The Easy Pickled Rhubarb Recipe You Need to Try

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This easy pickled rhubarb recipe is made on the stovetop—but there's no water bath canning required.

When ruby-red stalks of rhubarb appear in your garden, you know that spring has arrived! But what to do with all that rhubarb? It’s impossible not to end up with a bumper crop of the stuff. Yes, freezing rhubarb is an option. But this easy pickled rhubarb recipe is a great way to enjoy rhubarb all season long.

What Does Pickled Rhubarb Taste Like?

Pickled rhubarb has a sweet and tart taste. If you add spices to the mix, as recommended in the recipe below, it will have a slightly spicy flavor as well. But it depends on the combination of spices that you use.

How to Make Pickled Rhubarb

It’s a snap! You’ll need some fresh rhubarb and a pickling liquid, or brine. When making the brine, you can simply use apple cider vinegar, water, pickling salt and sugar. You can also make the flavor a bit more complex with the addition of spices, such as mustard seeds, cloves, ginger, peppercorns and star anise.

Here’s how to harvest stalks of rhubarb from your garden.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh rhubarb stalks, trimmed to fit two 8-ounce jars
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

PICKLING SPICES

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 star anise pod

Tools You’ll Need

  • You’ll need Mason jars with removable lids and rings for this pickling project.
  • We love this 2-qt. All-Clad saucepan—the cooking surface is stainless steel and won’t react with vinegar.
  • This Canning & Pickling Salt will dissolve more quickly than table salt.

Instructions

Step 1: Prep the rhubarb

Rhubarb packed into mason jarsSusan Bronson for Taste of Home

To start, tightly pack the trimmed rhubarb into jars. Don’t forget to allow at least 3/4 inch of head space.

Step 2: Make the brine

process shot, pickling liquid in sauce potSusan Bronson for Taste of Home

In a medium saucepan, combine the apple cider vinegar, water, salt and sugar. Then, add the pickling spices if you’d like to use them. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes, or until the salt and sugar have dissolved.

Step 3: Fill the jars

final shot pickled rhubarb in jarsSusan Bronson for Taste of Home

Carefully pour the pickling liquid and spices into each jar, leaving 1/2 inch of head space.

Step 4: Seal and chill

Seal the jars. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 48 hours before using. Once opened, the pickled rhubarb should be used up within two weeks. Unopened, it can be stored for up to two months in the refrigerator.

How to Store Pickled Rhubarb

The pickled rhubarb made with this recipe should be stored in the refrigerator. However, if you would like to store your pickled rhubarb for a longer period of time (and say, enjoy it during the deep dark of winter), you can opt to process the jars in a water bath canner immediately after filling and sealing the jars.

How to Serve Pickled Rhubarb

Think of pickled rhubarb as a condiment—it would be a delicious topping on burgers or brats. You could even use it as a sweet and savory topping for yogurt! I know I can’t wait to try it as an addition to this strawberry ricotta bruschetta.

Love pickling recipes like this? Here’s how to make pickles with any vegetable.

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Susan Bronson
Susan Bronson is a writer and editor based in Northern Wisconsin.