This Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is naturally gluten free with dairy free options as well. It’s an egg free dessert that’s easily made vegan for an overall winner. You can’t go wrong with the dynamite combo of strawberry and rhubarb. Then add a crisp topping plus some ice cream, and you have a dessert everyone loves. It’s simple to make and you can even prep the crisp topping ahead to have in the fridge or freezer too.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is one of the first things I make every year with produce from our garden. Rhubarb is hardy enough to make an early appearance before almost everything else around here. And since our local strawberries come in later around the end of June, I like to use frozen strawberries to make this recipe even easier.
If you have a rhubarb plant at your house, you’ll know that it’s kinda like zucchini. Once it gets going, there’s so much of it that it’s a total overload! I just learned that you can freeze it, so that’s going to be my main strategy in keeping up with the supply.
You can also find rhubarb at your local grocery stores when it’s in season. And you’ll definitely see it at most farmer’s market. If you find you just love it’s unique tangy flavor, try looking for a plant to buy. It can be planted right into your landscape/flower beds, and it pretty much takes care of itself. That way you’ll be loaded up with rhubarb for months every spring into early summer!
Let’s get started by talking about the ingredients for this Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp!
- Rhubarb – is from the Buckwheat family and is a tangy/string stalk sort of like celery. The leaves aren’t edible, so be sure to trim them off first. It’s hard to describe rhubarb if you haven’t had it, but definitely pick some up and try it out in a dessert. It’s tangy nature is so perfect with berries, and you might find yourself addicted to it’s unique tangy-ness.
- Strawberries – I use thawed frozen strawberries in this recipe because strawberries aren’t in season here when rhubarb is in the early months. If you have fresh strawberries, the fresher the better. Store bought strawberries have way less juices than frozen, so that could make your crisp slightly thicker.
- Maple syrup – or honey both work in this recipe and both have unique flavor profiles that are very tasty. I tend to use whatever I have, but honey is really nice with the rhubarb strawberry combo.
- Orange zest – or lemon juice add the perfect bright note to this recipe that makes it stand out in combination with the cinnamon.
- Cinnamon – in both the filling and the topping make this crisp perfectly flavorful and works together with the orange zest for a great combo.
- Tapioca starch – thickens up the filling, but you can use cornstarch or arrowroot too.
- Oats – are used to make a homemade oat flour and stirred in at the end as well for the classic crisp topping, only gluten free.
- Butter – or coconut oil, avocado oil, or vegan butter all work as dairy free options as well.
- Coconut Sugar – makes an extra crispy topping. I have used maple syrup or honey, but the crisp topping comes out much softer so I don’t recommend it.
- Nuts – chopped and added to the crisp topping add a lot of crunch and flavor. But if you can’t have nuts, just leave them out, or you might even try pumpkin seeds.
Now let’s jump in and make this Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp recipe step by step!
Start by washing and trimming your rhubarb. Measure out your cinnamon, zest your orange or lemon and defrost the frozen strawberries. I like to use defrosted strawberries because the fruit filling bakes more evenly with the crisp topping this way.
Then, slice the rhubarb in 1/4-1/2″ slices – don’t worry about being too accurate because rhubarb cooks best when it’s a bit uneven in my opinion. (The smaller pieces melt into the sauce, and a few of the bigger pieces keep their shape.)
Mix a little of the juices from the thawed strawberries together with the tapioca, this is an important step so that you don’t end up with any lumps. Then add the maple syrup and cinnamon, and mix again.
Next we’ll make the crisp topping. Start by roughly chopping the nuts.
For the oat crisp topping, grind the oats (make sure they’re certified gluten free if needed) into a coarse flour in a food processor – this takes 2-3 minutes. (You can also use oat flour and make the crisp by hand by working the butter in until it clumps, and then stirring in the oats and nuts.)
Next pulse in the coconut sugar, cinnamon, and butter until the mixture begins to clump. Finally, you add your reserved oats and pulse just to combine – you’ll want them to be mostly whole, (you can stir them in by hand as well so as not to over process).
Add the rhubarb to an 11″x7″ baking dish along with the strawberries. Pour the sauce over the top and mix to combine.
Sprinkle the crisp topping evenly over the top of the strawberry rhubarb mixture.
Bake until golden browned and the fruit is bubbling around the edges.
