This “healthier” strawberry rhubarb crisp is vegan and gluten-free. It is sweetened with maple syrup (no sugar) and has a delicious crumbly oat-almond flour topping. Perfect for dessert or brunch.

baking dish with strawberry rhubarb crisp with oat crumble topping and spoon scooping out filling.

Here’s a new, healthier take on Rhubarb Crisp. Strawberry and rhubarb become meltingly tender as they bake together with maple syrup. Chia seeds soak up the juices while adding nutrients, fiber and texture. The almond flour and oat topping turns out perfectly crisp and it’s completely gluten-free! A healthier, vegan version of one of our favorite desserts with maple syrup instead of sugar.

Why You’ll Love This

  1. Wholesome ingredients. Fresh strawberry and rhubarb, superfood chia seeds, oats, and almond flour.
  2. No-sugar, Vegan and gluten-free. Dairy-free, and the almond flour and oats are naturally gluten-free! Chia seeds help thicken it, instead of using sugar.
  3. Bright spring flavor! A perfect use for an abundance of local rhubarb and strawberries!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Ingredients

fresh whole strawberries and rhubarb stalks on kitchen cloth.
  • Strawberries and rhubarb: If you can, use fresh and organic, local strawberries and rhubarb (about 4-5 rhubarb stalks). A great excuse to visit your local farmers market!
  • Maple syrup: A perfect sweetener for this recipe that also helps bind everything together, while giving the dish a syrupy texture beneath the crumble.
  • Chia seeds: Help soak up the juices in the dish, and they add fiber, antioxidants, protein, omega-3s, and other nutrients!
  • Corn starch: Essential for thickening the sauce and binding the ingredients together. Arrowroot powder also works.
  • Lemon juice: A bright addition that weaves in a touch of acidity to balance all of the delicious flavors!
  • Vanilla: For a bit of extra sweetness with hints of woody flavor.
  • Gluten-free rolled oats: Be sure to check the label for certified gluten-free oats. Perfect for giving the crumble a crisp, crunchy topping.
  • Almond flour: Or sub oat flour, a gluten-free flour blend, or gluten-free all purpose flour for a gluten-free crisp.
  • Melted coconut oil: Or use olive oil or vegan butter (or regular butter or ghee if not vegan).
  • Ground cardamom: For a hint of peppery, piney flavor that pairs beautifully with the rhubarb and strawberries.
  • Nigella seeds: Optional, but makes a pretty garnish and adds a boost of antioxidants!

How to Make Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Preheat oven to 375F.

Step 1: Make the filling. Wash and quarter the strawberries so each piece is about 1/2-inch thick. Slice fresh rhubarb into 1/2-inch slices. Add both to a large mixing bowl along with the maple syrup, chia seeds, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, and pinch of salt. Mix well, then transfer to a greased 8×8 baking dish or 2-quart baking pan. (The pan in the photo below is 5×12.)

baking dish with strawberry rhubarb filling with chia seeds.

Step 2: Make the crumble topping. Add all of the crumble ingredients to a medium bowl and mix. Gently drop the mixture evenly over top of the baking dish without pressing down.

spoon dropping oat crumble topping over strawberry rhubarb filling.

Step 3: Bake. Place the strawberry rhubarb crumble in the oven to bake uncovered for 40 minutes. The crisp is done when the top is golden brown and the edges are bubbly. You may need to continue baking 5-7 minutes. Let sit 15 minutes before serving.

baking dish with strawberry rhubarb crisp with spoon scooping up juicy filling.

Enjoy the glorious aromas that will waft from the oven! Serve the Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp warm in bowls with a scoop of your favorite vegan ice cream. Garnish with fresh mint, lemon zest, and a pinch of cinnamon if you wish!

Best Ice Cream Flavors to Serve with this Crisp

Use vegan ice cream if desired, or regular.

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Coconut ice cream
  • Cardamom ice cream
  • Strawberry ice cream


What is rhubarb?

Rhubarb has thick, celery-like stalks that are typically red or pink, but can sometimes be green. The leaves on rhubarb are toxic and should not be consumed. Rhubarb is treated like a fruit in baking due to its tart flavor! It pairs especially well with sweet fruits like strawberries.

