Turnip-Rutabaga Puree (with Garlic Confit)

Do you love mashed potatoes?

I could take ‘em or leave ‘em, but in our house, mashed potatoes are king – perfect with roast chicken, meatloaf, lamb chops, anything braised; the list goes on and on. My hubby and all three of the kids are happy when there are mashed potatoes on the menu. I’m sure a great majority of families feel the same way.

Lately, though, I’ve been trying to make sneaky healthier substitutes for the starchy side.

While my husband and I adore sweet potato puree, it doesn’t always compliment the rest of the meal (and the kids aren’t fond of sweet potatoes, which I find slightly bizarre – they’re sweet, after all. What kid doesn’t like sweet stuff?) And we’re not fans of substituting cauliflower puree for mashed potatoes.

So when I kept receiving turnips and rutabagas in my weekly local box, a light bulb went off. What if I substituted these root veggies for our beloved potatoes?

And so I did.

Turnips and rutabagas actually make a lovely substitute for potatoes. Their flavors are light and neutral and take well to savory main dishes and additions. They’re light in color, too, so they trick little mashed-potato-loving eyes into thinking they’re the real thing. Preparation is essentially the same – you boil, drain, and mash or puree. I love that I can throw them in my food processor and, unlike potatoes, get a perfectly smooth puree without the “glue-y” texture. I also enjoy that they are lighter in my belly – no bloated mashed potato-induced food coma!

The best part? They have been accepted by the picky eaters in the family. This is no small feat, people. I’m thankful for that, because I think we may have a few more weeks of turnips and rutabagas before their season comes to an end.

My favorite way to enjoy this simple puree is to throw a clove or two of garlic confit into the food processor when I’m making it. The garlic adds depth and subtle, mellow sweetness. It doesn’t make the puree “garlicky”; rather, it’s a lovely background note that makes you want to lick the plate. I won’t tell if you do!

Turnip-Rutabaga Puree (with Optional Garlic Confit) 

About 1 lb of turnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
About 1 lb of rutabagas, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tsp salt
1/2-1 cup unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, broth, or cooking water
1-2 cloves, plus a bit of oil, from garlic confit (optional, but delicious!)

Place the chunks of turnips and rutabagas into a medium saucepan, along with the salt and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and allow to boil until the chunks are easily pierced with a fork.

Drain, reserving the cooking water if you desire, and place chunks into the bowl of a food processor. Add a bit of almond milk, coconut milk, broth or the cooking water to the chunks. Don’t add the full amount – you don’t want your puree to be too thin. You just want enough liquid to get the solids moving a bit. Also add the garlic cloves, if using.

Puree, stopping to scrape down the sides every so often, and adding additional liquid if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Serves 4.

Alta Mantsch is the author of Tasty Eats At Home, a food blog dedicated to tasty gluten and dairy-free recipes, foods, and living, and is a Community Leader at the Udi’s Gluten Free Living Community Forum.

16 Responses to Turnip-Rutabaga Puree (with Garlic Confit)

  • Kim says:


    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this yummy-sounding recipe! I love mashed potatoes, and I frequently make them with roasted brussels sprouts for dinner when my husband is out at band practice. It’s a guilty pleasure dinner! I am going to give your puree a try next time!


    Alta Reply:

    @Kim, You’re welcome! All of a sudden now you have me craving roasted brussels sprouts though. :)


  • Ricki Heller says:

    How delicious! And such a great lower carb alternative to potatoes. Gotta try this one! :)


    Alta Reply:

    @Ricki Heller, I love that it’s lower in carbs. And it also happens to be my favorite way to enjoy these two veggies. :)


  • Rutabagas were a new find for me last year and my whole family fell in love with them! I love pureeing them with potatoes too. Oh, I bet rutabaga and sweet potato puree would be amazing too! This looks amazingly delicious!


    Alta Reply:

    @Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen), Sarena – you might have something with that rutabaga-sweet potato combo idea!


  • Alisa says:

    Yum! I’m actually trying to come up with more rutabaga recipes! This must have a tangy bite – I find turnips and rutabagas to both have a tang to them. Do you think any herbs or spices might compliment the flavor well too?


    Alta Reply:

    @Alisa, I’m a big fan of rosemary, personally – I love it in sweet potato puree/mash, so why not a turnip/rutabaga? :)


  • Vicky says:

    I love rutabaga! I’ve always got a couple in the fridge in Winter! Such an underrated vegetable. I love turnips braised with leeks, especially the tiny ones!

    I adore this combination! Yum! We often use rutabaga mash instead of potatoes on a veggie shepherds pie, I’ll have to try this combination next time!

    I put a recipe on my site for rutabaga soup and was astonished how many people haven’t tried it. It’s actually called “turnip” in the North of the UK but really it’s known as Swede here.

    Thank you for highlighting this lovely vegetable!


    Alta Reply:

    @Vicky, I’ve never braised turnips – I’ll have to try that. Love this idea for shepherd’s pie too!


  • Cara says:

    While I love me some cauliflower puree, I adore rutabaga too. Way more than potatoes, actually!


    Alta Reply:

    @Cara, I’m not a “hater” of cauliflower puree, but I tend not to make it as it doesn’t pass the hubby/kids test, and if I’m the only one eating the cauliflower, then I’d rather have it cooked another way. (and in other ways, hubby at least will eat it) Rutabagas rock though!


  • Kim Maes says:

    I am exactly like you! I could really go without a serving of mashed potatoes. In fact, really the only time I ever make them is at Thanksgiving even though my boys love them. This recipe sounds perfect! I would totally make this all the time! I may be a little weird, but I love rutabagas LOL Great recipe!!


  • Amber says:

    Brilliant! Thank you for the inspiration!!!


  • Alta!
    This was absolutely DELICIOUS!!!!!
    I enjoyed it with some other vegetable dishes and we were in heaven!
    Thanks so much for sharing :)


  • Marie Mello says:

    Sounds super and I’m looking forward to trying it. Another great combo is carrot with rutabaga, this has been a part of our holiday dinners for years. I use equal amounts of each, and when they’re cooked simply mash them with a little salt, pepper, and Earth Balance margarine. Not a replacement for mashed potatoes, but really yummy!


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