Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

In the Philippines they have this expression: hala.

I know you want to say it this way, but it’s not holla. And it’s not hah-lah. It’s more like, hulá. Which makes it sound like hoola, which is also not correct. Fail.

It’s just huh-LA, and by now I hope you’ve tried to say it outloud at least once. It’s kind of  a cool way of saying “Oh my gosh” or “I can’t believe it.” For example, the girls in my class would give me a good huh-LA! when I would assign them extra homework. Heads whipping up from tables, eyes popping wide open, and a nice passionate huh-LA always gets the point across.

Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Huh-LA can also be a good thing, like “This is amazing!” Like when we made gingerbread houses at Christmastime with the kids and the preschool viewing parade came around to the back table to find that the boys group had created not a house, but an open-air tropical mini restaurant with candy, frosting and graham crackers. That’s a huh-LA moment in the life of a preschooler. And/or food blogger teacher.

When I saw that picture of those crumbs and that yummy farmer’s market rhubarb and those cutie strawberries today, in my mind I said: huh laaaaaaa. That looks good.

And then I felt a little sad about not being in the Philippines.

Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

This beautiful dessert lived a full life of about 5 minutes before being devoured by me, Bjork, and Bjork’s friend Paul, while watching Zero Dark Thirty. Totally appropriate girly dessert/superintense movie pairing.

Know what? Two men unknowingly devouring a homemade paleo fruit crumble and loving it is mysteriously satisfying. I honestly wasn’t trying to trick anyone but I found myself smugly smiling from the kitchen and intentionally withholding the knowledge that this was “healthy”. Evil me.

So the elephant in the room: this is a paleo recipe. In my head I say it pah-LAY-oh but I think it’s actually PAY-lee-oh. Which ultimately gets to the bottom of what I want to say which is that I’m not a paleo person. Paleo usually means you only eat these things:  meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. I’m more of an everything person, but I really love trying new things like being paleo for one dessert.

When my cousin (technically cousin’s wife so therefore cousin in law?) sent me this recipe, I got excited when I saw ingredients like coconut flour, almond meal, arrowroot powder, and coconut oil. It justified a trip across town to the fancy grocery store that has carpet and sent me on a new food adventure.

Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Bjork was hooked on the cinnamon-honey smell that overtook our house in .3 seconds after taking it out of the oven. This is kind of a drier, almost more moist cake-like fruit crumble, not like your super saucy apple crisps or berry cobbler type things that just completely overtake the whole plate with fruit juice. The top on this gets crispy, and the bottom soaks up the sauciness of the fruit, and the fruit is extra sweet and soft, leaving you with this sticky, yummy, just juicy enough strawberry rhubarb miracle.

I usually skip the obligatory scoop of vanilla ice cream with my desserts, but this time I felt brave and I added it. Ten stars, you guys. It gave THE PERFECT texture and creaminess to this crumble.

Because at the end of the day, I’m still an everythingtarian who loves her Haagen-Dazs ice cream.

Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

4.8 from 20 reviews
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp - and it's paleo.
Serves: 8
For the filling
  • 2 cups rhubarb, diced
  • 2 cups strawberries, diced
  • zest from one orange (or lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 5 Tablespoons honey
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1½ Tablespoons arrowroot powder*
For the crumbles
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cups almond flour
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the strawberries and rhubarb in a large mixing bowl with the orange zest, lemon juice, honey, salt, and arrowroot powder and mix well.
  2. Mix the pecans, flours, cinnamon, salt and honey together in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the coconut oil with your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture begins to form crumbs.
  3. Grease an oven proof casserole or skillet and spoon in the fruit filling. Crumble the topping evenly over the top. Bake for 25 minutes, checking occasionally. When the topping is browned and the fruit is bubbling, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
*Arrowroot powder acts like cornstarch. I found some at my regular grocery store (good ol' Cub Foods) in the spice section.

Are you paleo? Would you ever make something paleo, just because you’re food-curious like me? Speak your food truth, friends.

And on a completely unrelated note, we have a winner for the Tasty Food Photography ebook and food photography prop kit giveaway! Entry #773, Pat S, it’s your lucky day! You have an email waiting for you.

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  1. Yum…. this crisp looks absolutely delish….Paleo or not! I’ve dabbled with eating Paleo for about a month, but there were way to many “healthy” foods that I missed. I do occasionally cook all Paleo dishes. I will definitely be cooking up this one, at some point.

  2. HALA!! What a pretty dessert! Hahahaha that’s funny it was a superintense movie time snack. Who needs popcorn, pass the paleo crisp yo! I’m not paleo, but I am food curious. For example, I like trying vegan dishes when I’m eating out, because I feel that sometimes they’re more creative and generous with produce. But I’d never actually become vegan because dairy is very dear to my heart. 😀 (That’s me saying cheeeeese.)

