Rhubarb Sauce with Strawberry Jello

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Rhubarb Sauce with Strawberry Jello is a favorite old-fashioned rhubarb treat. Serve it over ice cream or eat it in a bowl just like you would applesauce.

Rhubarb Sauce with Strawberry Jello

Old fashioned rhubarb sauce is sweet, tangy, and perfect as a snack or dessert.

This was originally one of my great grandma’s rhubarb recipes and true to her style, her original recipe read like this:

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“Add just enough water so rhubarb doesn’t stick while cooking. Add sugar to taste and jello to thicken.”

She didn’t list an amount for the ingredients, just basic instructions. 

Thankfully after some trial and error, I’ve nailed down amounts for each of the ingredients and more specific cooking instructions.

At family gatherings, we’ve always served this sauce as a side dish, just like applesauce. That is still my favorite way to eat it.

However, I’ve heard from a lot of people who enjoy this rhubarb sauce over ice cream or pound cake. I’ve tried it over ice cream myself now and it is delicious. 

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Sauce

How to make Rhubarb Sauce with Jello

You can make this sauce with either fresh or frozen rhubarb. If you’re using frozen rhubarb, you will need to plan ahead and let it thaw completely.

Drain the excess liquid, but don’t squeeze out the rhubarb. I let mine thaw in a strainer over a bowl. 

Rhubarb Sauce Ingredients

Rhubarb Sauce Ingredients

This recipe is simple, only 4 ingredients counting the water. You will need: 

  • Rhubarb
  • Water
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Strawberry Jello
Old Fashioned Rhubarb Sauce over Ice Cream

Rhubarb Sauce Recipe

Place the rhubarb, water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes until the rhubarb is tender. Remove from the heat and stir in a package of Strawberry Jello. Let cool. 

The amount of water in the recipe creates a sauce that is the consistency of applesauce when cool. It will seem runny at first, but the Jello will thicken it as it cools, especially after it is chilled in the refrigerator.

Feel free to adjust the amount of water in the recipe to thicken it to your tastes. The amount of sugar is adjustable too based on your tastes. This is a sweet sauce, thanks to the strawberry jello. 

Store your rhubarb sauce in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for longer storage.

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Sauce - enjoy it on its own or over ice cream.

If you like this rhubarb sauce with strawberry jello, you will probably like these other vintage rhubarb dessert recipes that are reader favorites. Check them out below: 

In my research on rhubarb sauce, I came across quite a few recipes that use rhubarb sauce as a glaze for meat.

I’ve only had rhubarb in sweet desserts, so I’m looking forward to trying this Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce and this Rhubarb Pulled Pork too.

This Salmon Fillet with Rhubarb Sauce also looks like it could be a hit.

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Sauce - enjoy it on its own or over ice cream.

Rhubarb Sauce with Strawberry Jello

4.38 from 16 votes
Tangy rhubarb sauce made with strawberry jello is a favorite old fashioned rhubarb treat. Serve it over ice cream or eat it in a bowl just like you would applesauce. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dessert, Sauces and Dips
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5 cups


  • 8 cups rhubarb diced (see note below on using frozen rhubarb)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3 oz package of strawberry Jello


  • Add the rhubarb, water and sugar to a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until boiled. Let simmer for 5 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender and broken down.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the package of strawberry jello. Let cool. Store in the refrigerator.


To use frozen rhubarb: thaw the rhubarb first and let any excess liquid drain off. Don’t squeeze any liquid out, just drain what naturally thaws out of the rhubarb. 


Serving: 0.5cup · Calories: 131kcal · Carbohydrates: 32g · Protein: 2g · Sodium: 47mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 28g
Tried this recipe?Mention @chocolatewithgrace or tag #chocolatewithgrace!

{originally published 4/13/19 – recipe notes and photos updated 5/25/23}

Rhubarb Sauce with Jello
Classic Rhubarb Sauce with Strawberry Jello

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32 Comments Leave a comment or review

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  1. Krissy Allori says

    5 stars
    I have rhubarb in my garden and made this sauce. Turned out perfect! I would have never thought to have added jello!

  2. Arbor says

    5 stars
    This is really great! Not sure we’ll use the whole batch before it turns. Do you know if this can be canned or frozen so I can put half up for later?

  3. Cheryl Arp says

    About how rhubarb do you use for your recipe? Did you use a 3 or 6 oz. box of Strawberry Jello? My mom used to make rhubarb sauce with Jello, but I can’t find her recipe. Thanks!

  4. Kristen says

    5 stars
    I always had rhubarb sauce at my grandmas but she never had a recipe. She just passed a week ago and my rhubarb is ready. I just made some in her memory of her, and success! I tried once before a few years ago and it was no good. I finally realized that i needed sugar and more water! Thank you for the recipe!

  5. Tammy says

    3 stars
    I made this & it turned out extremely watery. Looks nothing like picture. I only added 3 cups of water. Is there any way I can fix this?

    • Tammi says

      I have the same recipe with the exception of the amount of water. My three generation recipe calls for 1 cup of water.

  6. Michelle says

    This is a disappointment. I love the taste of rhubarb, but after following the recipe to the letter, it tastes like strawberry sauce.

    • Mary says

      I’ve made this sauce countless times exactly as written. Did it thicken in the fridge for you, Patty?

  7. Shirley Robbins says

    I make the same only I add a 19oz can of crushed pimeapple with juice and raspberry jello

  8. Karren Foster says

    5 stars
    I have been wanting the Rhubarb and strawberry jam for a long time sounds so good Thank You 😊

  9. Diana L. Farmakoulas says

    3 stars
    I make a sugar-free version of this because my husband is diabetic. I use 4 cups chopped rhubarb, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and 1/8-1/4 cup water. I cooked mine in the microwave for 5-10 minutes on high until it reaches the consistency I like. I then stir in a package of any flavour of sugar-free Jello-o. Cool, then put it in the fridge till set.

    • Mary says

      I’m glad you found a way to make the recipe work for your family’s needs, Diana. Enjoy the rhubarb sauce!

    • alice hankinson says

      I have never made anything with rhubarb. Do i peel of the outside skin of the rubarb before cooking it.

      • Mary says

        Hi, Alice! If your rhubarb is from later in the season, you might want to peel it, since rhubarb tends to get firmer as the season goes on, but you should be safe to just scrub and dice the rhubarb as is. It’ll just be a minor difference in texture, if anything. I hope you love the rhubarb sauce!

  10. Julie Bousum says

    5 stars
    I have been trying to find this recipe for most of my 45-year marriage! My husband remembered a rhubarb-raspberry jello sauce from his childhood. I substituted the raspberry for strawberry ( and added a larger helping of jello.)