This sweet and tart Rhubarb Crisp has a filling made with fresh or frozen rhubarb covered generously with a simple oat crisp topping! It’s an easy, delicious treat, especially when served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Rhubarb is a “vegetable” that performs best in fruit dessert recipes with the help of a little sugar to balance its tartness! Like carrots, zucchini, and pumpkin, rhubarb is a veggie that everybody loves for dessert!
Often rhubarb is paired with another fruit, particularly strawberries, and they play tag team with your tastebuds. Cherries, raspberries, blueberries, and apples also go well with rhubarb. You could replace half of the rhubarb called for in the recipe below with one of these other fruits if you don’t have enough rhubarb on hand or you want to change things up.
But we love a good, old-fashioned rhubarb crisp with nothing more than those vibrant red and green stalks for the filling without any other fruit competing for our attention. It’s tart and sweet and jammy when it bakes down in the oven.
Then we go and top it with the most delicious crunchy oat crisp topping imaginable. Our perfect crisp topping has twice the amount of oats to flour, which makes it extra wonderful because of the added texture. Mix in a little cinnamon and butter using your hands, then sprinkle it over the top and bake until everything is bubbling and golden brown on top.
Serve as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a perfectly satisfying summertime dessert!
Ingredients in Rhubarb Crisp
Nothing too crazy here! Lots of common ingredients you should already have in your pantry or easy to find at any grocery store. Don’t forget the full recipe directions and increments are at the bottom of this post in the printable recipe card.
- Fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut into 1-inch chunks
- Granulated sugar
- Lemon juice
- Old-fashioned oats
- All-purpose flour
- Brown sugar
How to make rhubarb crisp
Any type of fruit crisp is a great dessert for beginning bakers or kids to get a little experience since it doesn’t require any special skills or techniques like rolling out a crust.
- Wash and chop the rhubarb stalks into bite-size pieces. Rhubarb stalks can be pretty thick sometimes, so you might need to slice them down the middle first, then chop into smaller pieces.
- Toss rhubarb with sugar, cornstarch, and a little lemon juice, then dump the filling in a square baking dish or pie plate.
- Mix up the crumbly topping by combining oats, flour, brown sugar, a little cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl with softened butter. Sprinkle this over the top of the rhubarb filling.
- Bake for about 35-40 minutes until the rhubarb has softened beneath the golden brown oat crisp topping. You can test it by sticking a knife or fork in. If it slides easily in and out, then you know the rhubarb is done.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or plain as is!
The nice thing about rhubarb crisp versus a pie is that you aren’t worrying about whether a bottom crust is done. Since it gets scooped out instead of sliced, even if the filling isn’t as set up (which can be particularly true with frozen rhubarb), it’s not much of a problem.
Also, you don’t have to wait for hours for the rhubarb crisp to cool down before enjoying it. A crisp is a rustic-looking dessert that is best eaten warm!
Can this be made gluten-free?
Yes, you can make this gluten free! For this Rhubarb Crisp, simply use gluten-free oats and a gluten-free flour, substituting both 1:1 in this recipe. Be sure to read the labels to ensure they are in fact gluten free, especially on the oats.
Make ahead and freezing instructions
It doesn’t take long to throw a rhubarb crisp together and pop it in the oven, but sometimes I want to just be able to have dessert ready beforehand. You can assemble the rhubarb crisp, then wrap well in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months before baking.
Or bake the rhubarb crisp and reheat individual portions in the microwave or place the entire dish in the oven to serve it warm.
More fruit dessert recipes we love:
- 5-6 cups rhubarb chopped, fresh or frozen
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch*
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped, or pecans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Combine the rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish. Toss to evenly distribute the sugar and cornstarch with the rhubarb.
- In a large bowl, mix the butter into the oats, flour, cinnamon, and salt using a fork or your hands until it resembles pea-sized crumbs. Add chopped nuts, if using.
- Sprinkle the crisp topping over the rhubarb filling, then bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the crisp topping is lightly browned.
- Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream.