Rutabagas are often mistaken as turnips, but are actually their own distinct member of the Brassica genus. Rutabagas thrive in colder climates and grow abundantly in the north. Rutabagas are inexpensive and can be stored for long periods of time, making them generally available locally year-round. They are harvested in late summer and early fall when flavor is at its peak. The rutabaga has a delicate flavor that is similar to both cabbage and turnip, but sweeter and denser. It is nutritious, inexpensive and easy to prepare – a great staple for any family or student diet.


Rutabagas are rich in vitamin C and potassium. They have been known to enhance digestion and stamina, decrease risk of heart stroke and lower high blood pressure. The rutabaga can help relieve constipation problems, but is also prone to cause gas.

How to Select

Look for small, smooth, firm rutabagas that are heavy for their size.

How to Prepare

RAW: Peel, slice and enjoy as a snack. Chop, dice, or grate them and add to salads of all kinds, including coleslaw and carrot salads.

COOKED: Rutabagas can be roasted, boiled, steamed, stir-fried, mashed, or stewed. Boil them with potatoes and mash together. Quarter them and roast along with potatoes. Enhance the flavor of stews with chopped or quartered rutabagas. Dice them and add to soups. Stir-fry with onions.

Simple Rutabaga Recipe

Rutabaga, butter, salt and pepper, curry powder, brown sugar

  1. Peel the rutabaga and chop into half-inch cubes.
  2. Place in a medium skillet with 1.5 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Add a pat of butter or 1 tbsp. olive oil.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add curry powder and a pinch of brown sugar
  5. Lower heat and simmer until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Drain and serve mashed or whole

Download Rutabaga Fact Sheet in .pdf format