Skip to Content

The 5 Best Substitutes for Rutabaga

Do you like rutabaga? It’s a polarizing vegetable, to be sure.

Some people can’t get enough of its unique flavor, while others find it unpalatable.

If you find yourself in the latter camp, don’t despair.

There are plenty of substitutes for rutabaga that will allow you to enjoy all your favorite dishes without having to endure the taste of this divisive root vegetable.

So, what are the best substitutes for rutabaga? Keep reading to find out.

What is Rutabaga?

what is rutabaga

Rutabaga, also known as Swede or turnip-rooted cabbage, is a root vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family.

It is typically harvested in late fall or early winter and has yellowish-orange flesh with thin, edible skin.

Rutabaga can be eaten raw but is more commonly cooked.

When cooked, it has a sweet and peppery flavor that pairs well with other root vegetables.

Rutabaga can be roasted, mashed, fried, or pureed.

It can also be added to soups and stews for flavor and nutrition.

When choosing rutabaga at the store, look for one that is heavy for its size and has smooth, firm skin.

Avoid rutabagas that are soft or have blemishes on their skin.

Store uncooked rutabagas in a cool, dark place for up to two weeks.

Once cooked, rutabagas can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Rutabaga

There are a few vegetables that can act as quality substitutes for rutabaga in recipes.

Here are the five best substitutes for rutabaga:

1 – Turnips


There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to turnips.

First of all, they’re not the most attractive vegetable.

But don’t let that discourage you – once you get past their somewhat gnarly exterior, they’re quite versatile.

And when it comes to cooking, there are a few different ways to prepare them.

One popular method is to roast them.

This brings out their natural sweetness and makes them nice and tender.

Another option is to mashed them – similar to potatoes – which makes for a delicious and creamy side dish.

When substituting turnips for rutabaga, remember that they’re a bit sweeter and not quite starchy.

2 – Kohlrabi


Kohlrabi is a crisp and juicy root vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked.

It has a mild flavor that is similar to turnips and cabbage.

Kohlrabi can be used in various recipes, or it can be eaten raw as a crunchy and refreshing snack.

When cooking kohlrabi, peeling off the tough outer skin is important.

The flesh of the kohlrabi is creamy white or pale green, and it becomes tender when cooked.

Kohlrabi can be roasted, mashed, or added to soups and stews.

It pairs well with other root vegetables, as well as with cheese and cream.

Try substituting kohlrabi for rutabaga in your favorite recipe for a unique and flavorful dish.

3 – Daikon


Daikon is a large, white radish that is popular in Asian cuisine.

It has a crisp texture and a mild, slightly sweet flavor.

Daikon can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is often used as a garnish or added to salads.

When cooked, Daikon can be roasted, stir-fried, or simmered in soup.

It is also a popular ingredient in pickling recipes.

Daikon can be substituted for rutabaga in most recipes.

When substituting Daikon for rutabaga, it is important to keep in mind that Daikon has higher water content and will cook more quickly.

As a result, it is best to add Daikon to recipes towards the end of the cooking time.

With its versatile flavor and crisp texture, Daikon is a delicious addition to any meal.

4 – Broccoli Stems

broccoli stems

Broccoli stems are often overlooked in favor of the florets, but they can be just as delicious when cooked properly.

Broccoli stems have a milder taste than the florets, with a slight sweetness that is reminiscent of celery.

They can be used in many recipes that call for rutabagas, such as stews and casseroles.

When cooking broccoli stems, it is important to peel off the tough outer layer before cutting them into pieces.

They can then be boiled, steamed, or roasted like any other vegetable.

Broccoli stems are a versatile and nutritious ingredient that deserves a place in your kitchen.

5 – Celeriac


Celeriac, also known as celery root, is a delicious root vegetable that can be used in a variety of recipes.

Unlike its namesake, celeriac has a milder flavor that is perfect for soups, stews, and salads.

It can also be roasted or mashed and makes an excellent substitute for rutabaga in many dishes.

When selecting celeriac at the market, look for firm, heavy roots with smooth skin.

Avoid any that are soft or have blemishes.

Be sure to wash the root well before cooking as it can be quite dirty.

To peel celeriac, first cut off the root end and then use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler to remove the skin.

Once peeled, the root can be diced, sliced, or grated according to the recipe.

In general, one cup of diced celeriac is equivalent to one cup of diced rutabaga.


In conclusion, the five best substitutes for rutabaga are turnips, daikon radish, kohlrabi, celeriac, and broccoli stems.

Each of these vegetables has a similar taste and texture to rutabaga, making them perfect substitutes in any recipe.

So if you’re looking for a vegetable that will give you the same flavor and nutrients as rutabaga, be sure to try one of these substitutes.

What’s your favorite vegetable? Let us know in the comments below.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Rutabaga

The 5 Best Substitutes for Rutabaga
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Turnips
  • Kohlrabi
  • Daikon
  • Broccoli Stems
  • Celeriac


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
    Skip to Recipe