What does rhubarb taste like?

Tart and tangy, rhubarb has a unique taste that some describe as a mix between green apple and lemon. Due to its high acidity, it is not usually eaten raw, but rather sweetened and baked in recipes like pies, crisps, and jams.

Where can I buy rhubarb?

When in season (spring and early summer), you can find rhubarb in the produce section of most grocery stores. Farmers markets are a great place to find fresh, locally grown rhubarb. It’s also easy to grow in your own garden!

Can I substitute the rhubarb in this crisp recipe?

If you can’t find rhubarb, you can use another tart fruit like cherries or blackberries.

Can I add nuts to the crumble topping?

Of course! Pecans or walnuts would make a nice addition.


Store the rhubarb crisp in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

It is easiest to leave it in the baking dish and wrap tightly with foil or plastic wrap. To keep the crisp topping I like to poke holes in the foil to reduce moisture. Or simply store in an airtight container.

Leftovers are delicious cold and make a yummy breakfast!

bowl of strawberry rhubarb crisp with oat crumble topping served with scoop of strawberry ice cream and fresh mint garnish.

This gluten-free rhubarb crisp is delicious as dessert, but truth be told, I love it warmed up for brunch too. Enjoy!


PS. For more Mother’s Day inspiration, take a peek at this Strawberry Breakfast Cake  or these Strawberry Almond French Toast Muffins!

More Fruity Desserts You Might Like

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Maple-Sweetened Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Chia Seeds and a crumbly oat topping - a vegan, gluten-free dessert that highlights spring rhubarb. #vegan #glutenfree #crisp #rhubarb #rhubarbcrisp #rhubarbrecipes

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 12 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: vegan Desserts
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Northwest
  • Diet: Vegan


Maple-Sweetened Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with a crumbly oat-almond topping – a vegan, gluten-free dessert that highlights spring rhubarb.


Units Scale
  • 16 ounces strawberries
  • 4 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/2 inch thick slices ( about 4-5 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch salt



  1. Preheat oven 375F
  2. Wash and quarter the strawberries. If very large, quarter again, so each piece is roughly ½ inch thick. Slice the rhubarb into ½ inch slices. Place both in a bowl and add the maple, chia, cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla and pinch salt. Stir well. Place in a, greased,  8×8 baking dish or 2-quart baking dish. (The pan in the photo is 5 x12)
  3. To make the crumble, place all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix really well.
  4. Lightly drop crumble evenly over the top and do not press down.
  5. Place in the oven, uncovered for 40 minutes. If the top is golden and the edges are bubbly, it’s time to take it out.
  6. Otherwise, continue baking for 5-7 more minutes. Let sit 15 mins before serving.


Serve warm with vegan vanilla, coconut, cardamom or strawberry ice-cream.

Leftovers are delicious cold and make a yummy breakfast.


  • Serving Size: ¾ cup
  • Calories: 267
  • Sugar: 20 g
  • Sodium: 443.4 mg
  • Fat: 11.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.4 g
  • Fiber: 5.7 g
  • Protein: 3.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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  1. Strawberries come in such different sizes and I don’t have a scale. How many cups of sliced/quartered strawberries is 16 oz? I always find it handy to have a cup measure as well as weight when dealing with fruits and veggies because the size differs so much! Thank you

  2. This recipe is super easy and so delicious. I was unable to find rhubarb, so I substituted with nectarines & blueberries, plus the strawberries. I was hesitant because I don’t like to change your recipes, but am so glad I gave it a try. My son who is allergic to dairy said we need to have this dessert around at all times😜 Thanks Sylvia for another amazing recipe. I will be adding this to my collection. I of course will try it with the rhubarb, once it becomes available.

    1. Glad you gave it a go! sounds wonderful Amy! It’s fun to experiment, isn’t it?

  3. This is a fantastic recipe! I use various berries and it’s still delish! I’ve made this numerous times. It’s a great way to use my garden rhubarb. Thank you!

  4. Big hit! Used agave instead of maple syrup (1:2/3 maple syrup:agave) and subbed cinnamon for cardamom. Thank you for another great recipe!

