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An Irish Classic, Mashed Carrots and Rutabaga. This Great Recipe Tastes MUCH Better than It Sounds!

Updated on February 28, 2009

The Humble Rutabaga

This recipe doesn’t sound all that exciting, and truth be told the finished product isn’t much to look at either, but the taste is incredible, really really good – one bite will make a rutabaga lover out of anyone!

It’s an old Irish classic, and say what you will about Irish cuisine - the Irish know their root vegetables, and Irish recipes are always rib-sticking good. This recipe is perfect for winter, and it’s designed in advance as a meal for two nights too! It is in fact, even better on the second night when fried up with bacon.

You can use either rutabagas or turnips for this recipe (rutabagas are the bigger ones and they’re usually waxed, in case you weren’t sure of the difference between them…) although rutabagas with their more assertive flavor are probably the preferred choice.

Mashed Carrots and Rutabagas

  • An equal quantity of carrots and rutabagas
  • Boiling salted water
  • Butter and salt

(Pretty minimal ingredient list for this one…)


  1. Peel both the carrots and the rutabaga.
  2. Cut the carrots into large chunks and the rutabaga into much smaller dice. The rutabaga cooks much more slowly than the carrots, so you want to make the carrot slices much larger to equalize the cooking times.
  3. Add the cut vegetables to a saucepan and cover completely with cold water. Salt the cooking water. One of the secrets to great tasting vegetables is salting the cooking water sufficiently. The old Italian pasta cooking trick is to salt your water until it tastes like the sea – and that works great for vegetable boiling as well.
  4. Bring the water to a boil and simmer until both the carrots and the rutabagas are tender throughout. In truth, it’s hard to overcook this as you will turn it into a mush anyway! But you do want to ensure that the vegetables are good and soft. Start checking after about 20 minutes.
  5. Once the vegetables are soft, drain the water and mash the vegetables as you would for mashed potatoes. Add butter and salt to taste, again as you would for mashed potatoes, and serve as a side dish.

Very simple, very easy, but surprisingly tasty.

Mashed carrots and rutabagas for the second night – the bacon comes out!

The leftovers are even better. Make sure you make enough on the first night to leave you with ample leftovers.

  1. In a skillet or frying pan, cook 4 or 5 strips of bacon until crisped. Take the bacon out of the pan and reserve. Raise the heat to medium high (do not drain off the bacon fat) and add in the leftover mashed veggies. Cook them in the fat until well heated and a browning in spots. Serve on plates and top with crumbled bacon. So good!


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    • profile image

      MonkeySea 6 years ago

      I'm in my 60s and cannot remember ever sitting down to a Thanksgiving dinner that didn't include serving of "the orange stuff". I don't know if this recipe was introduced through my Mom's or my Dad's side of the family, but like Irishgemini, I thought we were the only family who ate mashed carrots and rutabagas. Glad to see that someone has posted the recipe for others to enjoy!

    • profile image

      Irishgemini 9 years ago

      My grandmother used to make this dish when I was a kid. I actually thought we were the only family in the States that ate this. LOL Thanks for the recipe

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

      I make this regularly my Irish grandmother taught me how to prepare it. Good fro root vegetable pie as well.