  3. This sounds unreal! I’m definitely not Paleo, but I love the look of this anyway!

  4. So since it’s Paleo, that means I can have more than just one serving at a time…right?!

  5. I like an excuse to use fancy ingredients — doesnt matter to me that it’s paleo, just that I get to work with something not 100% in my comfort zone. Plus this looks DELICIOUS.

  6. Still never had rhubarb, but man oh man I need it now!! This is beautiful!! Must go find some rhubarb and make this for breakfast. Seriously.

    • WHAT?!? Girl. Get to your farmer’s market and buy some. It’s really sour/gross most of the time but when baked with honey and crumbles and other good things, it transforms.

  7. Yum! I’ve been wanting to experiment more with rhubarb and I think this is the recipe for me! Looks delicious!

  8. Julie @ {With Style and Taste} says:

    Yum, yum! This looks delicious! I started eating paleo about a year ago. I would say I’m about 85% paleo/gluten-free and 15% of….give me my pizza and Ben and Jerry’s New York Supreme Fudge Ice Cream (minus the white chocolate chunks). I believe strongly in the paleo way of eating. I feel better, sleep better and I did shed a few pounds when I first started the paleo way of eating. However, I couldn’t live by it 100%. A true paleo diet you are to avoid starchy veggies, dairy, and legumes. For me, I can’t pass up corn on the cob, sugar peas from the farmer’s market or to think of chili without beans….no way! A girls got to live :)!

  9. Hala! Mukang masarap! I would eat this and listen to Prairie Home Companion.

  10. i’m not paleo, but food curious for sure. and…a serious rhubarb fan. just might have to try this.

  11. i could never do a paleo thing but if it entails yummy things like this one – sure :)

  12. You almost lost me at paleo…until I saw that you put ice cream with it! :) This would be perfect for entertaining guests with…shall we say, “diverse” diets. I definitely want to make something with rhubarb now…

  13. I’m definitely not on the paleo wagon, but this looks delicious no matter what! YUM!

  14. This is lovely, Lindsay! There’s no summer dessert I love better than a berry crisp and it’s great that this is paleo-friendly, too. Not that I’m on that diet, but I can pretend to be healthy for a minute! 😉

  15. I love the strawberry-rhubarb combination and I just so happen to have a big ol’ bag of arrowroot powder that I bought for a recipe and haven’t known what to do with it since, so this sounds PERFECT. The only trouble is, my husband is not a fan of baked fruit deserts. I guess that means it’ll all be for me!

    • No way about the arrowroot! And that’s funny about your husband – Bjork and I are usually the other way around (although I do like this one)! :)

  16. Yes! I love that you used your cast iron skillet for this recipe! I don’t think I’ve ever tried the strawberry/rhubarb combination but I’ve heard it’s a great combination so I should give it a try. I feel the same way with you about paleo – I’ve dabbled in it but I can’t stick with something like that. I enjoy too many foods.

    I’ll be pinning this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Damn that looks good and Paleo too boot!!!

  18. Nice! I’ve been playing with Paleo recipes lately, so I have everything here except the rhubarb. This looks SO good.

  19. Oh, yummy!

  20. What?! You paid money for rhubarb? It’s growing like weeds at my house and I can’t even harvest it fast enough. Seriously, come over and pick some this week. You can even pick tiny, perfect strawberries from our little patch. Thursday or Friday work for me.

  21. I can’t wait to make this! I made a strawberry rhubarb pie this season and I’ve been craving it again– this is a great alternative to making the whole pie again!
    Thanks for sharing–

  22. Jeanette says:

    I’m new to cooking with coconut oil. Do you melt it first then add it to the dry ingredients, measure it out in it’s solid form and add to dry ingredients?

  23. You had me at strawberry, almond and coconut flour. Seriously. I can just image the smells as you were making this.

  24. Am new to rhubarb – have only tried it in a couple of fruity dishes – but this looks way better than what I turned out!
    I, too, am having trouble finding it here in Georgia – even tried a couple of local farmers markets.
    Can I use frozen instead?

  25. As beautiful and yummy this crisp looks, I really enjoyed reading the post itself. It’s hala

  26. Looks amazing! And great timing — we’re starting a paleo challenge with our gym next week!

  27. My older sister has been making lots of pale recipes for her family when my nephew became very sick last year with an illness related to his diet. I’ve been looking to try some of the recipes her family likes. I’ll have to pass on this one to her. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Lindsay!

  28. I know I should’ve gone to Cebu to meet you when you were there!This looks fab!

  29. I pinned this for the crumble. Crumble usually has oats and I am sensitive to oats so this sounds like a wonderful alternative. I can’t imagine anyone not liking this on peaches, or strawberries, or blueberries, or….. I wouldn’t even mention paleo, it would just confuse my guests. :)

  30. Rhubarb and strawberries – a classic combo and sooo good for you. Lots of fiber and vitamin C! Love that you use coconut oil and flour and honey as your sweetener here. Your writing is a delight by the way!

