Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

Where to Buy Rhubarb:
Cervelli Farm Stand, 247 Rounseville Road, Rochester
C N Smith Farm, 325 South Street, East Bridgewater
Fieldstone Farm Market, 806 Mill Street, Marion
Four Town Farm, 90 George Street, Seekonk and at your local farmers’ markets.
Makes approximately 1¼ cups.
This barbecue sauce uses canned tomatoes and tomato paste for its base flavor vs. using ketchup (which can have a lot of sugar in it), offering that underlying tomato base you need for a good barbecue sauce. If you like a good smoky barbecue sauce, then be sure to add the chipotles in adobo sauce as it adds a really nice flavor paired with the rhubarb—just be sure to start with a small amount at first, and add in more as desired, as the flavor intensifies as it cooks.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ 14.5- ounce can low-sodium diced tomatoes and their juices
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar or to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ to 2 teaspoons chipotle in adobo sauce optional (see head note)
  • 1 cup washed dried, trimmed, and diced rhubarb (from about 3 or 4 stalks)


  • In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes, light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, mustard, ½ teaspoon chipotle in adobo sauce (if using), and rhubarb. Stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened and rhubarb is softened. Taste and adjust as desired, adding in additional vinegar or light brown sugar as needed. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Once cooled, puree until smooth with either an immersion blender or a food processor. Cover and keep in refrigerator for up to 1 week.