Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly

Rhubarb jelly with small spoon

My Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly is a rosy sweet/tart rhubarb jelly flecked with vanilla bean seeds that turns morning toast or a pb&j sandwich into a gourmet treat. Be sure to stash some away for holiday gifts!

Rhubarb jelly in a small pot with spoon

rhubarb jelly is a fun (and easy!) project

Jelly making is one of my most favorite things to do in the kitchen. I never get tired of the magical transformation of fresh juice into a sparkling jelly. Part of the fun is dreaming up new recipes since almost any fruit or vegetable can be jellied, and it’s especially satisfying when things turn out vibrant and bursting with flavor like this one. Rhubarb is ideal for jelly making because it has a super tart flavor to begin with and can handle all the extra sugar.

filling canning jars with rhubarb vanilla bean jelly

what you’ll need to make rhubarb jelly

  • fresh rhubarb stalks, thick or thin, and any color
  • pectin
  • a high speed blender like Vitamix, or a food processor
  • a muslin jelly or nut milk bag. If you like to make jellies it pays to get an inexpensive jelly strainer, pictured below to make the process easy and hands free.
  • A large saucepan, stainless steel is best.
  • If you want to can your jelly you’ll need a  water bath canner or a deep cooking pot with a rack that fits in the bottom. Be sure the pot has a close-fitting lid. Alternatively you can skip the canning and freeze your jelly for longer storage.jelly making tools

where to find rhubarb

If you’ve got rhubarb growing in your yard this is an ideal project. Rhubarb has a relatively short season, but backyard rhubarb can keep producing right through the summer. It’s available in the produce section of many stores from about April through the end of summer. Consider freezing it for later use, just wash and dry the stalks, then slice. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze until solid, then fill heavy duty freezer bags and force out any excess air before sealing.

I love to fill small Weck canning jars with this jelly

They’d make beautiful and unexpected gifts for the holidays down the road. And the jar is just as pretty as the jelly!

weck canning jelly jars

a small jar of rhubarb vanilla bean jelly

does the color of rhubarb affect its flavor?

Rhubarb comes in many shades, from palest green to deep crimson, but the flavor will be consistent, so no worries. Your jelly will vary in color depending on your rhubarb, but it will definitely be pretty in any event 🙂  The vanilla beans add a subtle depth to the flavor.

almond butter rhubarb jelly sandwich

This could make the best pb& j sandwich of your life! Actually I made mine an almond butter and rhubarb jelly sandwich, even better 🙂

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly in small pots

Jelly making basics ~

  • Jelly is made by cooking fruit juice with sugar, and adding pectin.
  • Pectin is added to create the gelled consistency.
  • Sugar also helps the gelling process.
  • If you’re planning to can your jelly it’s important to follow a trusted recipe exactly, any changes can affect the safety of the finished product.
  • If you’d like to play with a recipe, consider making a small batch and keeping it in the refrigerator or freezing it for longer storage.
rhubarb jelly in a small jar with spoon

How to can jellies

  • To can your homemade jelly,  ladle or pour the boiling liquid directly into your hot sterilized canning jars, and be sure to leave 1/4 free space at the top. Wipe down the rims of the jars, and close up your jars securely but not super tightly.
  • Place on a rack in a canner filled with boiling water. The water should cover the jars by at least one inch. Cover the canner.
  • Bring the water back to a boil; boil gently for the number of minutes specified in your recipe. Add 1 minute of processing and sterilizing time for each 1000 feet of additional altitude.
  • Remove the jars to a protected surface and cool, away from drafts, undisturbed for 12 hours.
Pink rhubarb jelly with vanilla beans

About sugar and canning ~

  • This recipe contains a lot of sugar, although it’s not sweeter than other jellies I’ve had. I used a classic, tried and true recipe because when it comes to canning, it’s not advisable to play around with proportions if you want to have a safe product.
  • However there has been new research that proves that sugar does not play a role in canning safety, as has been previously believed.
  • Sugar does play a roll in helping a jam or jelly ‘gel’, so if you want to reduce the sugar you’ll need to use a “no or low sugar’ pectin, like this one.  I’ve used this for many of my lower sugar recipes and it works great. Note that you should not try to develop your own canning recipe for safety reasons. If you want to play, plan to refrigerate or freeze your recipes.
rhubarb vanilla bean jelly in small pots with spreading knife

Reader Rave ~

“Thanks for a beautiful rhubarb recipe! I just wanted you to know that I made this for my local county fair & it won BOTH 1st place and Best of Show! It is delicious!”  ~ Melissa

a jar of rhubarb vanilla bean jelly
4.1 from 123 votes

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly ~ this rosy rhubarb jelly is sweet/tart and flecked with vanilla bean seeds.  It turns morning toast or a pb&j sandwich into a gourmet treat.  Be sure to can some for holiday gifts!
Course Jelly
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 cups
Calories 89kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 2 1/2 lbs rhubarb washed, trimmed, and sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 7 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 6 ounces liquid pectin


  • Puree the rhubarb in your Vitamix blender or food processor, along with the water to get it started. You may need to do this in 2 batches.
  • Put the rhubarb puree into a clean jelly or nut bag, and let it hang over a large bowl to allow the juice to drip out. Don’t press or squeeze the bag aggressively or the pulp may come through and this will make your jelly cloudy. I do squeeze it a little bit, though, to move it along. It can help to have a jelly strainer, which is made for this purpose. You want to end up with 3 1/2 cups liquid.
  • Put the rhubarb juice in a large stainless steel pot or saucepan. Stir in the sugar, the lemon juice, and the vanilla bean seeds. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring almost constantly.
  • Once the mixture has reached a full rolling boil, let it fully boil for 3 minutes. It may foam up so stay right by it. Stirring is ok.
  • After 3 minutes, stir in the pectin, and bring it back to a full, rolling boil. Boil 1 minute. Again it may foam up so be careful.
  • Take the jelly off the heat and skim off any foam that is on the surface. Fill your sterilized jars to within 1/4 inch of the top.

