strawberry rhubarb bars – al fresco

strawberry rhubarb bars - al fresco /

As the sun starts to slip away and the wind slows to a gentle breeze, the evening allows time for romance. Dining al fresco, at a beautifully adorned table, with simple food and drink, on a glorious summer night…

Strawberry Rhubarb Bars or ‘squares’, depending on what part of the world you hail from, are a country-kitchen favourite. In New Brunswick, rhubarb comes into season weeks before the strawberries are ripe. Given that strawberry rhubarb is such a delicious combination, someone cleverly – not me – thought of substituting strawberry flavoured Jell-O for the cornstarch. The jello acts as a thickening agent and flavour enhancer. I decided to play it safe by cutting back on the strawberry jello and using a bit of cornstarch. I wanted to minimize any artificial flavour. It worked! These bars have just the right amount of tart and sweet worthy of the title Strawberry Rhubarb. 

strawberry rhubarb bars - al fresco /

Makes 9×13 pan


3 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced in ½ “ pieces
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ¼ cups sugar
¼ cup water
1 small package strawberry Jell-O


  • Dissolve cornstarch in water
  • Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium high heat and cook til thick.


1 ½ cup oatmeal
1 ½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter


  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Stir in brown sugar.
  • Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal
  • Pat ¾ of crust mixture into a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  • Pour rhubarb mixture over top.
  • Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over the top.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
  • Cool completely.
  • Cut into squares.

strawberry rhubarb bars - dining al fresco

THE LOVE: Make sure you allow your bars to cool completely before slicing.

print recipe

one year ago: root beer barbecue sauce

two years ago: quinoa and chickpea salad

three years ago: beer bread

strawberry rhubarb bars - al fresco /

Thanks for reading.

  • What gorgeous pictures! I love the colors and the forget-me-nots! If i can find some rhubarb, i will try these.

    • Lorraine

      Pity I am giving it away as I have too much!

      • Michelle

        That’s a nice problem!

    • Michelle

      Hi Cindy, Does rhubarb grow in Calgary? Try a farmer’s market…

      • Cindy McCallum

        Hi Michelle, yes rhubarb does grow in Calgary and I had a beautiful garden when I lived there, but I haven’t lived there for 5 years. We moved to Houston where rhubarb doesn’t grow and costs $7.99 lb in the stores when you can find it. Now we live in Denver. We inherited a scrawny little rhubarb plant here, and I’m trying to nurse it back to health!

        • Michelle

          My apologies! I thought you were in Calgary. Good luck with your rhubarb…

  • Carol Hamilton

    I would love to try this recipe, but I would need a substitute for oatmeal. Any suggestions?

    • Michelle

      Hi Carol, I’m not sure what you could substitute for the oatmeal. Sorry about that!

  • Beth Atherton

    These look amazing, and just in time, fresh, New Brunswick rhubarb arrived on my doorstep from my neighbours!

    • Michelle

      Sounds like you’ve got great neighbours!

  • Angela

    I just put these in the oven. I forgot to add the oatmeal

    • Michelle

      Oops! xoxox

  • Manon

    Hi Michelle,
    How long do you boiled the strawberry rhubarb filling?

    • Michelle

      Hi Manon, It will vary depending on the rhubarb. Boil the filled gently, stirring constantly until it’s quite thick. Good luck!

      • Manon

        So yummy!!! Unfortunately the crumb mix has stick to the pan.
        Maybe I should grease the pan next time.

        Thank Michelle for the recipe!

        • Michelle

          Hmm…mine didn’t stick. I wonder why?