  31. I’m usually against anything labeled “paleo,” but there’s nothing about this I can’t get behind! I’ve just started experimenting with coconut flour and coconut oil. Sounds like they would be excellent in a crisp!

  32. A grocery store with carpet? Ha! This paleo crumble looks divine, I can’t wait to try it with fresh farmer’s market peaches!

  33. I could never do the paleo thing. I like grain-free stuff but paleo is just too far for me! But this… this I’d still devour. I love almond and coconut flours! And pretty pictures. :)

  34. Yep, I feel better eating paleo – so please more recipes! Because this desert is amazing :)
    Middle of winter here, and we are now on the sofa watching a Lucille ball movie and eating Strawberry & Rhubarb Crumble after a magnificent roast for lunch. Awesome :)

  35. Ummm….mad props on making your crisp look good. On our recent crisp post, I just sort of gave up after a half hour and thought…this is not supposed to be pretty.
    Well done :)

  36. Kathy Austin says:

    I got a pound of rhubarb in my CSA basket this week…and tho I don’t have fresh strawberries…I have some frozen ones…gonna try this recipe for dessert tonight!

  37. Just made this tonight as well- it was good! I was worried that it wouldn’t taste that great because the topping didn’t really get crunchy but my fears were unfounded :) We eat paleo here, and it makes a big difference in how I feel! Especially with my appetite and gas/bloating. We also do about 85/15 though in following the diet. We had some yummy vanilla ice cream with this tonight!

  38. I’m super food curious. I’d try this for sure! I def eat just about everything, but I love sampling the ways others eat just for the experience.

  39. We had a few friends over for dinner yesterday, and I made this for dessert. While they were eating it they were like…”Umm, did you make this?! It is amazing!” And they’re both personal chefs! Thanks for sharing this recipe, I will definitely be making it again.

  40. I’m new to rhubarb. I’m looking forward to trying it. I love that it’s paleo. Thanks.

  41. It’s a rainy day in Perth, Western Australia and I am eating this right now (leftovers from dessert for breakfast) and I just wanted to say thanks and YUM! :-)

  42. I love strawberry rhubarb and I love cooking in cast iron. This is the first time I have seen strawberry rhubarb with these ingredients. Immediately sent it to my ZipList! YUM!

  43. Yummy! I just got rhubarb from my grandparents today! I was going to experiment with a paleo recipe this weekend, but this looks pretty paleo and pretty delicious!

  44. This looks amazing! I am going to make it tonight! So much better than eating a fattening pie crust :) Thanks for sharing!

  45. I am Paleo, was looking for something delicious to use my fresh rhubarb for and am trying this tonight! So glad I found this!
    PS – I am a Minnesotan as well. Andover.

  46. I thinki screwed it up somehow, maybe the rhubarb pieces were too large. I covered it with tin foil to see if it can semi steam the rhubarb until cooked and toast it on top.

  47. Did this! Minus arrowroot and almond flour. Used maple syrup instead of honey for the crumble ingredients. Let the coconut brown toasty, and poured coconut milk over the top. It is so good!

  48. I’m not big on citrus/zest, would the recipe lose too much if I left that out? The lemon juice I can live with at a push.

    I’m on the food-curious side. This looks and sounds amazing, I dont care what diet its from. Cheers!

  49. Melissa says:

    I’m allergic to coconut, is there a different oil you would recommend that I use instead? Also, I would just add more almond flour unless there is a specific reason it is added? Thanks!

    • Hi Melissa, I’m not super familiar with these alternative ingredients so I don’t have any confident recommendations. Sorry!

    • I’ve used palm oil and/or veggie shortening in place of coconut oil. You can also use lard or bacon fat if you are into that!

  50. I loved the sound of this recipe, just put into the oven. I am wondering about baking with raw honey. Any thoughts on the harm of heating it? Thanks, can’t wait to sample!!! Also, did not have almond flour or almonds so used spelt flour. And substituted lemon/orange zest with organic lemon extract. Thanks for the awesome recipe. I am not gluten intolerant but work on cutting down on carbs, thanks again!!

  51. LOVED IT! Made it tonight and it was a great hit. The crisp topping was actually crisp whereas any other paleo crisp recipe made soggy topping. The filling was the perfect blend of sweet and tart. Highly recommend it. Thanks for posting!

  52. Stephanie Jo says:

    Made this tonight and it was delicious! Thank you so much for this recipe!

