This recipe for Rhubarb Bars will get that last bag of rhubarb right out of the freezer. Pair it with another pantry staple, oatmeal and you’ve got cookies you make just about anytime.

But don’t stop at plain rhubarb bars! Got strawberries? Try my Strawberry Rhubarb Bars! I also have a recipe for  Blueberry Bars that we love too. And don’t forget you can make any of them with frozen fruit.

making cookie bars out of pantry staples

Rhubarb Bars

This is what you make when you open the freezer and a bag of frozen rhubarb falls out on your toe. And when that 10-pound box of oatmeal you bought at Costco seems more like 50 pounds. And when you have hungry kids at home these amazing bars will fill them up!

Want to know more about freezing and saving your rhubarb, read this post How to Freeze Rhubarb and other Rhubarb Secrets! When I’m looking to fill my freezer for the winter I never look farther than my rhubarb patch!

Using up what I have on hand is important to our financial goals (cash out of pocket life!) and this week I seem to have a lot of rhubarb I quick froze last fall still hanging around.

We love a good rhubarb crisp, Rhubarb Dream Bars and this fabulous Strawberry Rhubarb Pie but sometimes you just want cookies! So I turn to an old favorite recipe, reminiscent of bars our local coffee shop sells for 3 bucks a pop. They use raspberries or raspberry jam but I have rhubarb so Rhubarb Bars it is.

Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars

Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars

Yield: 24 bars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This recipe for Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars will get that last bag of rhubarb right out of the freezer. Pair it with another pantry staple, oatmeal and you've got cookies you can make just about anytime.


  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of quick cook oats
  • 1 1/3 cups of brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 cup sugar, more or less depending on how sour your rhubarb is 
  • 4 TBSP flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚Make the Crust/Topping:
  2. mix the dry ingredients together
  3. cut the butter in chunks and drop it in the dry mix, cut in with a pastry blender or two knives, or use your hands mix it in
  4. keep mixing until it looks like coarse crumbs
  5. save off 1 cup of crumbs
  6. press the rest in the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish
  7. Make the Rhubarb Filling
  8. put the rhubarb, water (if using) and sugar in a sauce pan
  9. bring it to a boil over medium high heat, it will get very juicy as it cooks
  10. once it comes to a boil reduce the heat to keep it from scorching, just keep it bubbling lightly until the rhubarb is just starting to get soft
  11. remove 2/3 cup of the juice and whisk in the flour into it
  12. add it back in the pan and stir until thickened, cook and stir for 1-2 minutes and remove from the heat (you just made rhubarb gravy!)
  13. spread the rhubarb over the base layer in the 9X13 sprinkle with reserved crumbs
  14. bake for 30-35 minutes until top is lightly brown and the rhubarb is bubbly
  15. let it cool before you cut it for best results
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 144Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 36mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g
This nutrition information was calculated using a computer program, results may vary.
See the different layers in these bars?? Perfect base, filling and topping ratio!

Cookies for Lunches

This recipe uses a fair amount of each excessive pantry bulk item, 4 cups of rhubarb and 2 cups of oatmeal, so I feel quite good about using up what we already have. It’s one of the ways I make our dollars stretch as far as possible every day.

I never run to the store to grab ________ I just make do without it and use what we have. Also rhubarb and oatmeal go really well together and I sent them in the kid’s lunches and they travel well too.

If you plan to send them with kids, they seem to hold up better if they’re cut bigger than what I have pictured, about double that size and they travel better. I don’t know, maybe your kids don’t swing their lunch boxes all the way around their head while belting out a Norse battle cry??

A few notes on these bars:

• if you’ve got frozen rhubarb more than likely you won’t need the 1/4 cup of water it won’t hurt either way, so use it if you feel like you’re rhubarb is dry
• don’t cover for storage these unless you want them to revert to a mushy mess

•remember to cut bigger for easier packing in lunches!

Rhubarb Bars
pin for rhubarb oatmeal bars

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