Turnip Puff or Rutabaga Puff:
Thanksgiving Vegetable Recipes

A tasty purée of root vegetables, either purple-topped turnips or, as pictured here, the lovely sunny-fleshed rutabagas. A favorite Thanksgiving vegetable recipe from my Canadian family.

A delicious pur&eactute;e of root vegetables, either turnip or as picture, the sunny-colored rutabaga, also called a 'swede'
One small boy to another: “Of course I know the facts of life: Wash your hands. Eat your vegetables.”

In some families, it’s a fact of life that it’s risky to buck tradition at Thanksgiving. Every year, it’s Grandma’s same cornbread stuffing and Cousin Isabelle’s favorite sweet potatoes.

Here, the requisite vegetable has been my Auntie Gloria’s Squash Puff. Then I learned that she and my Canadian family have supplanted squash with turnip.

Both are fall vegetables. Both versions are mashed. But somehow a squash puff and a turnip puff are entirely different. And since there’s no choosing between the two, now both are essential!

Turnip pairs well with roast beef and turkey both. So if your Thanksgiving menu is already cast in the irons of family custom, consider adding a Turnip Puff to the less rule-ruled Christmas meal.

ALANNA's TIPS Turnip Puff reheats beautifully with other Thanksgiving leftovers. Try irregularly shaped and thus extra-crispy Japanese breadcrumbs called panko (pronounced PAHN-ko) found at specialty food stores and some supermarkets.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time-to-table: 75 minutes
Makes 4 cups
  • 3 pounds purple-topped turnips (about 6 large) or rutabagas (about 1 large)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup panko or dry bread crumbs (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Peel the turnips or rutabagas and cut into roughly equal-size quarters. Cook in boiling salted water until soft. (Stop here and refrigerate if preparing a day before.)

Mash the turnips or rutabagas in a large bowl with a mixer. Add the eggs, butter, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, pepper and nutmeg and combine well. Transfer to a buttered casserole dish.

Combine the crumbs and butter and sprinkle evenly on top. (Stop here and refrigerate if preparing a few hours before.)

Bake at 375F until lightly browned on top, about 30 minutes if starting from room temperature, about 50 if starting from the refrigerator.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Half Cup: 155 Calories; 8g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 18g Carb; 4g Fiber; 495mg Sodium; 77mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 3 points

Wanna know something funny? After publishing this recipe, I learned that Canadian supermarkets label what I call 'rutabagas' turnips. So my Canadian family actually makes this Thanksgiving casserole with rutabagas, not purple-topped turnips. Ha!
The good news is that I make this dish with both and both are excellent. If I were to prefer one, it's the Rutabaga Puff, if only for its sunny yellow color and slightly sweeter flavor. But truly, you'll not go wrong with either.

More Thanksgiving Vegetable Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Mashed Potatoes & Carrots Squash Puff
~ more vegetable recipes ~
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from Kitchen Parade

~ World's Best Green Bean Casserole ~
~ Fresh Candied Yams ~
~ Cauliflower Cream ~
~ more Thanksgiving vegetable recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog

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"Both are root vegetables."

I know you did't write that. It's a problem with my eyes.

OH MY. Kevin, you are so right.

When I wrote this column (a year ago), when I re-proofed it (a month ago), and when your note arrived (last night), I was writing 'squash' but thinking 'sweet potato'.

Only this morning did it come to me the error you discovered. Drat.

On this planet we call Earth, squash, indeed, grows above ground while turnips and sweet potatoes, below ground.

Many thanks for the eagle-eyed editor's correction.

PS I changed 'root vegetables' to 'fall vegetables'. Drat.

Looks yummy. I love cooking with root veggies. They are surprisingly sweet. Can't wait to try this.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna