Rutabaga or Turnip Puff


Apparently Albertans love their turnip puff.

This is believed to have originated in the original Best of Bridge cookbook series – made with rutabaga, turnip or winter squash (or try a combination), the veggies are mashed and mixed with a bit of butter, brown sugar and egg, which makes it puff up slightly as it bakes, giving it a lighter texture. Some people assemble it ahead of time, refrigerate and bake it when they need it. I made it yesterday for the Eyeopener, and fed the leftovers to my dad, a longtime root vegetable non-enthusiast. It was a hit both times.


If you haven’t had rutabaga before, it’s a brassica vegetable also known as a yellow turnip or Swede (short for Swedish turnip) – it’s big, about the size of a coconut, and purply, making it look like a large turnip. They’re believed to be a cross between cabbage and turnip, but taste more like mellow winter squash – raw, they’re crunchy and snappy, and remind me of peppery radish. Cooked, they’re pale yellow, less starchy than potatoes, reminiscent of butternut squash with a hint of turnip.

They can boiled and mashed or pureed – they’re delicious when you cook and mash or puree them with carrots, a bit of butter and a big pinch of brown sugar, or you can roast them as cubes or fries. If the size is daunting, peel (they’re thin-skinned) and cube them and keep them in the fridge or freezer for soups, stews or curries – or just cook a handful in a skillet with butter, salt and pepper. Delicious.


And if you live in Alberta and have a sense of nostalgia for the recipes of so many of our childhoods, give the puff a try – it’s not just for Christmas anymore.

Rutabaga or Turnip Puff


January 11, 2017


2 medium rutabagas, peeled and cubed (about 6 cups)

2 Tbsp. butter

salt and pepper, to taste

2 eggs

3 Tbsp. flour

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

pinch nutmeg

3/4 cup breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp. butter, melted


1In a large pot of boiling water, cook the rutabaga until it’s very tender. Drain and mash in the pot with a potato masher, adding the butter and some salt and pepper. Set aside to cool slightly, and preheat the oven to 350F.

2Add the eggs to the rutabaga and mix them together well. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and nutmeg; stir into the rutabaga. Scrape into a shallow baking dish, smoothing the top. Stir together the crumbs and butter and sprinkle overtop.

3Bake for 25-30 minutes, until slightly puffed and golden. Serves 6-8.


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7 comments on “Rutabaga or Turnip Puff

  1. Tom A White
    January 11, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Loved the Puff!!! Thank you!

  2. Nicole
    January 11, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    This was so delicious! I made it with coconut oil instead of butter (lactose intolerant husband), my husband took one bite and declared it amazing. Thank you!

  3. Sue D
    January 12, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I’m so intrigued, can’t wait to try it! I love it when previously overlooked local produce finds me – particularly in the middle of winter.

  4. Margo Stretch
    January 15, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Turnip Puff, oh how we love thee!! A family favorite that always accompanies turkey dinners… and yes, I got it probably 25 years ago from The Best of Bridge ladies. The very tastiest way to eat turnips… mmmm!

    • Julie
      January 17, 2017 at 10:28 am

      I’m so glad I finally tried it!! I’ve been hearing about it for so long!

  5. Ann
    December 23, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Can you make/bake it the day before. Will the crumbs get soggy it you do thanks Ann

    • Anonymous
      October 15, 2019 at 6:48 pm

      Make it ahead but don’t add the breadcrumbs until just reAdy to pop into the oven – it will be delicious!

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