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.
Turnip Puff or Rutabaga Puff ♥ KitchenParade.com, a delicious purée of root vegetables, either turnip or the sunny-colored rutabaga, also called a 'swede'. A Thanksgiving favorite!

  • "Delicious! This is my niece's favorite casserole and [now] one of ours as well." ~Joan

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The Facts of Life

One small boy to another: "Of course I know the facts of life! Wash your hands. Brush your teeth. Eat your vegetables."

No Bucking Tradition

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.

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.


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)
  • Salted water
  • 2 large 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

COOK THE TURNIPS or RUTABAGAS 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.)

MIX THE PUFF 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.

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

BAKE Bake at 375F/190C until lightly browned on top, about 30 minutes if starting from room temperature, about 50 minutes if starting from the refrigerator.

ALANNA's TIPS Both a Turnip Puff and a Rutabaga Puff reheat 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.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 138 Calories; 7g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 68mg Cholesterol; 16g Carb; 3g Fiber; 7g Sugar; 361mg Sodium; 4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 4 & SmartPoints 6 & Freestyle 4

More Thanksgiving Vegetable Recipes

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Mashed Potatoes & Carrots Squash Puff
~ more vegetable recipes ~
~ more Thanksgiving recipes ~
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 about vegetables

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ turnips ~
~ rutabagas (swedes) ~
~ panko ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. 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. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2006, 2010, 2015 & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous7/17/2007

    "Both are root vegetables."

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


  2. 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.


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

  4. Delicious! This is my neices favorite casserole and since she shared it with us, has become one of ours as well. Even our children who wouldn't dream of eating a rutabaga normally, lap this up. Thank you!

  5. Just an addition to my prior comment. As vegans we leave out the eggs and use Becel Vegan margarine(casein and dairy free)instead of butter The casserole turns out beautifully.

  6. Pauline on Pinterest7/31/2020

    Received a locally grown rutabaga this week. I tried this recipe and enjoyed it very much. It may be on the Thanksgiving table this year.


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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