Easy Rhubarb Crisp

updated May 18, 2020
Rhubarb Crisp

A basic recipe for classic rhubarb crisp with an oat streusel topping. Variations with strawberries or apples included.

Serves6 to 8

Prep25 minutes

Cook35 minutes to 45 minutes

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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Of all the spring produce I look forward to the most, rhubarb is at the very top of the list. I can never get enough of its pretty pink color and tart bite this time of year. While it’s most classically paired with strawberries, I feel strongly that it deserves to be unaccompanied so its distinct flavor isn’t masked.

There are plenty of newfangled ways to enjoy rhubarb, but because its season is so short, I like to keep it simple. This warm, sweet crisp puts rhubarb front and center — it’s simple, homey, and begging for vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. It’s the first recipe you should make after carting home a heavy haul from the farmers market.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

The Best Spring Dessert You Can Make

I make fruit crisps all year long with whatever is in season, but there’s something extra special about one featuring rhubarb. The striking color is a welcome sight after a winter of muted tones. This one isn’t fussy — it takes ingredients you already have in your pantry and turns them into a comforting, crowd-pleasing dessert. Spoon it into bowls while warm, and finish each with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a cloud of whipped cream, or even just a drizzle of heavy cream.

While I’ve already made my case for making rhubarb the star here, I of course want you to do you. Go ahead and swap out half the rhubarb for strawberries or apples, if you prefer. And if you’d like to make this crisp gluten-free, opt for gluten-free rolled oats and switch out the all-purpose flour for oat flour or your favorite gluten-free flour blend.

Rhubarb Crisp

A basic recipe for classic rhubarb crisp with an oat streusel topping. Variations with strawberries or apples included.

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes to 45 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 2 pounds

    fresh rhubarb, leaves removed and discarded, stalks cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)

  • 1 tablespoon

    freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups

    old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon (optional)

  • 12 tablespoons

    (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the baking dish

  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for serving (optional)


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Coat an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan (or 2- to 2 1/2-quart baking dish) with butter; set aside.

Make the filling:

  1. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together in a large bowl until lump-free. Add the rhubarb and lemon juice and toss gently to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

Make the topping:

  1. Wipe out the bowl. Add the oats, flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon, if using, and stir until combined. Drizzle the butter over the oat mixture and stir until evenly moistened. Scatter the crisp topping evenly over the fruit mixture, leaving large clumps intact.

  2. Bake until the fruit juices are bubbling around the edges of the baking dish and the topping is golden and firm to the touch, 35 to 45 minutes. Let the crisp cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The crisp topping can be made and frozen up to 3 months in advance. Store it in a zip-top freezer bag and use it frozen.

Storage: Leftovers will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 5 days. Serve cold, room temperature, or re-warmed in a low oven for 20 minutes.

To make strawberry-rhubarb or apple-rhubarb crisp: Swap up to half of the rhubarb with hulled and sliced strawberries or peeled, cored, and sliced apples.