Caramalized Root Veggies – Rutabaga Edition

It’s tough sometimes to cook vegetables. I feel like it’s always the same thing: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower. steamed, boiled. salt, pepper, a little butter.

It’s boring.

It has its place.

But it’s still boring.

Also, why is it that things like rutabaga and sweet potatoes only really make an appearance around the holidays? This is maddening.

I’ve decided that every week I’m just going to randomly pick a different vegetable and find a way to cook it that’s delicious. And hopefully doesn’t take too long. These are sides we’re talking about after all.

Week one was an incredible success. Incredible. I’ve been forcing myself from running back over to the store to buy another one and just make it as a snack. Thank goodness I live in Canada and it’s bloody freezing outside. The biting cold certainly helps to keep me indoors right now.

This could be used on a lot of these types of vegetables, or even a combination of them I’m sure. I would say rutabaga, turnip, parsnip and carrots are all good options. It’s nice and easy to make too. Almost completely hands off, so you just need to get it going and let it simmer!

First up, dice up your rutabaga. I like nice, little, bite size pieces around an inch. This isn’t rocket science though, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Clearly.



Put 1 cup of water in the bottom of a large skillet, along with 2 cubes of chicken bouillon. Or some scrapes from your clearly too old can of it. Clearly because it’s a solid mass you were forced to chip away at. Whisk it all together.


Add the rutabaga. Hard work, I tell you, h a r d, hard work. Now, you leave it. For a while. The rutabaga took about 30 minutes. I would guess that parsnips / carrots would cook much faster and need less water / bouillon. Adjust accordingly. You’re simmering it until all the liquid is gone and the rutabaga is tender all the way through. If the liquid is gone but the veggie isn’t cooked through, just add some more plain water. You can also put the lid on for the first half if you want to speed up the cooking a little bit, but I had time to spare.


Beautiful! Perfectly soft rutabaga, but not mushy. That’s the key, don’t cook it until it’s a paste. Add some butter and a little brown sugar.


Cook it over medium heat until it’s caramelized and delicious. If you say you can’t tell if it’s delicious just by looking at it, I say you’re both crazy and in need of new glasses.


Obviously, this pairs well with chicken dishes, though I can’t really think of anything that it wouldn’t go well with.


Closer? Alright, if you insist.


Here’s your printable:

Caramalized Root Veggies – Rutabaga Edition

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4

Caramalized Root Veggies – Rutabaga Edition


  • 3 - 4 cups diced root vegetable (rutabaga, turnip, parsnip, carrot)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar


  1. In a large skillet, dissolve the bouillon in the water over medium heat. Add the diced vegetables, stir, and simmer until the water has evaporated and the vegetable is cooked through and tender but not mushy. This should take about 15 - 20 minutes for carrots and parsnips, and 30 to 40 minutes for rutabaga and turnip. If the water evaporates before the vegetable is cooked through, simply add some more water.
  2. Top the cooked vegetable with butter and brown sugar, stir together and cook over medium heat until nicely caramelized, about 10 minutes.
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  1. elsa espinola

    Thank you for this, I love rutabagas but only use it boiled or in soup.

  2. This looks just like a dish I ate in Sweden when my sister lived there. It was called Pytt y Panna I think and was basically a hash of cubed root vegetables. It was delicious.
    A typically British thing to do with Swede (or Rutabagas – such a funny word!) is to cook it with a roughly equal amount of carrot and a little potato until soft, then to mash it with butter and plenty of black pepper, salt and a pinch of nutmeg. That is delicious with roast chicken, and the water you boil the vegetables in makes amazing gravy!

    However, I think I will try this as an alternative. Thanks

    • Thanks Andy! I’m going to have to try it that way too. I always bug my husband about “eating English”, claiming that I’m English because of where the family roots are. He calls foul because we were pretty much the first bunch off the boat in Canada when it was colonized, lol. And I completely agree, rutabaga is a ridiculous name for a vegetable.

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