Glass jar of Rhubarb-Wine BBQ sauce surrounded by fresh stalks of rhubarb.

Rhubarb-Wine BBQ Sauce

We all know rhubarb is amazing in sweet desserts, but you’ll love it even more in a savory Rhubarb-Wine BBQ Sauce that is just right for grilling up ribs, chicken, or whatever you have planned!

Glass jar of Rhubarb-Wine BBQ sauce surrounded by fresh stalks of rhubarb.
Rhubarb-Wine BBQ Sauce

We all know rhubarb is amazing in sweet desserts, but you’ll love it even more in a savory Rhubarb-Wine BBQ Sauce! Put it on ribs, grilled chicken, and more!

Glass jar of Rhubarb-Wine BBQ sauce surrounded by fresh stalks of rhubarb.

I’m not sure whether or not to feel badly for my beloved rhubarb. On the one hand, it is well loved – adored, even – in all kinds of sweet goodies. I think by now you know how much I love rhubarb. From cakes to compotes to everything in between, I’m afraid the season doesn’t last long enough for me to play with one of my favorite ingredients.

On the other hand, rhubarb has been typecast, wouldn’t you agree? Sometimes I wonder what it thinks – that is, if it could think. Maybe it wishes, “I just want to be like all the other vegetables!” or perhaps, “I’m tired of being cooked up in sweet dishes!”

Stalks of freshly washed rhubarb on a blue and white striped towel.

Well, my dear rhubarb, I hear you. You deserve to be understood as multifaceted, appreciated for both sweet and savory.

The grilling bug has bitten – and along with it, a craving for ribs and a new savory bbq sauce to love. Rhubarb’s natural tanginess works brilliantly in this Rhubarb-Wine BBQ Sauce, tempered by sweet wine and a spicy kick from the spices. According to my husband, it’s his favorite of the bbq sauces I have made, and I think you might just agree. Try it on baby back ribs, grilled chicken, whatever comes off the grill.

Brushing Rhubarb-Wine BBQ Sauce over grilled ribs.

And save a few stalks – because, there should be some rhubarb cake for dessert.

Glass jar of Rhubarb-Wine BBQ sauce surrounded by fresh stalks of rhubarb.


May Seasonal Produce Guide

Summer is just around the corner, and May’s Eat Seasonal roundup, organized by Becky of Vintage Mixer, is all about transitioning from spring. Join us and our friends as we share dishes that embrace eating seasonal! Check out the May Seasonal Produce Guide and these recipes for more #EatSeasonal inspiration.

5 May Blogger Photos - Collage of Eat Seasonal Recipe Photos.

Rhubarb-Almond Cake by Floating Kitchen
Kale, Mushroom & Goat Cheese Quesadillas by Cookin’ Canuck
Skinny Pineapple Mint Margaritas by Mountain Mama Cooks
Shaved Asparagus Ricotta Flatbread by Flavor the Moments
Roasted Broccoli and Bacon Crustless Quiche by Completely Delicious
Lemon Roasted Artichokes by Letty’s Kitchen
Rice Bowls with Quick Pickled Ginger Red Cabbage by Food for My Family
Rhubarb Eton Mess with Coconut Whipped Cream by Vintage Mixer


Rhubarb Mint Margarita
Rhubarb Frangipane Cake
Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
Rhubarb Empanadas
Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Rhubarb Wine BBQ Sauce

You’ll want to slather this easy BBQ sauce over everything that comes of the grill!
Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 Cup
Calories 803kcal


  • 2 cups rhubarb chopped
  • 3/4 cup white wine I used a Chardonnay, but a Sauvignon Blanc would be nice, too
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup shallots diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper


  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the rhubarb, honey, wine and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, and cook until the rhubarb has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper (add in increments if you are sensitive to spice), shallots and garlic and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes more. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. An immersion blender also works. Pass the sauce through a sieve and return to the saucepan and return to the heat.
  • Season the sauce with salt and pepper, and continue simmering the sauce until it has thickened, about 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove from heat and let it cool; it will thicken as it sits. The sauce may be used right away or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator after cooling completely.


Calories: 803kcal | Carbohydrates: 173g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 644mg | Potassium: 1014mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 157g | Vitamin A: 960IU | Vitamin C: 21.3mg | Calcium: 259mg | Iron: 2.3mg
Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante
This summer, you'll have to try this Rhubarb-Wine BBQ Sauce! You'll want to slather it over everything that comes of the grill!


Recipe Rating

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    • Liren Baker

      Hi Carol, I haven’t tested the recipe using red wine but I’m sure it would be lovely. My suggestion would be to try it with a lighter red, such as a Zinfandel or Pinot Noir. Let me know how it works out!

  1. Becky

    I definitely want more rhubarb in my life!!  And I love new ideas like this one.  Great recipe friend!

    • Liren Baker

      Thanks Becky! Your Rhubarb Eton Mess has been haunting me – I just love how we have all been so creative with rhubarb this month!

  2. Letty / Letty's Kitchen

    This sauce would make a wonderful hostess gift. I’m passing the recipe along to my girlfriend who has rhubarb in her garden all summer here in Park City–she is always looking for different rhubarb recipes.

    • Liren Baker

      I love the idea of gifting this sauce, Letty! And I hope your friend like it – she’s so lucky to have rhubarb all summer long!

  3. marcie

    Rhubarb is so versatile and I love that it can be used in sweet and savory dishes!  This BBQ sauce sounds amazing, I can’t wait to make it and slather it all over my grilled meats!  I love that you added the red wine.  Hope you had a great Mother’s Day, Liren!

    • Liren Baker

      I hope you had a great Mother’s Day, too Marcie! I guess I just get stuck in that rut when it comes to rhubarb – I’m determined to use it in more savory dishes ;)

  4. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    I’m so flipping excited for this recipe, Liren! I love rhubarb and I was just thinking the other day about how the heck I could make something savory with it, but I was totally coming up blank. Now here you are with this great BBQ sauce! I just love it and I can’t wait to try it! 

    • Liren Baker

      I just love all the ways we can use rhubarb, Liz – and I can I just say, I want a slice of your rhubarb almond cake!!! :)

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