Easy Mashed Rutabagas

Easy mashed rutabagas in a white bowl

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
130 Calories
8g Fat
15g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 130
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 120mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 43mg 213%
Calcium 76mg 6%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 523mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Rutabagas are a root vegetable and are sometimes referred to as the Swedish turnip. You can use rutabagas as you would use almost any other root vegetable, which means they're a great substitute for mashed potatoes and also delicious when combined with potatoes and then mashed. The recipe comes together very quickly, and you can do the mashing right in the pot you've cooked them in. Save some of the cooking water if you feel the need to thin them out a little bit after mashing and adding the butter, salt, and pepper.

Rutabagas are in the Brassica genus and are thought to be an ancient cross between a turnip and a cabbage. They're mildly sweeter than turnips but still retain some bitterness; some people describe the taste as bittersweet. Serve these mashed rutabagas as a side dish to any meat or poultry entrée (think roasted chicken) or alongside a ham or pot roast.


Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together

"The mashed rutabagas have a buttery texture, and the amount of seasoning is just wonderful! I always forget that peeling and chopping a rutabaga is not as intimidating as it first appears. I just lopped off the ends and then peeled the waxy skin off using a Y-peeler." —Victoria Heydt

Mashed rutabagas in a white bowl
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 to 3 pounds rutabagas

  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided

  • 1/3 cup butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Peel rutabagas and cut into chunks.

    Chunks of peeled rutabaga in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats

  3. Put the rutabagas in a large saucepan and cover with water.

    Rutabaga chunks covered with water in a pot

    The Spruce Eats

  4. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt.

    Rutabaga chunks seasoned with salt in a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats

  5. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes or until tender.

  6. Drain and let the rutabagas dry in a colander or in the pan with the top ajar.

    Drained and cooked rutabaga chunks in a pot

    The Spruce Eats

  7. Mash the rutabagas with the butter, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and the black pepper.

    Mashed rutabaga with salt, pepper, and butter in a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats

  8. Serve and enjoy.

How to Store and Freeze

  • You can freeze rutabagas for future use in recipes by either blanching chunks and then freezing them or freezing a puree.
  • Mashed rutabagas will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for three to five days.
  • To freeze, pack mashed rutabaga into freezer storage bags and squeeze out as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 12 months. Reheat frozen mashed rutabaga in a saucepan over medium-low heat, adding a little milk or butter if need be. Cook, stirring frequently until hot.

Recipe Variations

  • Mashed rutabagas are delicious with this sage brown butter sauce.
  • Add 1/2 cup of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or parsley.
  • Instead of using all rutabagas, use a combination of other root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, and/or Yukon gold potatoes along with rutabagas.
  • Fold in caramelized onions and/or roasted garlic as the last step.
  • Add a few tablespoons of buttermilk, a dash of cinnamon, and a tablespoon of maple syrup to play up this veggie's sweetness.

How Do You Get the Bitter Taste Out of Rutabagas?

If you find that rutabagas are too bitter for you, add up to a tablespoon of sugar to accentuate the sweetness and stir to combine. This will help to counteract the bitterness.

Do You Peel Rutabagas Before Cooking?

The outside of a rutabaga is often waxed to preserve it for the winter, so you'll want to peel the vegetable before cooking and eating it. Luckily, rutabagas are easy to peel with a standard vegetable peeler or a paring knife.