Serve with your favorite ice cream, our favorites are my Homemade Coconut Ice Cream or The Best Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
Best Toppings for Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp:
- Homemade Maple Ice Cream
- The Best Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- Homemade Coconut Ice Cream, (dairy free & vegan)
- Homemade Coconut Whipped Cream, (dairy free & vegan)
- The Ultimate Whipped Cream
And now some FAQ’s:
The common consensus is YES! definitely refrigerate your strawberry rhubarb crisp once it’s completely cooled to room temperature for 3-4 days. I personally leave mine on the counter overnight, and refrigerate within 1 day, but it never hurts to be safe than sorry!
The best way to reheat and crunchy up your crisp is to heat it in the oven at 300ºF until warm and the topping has become crisp again, 10-15 minutes.
You don’t need to peel rhubarb before cooking. If you are lucky enough to have beautiful red/pink rhubarb the skin will add a lot of color to your crisp. Also the skin on rhubarb isn’t tough at all once your crisp is baked.
I really hope you enjoy this Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp! And if you do get a chance to make it, I hope you’ll leave me a comment/rating below. I always love hearing from you here! If you’re crazy about strawberry and rhubarb, try my Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce or my Strawberry Rhubarb Streusel Tart. Also for lots more healthy dessert recipes, head over to the recipe index.Print
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
This Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is naturally gluten free with dairy free options as well. It’s an egg free dessert that’s easily made vegan as well for an overall winner. You can’t go wrong with the dynamite combo of strawberry and rhubarb. Then add a crisp topping plus some ice cream, and you have a dessert everyone loves. It’s simple to make and you can even prep the crisp topping ahead to have in the fridge or freezer too.
Strawberry Rhubarb Filling:
1 pound rhubarb
8 ounces frozen strawberries, thawed and the juices saved
1/4 cup maple syrup, or honey (more to taste if your berries aren’t sweet)
1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
3/4 cup rolled oats, or 1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup butter, avocado oil, vegan butter, or coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts, pecans, cashews, or walnuts
1/4 cup rolled oats
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Wash and trim the rhubarb, then slice it into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces. Add the rhubarb and strawberries to a 11″x7″ baking dish. Mix together, then spread out evenly.
Combine the tapioca starch with the maple syrup until completely combined and no lumps remain. Then mix in the orange/lemon zest and cinnamon, then pour the mixture over the sliced rhubarb and strawberries.
For the crisp topping, place the 3/4 cup oats into a food processor and process for 2-3 minutes or until you have a coarse flour. Add the butter in small pieces, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt. Pulse until the mixture begins to clump.
Add the chopped nuts and additional 1/4 cup rolled oats and mix the crisp topping together by hand.
Using your hands to break apart the topping, crumble it evenly over the top of the strawberry rhubarb mixture.
Bake it in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with your favorite vanilla ice cream.
This rhubarb crisp is on the tangy side so that it pairs well with ice cream and isn’t overly sweet!
Paleo Crisp Topping: 1 cup almond flour, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1 teaspoon orange zest, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup coconut oil or ghee, (melted), 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Healthy, Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Gluten Free, Best Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
This post was originally published in 2014, but has been updated in 2021 to include new photos, prep photos, nutritional facts, more information and tips.
8 thoughts on “Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (Gluten Free)”
How much of the juice should be added to the tapioca? And the recipe never mentions actually adding the strawberries themselves.
I usually add just enough to dissolve the tapioca, anywhere between 2-4 tablespoons. I’ve simplified things since I wrote this recipe, so I just fixed it and I hope that helps too. I now just mix the tapioca right away with the maple syrup and there’s no need to mix in strawberry juices. Also I’ve corrected the recipe to include the strawberries with the rhubarb. Thanks so much for your question and help, I greatly appreciate it!
It looks absolutely amazing, I cannot wait to try it (soon hopefully) !
Thanks for sharing as always…
I sure hope you enjoy it!
do you think fresh strawberries ok? Any advantage to frozen?
I think fresh strawberries should be fine, sometimes they’re less juicy than the frozen ones, especially if they’re out of season berries. Frozen berries are generally cheaper and depending on the brand can add more flavor to the crisp than an out of season fresh strawberry. Let me know how it goes and if you have anymore questions!
I recently had a feud with my friend Tom (he’s from London), he insisted that this kind of dessert is called a crumble while a crisp is a potato chip.
We went on for hours and he said that we (Americans) are calling things with the wrong name. You know how arrogant British are when it comes to English language… 😉
Anyways, I can’t wait to get some rhubarb to make this beautiful CRISP (the paleo version, of course!)
That’s hilarious! There are so many names for old-fashioned desserts – crisp, crumble, cobbler, buckle, slump, pandowdy – how could anyone keep it straight!!! 🙂