Creamy Smashed Rutabagas

Rutabagas are a delicious root vegetable with a mild flavor similar to turnips. They’re in season from October through March and are generally served either mashed or roasted.

Our recipe for mashed rutabagas is Scandinavian in origin and uses butter, cream, a dash of vanilla and a pinch of nutmeg to enhance the vegetable’s natural sweetness.

The dish works well with roasted meats, poultry and game and can be made ahead and reheated with no compromise in flavor or texture.

Creamy Smashed Rutabagas

Creamy Smashed Rutabagas

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Butter, cream, vanilla and nutmeg complement the mild, sweet flavor of mashed rutabagas to make a simple winter side dish.


  • 2 rutabagas, 1 to 1-1/4 lbs each, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (see notes)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Place the rutabagas in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Add some salt and bring to a rapid simmer.
  • Cook for about 25 minutes, or until the rutabagas are very tender when pierced with a knife. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper and mash the rutabagas until all the large lumps are gone. Alternately, you can purée the mixture until smooth with an immersion blender.
  • Stir in the nutmeg, butter, cream and vanilla and combine thoroughly.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, then transfer to a serving bowl.
  • You can also transfer the rutabagas to a lightly greased 1-1/2 quart casserole dish, cover and keep warm in a low oven or refrigerate and reheat later (tightly covered for 40 minutes at 350°F).

Tips for Making This Recipe

Recipe Notes:

Rutabagas are quite dense and hard, making them a formidable opponent on your cutting board. They are usually already trimmed of the root and top and heavily waxed when you buy them.
To prepare, cut a slice about 1/4-inch thick from each end, then using a sharp knife, score through the skin all the way around the widest part of the rutabaga.
Place on several thicknesses of paper towel and microwave on high for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes. This will melt the wax and soften the skin making the rutabaga much easier to peel.
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