Rutabaga Nutrition & Recipes: Bringing it Back

What happened to the dear, old rutabaga? I’m not really sure. I hardly EVER see recipes that include the rutabaga (I have to purposely search or dig for them), despite seeing it at the farmer’s market and the store often. Also, no one really talks about how nutritious the rutabaga is! We’re always talking about starchy roots & tubers like yams, purple potatoes, white potatoes, etc., but never is the rutabaga included in that list! Well, I’m bringing it back. Collards are the new kale. Rutabagas are the new sweet potatoes. (PS: Rutabagas are Paleo)

You just can't mess with perfection.
You just can’t mess with perfection.

Flavor Profile

Rutabagas have an AMAZING flavor. It is starchy, but rooty kind of like a carrot, with hints of cauliflower, and just plain deliciousness. They go excellent with onions, meat, carrots and ESPECIALLY greens. Greens are rutabagas were made for each other.

What is a Rutabaga?

Here’s the crazy thing about Rutabagas. It is a root, like a potato (although technically a tuber), a yam, or a carrot. BUT WAIT…It’s also like cabbage, broccoli and kale — the cruciferous family (it is part of Genus Brassica).  SO, if you like potatoes, kale, broccoli and cabbage, you’ll probably like rutabagas. Just guessing, here. I like them (but I am a lover of almost all vegetables). The other great thing about rutabagas is they can give you some variety in the winter. They are a winter crop, so if you are a locavore, like me, you might want to grab some if you get bored of carrots, broccoli, collards and kale. 

What do I DO with a Rutabaga?

Rutabagas are pretty easy to prepare. You can boil them, steam them, pressure cook them, even roast them! They are very versatile, just like the potato. My favorite thing to do with them is put them in soup. Recipe Below. Click Here to Jump To It

I usually peel them first, but there is no rule written in stone that you can’t eat the peel. You could always save it and throw it in the stock, which I usually do. It’s kind of like a carrot – you CAN eat the peel, but it has an earthy flavor that some people dislike. The inside is white, and after you peel it, you can chop it up into pieces of any size, depending on what you want to do with it. If you throw it in some soup, your husband might think it’s a slightly yellowish potato with a little bit of a different taste. Just sayin’. (You could also just put a little bit in your mashed taters and no one would be the wiser.)

Rutabaga Nutrition Information

One medium Rutabaga contains:

143 calories (but who cares anyway?)

4 grams of protein (pretty fly for a white … veggie?)

0.62 grams of fat (what did you expect?)

33.27 grams of carbohydrate (see what I meant when I said STARCHY?)

8.9 grams of fiber

166 mg calcium (it’s true! there’s calcium in there! Thanks Brassica family!)

1.7 mg Iron (don’t write home about this)

77 mg Magnesium (or Magnesi-YUM)

205 mg Phosphorus (most people get enough of this)

1177 mg Potassium (most people DON’T get enough of this)

46 mg Sodium

0.93 mg Zinc

96.5 mg Vitamin C (enough to ward of scurvy in the dead of wiiiinter)

Some cool B vitamins

Very little vitamin A, E, D, or K (the fat soluble vitamins). Hey, there’s not much fat here, alright? Add some butter and be happy.

Rutabagas vs. Potatoes

So, if you know me, you know I LOVE CHARTS. <3 So much.

So here’s a beautiful chart on the nutrition information of Rutabagas vs. Potatoes. So go out there and reap the rutabaga reward. As you can see, they are more nutrient dense than potatoes, LESS starchy (but still starchy), LESS caloric (but still caloric), and with MORE micronutrients (with a couple of exceptions below). By the way, this chart is per 100 grams, vs. the list above which is for one entire medium rutabaga, approximately 386 grams. 

    Rutabaga Potato
Water g 89.43 81.58
Energy kcal 37 69
Protein g 1.08 1.68
Total lipid (fat) g 0.16 0.1
Carbohydrate, by difference g 8.62 15.71
Fiber, total dietary g 2.3 2.4
Sugars, total g 4.46 1.15
Calcium, Ca mg 43 9
Iron, Fe mg 0.44 0.52
Magnesium, Mg mg 20 21
Phosphorus, P mg 53 62
Potassium, K mg 305 407
Sodium, Na mg 12 16
Zinc, Zn mg 0.24 0.29
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid mg 25 9.1
Thiamin mg 0.09 0.071
Riboflavin mg 0.04 0.034
Niacin mg 0.7 1.066
Vitamin B-6 mg 0.1 0.203
Folate, DFE µg 21 18
Vitamin B-12 µg 0 0
Vitamin A, RAE µg 0 0
Vitamin A, IU IU 2 8
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) mg 0.3 0.01
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) µg 0 0
Vitamin D IU 0 0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) µg 0.3 1.6


Finally, getting to the good part. Here’s something I made tonight:

Root'n Toot'n Chicken Soup
Root’n Toot’n Rutabaga Chicken Soup

I call this Root’n Toot’n Chicken Soup (because of the Roots, y’all.) It’s deliciousness at its finest. Recipe card below! And below that are some links to other recipes you should try. Seriously, try them. Get out of the potato/kale FUNK.

[yumprint-recipe id=’8′] 

Other recipes to try:

Rutabagas with Mashed Potatoes 

Autumn Harvest Soup

Roasted Rutabagas

Mashed Rutabagas

Source: my own brain and USDA Food Nutrient Database


  1. […] I’ve eluded to it, but it’s the truth. Edible Piedmont agrees, so it must be right, right? Collards are a […]

  2. And inexpensive to make!! What a great recipe 🙂

    PS. Fave part was “or magnesi-yum!” LOL!!

    1. Lol, Thanks! I was trying to walk the line between being just lame enough to be funny, but not too lame.

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