Mashed Rutabaga

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Mashed Rutabaga is a great side dish recipe for holiday feasts. A rutabaga carrot mash is flavorful and make creamy with the addition of warmed cream and butter!

Rutabaga is slightly peppery, full of flavor and a great substitute for traditional Mashed Potatoes when you just feel like something different.

Mashed rutabaga in a bowl with butter

What Is Rutabaga?

Rutabagas are sometimes referred to as swedes or neeps! They are root vegetables that taste a little sweeter than their turnip cousins. While turnips are normally white or purple, rutabagas are yellowish and purple/brown. They have a savory, slightly earthy and peppery flavor with that typical autumn harvest flavor and feel.

How to Make Mashed Rutabaga

This is one of the easier things to add to your holiday spread. Just follow these steps:

  1. Prepare rutabaga and carrot, and place in a pot of salted water, and cook according to recipe directions.
  2. Drain well and mash or beat with a mixer.

I like to add course pepper during the last step, but beating it in does make the dish quite peppery, so you can do that at the end, or leave pepper out if preferred.

TIP:  Bigger rutabaga can be a bit tough to mash but unlike a potato they don’t get gummy or starchy. They can be mashed with a hand masher or even a blender or immersion blender to reach desired consistency.

Left image shows cubed rutabaga and carrots in a glass bowl and right image shows mashed rutabaga in a glass bowl with an immersion blender

What To Serve With Mashed Rutabaga

Personally I love mashed rutabagas snuggled right up against a dollop of cranberry sauce and turkey and gravy. Don’t forget the stuffing! Oh, and a little bit of hollandaise sauce won’t go wrong, either. Rutabagas are just the right complement for all your holiday favorites.

To Freeze

Rutabagas are great to freeze, before or after cooking and mashing. You can make ahead right with the carrots, so easily! Just follow these steps:

  • Peel and chunk rutabagas and carrots.
  • Blanch together in boiling water for 3 minutes
  • Drain and cool completely

Add to freezer bag or container, leaving ½ inch of space for expansion.

On the big day all you’ll have to do is pull this bag out and prepare the rest of the way, according to the recipe below. You’ll have delicious fresh and creamy rutabaga ready in minutes! To save even one more step, just mash or whip before freezing, leaving out the warmed cream and butter. Defrost it in the fridge for 24 hours (drain any liquid) and reheat right in the microwave. As soon as the rutabagas are piping hot, add in the warmed cream and butter, with salt and pepper. It’s delicious and nutritious, a definite essential Thanksgiving side dish!

Mashed Rutabaga with melted butter and a spoon
5 from 6 votes
Review Recipe

Mashed Rutabaga

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
This rutabaga carrot mash is blended with warmed cream and butter, and beaten until peppery and fluffy!


  • 3 pounds rutabaga peeled and cubed
  • 2 carrot peeled and chunked
  • ¼ cup butter melted
  • cup heavy cream warmed
  • salt & pepper to taste

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  • Combine rutabaga and carrot in a pot of cold salted water.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until fork tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Drain well and mash rutabaga with a potato masher or hand mixer until smooth. Add melted butter.
  • Stir in warmed heavy cream a little bit at a time to reach desired consistency.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 154, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 85mg, Potassium: 575mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 2871IU, Vitamin C: 43mg, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 1mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword mashed rutabaga
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

Mashed Vegetables Sides

Mashed rutabaga with an immersion blender and in a bowl with squares of butter and a title
Mashed rutabaga in a white bowl with writing
Rutabaga and carrots in a clear bowl and mashed rutabaga and a white bowl with butter and a title
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I would like to prepare this the day before Thanksgiving… could I warm it back up in a crockpot the day of, or is it better to put in the oven to warm up?

  2. Hi Holly, this isn’t a rating but just a question…why do you start your recipe boiling in cold water? I have always wondered about this with potatoes as well…seems counter intuitive when ultimately you are getting to a boil, why not start in hot water??

    1. Starting the rutabaga in cold water helps them cook more evenly as the rutabaga heats up along with the water. This keeps the outside from cooking too quickly.