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Spiced Honey Rhubarb Chutney

This recipe transforms little ole’ unassuming rhubarb into an irresistible relish, a delightful spiced honey rhubarb chutney. Simply simmer chunks of the tart stalks in hot sweet and sour syrup, adding dried cranberries for rosy pink color, and cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom for vivid yet gentle spiciness. Amazing.
Spiced Honey Rhubarb Chutney | Letty's Kitchen

When someone says rhubarb, you first think pie, right? Boy does rhubarb make good pie! In some parts they even call rhubarb pieplant, since pie is what we usually make with rhubarb. Let’s step out of the pie box and into the sweet tangy spicy world of chutney.

Click here to PIN Spiced Honey Rhubarb Chutney.


Chutney is much faster to make than pie, anyway. 20 minutes from start to finish, it’s done, ready. Chutney famously pairs with Indian curries, yes, but don’t stop there. You’ll be inventing all kinds of pizzazy purposes for this refreshing flavorful combination.

Use your spiced honey rhubarb chutney as the condiment on burgers. Spread it like jam, with almond butter on toast, or rolled in a tortilla. Drizzle this spicy chutney into lentil soup, serve it alongside sautéed greens, like kale, chard and spinach. With cheese and crackers, spiced rhubarb chutney absolutely sparkles!

Belonging to a CSA is the about the closest to gardening I get. True confessions, I’ve got a brown thumb. If a houseplant can’t tolerate an erratic watering schedule, it’s out of here.

rhubarb plant--Spiced Honey Rhubarb Chutney | Letty's Kitchen

Last year, I planted a baby rhubarb plant, but the bugs chewed it down to nothing. Surprising, this spring that tortured pieplant sprouted anew–cross your fingers and wish me luck, maybe next year we’ll be harvesting rhubarb.

Thank goodness our neighbors have overabundant rhubarb crops and grow all the rhubarb we can ask for. Because I’ve been making this recipe a lot, we’ve gotten very spoiled with the flavorful pop that spicy sweet-tart rhubarb chutney adds to everything we eat!

Spiced Honey Rhubarb Chutney recipe notes:

  • When you add the rhubarb and dried cranberries to the hot spiced honey and vinegar base,  resist the urge to add water—in short time the rhubarb breaks down, making plenty of liquid.

rhubarb and dried cranberrie in measuring cup-2969

  • Don’t cook your chutney more than four minutes or it will be mushy. Not a bad thing flavor-wise, it’s just that tender rhubarb chunks look better.
  • You can use either ground cardamom or the crushed seeds of cardamom pods. No doubt about it, the freshly crushed seeds have much more aromatic sexy cardamom flavor–cardamom seeds begin to lose their essential oil the minute they’re ground.
  • Cardamom pods make great breath fresheners. My friend Chef Wiley often chews them for just that reason. I found cardamom pods in the bulk spice jars at my Kroger store.
  • You’ll want to pair your rhubarb chutney with this curried chard and chickpea dish.
  • Flexitarians will enjoy this spicy chutney with meat, chicken, and fish.
  • This recipe is adapted from a rhubarb chutney recipe in Bon Appétit magazine, April 1994 issue.

Have a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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5 from 2 votes
Spiced Honey Rhubarb Chutney | Letty's Kitchen
Spiced Honey Rhubarb Chutney
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
20 mins
Serve this rosy pink spiced sweet and sour relish/condiment with curries, as appetizers with cheese, as an amazingly flavorful sandwich spread!
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 4 cups.
Author: Letty Flatt
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange or grapefruit zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, or seeds of 3 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 4 1/2 cups coarsely chopped rhubarb (from 1 3/4 pounds rhubarb)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped red onions
  1. Stir the honey, vinegar, cinnamon, ginger, citrus zest and cardamom in a saucepan over medium heat until the mixture boils.  

  2. Add rhubarb, cranberries, and red onions; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, about 4 minutes.

  3. Cool to room temperature. Discard cinnamon. Serve warm, or cover and refrigerate chutney until cold, about 1 hour.

Recipe Notes

Refrigerated homemade chutney lasts about 2 weeks.


  • Megan Williams

    Thank you Letty! if i want to can this, should i make the syrup and add all but the rhubarb, then add when canning? I boil jars about 20 minutes here at altitude…Thanks, want to save this wonderful treat for winter!!! Reply · 27 June, 2016

    • Megan, that’s a perfect solution! Let me know how the rhubarb keeps shape. I want to can some of this chutney too, but might not get to it. I just stashed a few jars in the freezer to enjoy later! Reply · 27 June, 2016

  • Love Rhubarb and love this chutney! If I can find some rhubarb, I’ll be giving it a try. Thanks! Reply · 27 June, 2016

    • Thanks MJ. Here in the mountains rhubarb is coming on strong, but may be over in warmer climes. Reply · 27 June, 2016

  • […] goes great with Indian curry dishes. Serve with a cooling tangy cucumber yogurt salad, and your favorite chutney for a glamorous yet simple […] Reply · 21 August, 2016

  • Laurie O'Neill

    We made this last night during dinner prep. It was very easy and really delicious. I was skeptical about cooking for only 4 minutes, but the texture was great. Thank you! Reply · 22 June, 2017

    • Thank you Laurie. I’m glad you trusted the time. It gets mushy if cooked too long. Reply · 22 June, 2017

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