What Is Mashed Rutabaga?

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  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2019
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Similar to mashed potatoes, but slightly more nutritious, mashed rutabaga is made by cooking a root vegetable until very soft. The dish is often served at Thanksgiving. Ingredients for mashed rutabaga vary. Some cooks use only butter with the rutabaga, while others add milk or even additional vegetables. A potato masher or hand mixer can be used to mash them. The texture of the dish is not as smooth as mashed potatoes, as rutabagas have a lot of fiber.

A rutabaga may sometimes be called a turnip or yellow turnip, even though the vegetable is related to cabbage. The vegetable looks like a turnip, except that it has a yellow color with purple skin. Unlike other members of the cabbage family, rutabaga tastes sweet, not bitter. It is a good source of fiber as well as beta carotene. As it is a root vegetable and stores well, it is common during the colder months of the year.

Usually, mashed rutabaga is made by peeling and cubing the vegetable. It is then boiled in water until extremely soft. After the water is drained, some cooks prefer to heat the softened rutabaga further to remove any excess moisture.


Before mashing the rutabaga, many cooks add some sort of fat to the vegetable. Butter is a common add-in to mashed rutabaga. As the vegetable is hot, it melts the butter when it is added in. To add creaminess, a cook may also pour in a bit of milk or cream.

A potato masher is often used to mash the vegetable with the butter or milk. A large fork will also work. Owing to the fact that the rutabaga is fibrous, it can be difficult to mash with a potato ricer. Another option is to use a hand mixer to puree the vegetable.

Rutabagas lack the starch content of potatoes, so a cook could even try to mash them with a blender without the risk of the mashed rutabaga developing a glue-like consistency. Generally, the texture of mashed rutabaga is slightly chunky. It is difficult to get the mixture completely smooth, as there are usually strings of fiber throughout.

Similar vegetables can be mashed along with the rutabaga. Some people like to add rutabaga to mashed potatoes to boost the fiber and overall nutrition of the dish. Another option is to mash carrots with the rutabaga or add in cooked onions to the mashed vegetable. Once the vegetables are mashed, common seasonings include salt and pepper. Some people also add a dash of nutmeg to the dish.


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