An overhead shot of a casserole dish of mashed turnip garnished with fresh thyme.
4.94 from 15 votes

Brown Butter Mashed Turnip {Rutabaga} with Roasted Garlic

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.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Canadian
Keyword brown butter, roasted garlic, holiday side dish, mashed turnip recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 side servings
Calories 175kcal
Author Dawn - Girl Heart Food


  • 3 lb turnip or rutabaga -peeled, cut into cubes. See 'Notes' below.
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper -plus a pinch for garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt -plus a pinch for garlic and some for salting water to boil turnip
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme -chopped (or 3/4 tsp dried). Plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter


  • First, get the garlic roasted.  Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut tops off garlic so cloves are exposed.  Sprinkle with just a pinch of salt and pepper and 1 tsp of olive oil.  Wrap in foil and bake about 40 minutes. Remove foil and let cool for a bit before handling. When cool enough to handle, cloves can be removed from skin.
  • Meanwhile, boil turnip (or rutabaga) in large pot of salted water, covered, for about 35-40 minutes or until turnip is tender.  Drain.
  • In a light coloured pot over medium low heat melt butter.  As the butter cooks (or browns), swirl the pan every so often as it lightly bubbles. The butter will foam and that's ok. 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 butter from 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!


  • 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 1/3 less dried (so about 3/4 tsp).
  • I used one large turnip that was about 3 lbs (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.
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Nutrition (estimate only)

Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 168mg | Potassium: 532mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 375IU | Vitamin C: 44.3mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Nutrition Facts
Brown Butter Mashed Turnip {Rutabaga} with Roasted Garlic
Amount Per Serving
Calories 175 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 30mg10%
Sodium 168mg7%
Potassium 532mg15%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 375IU8%
Vitamin C 44.3mg54%
Calcium 85mg9%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Nutrition estimate only. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.