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
4.08 from 120 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
    Joann Vogel
    June 6, 2020 at 7:47 am

    5 stars
    So easy and turned out perfect.

  • Reply
    Lori Ozaki
    May 27, 2020 at 11:37 am

    5 stars
    Hi! I decided to try the recipe as is and it turned out beautiful and delicious! I had red/ green rhubarb and found if I let the juice sit for 24 hours and then strain again through a cheese cloth I was able to achieve the beautiful rosey color. I also used the inversion method. Hot jelly into hot jars- invert for five minutes then turn right side up and they seal every time. Thanks for the recipe!!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2020 at 11:55 am

    Hi! I made this recipe yesterday and it still seems liquid. How long does it take to set up and become gel?

    • Reply
      May 23, 2020 at 2:36 pm

      It can take up to 48 hours, but should have set by now. The instructions for this jelly are pretty specific, so make sure you do it exactly. If you started with the 3 1/2 cups of juice, it should work, as written. The boiling times, for instance, are very important. The first batch I made didn’t gel because I didn’t boil it long enough.

    • Reply
      May 20, 2021 at 7:02 pm

      I’ve experienced jelly not setting because my liquid pectin sat in my cupboard from the previous season. So use freshly purchased pectin every time.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2020 at 11:58 am

    5 stars
    I made this over the past weekend and oh my goodness if it isn’t the best jelly I have ever had! Someone in the comments mentioned they used Pomona’s Pectin, and I did as well. I only used 2 cups of sugar and my jelly turned out perfect. Pomona’s is different than your traditional pectin and uses calcium to jell instead of sugar, so you’re free to add as much or as little sugar as you like. I used 2 tsp of calcium water (comes with the Pomona packet) and 5 tsp of Pomona pectin and it was the perfect ratio. Thanks so much for this recipe, I will definitely be making it again! 🙂

    • Reply
      leslie erickson
      May 30, 2021 at 7:03 pm

      Hi Lisa, I was wondering about using Pamona’s Pectin and then came across your reply. I love Pamona’s for jelly and have used it for chokecherry and nanking cherry jelly. I love that you use so much less sugar and can also use honey in some of the recipes. This jelly sounds so good Sue. Thanks to both of you.

  • Reply
    May 17, 2020 at 3:18 am

    I am.making this as I write. Just put in to my jars and it is such a pretty pink color with flecks of the vanilla bean or caviar in there. I did however cut the pod up in to all 10 8 oz jars that I got. Wow was that alot more.than I was expecting. Hope.it taste as great as it looks.

  • Reply
    May 14, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    5 stars
    Thank you I did this today!!! Got a lot of Rhubarb in my
    yard. A good new recipe

  • Reply
    May 13, 2020 at 11:00 am

    5 stars
    Made this using a mixture of fresh and frozen rhubarb as well as vanilla bean paste instead of the vanilla bean seeds. Got 8 one cup jars, canned in the boiling water canner. No problems at all and very tasty. My rhubarb was very red so this is more of a plum colour than the pale pink pictured. Beautiful!! Thanks

    • Reply
      May 13, 2020 at 11:12 am

      Yours sounds beautiful, now I want to make another batch!

  • Reply
    Robin Shindelar
    May 13, 2020 at 10:42 am

    5 stars
    This looks truly amazing! I have never bought or used “seed of vanilla bean” Where is this found to purchase? Thank you.

    • Reply
      May 13, 2020 at 11:12 am

      Vanilla beans can be found right in the spice aisle of your supermarket, usually next to the vanilla extract.

      • Reply
        May 24, 2021 at 5:05 pm

        5 stars
        I found it in the grocery store but very expensive. Looked on Amazon and got 4 beans for less than $10.

        • Reply
          Sue Moran
          May 24, 2021 at 5:28 pm

          Vanilla beans are getting scarily expensive, glad you scored yours!

  • Reply
    May 10, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    It’s so good on lemon cheesecake

  • Reply
    May 8, 2020 at 8:07 am

    Would it be possible to use frozen Rhubarb… i have so much of it in my freezer.

    • Reply
      May 8, 2020 at 8:14 am

      I believe it would work fine.

      • Reply
        Mary Heeran
        May 25, 2020 at 5:48 am

        Could you use Monk fruit instead of sugar

        • Reply
          May 25, 2020 at 6:08 am

          I haven’t tried that, sorry!

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