Like you, I’m sure, there are certain members of my family that are set in their ways – refusing to eat certain foods because they either don’t know what they are or had them once, usually years ago, and didn’t like them.

Then comes Thanksgiving – an opportunity for progress, a time to introduce a new food here and there and make some change. No, it’s not always successful. The banana sweet potato combo just didn’t fly a few years back. Another year I was told I ruined the entire meal altogether. In hindsight, there may have been too many foreign foods that time around and I interfered with too many “traditions.”

rutabaga peel

Regardless, I continue on this tireless crusade anyway, reminding myself that these family dinners are only an occasional happening these days. And introducing new foods can actually be quite simple.

rutabaga cut

I’ve served this extraordinarily easy rutabaga and potato mash at several holiday dinners now and, though I hate to play the “gotcha” game, almost no one notices the rutabaga unless I tell them. They just think they’re eating really good potatoes.
The rutabaga, peeled, roughly chopped, boiled and mashed at the same ratio to potato, adds a depth and earthiness that most mashed potatoes alone lack. People love them. It’s usually at that point that I tell them the reason why they love them is the rutabaga. Surprise! You like this fairly unpopular root vegetable and you didn’t even know.
rutabaga mash

If health factors are a motivator to start incorporating rutabaga into your mashed potatoes, or any of your cooking, you’ll be happy to know that they’re full of antioxidants, fiber, zinc and more.

Rutabaga Potato Mash

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6, as a side


  • 1 lb rutabaga
  • 1 lb potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • chopped parsley or chives for garnishing


  1. Heat a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. While waiting, peel the rutabaga and potato.
  2. Chop both vegetables into one inch pieces, keeping separate.
  3. When the water is boiling, add the rutabaga to the pot. Cook for 15 minutes then add the potato and cook another 10 minutes or until tender.
  4. Drain. Let sit for a couple of minutes then mash with the butter, salt and pepper. Serve warm.