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Saucepan filled with rhubarb compote. There is also a wooden spoon in the pan, and ingredients laid out around the fruit compote.

I sometimes feel like the odd one out in my family. My mom, my husband, all of my aunts and uncles, and even my own kiddo all LOVE rhubarb. For whatever reason, it’s just not my favorite. But when so many of the ones you love all really like the same ingredient, and that ingredient is in season, sometimes you take one for the team and make something special just for them. Sweet strawberries, crisp apples, tart rhubarb, and cinnamon all compliment each other well to create a unique and delicious springtime fruit compote.

This rhubarb compote recipe with strawberries and apples was a kitchen experiment I did with my mom, and has become one of my family’s new favorite recipes for rhubarb! Fruit compote is easy to prepare and great served over a variety of foods like yogurt, ice cream, waffles, pancakes, cheesecake, and more!


Level of difficulty: Easy to moderate. Minimal knife work and cooking.

Flavor: Fruit and spice. Sweet and (just a little bit) tart.

Texture: While the fruit cooks down and becomes quite tender while cooking, the final texture of this rhubarb sauce is a little chunky, which is why we’ve called it a fruit compote.

Time: From chopping through cooling, it will take you roughly 45-60min to make this rhubarb sauce recipe.

Ingredients for this rhubarb compote recipe on a cutting board.


Rhubarb: Rhubarb is a great way to bring a tart flavor to a dish! It is often paired with something sweet, like the strawberries in this fruit compote recipe

Apples: Apples provide a deeper flavor and great texture to this sauce.

Strawberries: the sweet counterpart to the rhubarb (and it adds a beautiful color to this fruit compote!)

Cinnamon: normally you wouldn’t think to pair cinnamon and strawberries, but trust me, the warm cinnamon spice accents the sweetness wonderfully!

Sugar: a little more sweetness to help tone down rhubarb’s natural tartness

Pinch of Salt: did you know salt is a flavor enhancer? Adding a pinch of salt to your fruit compote really helps to brings out the wonderful flavors

Saucepan filled with diced rhubarb, strawberries, and apples getting ready to make rhubarb compote. There is also a measuring cup with sugar and a measuring spoon with cinnamon.


  1. Prep fruit. Wash and dice strawberries, rhubarb, and apples. Note: if using frozen strawberries or rhubarb you do not need to chop them further.

  2. Cook compote. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, and bring to a boil. This will take 5-10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook down until the sauce has thickened, stirring frequently, approximately 10 additional minutes. Remove from the heat, and if a smoother consistency is desired, mash fruit with a potato masher or fork. If additional sweetness is desired, add more sugar 1 tsp at a time until it meets your taste.

  3. Cool and serve. Let the compote cool at least 5 minutes prior to serving. If putting on cold items (like yogurt or ice cream) cool completely before serving.

  4. Store leftovers. Store cooled compote in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Mason jar filled with rhubarb compote sitting on a wooden cutting board.


A note on cooking and baking with rhubarb: DO NOT use the leaves of the rhubarb plant! At most grocery stores and farmers markets, you’ll find rhubarb stalks only; but if you grow your own or get rhubarb from a friend or neighbor, make sure to remove the leaves (do NOT eat the leaves like you would other greens). Rhubarb leaves are toxic and can cause serious health problems. The stalks are perfectly fine (and delicious!) to eat though.

Why do I need to add water if I’m using fresh ingredients but not with frozen ingredients? Frozen fruits tend to release more liquid when cooking. So if you’re using fresh fruit to make your compote, we add just a little bit of water to help get the consistency we’re looking for. If you prefer a thicker compote, you can skip this step (or wait to see if you need a little more liquid half-way through the cooking process).

What’s the difference between a sauce and a compote? A fruit compote is essentially a chunkier fruit sauce. After cooking your fruit, you will lightly mash your fruit to break it into smaller pieces, but you do not strain it in any way.

What kind of apples should I use for this fruit compote? Any type of apple that is good for baking would be a good choice for this compote recipe! Galas, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, or Fuji varieties would all work well!

Where do I find rhubarb? You can find fresh rhubarb (when in season) in most grocery stores’ produce section or at a local farmers market. If you’re having a hard time locating some, check the frozen section! You can often find frozen rhubarb by the frozen fruit or frozen pies.

How do I make this recipe refined sugar free? You can replace the granulated sugar with a natural sugar, like maple syrup or honey, for this recipe to make a refined sugar free compote. Start with 2 Tablespoons or either natural sweetener and add additional sweetener to taste.

Serving suggestions for this rhubarb compote with strawberries and apples:

You have a lot of great options for enjoying this lovely spring compote recipe! Serve this rhubarb compote over:

  • Yogurt

  • Custard (warm or frozen)

  • Ice cream

  • Cheesecake

  • Toast with butter, nut butter, or cream cheese

  • Waffles - like these whole wheat waffles

  • Pancakes

  • French toast

  • Oatmeal (warm or overnight oats)

  • Chia Pudding