    In case anyone is interested, here is some nutritional info I calculated for a 4 oz serving (my batch was 32 oz total):

    Calories: 272
    Fat: 16
    Carbs: 28
    Protein: 4

    The only difference in my recipe versus as-written is that I used tapioca starch instead of arrowroot powder. Still turned out great! I will be making this a lot throughout the summer :)

  53. Can I take out or substitute the arrow root? This looks amazing, I bake paleo desserts and can’t wait to try it!!

    • The arrow root acts like cornstarch would and keeps the juices from seeping out all over the place, so if you want it to sort of stick together, I wouldn’t skip it. But cornstarch could be used instead.

  54. Great recipe, yet with insane amounts of sugar (honey is sugar). 1/3 is more than enough. And skip the industrial hormone-pesticide-gmo-ice cream from the side :-)

  55. This recipe has a LOT of honey in it to be considered truly Paleo.

    • Equivalent to 5/6 cup of sugar, to be exact. Still, we all cheat sometimes, and it’s a much better option than your average rhubarb pie, if only due to the lack of a wheat crust.

  56. I just made this crisp! It turned out heavenly. The crumble mixture was a lot more moist than I was expecting… but it dried out and crisped up nicely in the oven. My new go-to paleo dessert recipe! Thanks!

  57. Hi there! Made your dessert today (rhubarb and strawberry crumble) and it was YUMMY! Thank you so much!!!!

  58. This recipe seems to work well with 4 cups of any summer fruits. Really wonderful. I’m featuring it in my next blog post and will link to your site. Thanks for sharing it!

  59. When you say almond flour, do you mean the blanched almond flour or will almond meal do?

    Also hoping to make this on butter because I’m skeptical about the coconut oil fad and refusing to buy in but it looks like this recipe can take it :)

  60. Thank you! I love fruit cobblers, but haven’t made one since trying the paleo diet. Tomorrow is thanksgiving and I was baking pecan pie for my everything eating family. I am looking forward to a lovely paleo friendly cranberry-apple cobbler with your topping!

  61. Mmmm! This recipe was amazing, and my whole family mowed it down 😉 loved the crumb topping. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

  62. Wonderful recipe, thank you. I made a Bluebarb version (3:1, rhubarb:blueberries) and used walnuts instead of pecans (all I had on hand), and it was a delight! I also cut the honey by half. I’m adapting my diet due to MS, and was feeling a little dismayed with all my baking books, so thank you for all your work and creativity!

  63. BYERLY’S! :-) My introduction to the fancy carpeted grocery store was at Christmas time; there was a brass/string quartet playing carols by the check outs. And THAT’S when I broke up with Cub Foods.

    Making this tonight for tomorrow’s work lunch BBQ in Duluth. Thank you!

  64. Nancie Erhard says:

    I’m paleo-based, but I do eat a little dairy and grains, and a wee bit of legumes. I needed to find a recipe that wasn’t overly grain laden or sugary to use the abundant rhubarb and strawberries from my micro urban garden (organic). I tweaked it a little–subbed grass-fed butter for the coconut oil, because I use plenty of coconut oil as it is and I love the taste butter adds. Plus I used less honey and added stevia–it’s actually good for you, a medicinal herb. If you can’t do dairy, instead of ice cream I whip up coconut cream, the thick stuff, with a drizzle of maple syrup and vanilla. Yum. It’s paleo-friendly, too.

  65. Holly Jean says:

    Hi Lindsay….made a half batch of this for me and hub tonight. It was super-yummy! Even hub thought so! : ) I did find the crisp was not really crisp, though. I was wondering if that may have been either because I used the blanched almond flour instead of the almond meal, which I see you recommended later. Or, do you think it would be because I used melted coconut oil instead of solid? If I cut in solid coconut oil into the crisp mixture and stuck it in the oven before it had a chance to melt at room temp, do you think it would be crispier? Or, could it be because I baked it in a glass casserole dish instead of a cast iron skillet? Any suggestions? Thanks again for a yummy experience!!

    • I’ll check with Lindsay on this, and we’ll get back to you!

    • Hey Holly! It’s been a while since I made this one, but I think it’s just the nature of the consistency when using butter and flour alternatives. Often I find when I use almond meal or flour in place of the regular flour, I don’t get as much crisp or the texture is just a little bit softer than usual. But like I said, it’s been so long, this is sort of just my best guess. Sorry I can’t be more specific!

  66. Thanks for the recipe. This was the first thing I’ve cooked using rhubarb. I’ve been looking at recipies for a while and decided to go with this one. Mine turned out amazing. I did make a few changes:
    -let the berry and rhubarb mix sit for a while. Pour out the liquid before transferring the mix to your pan. I used mine as a cheesecake topping!
    -I used grapefruit zest. I didn’t have an orange. I’ll probably do that again. Yummy!
    -I only used half the honey and half the coconut oil amounts listed based on past experience.
    -I also added a few pinches of cardamon because I love the stuff.

    Mine also didn’t get “crispy” but I wouldn’t expect it to without the grains and the “real” sugars.
    Thanks again!

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