How To Cook Rutabagas Southern Style?

How To Cook Rutabagas Southern Style

Are you thinking about how to cook rutabagas southern style? The simplest way is to peel and then dice into one-inch pieces, place them into a dutch oven covered with cold water, and once the water boils, just cook them until they’re fork-tender.

I know, I know. These simple instructions haven’t really sold you on the idea of ditching your sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes as the main side dishes on your holiday table. But I promise you – if you keep reading this article, you’ll be cooking and praising buttered rutabagas before you know it!

How To Cook A Rutabaga?

We’ve already given you a few tips and tricks about preparing rutabaga, but no recipe on how to cook this vegetable yet. Don’t worry. I’ve just been waiting until the end to share our not-so-secret recipe on how to cook rutabaga to perfection!

What are you waiting for? Let’s get down to cooking some delicious roasted rutabaga!

  1. First thing’s first – remove wax covering and peel with a paring knife or vegetable peeler. We’ve already given you our best tricks for this, so let’s move on to step 2.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the rutabagas into the desired shapes. I recommend cubes since they’re the simplest and most convenient for cooking.
  3. Place the cube-shaped rutabaga into a bowl and add some olive oil. Make sure each cube is evenly coated in olive oil. If you want to try out something new, you could always add a bit of maple syrup into the mix!
  4. Season the rutabaga with some salt, black pepper, a bit of garlic powder, and sugar to deal with the bitterness.
  5. Transfer the raw rutabaga into a tray lined with cooking paper and place it into a pre-heated oven at 375 F.
  6. Cook rutabaga for 45 minutes at 375 and make sure to turn them over at least once during their stay in the oven!
  7. Once your timer sounds off, take the rutabagas out of the oven. They should be bursting with great flavor!

However, if you want to make your dish a bit more special, try adding some apple cider over the rutabaga to really give it that one-of-a-kind taste!

Now, all that’s left is to enjoy your perfectly cooked rutabaga!

Do I Need To Peel A Rutabaga?

Well, yes and no.

In theory, rutabaga skin is edible, so you don’t need to peel it off. However, I recommend that you do.

The truth is, rutabaga skin has a really strong flavor, and it may not be to most people’s liking. So, the easiest option is to just peel it off before cooking.

Additionally, if you’ve bought your rutabagas in the grocery store down the street, chances are you got waxed rutabaga on your hands. And if you’ve got a real rutabaga giant on your hands, its skin is probably going to be all tough and bruised.

What I am saying is – peel the rutabaga before cooking!

How To Cook Rutabagas Southern Style pin

What Is The Best Way To Peel Rutabaga?

Okay, so we’ve convinced you to peel the rutabaga but don’t worry, I am not going to leave you stranded. On the contrary, we’re giving you our best tips and tricks on how to peel rutabagas perfectly!

First thing’s first – if you’ve gotten your rutabaga at a farmers market or local grocery store, it’s probably covered in wax. So, before you start peeling and slicing, I recommend taking the wax off and making your life a little easier.

Here’s how:

  1. Place the rutabagas in the sink under hot running water. The hot water is going to soften up the wax and make it easier to take off!
  2. Take a knife. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sharp knife or not.
  3. Using the dull side, scrub the wax off the skin.
  4. Once all the way is off, rinse and dry the rutabaga with a paper towel. Drying it will help if you intend to roast it later on!

Okay, finally, it’s time to teach you how to peel this vegetable!

Although the rutabaga looks like a tough cookie, it’s relatively easy to peel. Both a paring knife and a good vegetable peeler will do the trick.

Once you’ve peeled all the skin off, cut rutabaga into relatively small cubes. Since it’s quite a dense vegetable, it takes a bit of time to cook, so cutting it into inch cubes helps get the job done. Just start cutting thin slices starting from the outside and continue inwards.

Remember – it’s really important to first peel and then slice! It doesn’t matter if you have a sharp knife or not. Attempting to cut raw rutabaga into large chunks before peeling just leaves you with a knife stuck in the middle!

Why Does My Rutabaga Taste Bitter?

If I were describing rutabagas, we’d have to say that they’re a mild, slightly sweet cross between a cabbage and a turnip full of nutrition calories.

However, they can be slightly bitter. Hey, it’s in their nature!

But don’t worry, just because rutabagas are naturally bitter doesn’t mean they have to stay that way! Just keep reading, and we’ll show you the simplest trick to get that bitter taste out of your rutabaga recipe for good!

How Do You Take The Bitterness Out Of Rutabaga?

Like with almost any problem in the culinary world, the answer is – seasoning!

Okay, so while you’re seasoning rutabaga, you’ve probably put in the classics – salt, black pepper, and a little of garlic and onion powder, right?

This is an excellent combination of spices, but to take the bitter taste out, you’ll need just one more thing – a pinch of brown sugar! Adding just a touch of sugar will leave rutabagas tasting only slightly bitter.

Of course, if you want to avoid the bitter taste altogether, just add a bit more brown sugar!

How To Prepare And Cook Rutabaga?

Although you could always make rutabagas healthier and serve them raw as a salad, I have another rutabagas recipe in mind. It’s not as easy as sliced and diced rutabagas, but it is just as delicious!

Here’s our recipe for mashed rutabagas that’s is will leave everyone at the Thanksgiving table speechless and begging for seconds

  1. You’ve got this first part down already. Once the wax coating is off, peel the rutabaga and cut it into small pieces.
  2. Take a large pot and fill it with wild cold water.
  3. Seasoning time – add a tablespoon of bacon grease, and a teaspoon of salt, freshly grounded pepper, and a pinch of sugar!
  4. Now, add the rutabaga into the pot. There should be enough water to just about cover all the rutabagas.
  5. Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  6. When the water begins to boil, cover the pot with a lid and reduce the temperature just a notch or two below medium heat.
  7. Cooking rutabagas should take about 30 to 45 minutes.
  8. Once you hear the timer go off, check to see if the rutabagas are fork-tender and remove all the excess water.
  9. Place them into a separate bowl and add a slice or two of butter. Don’tworry, no one’s looking!
  10. Take out your trusted potato masher and mash them up real good!
  11. Last but not least – taste the mashed rutabagas before serving to see if any additional spices are needed!
  12. That’s it. You’re done! You’ve just made a delicious side dish for your Thanksgiving table! Enjoy!


Well, it seems we’ve shared our best recipes of how to cook rutabagas southern style with you!

After this article, you’re all set. You know everything about rutabagas! You’re an expert on how to peel them, clean them, prepare and cook them according to the most delicious recipes out there.

Now, all that’s left is to prepare rutabaga and serve up the most delicious of Thanksgiving side dishes!

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