Minimal ingredients, a whole lotta flavour, that’s what you’re gonna get with this brown butter mashed turnip with roasted garlic. It’s a simple side dish that would be a yummy addition to any special occasion.
If you know me, you know how much I love ‘turkey day dinner’ (also known as ‘mom’s Christmas day turkey dinner).
It’s my favourite meal, hands down. What makes it my favourite? Turkey, of course. But those sides? Yeah, that’s where it’s at.
Mom makes some really good mashed turnip. It’s quite simple, but I pile my plate with it. Today I’m sharing mom’s mashed turnip recipe with my twist.
What makes this mashed turnip recipe so special?
Though, butter makes pretty much everything better, doesn’t it?
Though, this ain’t just any butter, it’s brown butter. Seriously, you guys, this stuff is straight-up delicious.
What’s the Difference Between Turnip and Rutabaga?
All my life, I’ve know rutabaga to be ‘turnip.’
Though very similar, there are some slight differences.
Both turnip and rutabaga are delicious root vegetables.
However, rutabagas are typically larger than turnips, a little sweeter, and have a yellowish interior (which is often why they are marketed as ‘yellow turnips’ or simply ‘turnips.’
This is the case in many grocery stores in Newfoundland. Both can often be used interchangeably in recipes, as in this one. This is a great article that explains more about turnip and rutabaga.
Brown Butter Mashed Turnip Recipe (aka Mashed Rutabaga)
Besides how delicious this recipe is, it has just seven ingredients (including salt and pepper).
It’s one flavour-packed, super budget-friendly side dish that’s perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any special occasion.
Honestly, this would even be delicious as a lower carb option to have with your weekday dinner.
What is Brown Butter?
Brown butter is basically butter that has been cooked until it turns brown.
It’s made by melting butter in a pot; as it cooks the colour changes from light yellow to brown.
Also, the milk solids start to solidify and brown. This is a great guide for making your own brown butter.
Some people don’t use those solids, but I think they add so much flavour to any dish. Do not discard ’em; they are yummy! They go straight into the mashed turnip for a flavour party.
Browning just takes butter to another level. It tastes buttery (of course), nutty and kinda caramelly. In a pinch you could use regular butter here, but the final product will taste different.
It only takes minutes to make and so worth the effort. And the smell? Heavenly. As you would have guessed, brown butter also works great in mashed potatoes, with pasta (particularly ravioli) or even on bread (when it’s solidified, of course).
How to Roast Garlic
So, thinking how fabulous this mashed turnip would be for a holiday side, I figured I’d kick it up a notch with roasted garlic.
A whole bulb of garlic is roasted until soft and the cloves are mixed in with the mashed turnip. Don’t be frightened that it’s a whole bulb of garlic.
When roasted, the pungent flavour of garlic is muted and you are left with a lovely garlicky hum. To roast garlic:
- Cut top off bulb so cloves are exposed.
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little olive oil.
- Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for about 40 minutes or until tender.
- Once cool enough to handle, cloves easily remove from the skin and can be used in recipes.
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Lots of good flavour for a humble turnip, isn’t it? It’s all about using simple ingredients and just treating them with care, definitely nothing complicated.
Mashed turnip has always been a favourite side and brings back lots of memories. What’s a favourite side dish of yours?
Tips for Making Mashed Turnips (aka Mashed Yellow Turnips or Rutabagas)
You can use either turnip or rutabaga in this recipe. I used what I know as ‘turnip’, ‘yellow turnip’ (aka rutabaga). More detail on this in the text above.
Cut the turnip into bite-sized chunks so they could somewhat quickly.
Don’t have fresh thyme? Use ⅓ less dried (so about ¾ teaspoon of dried thyme).
I used one large turnip that was about 3 pounds (after peeling it’s a little less), but all together you want about 8 cups of turnip chunks. If you have access to a scale in your grocery store, use that to weigh the quantity you need.
Other Easy Side Dishes
- Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- Fall Farro Salad
- Apple & Gouda Mixed Green Salad
- Kale Salad with Apple
- Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Yogurt Sauce
- or you may love this easy holiday side dish round up
Whether you call it ‘rutabaga’ or ‘turnip’, I hope you love this easy side dish recipe as much as we do (and I’m pretty sure you will)!
If you make this mashed turnip recipe, be sure to leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed!
Brown Butter Mashed Turnip (Rutabaga) with Roasted Garlic
- 3 pounds turnip or rutabaga , peeled and cut into cubes. See 'Notes' below.
- 1 head garlic
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon black pepper (plus a pinch for garlic)
- ½ teaspoon salt (plus a pinch for garlic and some for salting water to boil turnip)
- ½ tablespoon fresh thyme , chopped (or ¾ teaspoon dried thyme). Plus more for garnish, if you like).
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- First, get the garlic roasted. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut tops off the bulb of garlic so the cloves are exposed. Sprinkle with just a pinch of salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Wrap in aluminum oil and bake about 40 minutes. Carefully remove aluminum foil and let cool for a bit before handling. When cool enough to handle, cloves can be removed from their skin.
- Meanwhile, boil turnip (or rutabaga) in large pot of salted water, covered, for about 35 to 40 minutes or until turnip is tender. Drain and place in a mixing bowl.
- Melt butter in a light coloured pot over medium-low heat. As the butter cooks (or browns), swirl the pan every so often as it lightly bubbles. The butter will foam and that's okay. The colour will change from yellow to amber to brown. There will be little brown bits form as the milk solids in the butter cook. Don't discard those. They are delicious in this mashed turnip. This whole process should only take about 10 minutes.
- As soon you achieve the desired colour (I like a light brown) remove the butter from the pan (because it will continue to cook if you leave in pan and may burn).
- To cooked turnip (or rutabaga), add salt, pepper, thyme, browned butter and mash. Add roasted garlic cloves and mash again. Place in a casserole dish and garnish with additional thyme, if desired. Enjoy!Note: Because turnips are slightly more bitter than what was used here (rutabaga or yellow turnip), you could (if you like) mix in a little brown sugar to taste.
- You can use either turnip or rutabaga in this recipe. I used what I know as ‘turnip’, ‘yellow turnip’ (aka rutabaga). Rutabagas will yield a slighter sweeter result than turnips. More detail on this in the text above.
- Cut the turnip into bite-sized chunks so they could somewhat quickly.
- Don’t have fresh thyme? Use ⅓ less dried (so about ¾ teaspoon).
- I used one large turnip that was about 3 pounds (after peeling it’s a little less), but all together you want about 8 cups of turnip chunks. If you have access to a scale in your grocery store, use that to weigh the quantity you need.
Nutrition (ESTIMATE ONLY)
Nutrition estimate (if provided) is based on 1 serving.
Nutrition information (if provided) is provided as a courtesy and should be considered an estimate only. Ingredients can vary and Girl Heart Food makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are guidelines only.