crisp by using 1 lb of rhubarb and 1 lb of strawberries for the filling. Strawberries, and all berries for that matter, are a great anti-inflammatory food to add to your diet.

    How to Make Easy Rhubarb Crisp

    This easy dessert recipe for rhubarb crisp uses simple directions for any level of skill.

    3 steps of making rhubarb crisp recipe

    Mix up the Rhubarb Filling: after washing and chopping your rhubarb stalks, toss with the sugar, cornstarch, orange juice, and orange zest in a large mixing bowl. Spread into an even layer in the baking dish.

    Make the Oat Topping: add the oats, brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, and sea salt in a bowl. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to mix the topping together until it reaches a crumbly texture with pea-sized pieces. Stir in the chopped nuts.

    Combine and Bake: spread the buttery oat mixture evenly over the rhubarb mixture in the baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Allow the old fashioned rhubarb crisp to cool on the counter for 10 minutes before serving. (The cooling time gives the filling time to thicken.)

    rhubarb crisp served on plate

    What is the Best Way to Eat Rhubarb?

    The tart flavor of rhubarb makes it a delicious addition to a variety of dishes. It can be stewed, poached, roasted, or pureed.

    Some of our favorite ways to use it: in crisps (or crumbles), as a compote on top of oats or yogurt, or cooked into a simple syrup for low-calorie cocktails (or mocktails). 

    How Do You Cut Rhubarb for Crisp?

    Before you use your rhubarb, trim the stalks at the top and bottom and remove any leaves. Discard any tough, woody, or bruised parts of the stalks and wash thoroughly. For crisp, cut the stalks into ¼ to ½ inch pieces (like you would cut celery). 

    What is the Difference Between a Rhubarb Crisp and Crumble?

    They are both very similar fruit-based desserts. However, a rhubarb crumble is the same as a crisp but without oats in the streusel topping. Typically, the streusel topping on a crumble is more clumpy than that of a crisp.

    How to Store Rhubarb Crisp

    Rhubarb crisp can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

    Fridge: Once cooled to room temperature, leftover crisp can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave for up to 1 minute. 

    Freezer: Store leftover crisp in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating in the microwave. If freezing the whole crisp after baking, wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap. Reheat frozen crisp in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until bubbly and warmed through.

    Total Time: 45 minutes

    Yield: 6 serving(s)

    Ingredients

    • 2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed, cut into ½-inch pieces
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
    • Zest from ½ orange
    • For the Topping
    • 1 cup old fashioned oats
    • 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • Dash of sea salt
    • 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease an 8x8-inch baking dish or enamel skillet.
    2. In a large bowl, toss the rhubarb with the sugar, cornstarch, and orange juice and zest. Spread evenly in the prepared baking dish.
    3. In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, and salt. Use your hands to work in the butter until the mixture crumbles. If it is too dry, add water, ¼ teaspoon at a time, until the mixture starts to hold together when pinched. Stir in the chopped pecans.
    4. Scatter the crumb topping over the rhubarb filling. Bake in the oven for around 35 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Allow to sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before serving.

    Nutrition Information Per Serving

    Calories: 300

    Protein: 4 gram(s)

    Fat: 11 gram(s)

    Carbohydrates: 48 gram(s)

    Fiber: 5 gram(s)

    Sugar: 25 gram(s)

    From the kitchen of:

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