Easy Mashed Rutabaga Recipe

Easy Mashed Rutabaga recipe is as simple as making mashed potatoes!

This root vegetable is naturally low calorie and low carb which is nice on the waistline and blood sugar!

Rutabaga’s are an excellent alternative to mashed potatoes and are loaded with vitamins and nutrients.


Mashed Rutabagas in a black bowl topped with a pad of butter

Rutabaga’s aren’t as popular as other root vegetables, and I’m not sure why.

They are easy to make and have a mild flavor that pairs well with most chicken, pork and beef dishes. I think you’ll like this simple version.

What is a rutabaga?

It’s a cruciferous root vegetable and hybrid of the turnip and cabbage. What? The Cabbage? Yep!

The rutabaga hails from 17th century Northern Europe and Scandinavia, and that’s why it’s also known a “swede” or “Swedish Turnip.” 

What does it taste like?

Rutabagas have a rich, savory, nutty, semi-sweet flavor. The unique flavor reminds me of a combination of parsnips and cabbage and they go well as a side dish for roasted chicken, pork loin or turkey.

Why you’ll like this recipe!

  • Quick, easy, affordable, flavorful, keto and carb friendly
  • Ready in 15-minutes
  •  As easy to make as mashed potatoes
  • Loaded with nutrients: high in beta carotene, Vitamin C & A, as well as potassium and manganese, which are necessary for energy.

Other benefits include a healthy dose of B6, thiamin, folic acid, and phosphorous, which helps metabolize proteins and sugars.

Here’s what you’ll need

This easy recipe consists of a few simple ingredients: rutabaga, butter, onion powder, marjoram, salt and white ground pepper.

How to make it

Start by peeling the waxy skin off the vegetable. I recommend using a potato peeler.

Two peeled rutabagas

Cut into small pieces…

Place in a large stockpot; cover with water; bring to boil. Once tender, drain and put in a large mixing bowl.

Add butter to warm vegetable and mash with potato masher; season and serve!

Bowl of cooked rutabagas being mashed

How to select one at the store

Look for a thick, dry skin with a large neck. In markets, they are usually next to the turnips, so remember to look for the brownish-purple skin.

Don’t rely on what the produce tags say-it is not uncommon to find these two labeled wrong at the grocery store because the produce stockers don’t know the difference.

Close up image of two rutabagas
Look for brown and purple; turnips are white and purple

What’s the difference between a rutabaga and a turnip?

While both of these root vegetables are in the same family, they are different from one another. Rutabagas are:

Size–  larger than a turnip. In fact, you may see rutabagas that are double the size of turnips.

Colorpurple and brown; turnips are more purple and white

Skin–  thicker, waxier skin than a turnip

Flavorhave a tendency to be a bit sweeter; turnips are more “peppery”

How to peel a rutabaga

These root vegetables are tough!  There are two ways to cut away the skin from this veggie-with a sharp knife or with a sharp potato peeler. I found the potato peeler easier and faster.

Potato Peeler – Use a sharp potato peeler and work all the way around the root vegetable until all the skin is removed.

Sharp Knife – If you use a sharp knife, cut off the end to create a base.


End cut off of rutabaga

Start from the top and slide the knife at an angle all the way to the bottom of the bulb.

Turn the bulb over and cut away the remaining skin.

If your knife isn’t sharp enough, parboil the rutabaga for 5 minutes to soften the outer skin; then peel and dice.

Light a strong smelling-candle while the rutabagas are boiling! They stink to high-heaven, but they’re delicious:)

Make in advance

Make mashed rutabagas in advance!  Just re-heat on the stove or in the microwave when you’re ready to serve them! Store in the fridge for up to three days.

Mashed rutabaga’s pair exceptionally well with poultry–chicken or turkey–and are often found on many a Southern Thanksgiving table!

Serve with roasted turkey, Southern Cornbread dressing and spiced cranberry sauce!

They’re naturally low in sugar and have a low glycemic index. Plus that, they’re chocked full of vitamins and nutrients!

Related Recipes

♥ If you make this recipe, please scroll down and leave a comment and rating below! I love to hear from you!

Easy Mashed Rutabagas

Tender fluffy mashed rutabagas seasoned with a hint of marjoram--the perfect side dish!
5 from 7 votes
Print Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Scandinavian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 cups
Author: Anecia Hero
Cost: $4


  • Very sharp knife
  • Sharp vegetable peeler


  • 2 large rutabagas , peeled and diced
  • 5 tablespoons butter , salted (See Notes)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • teaspoons salt See Notes
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper (you can use black pepper instead of white)
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram (See Notes)
  • 4 quarts water , or vegetable broth


  • In large Dutch oven, bring water or broth to boil
    4 quarts water
  • Peel skin away from rutabagas
    2 large rutabagas
  • Cut rutabagas into cubes
  • Place cubed rutabagas in water (or broth) and cook for 15 minutes or until rutabagas are fork tender
  • Drain rutabagas in colander and return them to Dutch oven
  • Add butter
    5 tablespoons butter
  • Using a potato masher, mash rutabagas to desired consistency (See Notes)
  • Add pepper, onion powder, marjoram and 1 teaspoon of salt; taste for salt; add more if desired (See Notes)
    1 teaspoon onion powder, 1½ teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of marjoram and serve immediately
    1 teaspoon marjoram


  • Consistency: if you want a smoother texture, put the cooked rutabagas in the food processor and puree them; then add seasonings
  • Salt: rutabagas are a lot like mashed potatoes-they need a lot of salt; this recipe uses 1 1/2 teaspoons-you might want to add more; add the salt in increments to avoid over-salting
  • Pepper: this recipe calls for white pepper which is stronger than black pepper; add a little then taste; add more if you prefer; you can use black pepper instead of white
  • Marjoram: if you don't have marjoram, substitute with dried oregano
  • Butter: since rutabagas require a lot of salt, I use salted butter; if you use unsalted butter, you may want to add more salt; as always, you can add more butter:)
Light a candle: these root veggies do not smell good when they're cooking; light a strong fragrant candle while they're boiling

Nutrition Estimate

Serving: 1cupCalories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gSodium: 1131mgPotassium: 1191mgFiber: 9gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 636IUVitamin C: 97mgCalcium: 204mgIron: 2mg
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