Low-Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp


Rhubarb and strawberries are signs of spring in much of the United States. Rosy rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but it's quite tart, making it a bit more at home in the sweet kitchen. Strawberries share the same season and temper rhubarb's astringency, making the duo a classic pairing.

a recipe photo of the Low Sugar Rhubarb Crisp
Photo: Sara Haas
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 10 mins

Here's how we made this recipe diabetes-friendly

1. Along with the fruit itself, oats in the topping boost fiber. Fiber has been associated with many amazing health benefits including aiding in weight loss and lowering your risk for heart disease.

2. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting calories from added sugars to less than 10% of daily calories. (That's 12 teaspoons or 48 grams of sugar if following a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet.) The American Heart Association recommends even less, with women consuming no more than 24 grams and men less than 36 grams of added sugar per day (that's 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men). Many crisps are packed with sugar, overwhelming the flavor of the fruit into one-dimensional sweetness. With this recipe, sweet-tart rhubarb is paired with a double layer of spicy ginger for flavor, and the natural sweetness of strawberries is enhanced with floral, aromatic orange zest. These additions amp up the natural flavors and lessen the need for sugar.

3. A crisp should have a topping that's, well, crisp, and that's achieved by adding fat. Here, a portion of the traditional butter is replaced with canola oil, which lowers saturated fat. You reap the benefits from butter's rich flavor and still end up with the nuggets of crispy, granola-like topping that makes a crisp special.

Tips from the EatingWell Test Kitchen

Can I make a gluten-free crisp?

Yes! Make certain to use gluten-free rolled oats (oats themselves are gluten-free, but often are processed on shared equipment with ingredients that are not) as well as a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend for the topping.

Can this be baked in individual ramekins instead of one large baking dish?

To make into individual ramekins: Prepare the fruit and oat mixtures in separate bowls. Divide the fruit mixture evenly between 6 (6-ounce) ovenproof ramekins or custard cups. Divide the topping over the fruit. Bake until the fruit is bubbly around the edges and the topping has browned, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm. The crisp is best prepared that day, but a day-old crisp for breakfast is good, too!

Can I make the Low-Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp ahead of time?

The fruit mixture may be made ahead and stored in a sealable container in the refrigerator. Additionally, the fruit may be assembled in the baking dish or ramekins and tightly wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator. The crisp mixture may be made ahead and stored in a separate sealable container in the refrigerator. It will harden and solidify; simply break it up a bit with a fork. Before baking, allow the fruit mixture to come to room temperature. (Give the fruit a stir if there are accumulated juices; it will depend on the ripeness of the fruit.) Stir the chilled oat topping with a fork and divide over the prepared baking dish(es). Proceed with baking instructions, 25 minutes for ramekins and 35 minutes for a baking dish.

Can I use a different fruit combo?

The whole concept of a crisp is based on ease and simplicity. Nearly any fruit except citrus and melon will work, including stone fruit such as peaches, apricots and plums; all berries; and pome fruits (aka seeded fruits such as apples and pears; know that harder fruits like apples and pears may need a longer cooking time.) For this flavor combination, fruits that would especially benefit from the orange-ginger pairing include plum, peach and cherry.


  • 3 cups chopped fresh or frozen, thawed and drained rhubarb (about 12 ounces)

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries (about 12 ounces)

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • Zest of 1 orange

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt, divided

  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • ¼ cup white whole-wheat, whole-wheat pastry, all-purpose or all-purpose gluten-free flour

  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter or vegan butter, melted

  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons canola oil or other mild-flavored oil such grapeseed or safflower

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine rhubarb, strawberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, orange zest, vanilla, chopped ginger and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

  2. Combine oats, flour, the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, butter, oil, ground ginger and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the fruit.

  3. Bake until the fruit is bubbly around the edges and the topping has browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

213 Calories
10g Fat
29g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 1/2 cup
Calories 213
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 10g
Added Sugars 6g 12%
Protein 3g 6%
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Vitamin A 156IU 3%
Vitamin C 40mg 44%
Vitamin E 1mg 4%
Folate 18mcg 5%
Vitamin K 19mcg 16%
Sodium 97mg 4%
Calcium 73mg 6%
Iron 2mg 11%
Magnesium 29mg 7%
Potassium 329mg 7%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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