VegBox Recipes

Swede (Rutabaga)

Swede (Rutabaga) Known as "swede" in the UK and rutabaga in the USA, this root vegetable often brings back memories of school dinners...

They are often confused with turnips.

It's not commonly eaten in the UK these days by the younger generation.

Go straight to swede recipes.

Choose swede with a firm skin and no cuts (these allow bacteria in).
They're not pretty vegetables, so bumps and nobbly bits are fine!

Make sure it doesn't feel light for its size, as this could mean it's hollow or dried out and old.

The larger the swede, the tougher and more fibrous it will be. Young, smaller vegetables are tastier and more paletable.
Keep your swede in a cool, dry, dark place. They tend to go mouldy in the fridge. They should keep for 1-2 weeks, as long as they weren't damp when you stored them.
Many people don't know how to cook swede.

Yet it's actually very simple.

Use a potato peeler or a sharp knife (if you're brave) to peel the tough skin.

Then chop into cubes and boil for 20 minutes, until soft.

You can then puree the swede, serve it as it is or use it as an ingredient in swede recipes.

Common ways of serving swede include mashed with potatoes or carrots or in a warming winter stew.

More Swede (Rutabaga) Information

Swede vegetables are also called rutabaga and some people call them "neeps", though these are often actually turnips.

They are also known as yellow turnip, due to the colour of their flesh, which is actually more orange in colour.

They are native to Sweden and were introduced to the UK via Scotland, where they survive the cold winters well.

Swedes are rich in vitamin A and, like many root vegetables, are a good source of minerals.

Did you know...?
During the Second World War, so many people grew and ate large quantities of swede that it became an unpopular vegetable after the war was over - people were literally fed up of it.

This lack of popularity persists today, when few people in younger generations know how to cook rutabaga.

Swede And Parsnip Soup
This simple soup makes a hearty meal on a winter's day. You can experiment by adding herbs and spices of your choice.

Serves 6

  • 1 swede
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2-3 medium carrots
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 onion

  1. Peel the swede with a potato peeler. Chop it into 1/2 in cubes.
  2. Scrub the carrots and chop.
  3. Peel the onion and chop.
  4. Scrub the parsnip and chop.
  5. Bring the stock to the boil and add the vegetables. Simmer for 20 minutes until the swede chunks are soft.
  6. Add any herbs and spices of your choice.
  7. Liquidise (if desired) and serve with crusty bread.

For a more filling version, top each bowl with about 30g grated hard cheese (such as Cheddar) and some toasted seeds and nuts.


Half hour

Suggested Swede Recipes

Burns Night Neeps and Tatties

January 25th is Burns Night - arguably THE night of the year if you're a proud Scot. A celebration of the Scottish national hero and bard from the 18th Century, Robert Burns, there are many dishes traditionally associated with this event.

The main dish, as most of you will know, is Haggis, which was originally sheep's heart, liver and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, salt, stock, and traditionally boiled for several hours in the animal's stomach.

Now whether you'll be enjoying traditional or vegetarian haggis is another matter, but whether you do or not, you could always join in the food festivities by cooking up the traditional haggis accompaniment: Neeps and Tatties.

Here's a Neeps and Tatties recipe.

Left-overs Pot Pie

This recipe was inspired by my dear friend Caroline P, an ex professional chef, who was describing to me her favourite way of using up savoury left-overs.

Do let us know if you try it. And if you want to use the left-overs without having to eat them immediately, these pies freeze really well.

Mixed Veggie Roast

This recipe was sent in to us by Sue C in Fiji, who says:

"A veggie-lover's delight! There are a number of varieties of Sweet Potato - including white, orange and purple."

Mushroom And Winter Veg Pie

This is a real winter warming treat. The flavour from the mushrooms makes the dish, so it’s important to get a variety of them, with strong flavours – no button mushrooms here, thank you…

Pureed Swede With Cheesy Crust

Many people are put off by childhood memories of swede – often confused with turnip. Yet its yellow-orange flesh can be delicious. This recipe tops pureed swede with a crunchy cheese and seed crust, to add some variety and extra vitamins. Also works well with turnip, parsnip or celeriac.

Roasted Swede and Spinach Risotto

This recipe was submitted by Grace, a member of the Ooffoo community, as an entry to the Recipe Prize Draw. We love the "no nibbling" instructions, Grace!

Root Vegetable 'Crumble' with Cheesy Topping

This is a delicious recipe for baby or Chantenay carrots and other roots veggies. The secret ingredient gives it a warming kick. Make the most of your turnips, swedes, parsnips and sweet potatoes. You can also use celeriac or kohlrabi.

Seasonal Veggie Casserole with Mushrooms, Nuts, Rice and Chickpeas

This recipe is SO delicious, AND it’s vegan. Double bubble!

Stefan's Swede Cakes

Thanks so much to Stefan D for inventing this recipe and sharing it with us. We're inclined to agree with him when he says that he now prefers swede-based cakes to the more traditional potato variety!

Swede And Parsnip Soup

This simple soup makes a hearty meal on a winter's day. You can experiment by adding herbs and spices of your choice.

Swede, Carrot And Potato Mash

I've never been a huge fan of swede (rutabaga), but this swede mash recipe actually had us all coming back for more. It's sweet, deliciously creamy and the pepper gives it a real kick. We're all looking forward to the arrival of our next swede!

Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Minestrone is a traditional, chunky soup, served with soup pasta. We often think of it as a summer dish, but with a little lateral thinking, you can create a soup that brightens up any winter’s day.

Got one? Send us your recipe!

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