This version of a rhubarb crunch recipe is from my Grandma Nona’s recipe box. Growing up on the farm in North Dakota, we ate it often, always with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (remember the ice cream that came in a rectangular container?). I’m so grateful to share it with you today. 

During rhubarb season, nothing is better than the perfect balance of tangy rhubarb mixed with sweet and buttery oat topping to make this rhubarb crunch. It’s an easy recipe to make anytime you need a quick dessert. It’s sure to become one of your favorite rhubarb desserts. 

Enjoy my Grandma’s old-fashioned rhubarb crunch recipe with your family today! 

Simple Rhubarb Crunch Recipe with Oatmeal


Oatmeal Topping:

1 cup flour, sifted

3/4 cup old fashioned oats or quick cooking oats 

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup melted butter 

Pinch of salt


1 cup sugar

​1 cup water

1 tsp vanilla (optional)

2-3 Tablespoons cornstarch

4 cups of rhubarb, diced 

**This recipe will have the best results when made with fresh rhubarb, but if you have frozen rhubarb, be sure to thaw and drain it well before adding it to the recipe or you’ll have a soggy crust.


​Step 1:

For the crust, melt butter and use a pastry blender to mix with the oats, flour, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Pat half of the oat mixture into the bottom of an 8×8 inch or 9×9 inch baking dish.

Step 2:

To make the filling, boil sugar, water, cornstarch, and vanilla until thick, stirring often. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes.

​Step 3:

Stir the chopped rhubarb into the cornstarch slurry. Pour the rhubarb mixture over the crust.

Sprinkle the remainder of the crumble topping over the top of the rhubarb filling. 

Step 4:

Bake in a 350-degree oven for up to one hour, checking after 50 minutes of baking time. The crisp topping should be golden brown and the mixture should be bubbling around the edges when it is done and ready!

Let cool to room temperature. Serve with whipped cream topping or a scoop of ice cream.

Tips for Choosing the Best Rhubarb for Recipes

When you head out to your rhubarb plant to cut some for your rhubarb crunch dessert, try to use firm, smaller stalks that are not yet too thick. Thick stalks that aren’t picked until the end of the season (early July) tend to taste woody and tough. 

Twist and pull, cut off the rhubarb leaves and the white end, then wash and dice in small pieces. If your rhubarb pieces are a bit larger–no problem–it will just take a little longer to bake. 

stalks of rhubarb

The color of the rhubarb doesn’t make a difference in taste but instead tells you the variety of rhubarb you are growing. Red rhubarb is what I prefer just for looks, but you can certainly use green stalks as well.

Enjoy this easy dessert – it’s a great way to use all that late spring rhubarb popping up in your garden!

Looking for more rhubarb recipes? Check out my family favorites!

Buttermilk Rhubarb Bread

Rhubarb Crumble Pie

Easy Strawberry-Rhubarb Freezer Jam

Simple and Delicious Raspberry-Rhubarb Jam

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