If you are canning

  • Wipe down the rims of the jars to remove any spilled jelly, then attach the lids and screw them, but don’t over-tighten.
  • Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

If you aren’t canning

  • Let cool and then cap and refrigerate.


Cook’s notes

If you want to use powdered pectin ~

  • Use 4 tablespoons of powdered pectin in place of the 2 pouches of liquid. Instead of adding the pectin at the end, you can whisk the powdered pectin into the sugar before you combine it with the juice.


Serving: 1Tbsp | Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 18IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2020 at 5:38 am

    Hi, have you ever tried this with substituting monkfruit sweetener for the sugar? Or any other sugar substitute?

    • Reply
      May 8, 2020 at 7:17 am

      I haven’t, but I believe you can successfully make jelly with sugar substitutes.

    • Reply
      June 4, 2020 at 5:48 pm

      The 2 cup recipe is wrong. Should not end up with 3 1/2 cups of juice.

  • Reply
    May 7, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    4 stars
    That is a ridiculous amount of sugar. I used 2 with Pomona pectin and it’s good!

    • Reply
      May 15, 2020 at 8:34 pm

      You only used 2 cups of sugar and the same amount of everything else? How did it turn out? I’m curious, would love to make it with less sugar 🙂

    • Reply
      Paige Wight
      May 27, 2020 at 8:26 pm

      Did you can the product or just refrigerate?

  • Reply
    May 7, 2020 at 9:19 am

    If using frozen rhubarb, do you think the 1:2 cup water is needed? So excited to try this recipe!

    • Reply
      May 7, 2020 at 9:26 am

      I’m not sure, it just depends how juicy your rhubarb is, try it without, you can always add the water.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    5 stars
    This looks so yummy, can’t wait to make it. Can I use frozen rhubarb in this recipe?

    • Reply
      May 6, 2020 at 5:40 pm

      Yes, that should work.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    is there anything you can do with the juiced rhubarb puree/pulp?

    • Reply
      May 2, 2020 at 6:11 pm

      You could add it to a smoothie.

      • Reply
        May 7, 2020 at 5:54 pm


      • Reply
        May 8, 2020 at 4:38 pm

        Add it to a fruit crisp or crumble , etc.
        Our favourite is apple, rhubarb, and blackberry

      • Reply
        May 10, 2020 at 4:33 pm

        Can I use powder pectin? Never heard of liquid pectin

        • Reply
          May 10, 2020 at 4:37 pm

          You can use two tablespoons of powdered regular pectin for every packet of liquid pectin, so in this recipe that would be 4 tablespoons. Instead of adding the pectin at the end, you can whisk the powdered pectin into the sugar before you combine it with the juice.

    • Reply
      Alexandra Pauley
      April 30, 2021 at 4:38 am

      I use the remaining rhubarb ‘guts’ to thicken my rhubarb pie filling which I can in one liter jars and add to a variety of rhubarb dishes all year long. For some reason it cuts the amount of sugar necessary. Actually, any pulp would work for any stewed fruit recipe as long as the flavours worked together.
      I planted three types of rhubarb at my home, early, mid and late crops and the colours are all different. It is my first year harvesting tho so I am going to wait for the reddest stalks to make this! So excited to try!!

  • Reply
    April 28, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    Could I do this recipe without the vanilla bean seeds?

    • Reply
      April 28, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      Yes, no problem.

      • Reply
        May 7, 2020 at 5:55 pm

        I added a tsp of vanilla

    • Reply
      June wilk
      May 4, 2020 at 9:35 am

      Do you cook the rhubarb before putting it in a food processor?

      • Reply
        May 4, 2020 at 11:30 am

        No, use it raw.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2020 at 10:45 am

    Can you substitute vanilla flavoring instead of vanilla bean?

    • Reply
      April 24, 2020 at 11:01 am

      yes, sure.

      • Reply
        Hanna Grau
        May 6, 2020 at 8:27 pm

        How much do you think would be appropriate?

        • Reply
          May 6, 2020 at 8:48 pm

          I’d say about a teaspoon, or to taste.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    Could I use a steam juicer to get the juice out of the rhubarb instead of straining?

    • Reply
      April 21, 2020 at 4:19 pm

      That should work great.

      • Reply
        July 7, 2020 at 8:16 pm

        I can’t wait to make this recipe! The jelly looks so pretty!

    • Reply
      May 15, 2020 at 1:41 am

      I use my juicer and the jelly came out clear and it reduced the making time. Good tip about putting pulp in a crumble or smoothie.

  • Reply
    Stephanie Metzgar
    April 3, 2020 at 1:57 am

    Good morning ! I am seeing this jelly recipe for the first time and would love to try it before I spend lots of time making it and not knowing if we all like it ! is there any way I could pay you to send me a small jar to have ? I would absolutely love to taste this beautiful jelly you made !

  • Reply
    February 3, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    Hi, for the lemon juice in this recipe are you using bottled lemon juice that is more specified on the acidity %? Would it be acceptable to use fresh lemon juice in this or use bottled only? Thanks

    • Reply
      February 3, 2020 at 7:50 pm

      I use fresh, but you can use bottled if you like.

      • Reply
        May 7, 2020 at 5:57 pm

        I didn’t add the lemon juice

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