Mashed Turnip

In Alberta, turnips and rutabagas are an in-season produce during November and December. If you are interested in trying an alternative to traditional mashed potatoes, you might like this recipe.

Either turnips or rutabagas can be used. Rutabagas are sweeter than turnips. I recommend smaller turnips for this recipe due to larger ones tending to have a slightly more bitter taste.

To add variety to your mashed turnips or rutabagas, add the same types of ingredients as you would for regular potatoes such as herbs, milk or cream, dill, garlic, etc.

When using turnips as an alternative, you will quickly notice that mashed turnip looks different from mashed potatoes. They lack the fluffiness that we are used to seeing. Turnips also tend to have a nuttier, sweeter taste than potatoes.

This recipe is made without milk or cream to accommodate those who are lactose intolerant. Omit the butter and this recipe is vegan.

Mashed Turnip

  • 2 medium sized turnips
  • 1 – 2 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar


  • Peel, wash, and cut turnips into 1.5 to 2-inch chunks.
  • Peel the garlic.
  • Place the chunks of turnip and cloves of garlic into a pot with just enough cold water to cover the turnips.
  • Add a bit of salt to the water.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn the temperature down to a simmer for approximately 20 – 25 minutes or until turnips are tender enough when pierced with a fork.
  • Once cooked, fully drain the turnips in a colander.
  • After draining, return the turnips to the pot they were boiled in. Keep the pot on low heat.
  • Add the butter and the brown sugar to the pot with the turnips and mash with a potato masher or with a fork. Add salt to taste.
  • Once finished, transfer the mashed turnips to an oven-safe serving dish.

Yovella is a former resident of McCauley who still works and volunteers in the area.

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Janis Irwin MLA

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