Adventures in Healthier Eating with 2 Kids and a Picky Husband

Roasted Rutabaga, Who Knew?

Posted by 5 years ago 26 Comments

No, really. Who knew?

I’ve never, ever eaten a rutabaga. I honestly had no idea what they were and really, their large, ugly, bulbous appearance didn’t entice me in the least.

I mean, look at it. It’s not very appetizing!

Raw Rutabaga

Note: That’s a half. I totally forgot to snap it before I started cutting.

According to the Farmers Almanac a rutabaga is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage and they are very popular in Sweden, Finland and Norway. It’s mostly eaten mashed and common in soups.

I cut mine in half, sliced and then peeled.

Cut Rutagaba

Apparently they are coated in wax to help prevent spoiling, which is a shame, because it forces you to peel (I’m an avid non-peeler.)

The 7-year-old and I were immediately intrigued as the flesh smelled somewhat sweet. He asked for a slice raw and proceed to munch while doing his homework.

7 Year Old Eating Raw Rutabaga

I was shocked. It WAS pretty yummy raw and I could totally see dipping it in hummus.

I had my heart set on trying it roasted though. So I cubed half of it and tossed with 2 tsp of olive oil in an aluminum grill pan.

Cubed Rutabaga in Grill Pan

Then I sprinkled on some kosher salt and placed them on a hot grill over medium-low heat.

In about 20 minutes I was looking at a pretty appetizing side dish.

Roasted Rutabaga on the Grill

They started to caramelize and soften. I tried one and they were quite pleasant. Kind of like a cross between a sweet and white potato but not really. Hard to explain! I served them with a London broil, and roasted asparagus.

Roasted RutabagaIt was a great meal and a nice change from our traditional baked potatoes on the grill. Speaking of, let’s compare potatoes to rutabaga since they are both root vegetables and pretty comparable sides for dinner. Based on 100g…

Russet Potato has 79 calories, no fat, 18g of carbs, 1g of fiber, 1g of sugar and 2g of protein

Rutabaga was 36 calories, no fat, 8g of carbs, 3g of fiber, 6g of sugar and 1g of protein.

I’m not saying rutabagas will be replacing all potatoes at my house, but they are definitely going into rotation!

Everyone liked them roasted — yes, even The Husband. The 7-year-old did say he liked them better raw and The 2-year-old seemed to prefer the crunch, too.

2 year old eating Raw Rutabaga

He didn’t eat much but I’m all about the exposure. I just want my kids willing to try new things. That’s my ultimate goal.

2 Year smiling and eating rutabaga

Sometimes it’s a frustrating battle but they are worth the work. :)

Where are my rutabaga fans? Please enlighten me. How do you prepare them? I totally plan on buying them again!

Oh! Just a heads up, this may be my last post before changing over to the new design. It’s penciled in for Wednesday! Bear with me this week as I’m predicting a few growing pains!

See other recipes using: rutabaga

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There are 26 comments so far. Join in on the conversation.


    April 16, 2013

    Rutabaga are a staple here in Ireland, although we call them Swedes or Turnips. Believe it or not I've never thought to try one roasted, but now I want to! I usually put them into soups or stews - they're lovely in a smooth, thick soup with some curry spices. I sometimes steam them with carrots and mash the two together (add some creme fraiche or sour cream and lots of black pepper - yum!). It always makes me smile when you review a "new" vegetable that's as common as carrots over here. And then I get insanely jealous when you casually mention something like spaghetti squash which can't be had over here at all. I suppose that's what makes the world a more interesting place!


    April 16, 2013

    I am from Finland and yes we eat rutabagas (turnips). It is served raw, roasted, cooked and mashed and also as a part of vegetable mix in different kind of soups. I like turnips and they are very unexpencive vegetables here.

    Crystal (Lukasmummy)

    April 16, 2013

    We usually stab with a fork and microwave them for 15-20 minutes depending on the size, scoop out the middle and serve mashed sometimes with carrots, here in the UK they are usually called swedes. Hugs Crystal xx

    Diane in Wisconsin

    April 16, 2013

    Never liked them as a kid but Type II diabetes is gorcing me to look for potato substitutes. I like them roasted, sometimes mixed with sweet potatoes and maybe some onions and then for a complete meal add a fried egg.


    April 16, 2013

    Hello Roni We would NEVER have a big meal without rutabaga! But in we call it a turnip. First we peel them, then dice, then boil and mash. Sometimes we add a small scoop of mashed potatoes to them as they can sometimes be a little wet. But they are sweet and delicious! They go really well with a turkey dinner, and equally as well with white fish. I also just served them with a ham dinner and it was awesome!


    April 16, 2013

    Wow! This looks delicious! I'm sure I've had rutabaga at some point but couldn't tell you the wwwww or how of it. Good luck with the launching of the new look on GLB! I can't wait to see it!

    Beth M.

    April 16, 2013

    I've seen them recommended as a good lower-carb substitute for potatoes, but I hadn't gotten brave enough to try one yet. Do they get soft enough to work as a substitute for potato salad? If your kids love the crunch of raw rutabaga, have they tried jicama? I loved that one when I was growing up - so crisp and yummy, and mild enough that I think it would absorb dressing flavors well in a salad.


