Southern Style Roasted Rutabagas

Root of Goodness I grew up eating rutabagas and have always loved the sweet, unique taste. We alway...

Root of Goodness

I grew up eating rutabagas and have always loved the sweet, unique taste. We always added a pinch of sugar, a hot pepper, salt, pepper and lots of bacon to the pot before simmering them away for hours until, well, you ended up with a chunky mush.

Things haven’t changed too much in the way I cook them now except I like to roast them prior to moving them to the stove-top. The sweet natural sugar seems to come out more pronounced doing it this way. I add the sugar of course to aid in the roasting process and the vinegar just 'cause I like the 'pepper sauce' taste. Doing it this way, I get the best of both - soft, creamy chunks with a roasted caramelized taste. Enjoy!

Southern Style Roasted Rutabagas

after roasting
5 to 6 pounds rutabagas (3 medium-to-large)
Salt, black pepper to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 slices chopped smoked bacon, optional
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
splash of cider or wine vinegar
1 to 2 cups cups chicken stock

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice away the outer peeling and wax coating of the rutabagas removing any green coloration from the root vegetable. Slice into 1-inch slices and then into 1-inch cubes. Place in a large roaster and toss with the salt, pepper, sugar and olive oil.
Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes to an hour. Toss the rutabagas around every 15 minutes.

Cook the bacon in a large stockpot until brown and grease rendered. Add a cup of chicken stock for firm rutabagas or 2 cups for softer,  the jalapeño, vinegar and bring to a boil. Add the rutabagas and simmer on low for about 1 1/2 hours stirring every so often or until most of the liquid is absorbed. 

Note: Some folks like to add butter at the end of cooking rutabagas. Sometimes I add chopped pickled jalapenos instead of the fresh pepper and vinegar.


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  1. I love the idea of roasting them prior to stove-top cooking. They look absolutely delicious too. Thanks for sharing your recipe. As always, it's inspiration for me to go out and buy more food!

  2. My parents would love this dish. I grew up watching them enjoy them, but try as I might, I have never been able to myself. Mom always, always served them mashed with sharp cheddar cheese. The bacon, the roasting, the hot spiciness of your dish might just be enough to get me to try them again.

  3. I have never tried rutabagas...but this does look and sound wonderful...Love the color :)

  4. I have never made rutabagas, but have always enjoyed them. I should make some! Your recipe is absolutely divine!

  5. amazing you come in with a vegetable and turn into a banquet flavor to entice anyones curiosity! sounds great!

  6. This looks very good Drick. I've never tried rutabagas before, but I'm definately interested after reading this post!

  7. Yes to roasting and I would love some southern style rutabagas:)

  8. I love that they are roasted first then bacon and jalapeno...yeah!

  9. I have never had a rutabaga but I have really been wanting to give them a try. This recipe looks wonderful. I love the flavor combo, of course anything with bacon and jalapeno makes me a happy woman.

  10. Can you imagine, I think I've never had rutabagas?? This post shows me that this is a crime!!Looks fabulous.

  11. OMG....I have not thought of a rutabaga is so very long!! thinks for such a wonderful dish, and for reminding me of such a delcious veggie!

  12. Oh yeah, I saw some one posting rutabaga picture before! It's a huge vege... or fruit!

  13. I have a GIANT rutabaga in my csa this week. I'll be roasting it. Thanks for the recipe. I just used your Mexican spice mix again tonight. :)

  14. I have never tried rutabagas before. Sounds and look good.

  15. The thing is...I've never had a rutabaga. There's the tory of my mother-in-law using rutabagas instead of apples in a pie once and a friend of ours who lived on rutabagas after WW II. But then you go and add bacon to the dish and I want it. The pickled jalapenos sound pretty good, too.

  16. I've only tasted rutabagas once before when my uncle prepared them so I decided to try my hand at it. I roasted them in the oven for an hour as recommended and then sauteed them with bacon pieces and sliced onion. Amazing. Thanks for the tips!



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