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Can You Freeze Rhubarb?

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By Ross Young

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If, like me, you grow your own rhubarb here in the UK you’ll know it seems to suddenly come out of nowhere and, before you know it, you’ve got rhubarb coming out of your ears. So, what is the best way to store it for the long term?

Can You Freeze Rhubarb?

Yes, you can freeze rhubarb for up to 12 months. Slice it up, blanch for 60 seconds in boiling water and then flash freeze on a baking tray. Once solid, you can tip the frozen rhubarb into a freezer bag to store for the longer term.

Does Rhubarb Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Rhubarb? No

How to Freeze Rhubarb

Although you could in theory grab a bunch of raw rhubarb stalks and just freely toss them into the freezer, the end result would be poor. Instead, here’s what I recommend doing if you’re not turning it into a dish.

Time needed: 10 minutes

This is my preferred method for freezing rhubarb

  1. Slice Rhubarb Up

    Firstly, slice your rhubarb stalks into 1-inch long pieces roughly. You don’t need to get a ruler out but cut them up into roughly the same sizes.

  2. Blanch Them

    Although unnecessary, it can be a good idea to blanch the rhubarb. This will help it to retain its flavour and texture. Add your rhubarb to a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds, then remove, drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.

  3. Flash Freeze

    Place the rhubarb slices onto a lined baking tray and place this into the freezer for 3 to 4 hours to give the rhubarb time to freeze fully.

  4. Final Freeze

    Once frozen, remove the tray from the freezer, tip your frozen rhubarb pieces into a zip lock bag and return to the freezer.

Can You Freeze Rhubarb Without Blanching It?

It is perfectly safe to freeze rhubarb without blanching it. However, blanching can extend the time it will last in the freezer. I tend to find it lasts for double the amount of time in the freezer if blanched beforehand.

Freeze Rhubarb Into Dishes

Fortunately, rhubarb freezes well in the form of many dishes. My go-to dishes are rhubarb pie and rhubarb crumble, of course, but you could also stew the rhubarb or turn it into a compote – all of which freeze really well!

How to Freeze Different Forms of Rhubarb

Chances are, you’ve not got rhubarb to eat neat (although dunking it in sugar is a real treat!) but to turn it into a dish. The question is, of course, can these dishes be frozen too?

Crumble or Crisp

What I love to do is make the dish as usual but hold off on the baking part. Instead, once the crumble is assembled in a dish, I wrap it tightly in both cling film and foil to protect it from the freezer. It then goes straight into the freezer.

One of my top tips is to always use a freezer-to-oven safe dish to avoid any temperature shock when you’re ready to bake.

The primary drawback is that you’ll need enough freezer space to accommodate the whole dish. Also, remember to add a few extra minutes to the baking time as you’ll be starting from frozen!


For freezing rhubarb compote or stewed rhubarb, I let it cool completely after cooking. Once cool, I ladle the compote into freezer-safe bags or containers. I always leave a little room at the top, as the compote will expand when it freezes.

It’s important to get as much air out as possible before sealing.

My little secret here is to lay the bags flat in the freezer until the compote is frozen – it saves so much space and makes the compote faster to thaw when needed.


For a rhubarb tart, I tend to freeze the unbaked tart. After assembling, I place the whole tart in the freezer. Once frozen, I carefully remove it from the tart dish (to save my dish from living in the freezer), wrap the frozen tart tightly in cling film and foil, and then return it to the freezer.

When I’m ready to enjoy the tart, I simply unwrap it, place it back in the dish, and bake from frozen, adding more time to the usual baking instructions.

How Long Can You Freeze Rhubarb?

Whenever I freeze a rhubarb crumble or pie, I try to use it up within 3 months. The rhubarb filling will usually be fine but the crumble or pastry topping can become a little too soft and doughy for my liking.

If, however, you’re freezing raw rhubarb, then it’ll keep perfectly fine in the freezer for up to a year. This will ensure a decent supply of rhubarb throughout the year until the next season begins.

How Long Does Rhubarb Last in the Fridge?

Rhubarb can be kept in the fridge, without any leaves, for around 3 weeks. It should be stored unpeeled.

How Do You Defrost Rhubarb?

When it comes to defrosting rhubarb, the best approach is to place it in the fridge overnight to give it plenty of time to thaw out.

Unfortunately, this requires a little planning ahead as you won’t be able to use the rhubarb straight from the freezer.

This isn’t the case, however, if you want to make sauces, compotes or jams.

Another item you won’t need to defrost is rhubarb crumble. You can cook rhubarb crumble straight from the freezer. Just place in an oven at around 180c for 50 minutes until the top is crunchy and the centre piping hot.

Can You Cook Rhubarb From Frozen?

Yes! There’s no need to defrost rhubarb if you plan on cooking it. This includes stewing it or turning it into jams. You also don’t need to defrost crumbles and pies.

How I Make Pies With Frozen Rhubarb

I add frozen rhubarb to a large pot with a splash of water and a sprinkling of sugar, then place over low heat for around 15 minutes until it has thawed and stewed. A pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg works well here too. I then use this as a pie filling and make a fruit pie as usual.

Can You Refreeze Rhubarb

Although safe to do so, when refreezing rhubarb, there is a risk that you’ll break the texture down somewhat. When you then thaw it again, it can be a little soft and mushy in parts.

If you’re going to use the rhubarb to stew, then this will be fine.

However, if you want to retain the texture, then I highly recommend not refreezing it.

Does Rhubarb Freeze Well?

Like most fruit, when rhubarb is frozen and defrosted correctly, you’ll be hard-pushed to tell any real difference between the fresh and frozen (and yes, I know rhubarb technically is a vegetable).

Rhubarb freezes particularly well when it is used in a ready-made dish such as crumble, cobbler or pie. You won’t notice any significant changes to texture or flavour when cooked from frozen.


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