  5. This was so delicious for a May backyard potluck with friends. <3 I used about 5 teaspoons of tapioca pearls instead of cornstarch and I cut the maple syrup by half. Used a combo of ghee and coconut oil in the topping. Served with coconut milk based vanilla ice cream. Perfect!

  6. A friend gave me five stalks of rhubarb from her garden yesterday, so I bought some strawberries from the farmers market this morning and made this crisp. It’s so yummy! And can’t wait to have it for breakfast tomorrow morning. My mother would love this as well. She had a whole file of just rhubarb recipes, both sweet and savory.

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed this Leslie! How special- I would love to take a peek at the file- especially curious about savory! 🙂

      1. I remember one meal she used to make was a sheet pan dish w chicken, red onion and rhubarb. Quite tasty!

        1. Mmmmmmmmm… Interesting! I do have one with salmon that I like. But it’s a sweeter dish.

  7. So good! I used the base of this recipe for a cherry crisp, just reduced the amount of maple syrup with the fruit to 2Tbs and used 1/4 tsp of almond extract instead of vanilla. Wonderful gluten free crisp! Loved the topping and use of chia seeds. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

  8. Are the chia seeds used for thickening? I’d like to leave them out. Also, if I substituted tapioca starch for the cornstarch (4 tsp tapioca for the 2 tsp cornstarch), do you think that would work out?

    1. Yes Christine- they do help with thickening. I’m not sure about the tapioca- I personally have not tried it. But if you do try this- will you let us know how it turns out? Super curious!

      1. Thanks for your response, Sylvia! I made this yesterday, and I left out the chia seeds and used 1 Tablespoon tapioca starch instead of the cornstarch (less than the 4 tsp I originally intended, but then I also had a bit less of the rhubarb and strawberries than the recipe called for). Oddly enough, when I made the crumble mixture, it turned out rather wet and runny (not sure why – maybe I’ll try it with a bit less oil next time), so I added some more oats to make it a bit thicker. And it turned out absolutely delicious! I don’t know how it compares to the original, mine still had some liquid, but it wasn’t runny. And my mom and I both absolutely loved it! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  9. We use this crumble (the olive oil version) with apples + frozen raspberries or blackberries (just the fruit, a little unprocessed sugar, and flour; topped with the crumble and baked). Easy, delicious, and healthy dessert. Thank you!

  10. simple and simply delicious! love all the flavours in there.
    i second the opinion of the person who’d be in line for your cookbook!

  11. This is outstanding!!! A new favorite for sure!
    Does it freeze well? If so, how do you reccomend warming it back up?

    1. I haven’t frozen, but imagine it would be fine! Just thaw in the fridge overnight first, bake on 350F till warmed through.

  12. I wrote this all out to keep in my “special recipes” notebook. I’ve made it three times already this spring, not being very picky about the proportions of anything, and it always comes out just wonderfully. The combination of maple syrup as a sweetener with the rhubarb, plus the crunchy chia for thickener, plus a little lemon and vanilla–and then the addition of almond flour and cardamon in the topping–make a simple crisp really almost elegant. Thank you so much for this!

  13. Love that so much. I have been making this for years but never added Chia seeds!
    I wish you would do a cook book…

  14. Just made it this since my sister went strawberry picking this weekend and dropped off more strawberries than I knew what to do with. This marked the first time I did anything ever with rhubarb as well.

    Turned out fantastic!!! I was surprised by the slight tartness at first, but the sweetness of the strawberries and maple syrup balanced the dish perfectly. It’s delicious. It was easy to do and beautifully seasonal (always a plus!).

  15. In the crumble list of ingredients it says:
    “⅓ melted coconut oil – or olive oil or butter or ghee!”
    I’m assuming that’s 1/3 *cup*?

  16. Delicious. So easy and so yummy. I used golden syrup as I ran out of maple syrup and it tasted delicious. My whole family loved it. Definitely on my list for making again. Thanks

    1. Im so glad you liked it- we liked it too, but always nice to have a second opinion!!! Thanks jenny!

  17. Thank you for the reminder that it is rhubarb season! Oh how I love the tart flavor of rhubarb. This recipe looks SO good.

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