Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (Paleo, vegan option)

This Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is the perfect way to kick off warm weather season!

Juicy berries and tart rhubarb are covered by a thick, nutty topping. Serve it with warm with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Or hey, serve it with yogurt for breakfast.

Made with almond flour, coconut sugar and honey, this healthy strawberry rhubarb crisp is also refined sugar free and dairy-free. It’s made without oats so it’s also grain-free and Paleo. Plus it can easily be made vegan!

Strawberry rhubarb crisp that's paleo and gluten-free in a baking dish surrounded by strawberries, rhubarb and sliced almonds

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Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

A crisp always seems cozy and comforting somehow, even if it’s made in the summer.

And this strawberry rhubarb crisp is juicy and bright, bursting with fresh strawberries and tart rhubarb. Adding just a touch of honey to the filling helps create the perfect sweet/tart balance.

And while I love crisps, I hate it when they’re skimpy on the topping. So this crisp comes loaded with a thick, buttery topping studded with sliced almonds.

Also, just a heads up: strawberry rhubarb crisps always have a lot of juice when they first come out of the oven. It would take way more thickener than you’d want for the crisp to create a thick sauce right away. If you’ve seen pictures of other crisps that looked “dryer,” most likely those photos were taken once the crisp had completely cooled. I did not wait that long for the photos here.

What you need for this Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups diced rhubarb (from about 8-10 oz. rhubarb stalks)
  • 2 cups hulled, diced strawberries (from about 14-16 oz. whole strawberries)
  • 1.5 cups superfine blanched almond flour – I only use Honeyville or Oh! Nuts as they have the best, most consistent texture. This makes a wonderfully buttery topping while retaining the nuts’ fiber, fat and protein.
  • 1 cup palm shortening or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar – An unrefined sugar with a low glycemic index, this has a delicious brown sugar-y flavor.
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour/starch or tapioca flour/starch – These grain-free starches help thicken the juices.
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Equipment:

 

How to make a Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Luckily, rhubarb strawberry crisp recipes like this are so easy almost anyone can make them:

  • Heat the oven to 375°.
  • Chill the palm shortening or coconut oil in the fridge
  • Dice the strawberries and rhubarb.
  • In a large bowl, toss the fruit with the honey and arrowroot.
  • In a medium mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut sugar, sliced almonds and salt.
  • Add the chilled fat to the dry ingredients. Using the stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a pastry cutter, mash the fat through the dry ingredients until it becomes the texture of coarse breadcrumbs. You can also use your fingers but it’ll get messy!
  • Spread the topping evenly over the fruit and bake!
  • Let cool for at least 20 minutes but longer is fine. The longer it sits, the more the juices will thicken and set. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

strawberry rhubarb crisp in a baking dish and in a bowl topped with ice cream

Substitutions and variations

What I love about this Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is that it’s so easy to customize!

  • You can use all strawberries or all rhubarb. If you use all rhubarb, you’ll want to double the sweetener in the filling.
  • You can also use blueberries, raspberries or chopped peaches instead of either the strawberries, rhubarb or both!
  • I usually use palm shortening for the topping. It has a great buttery texture while keeping it dairy-free. I also like the topping with coconut oil. I haven’t used ghee for this recipe since it’s a bit more expensive but I think it would work.
  • Technically, because this is a crisp recipe without oats, it might seem more like a crumble. But the sliced almonds give it the kind of crispy, crunchy texture you expect from a crisp. You can use any other nuts you like instead of the sliced almonds. Chopped walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans would be especially good.
  • If you don’t have coconut sugar for the topping, you can use regular brown sugar or white sugar. But then it won’t be refined sugar-free or Paleo.
  • If you don’t have honey for the filling, you can use coconut sugar or maple syrup. Keep in mind these will slightly change the flavor. You can also use white sugar but then it won’t be refined sugar-free or Paleo.
  • If you don’t have arrowroot flour/starch or tapioca flour/starch, you can also use cornstarch (but then it won’t be Paleo).
  • Instead of vanilla ice cream, try pistachio or hazelnut!

To make this a vegan strawberry rhubarb crisp

Replace the honey in the filling with coconut sugar or maple syrup. Keep in mind these will slightly change the flavor. You can also use white sugar but then it won’t be refined sugar free.

A strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe served in a baking dish and in a bowl with vanilla ice cream

What you can make ahead

You can make the topping – without adding the palm shortening – and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Cover any of the Paleo rhubarb crisp leftovers with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To reheat leftovers

Place the dish, uncovered, in a 350° oven for 15-25 minutes, until warmed to your liking.

 

Other fruity and summery recipes

For an even easier rhubarb recipe, try this easy rhubarb sauce.

Or you could make these strawberry rhubarb muffins.

For another strawberry rhubarb dessert, try my rhubarb ice cream with strawberry sauce.

Prefer a cobbler? Try this gluten-free peach cobbler.

For another gluten-free version of a classic summer dessert, try my Paleo strawberry shortcake.

 

strawberry rhubarb crisp with a gluten-free no-oats topping on a wooden table surrounded by strawberries and sliced almonds
A strawberry rhubarb crisp recipe served in a baking dish and in a bowl with vanilla ice cream
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Juicy berries, tart rhubarb and a thick, crumbly topping make the best strawberry rhubarb crisp, and this one just happens to be gluten-free, grain-free and Paleo! Plus it can easily be made vegan. See notes at the end.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Resting time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten free strawberry rhubarb crisp, gluten-free dessert, paleo dessert, paleo strawberry rhubarb crisp, strawberry rhubarb crisp
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 oz.) palm shortening
  • 2 cups diced rhubarb (from about 8-10 oz. rhubarb stalks)
  • 2 cups hulled, diced strawberries (from about 14-16 oz. whole strawberries)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour/starch or tapioca flour/starch
  • cups superfine blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • vanilla ice cream, for serving (dairy-free, if necessary)

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 375°.
  • Chill the palm shortening in the fridge until ready to use.
  • In a large bowl, toss together the diced rhubarb and strawberries, honey and arrowroot/tapioca. Pour into an 2½-3 quart (9") baking dish or deep pie dish.
  • In a medium bowl or stand mixer bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut sugar and salt. Roughly chop or crumble by hand the sliced almonds and stir them into the dry ingredients.
  • Add the chilled shortening to the dry mixture in small pieces. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a large bowl and pastry cutter, blend the shortening in until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs or damp sand. (You can also use your fingers but it'll get messy.)
  • Evenly distribute the topping over the fruit.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the topping is brown and the juices are bubbling along the edges.
  • Let the crisp rest for at least 20 minutes. The juices will be pretty runny. The longer it sits, the more the juices will thicken and set. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with (dairy-free) vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Notes

Note: strawberry rhubarb crisps always have a lot of juice when they first come out of the oven. For the crisp to have a thick sauce right away, it would take way more thickener than you'd want to use or taste. If you've seen pictures of other crisps that looked "dryer," most likely those photos were taken once the crisp had completely cooled. I did not wait that long for the photos here.
 
To make this vegan: Replace the honey in the filling with coconut sugar or maple syrup. Keep in mind these will slightly change the flavor. You can also use white sugar but then it won't be refined sugar free.
 
See blog post for more substitutions and variations.
 
What you can make ahead:
You can make the topping - without adding the palm shortening - and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Cover leftovers and place in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat leftovers: Place the dish, uncovered, in a 350° oven for 15-25 minutes, until warmed to your liking.

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