    April 16, 2013

    I LOVE jicama! Unfortunately it's not that popular here and when I see it in the stores it always look nasty. :( Oh! and we have a video when we tried it...

    Heather K.

    April 17, 2013

    I don't think I've ever tried rutabaga before; I know I've never bought it. I plan to now though. Thanks for the idea!


    April 17, 2013

    I made these last night in the form of french fries for the first time and LOVED them!!!!


    April 17, 2013

    I grew up eating mashed rutabaga. My grandma made it for all holidays. She would chop it into small pieces, cover with water in pan and add a bit of sugar. When tender she mashed it with butter. When I lived on my own, I started roasting it with beef roasts and we love it that way. I also use it when I make Mashed Roots. Then I cook several different root veggies; parsnips, rutabaga, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, etc, separately, then combine and mash. My, now adult, children, love them and request them often. The only thing I dislike about them is the time to peel and cut them. Oh, I forgot to mention, my grandma was german and learned from her mom and grandparents. Have you tried Kohlrabi? I really enjoy that also!


      April 17, 2013

      LOVE Kohlrabi! We tried it a few years ago for a Produce Pick... :)


    April 17, 2013

    We usually eat them mashed with salt and pepper, sometimes a little butter. In New England, I was just introduced to splashing a little vinegar on them. Gotta say it amped the flavor and was delicious!

    Terry C

    April 17, 2013

    I got a rutabaga in my CSA box today and had no clue what to do with it. Never had it and am not a fan of turnips so I didn't think I would like rutabagas. I diced it and roasted it with CSA carrots, fresh thyme, salt, olive oil and a drizzle of honey. Still not sure I like it, but I guess I will eat it. :-/

    Lisa Bradley

    April 18, 2013

    I hated them as a child. They are pretty common in the Midwest, we called them rutabagas and the small white fleshed things turnips, still hate turnips, but I love rutabagas! We put them in stews, and roast them as well. But the absolute best way to have them is in pasties!


    April 18, 2013

    I have never tried Rutabaga! Well, I've also never seen it, maybe that's why. :D The new design is great! :)

    Michele Conti

    April 19, 2013

    I've loved your reciepies! love vegtables and have just turned my 17 almost 18 yr old onto your blog for school, she will be attending FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in NYC this fall. I really have another question for you, I have a blog and do not know how to cross link??? or get noticed by vendors. (At 50) I'm feeling a bit technically challanged is it something you can help me with??? Just a stab in the dark here???LOL let me know thanks! Michele


      April 19, 2013

      Hi Michele - Looks like you are doing great! I'm not sure what you mean by cross link. My best advice is to be passionate about your content. That's key. Then hit some blogging conference and start to network and pick up a few tips. So many are helpful but it's hard to do in comments. :)


    April 21, 2013

    If you showed me the picture of the rutabaga after it was roasted, I never would have guessed that's what it was! It looks so wonderful, and it's so full of fiber. I would have never thought of this, but now I'm, excited to try it!

    Jennifer Tripp

    April 29, 2013

    I'm trying a rutabaga just because you posted it on here. Inquiring minds want to know. I hadn't read your post until today, but I mentioned it to a coworker last week and he said they were sweeter than a sweet potatoes. Now I really want to try it. Cooking one tonight. Thanks for posting a new foodee!


      April 30, 2013

      Awesome Jennifer! I did find them sweet! Hope you like them!

    Linda Blackburn

    May 5, 2013

    I saw this the other day and decided to try it. I just finished making it this morning. It was delicious! My husband loved it, too, although he made a yucky face when I told him what it was. He really loves his potatoes sliced thin with onions and soft fried in oil, so next time I make this, I'm going to slice them thin and add some onions and roast. We will be eating this often! Thanks for sharing the recipe.


    September 2, 2013

    Love rhutabaga - just found your blog on roasting it after searching for ideas on what to do with the one I got yesterday. I will definitely be roasting it today! Usually I just microwave it and mash it with butter, s&p. And I've never eaten it raw - but after seeing that your guys like it, I might just try a piece. Thanks for the info!


    March 31, 2014

    I love rutabagas! Never had them as a kid and I'm not sure why I decided to make one 15 years ago or so. I'm with you...I've bought every fruit or vegetable I've seen just to expose my kids to all the different food possibilities. My oldest two sons, now 21 and 18, will try anything. Doesn't mean they will eat it again, but they will always give it a taste. My youngest son, 13, has been picky from the day I started him on baby food. My hope is that as he gets older, his tastebuds will be much more open to new foods.


    January 25, 2015

    I love that people are getting interested in humblr rutabagas again. My mum is Swedish and we keep a rutabaga chopped up for eating raw in the crisper at all times. My Irish grandmum also serves it all the time with roast beef. Yum! I've never had it roasted, but that's changing tomorrow!! Thanks for the awesome idea!


    October 11, 2015

    Nice post I really wAnt to try to roast teabags. I have broadband in soup/stews. Buy teabags at the fArmers market they are not waxed.