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Rutabaga Fries

With the growing season winding down, it’s time to make friends with hearty root vegetables again.

Though, chances are, you never befriended rutabaga in the first place (how rude!).

I get it.

Rutabaga is like the awkward kid that gets picked last for sports.

He’s a modest fellow that just can’t keep up with dainty microgreens or shiny bell peppers.

But flavor-wise, these unassuming “yellow turnips” are pretty delicious. And nutritionally, they pack much of the same micronutrient goodness you find in a potato with about half the carbs.

Plus, if you suffer from any automimmune, joint, or other food sensitivity issues triggered by nightshade vegetables, rutabaga makes a great alternative to the ol’ white potato.

So I challenge you to: Give rutabaga a chance!

How to make crispy rutabaga fries (in the oven)

Rutabaga typically has more water than white potatoes or sweet potatoes, so when you’re making fries, you’ll want to follow a few of my tips below to get crispy, delicious results.

  • Use enough oil/fat
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan – spread in a single layer
  • Make that oven hot, hot, hot – don’t wimp out at 350
  • Cook on the bottom rack – closer to the heat source
  • Opt for thin fries, not steak fries
  • Choose a low-sided baking sheet – this allows steam to escape easily = more browning

Without further ado, here’s the recipe for crispy, roasted rutabaga fries.

Rutabaga Fries

  • 1 large rutabaga (about the size of a large russet potato)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp tallow, lard, or coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • dash of cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Peel rutabaga and slice into fries (This mandolin makes quick work of it, but a good knife will work, too.)
  3. On a large sheet pan, toss remaining ingredients together (If fat/oil is solid, put the pan in the oven for a few minutes until melted. Then toss to coat rutabaga evenly.)
  4. Roast for 20-30 minutes on the BOTTOM RACK of the oven, turning once to ensure even cooking.
  5. Fries are done when lightly browned and crisp around the edges.

Rutabaga Fries

Rutabaga Fries

Rutabaga Fries

Rutabaga Fries

Some interesting rutabaga facts:

  • Rutabaga is a cruficerious vegetable (believed to be a cross between turnip and cabbage), and therefore contains a good deal of sulfur compounds. So don’t be surprised if your house smells a bit like broccoli or cabbage while these roast. I promise the smell is MUCH stronger than the taste.
  • Rutabaga leaves are a nutritional powerhouse. Don’t throw them away! Cook them like collard greens or (my preference) add to soups and stews.
  • Rutabaga is a surprisingly good source of vitamin C. If you can’t get your hands on much fresh produce during the winter months (#Alaskaproblems), perhaps make a batch of rutabaga fries!

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Have you ever cooked with rutabaga? What’d you think?

Tell me about it in the comments below.

Until next week,
Lily

PS – Want more veggie recipes (that actually taste good)? Grab a copy of my free ebook below – or HERE – and see how tasty veggies can be!

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Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.

21 Comments

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  1. We were just googling rutabagas the other day because they call them “Swedes” here in Australia. I always add some in when I roast root vegetables with coconut oil, lemon, and rosemary. Rutabagas are cheap and, like you said, with the right persuasion, tasty. These look great! Thanks!

    • Yummy! I could see rosemary working really well with these.

      PS – I just love how veggies have different names across the globe. I was aware of capsicum and beetroot. Now I’ll add Swedes to the list. 🙂

  2. I love adding rutabaga to my chicken soup, along with other root veggies plus mango chunks–it’s an awesome combo!

  3. I’m from the south and my mom used to fix these when I was little. She would only boil them and I couldn’t stand the taste. I lived in New York City for 20 years and never had a rutabaga until I moved back to the south… The rutabaga fries are my new favorite thing in the whole wide world. Thank you, Greg

    • Awesome. Glad you are enjoying them, Greg!

  4. Rutabagas are a “free” food on Weight Watchers Points Plus. I love, love, love, rutabaga fries baked in the oven!

  5. Do you have the nutrition facts for these? I’m trying to find low carb alternatives for my mom. Thanks! I wAS getting tired of her making sweet potato fries go g to try these soon.

  6. May anyone assist me to having a little question.
    Half a year before, I was diagnosed with the candida albicans
    I wish to look at several diet against Candida albicans.
    In the Internet, a lot of information on this issue.
    But experiences typically diverge. And I did not find the best decision for me personally.
    Perhaps the forum participants can suggest a proven diet or maybe a few recipes against candida?
    I’ll be very many thanks for almost any assist

    Thanks a lot!

    • Low FODMAP diet can work great for candida. My NP put me on it a couple of months ago and it is working beautifully and is much more sustainable than traditional “candida” diets. Bonus-the rutabaga is low FODMAP!

  7. You had me at fries!!

    I’ve never had rutabaga. I’ll definitely pick one up while I’m out today and report back.

  8. OMG — how awesome is this! Lily, can you also bake rutabagas the way you’d make a baked potato?

  9. Ah, wondered what they were in Aus and Uk. Will try the swedes! X

  10. I love rutabagas!! Have since I was a child….odd right? Lol. I have made fries in the past and included with roasted veggies. They’re wonderful mixed with turnips as a side dish. Right now I have a batch of saueruben fermenting. My first time for that.

    • Yum. Love fermented veggies, but haven’t tried rutabaga before. Good idea!

  11. Have you ever tried these rutabaga fries with avocado oil? It’s just an idea that I think would work in this recipe, unless if it’s better to used a saturated fat! Anyways, I haven’t had rutabaga in a while. This recipe looks absolutely wonderful!

    • I haven’t, but that should work just fine. 😉

  12. I grew up eating rutabagas, my favorite was at Thanksgiving my mom would peel it, cut up in chunks and cook like potatoes until tender…mash, add half and half and mash (use mixer) until smooth then add butter, salt & pepper. Place in a baking dish, top with slabs of butter and a little more s & p over the top and bake, uncovered, until just starting to brown on the edges, maybe 35 to 40 minutes. So delicious that way, makes my mouth water to think about it. Now I have to try these fries, sounds pretty tasty!!

    • You got me at “slabs of butter!” Vintage cookbooks and traditional recipes are where it’s at.

  13. I loves love love rutabegas!!! Normally I boil them, add sea salt, brown sugar, minced garlic and onion, I wanna try them cooked as fries…

  14. Can rutabaga fries be deep-fried in hot oil like regular french fries? Thanks!

    • I believe so, but I have not personally tried this.

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