Improve Your Produce IQ: Rutabagas

From Sound Dietitians, a partner of the Verdant Health Commission. View the complete blog post and recipes from Sound Dietitians at


When I was looking for vegetable purée recipes to use as sauces on pasta, I decided to try one that included rutabagas since that was an unfamiliar vegetable for me. I had previously avoided it because it seemed too close to turnips, which I was also unfamiliar with and have a reputation for being bitter and fibrous. So I gave the rutabaga a try and totally love them.

Rutabagas are root vegetables that are a cross between a turnip and a cabbage, so they are in the cruciferous vegetable category (Brassica family). Rutabagas have purple “shoulders” and a creamy “body.” Like many other root vegetables (beets, turnips), they have a skin that needs peeling (and a possible wax coating which is removed when peeled). And like most root vegetables, they are harvested in the fall. Rutabagas are also known by other names, such as “Swede,” “neep,” or “yellow turnip.” (1)

What does a rutabaga taste like?

Some folks may find rutabagas slightly bitter, however their sweetness comes out when roasted, particularly when combined with other vegetables, such as in the dish below. The sweetness is not overpowering, but more like a delicious, less-starchy potato.​

How do you eat rutabaga?

Rutabagas are most delicious roasted or puréed, where their sweetness comes out. However, they can also be enjoyed raw, like jicama or celeriac.


View the rest of the blog post from Nancy Miller, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with Sound Dietitians, for preparation ideas, nutrition information, and a recipe for Roasted Mixed Vegetables with Sour Cherries on the Sound Dietitians blog: