It’s officially rhubarb season…and you need this easy rhubarb compote with ginger in your life! Just 4 simple pantry ingredients, it’s lower in sugar than most recipes to celebrate the sweet-tart flavour of rhubarb with just the right amount of ginger.

bowl with rhubarb compote, yogurt and granola
This thick, sweet-tart rhubarb compote is scented with vanilla and ginger for a versatile treat!

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You probably have never heard anyone describe rhubarb as comfort food…but it absolutely falls into that category for me, which is probably why I am on a tear creating rhubarb recipes like my rustic rhubarb galette and now this very good, thick, sweet-tart rhubarb compote!

Rhubarb is one of the foods forever linked to my childhood, because my avo (Portuguese for grandmother) had massive rhubarb plants in her garden. While my cousins were fans of dipping the raw stalks in sugar – something I never caught on with – I greedily gobbled up any pie or crumble my grandmother made.

As far as plant-based recipes go, rhubarb is far more versatile than you might expect: you could make a crumble. A pie. A muffin. But you could also take in a more savoury direction by pickling it, making a chutney or adding to a stew. 

Also, random dietitian fact: rhubarb is actually a vegetable, not a fruit! 

This easy rhubarb compote is the perfect way to fall in love with rhubarb because it is SO simple to make and can be used in a variety of ways. Just keep some in the fridge and enjoy it all week long on overnight oats, ice cream, pancakes, yogurt bowls or – my fave – piled onto a piece of sprouted grain or sourdough toast! The ginger is such a perfect partner to rhubarb and really takes this compote over the top.

I actually love fruit-forward dessert recipes more than chocolate. If you’ve got a copy of my book Good For Your Gut, I highly recommend than you make the blackberry crumble bars because they are out of this world!

So now is what you would call a good time to get to the farmer’s market and grab some of this late spring treat. And maybe put a rhubarb plant in your garden and get ready for years of deliciousness! Let’s get compote-ing.

All you need is 4 ingredients for this easy rhubarb compote!

This low sugar rhubarb ginger compote has such a gorgeous depth of flavour that it’s hard to believe it’s made with only 4 simple ingredients: rhubarb, sugar, ginger and vanilla. It really cannot get any simpler than this so let’s get to it!

rhubarb, sugar, vanilla, ginger
Just 4 ingredients – rhubarb, sugar, vanilla and ginger – combine to create a beautiful depth of flavour
  • Fresh rhubarb: look for firm stalks, light green to deep red in colour (all are good!). Avoid any stalks that are mushy and be sure to trim off the leaves, which are toxic.
  • Cane sugar: I use a lot of maple syrup in my recipes but here, I really like cane sugar because is neutral in flavour and let’s be honest, more affordable. This recipe is low in sugar, with only 1/3 cup of granulated cane sugar to counteract the tartness of the rhubarb. If your rhubarb filling is more tart than you would like, feel free to add more sugar!
  • Fresh Ginger: fresh ginger offers so much depth of flavour. I grate the ginger on a microplane, skin and all because I am A) lazy and B) prefer to reduce waste. Just remember to wash the ginger thoroughly before grating!
  • Vanilla: Vanilla gives this compote a ‘dessert-y’ flavour and aroma as well as complexity while tricking your tastebuds into thinking this compote is sweeter than it is.

FAQ: Do I need to peel rhubarb?

Rhubarb is at its peak in late spring and early summer: the stalks are tender and do not require peeling. As the season goes on, rhubarb tends to get a bit tougher, so if you are harvesting later in the season, you may enjoy peeling away the tougher outer layer before using.

How to make this rhubarb compote, step by step

This rhubarb ginger compote is SO much easier than making a jam: all you do is combine the ingredients in a pot and cook them down! It adds a homemade touch to a simple dessert of store bought vegan ice cream for easy entertaining.

Step 1: Prep the Rhubarb. Wash and trim the rhubarb stalks, then chop them into 1/3 inch (¾ cm) pieces.

Step 2: Cook the compote. Place all 4 ingredients into a small pot on medium high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, using a wooden spoon to stir and crush the rhubarb to help it break down. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 5-10 minutes more, stirring occasionally until the rhubarb has completely broken down into a thick compote consistency. I like my compote thick so it doesn’t make my toast soggy – if yours looks a little too dry, just add a splash of water at a time until it looks right.

Step 3: Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary. I like it sweet-tart and find that 1/3 cup of sugar works perfectly; if you like it sweeter, you may wish to use 1/2 cup of sugar in total.

Step 4: Cool and store. You can store this in the fridge in a wide-mouthed jar for up to 5 days. Enjoy stirred into oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream, or on toast to add some extra plant power to your meals.

FAQ: Can I make compote from frozen rhubarb?

Frozen rhubarb works just as well in this recipe! Not only are frozen fruits and vegetables super convenient to use and store, they are also just as nutritionally dense as fresh produce. 

Frozen rhubarb is also prechopped and will break down faster, making this a 10 minute compote. 3 rounded cups (750 mL) is about 1 pound of chopped rhubarb.

Tips, tricks and substitutions

  • You can store this compote in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it in a freezer bag (be sure to remove all the air!) laying flat in the freezer for up to a month or two.
  • Don’t want to use sugar? You can absolutely substitute maple syrup.
  • Flavour variations: you could try this with a bit of lemon zest or a squeeze of lemon juice for freshness, swap out the ginger with a bit of cardamom or cinnamon too. Both go so well with rhubarb.

More vegan summer fruit desserts

bowl with rhubarb compote, yogurt and granola

15 Minute Thick Rhubarb Compote with Ginger

It’s officially rhubarb season…and you need this easy rhubarb compote with ginger in your life! Just 4 simple pantry ingredients, it’s lower in sugar than most recipes to celebrate the sweet-tart flavour of rhubarb with just the right amount of ginger.
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into ⅓ inch (3/4 cm) slices
  • cup cane sugar, or maple syrup
  • 2 inch piece ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions 

  • Place all ingredients in a small pot on medium high heat. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to crush the rhubarb to help it break down faster.
  • Turn heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 more minutes until rhubarb breaks down into a compote.
  • Use immediately, or let cool to room temperature and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it in a freezer bag for a month or two.