Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ruta What? - Rutabaga!

A while back I asked a question on Facebook. I asked how many of my followers (you guys) ate rutabagas. To my surprise, most of you were unfamiliar with this glorious plant. Well, that has got to change!

Rutabagas are absolutely wonderful! Yea, they can look a little strange at the grocery store, and don't really come with any cooking instructions - but that's where this post comes in... 

Rutabagas are technically a cross between turnips and cabbage. They have a beautiful golden color when cooked, and taste very similar to a turnip - just a little bit sweeter. With almost half the carbs and calories, rutabagas can also make a good substitute for potatoes in many dishes, when you might be looking to cut back. This amazing little root vegetable tastes great, is easy to prepare, and is fairly inexpensive. It has been a Southern favorite for years. 

And for those of you that would like to grow these little babies at home... Don't throw out the green tops. You can prepare the leafy sections just like turnip greens & they taste great! I have no idea why stores and farmer's markets don't carry them. (For more information about growing rutabagas, Bonnie is a good place to start.)

For this post I'm going to stick to the root portion, since, that is what is readily available in most areas. They can range in size from a softball, to usually more like a volleyball. This is what they look like in the store:

Not exactly a pretty vegetable, I know. But this really is one of those don't judge a book by it's cover things. They taste so much better than they look! 

Here's my favorite way to prepare them...

 Printable Recipe 
  • About 4 - 5 cups chunky cut Rutabaga
  • Water
  • 2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Tony's (see picture)
  • 3 Tbs Butter (or margarine)


The first step is to peel off all of the rind (and the wax coating that they put on them for commercial sales). Be sure to trim the ends as well. Then cut the remaining root into chunky (1 1/2 inch) cubes. You do not have to be exact with this. Place them into a pot and cover the pieces with water. 

Add in the chicken bouillon, garlic salt, black pepper, and Tony's.

Boil uncovered, until a knife inserts pretty easily into the rutabaga pieces. (The amount of time can vary depending on the age of the rutabaga, and the size of the cut pieces, but usually around 40 minutes.)  Add water as necessary to keep a good level in the pot.

Once tender, drain the rutabaga, and return it to the pot. Gently, stir in the butter. (It will coat the hot rutabaga pieces as it melts.) 

Makes about 4 - 6 servings.

Rutabagas are perfect alongside most any Southern style meal. 




  1. How interesting-I've never tried rutabaga!! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

    1. You really should give them a try. Our family loves them - including the kids! ~ And I always love a good party, so I will certainly be there Tuesday. :o)

  2. I have never had a rutabaga even though I have seeds for them LOL I wanted to let you know that we will be planting some this year and you are featured this week on the (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop!

  3. I was pretty surprised by the taste of a rutabaga the first time too. :) Thanks for stopping by and sharing this on Five Friday Finds! I'm looking forward to what you share this week. :)

  4. My mom used to sweeten them and make pie. Of course, this was during WW2 and things were in short supply. As a kid I remember thinking it was horrible and have never tried it your way. Maybe I will now.

    1. I am so glad that you're willing to give it another try. I hope you like it. :o)


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