This honey and thyme roasted rutabaga recipe is a favorite because it is easy to make with a few simple ingredients. You can use this recipe for any root vegetable or mix different root vegetables together to change things up.
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If you have visited us before you know that we love a good roasted vegetable recipe. And these oven-roasted rutabagas are no different. They are a perfect winter side dish.
If you are just branching into the world of rutabagas let's get you up to speed. Rutabaga pro? You can skip ahead to the recipe.
💭What is a Rutabaga?
Rutabagas are a root vegetable that is part of the cabbage family. They range in size from a couple of inches to larger than six inches. They are purple on top towards the stem and fade to yellowish cream color at the bottom.
Rutabagas are often confused with turnips. In fact, rutabagas are a hybrid of a turnip and wild cabbage.
Rutabagas are also a great substitute for the standard white potato if you are looking to reduce carbs.
Rutabagas are called swedes or Swedish turnip in other parts of the world.
What is the Difference Between a Rutabaga and a Turnip?
Rutabagas are larger and have a sweeter flavor. While the turnip is smaller and has a white bottom. Turnips have a flavor that is reminiscent of a radish.
When are Rutabagas in Season?
Rutabagas are in season from October to March. Making them a perfect winter side dish.
If you have a green thumb consider adding them to your fall garden. They make a great fall planting. Here is an excellent guide to growing rutabagas at home.
How to Pick a Rutabaga
Look for ones that are firm, about 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Unlike turnips, rutabagas are better at a larger size. And they will stay tender when cooked. They should have a purplish top and creamy yellow bottom.
Rutabagas are obviously the star of the show. This recipe is for a pound to a pound and a half. Feel free to double and add in other favorite root veggies like sweet potatoes, carrots, and turnips.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Avocado oil, coconut oil, or ghee all work equally well.
Honey- Your basic local honey is a good choice. If you want to make this recipe vegan you can substitute maple syrup.
Fresh thyme leaves- This recipe is also equally good with rosemary.
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
We love the sweet and savory flavors. But if you are looking for a rutabaga recipe that is 100% savory, try our Parmesan Baked Rutabaga.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
⏲️How to Roast Rutabagas
Start by preheating your oven to 400 F degrees. While the oven is heating up you will have more than enough time to prep the rutabaga.
Step 1- Peel and Prep
To prep the rutabagas you will need to peel them, like a potato, and cut them into chunks. I aim for about ¾ to 1-inch on the dice.
To peel a rutabaga, first cut off the ends with a sharp knife and then use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the sides of the rutabaga. Be sure to remove any remaining bits of skin that are still attached.
Step 2- Season
Coating the rutabagas with honey and olive can be tricky when your honey is cold. To make this easier pour the honey and olive oil directly onto the sheet pan. Place into the oven for 3 to 5 minutes while it is heating up.
This will allow the honey to thin out making it easy to mix with the oil and coat the rutabaga cubes. Plus no need for an extra bowl to clean.
Remove the sheet pan and give the olive oil and honey mix a stir. Add your rutabaga to the pan, and sprinkle with the thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.
Be sure that the rutabaga is spread in an even single layer.
Step 3- Bake
Bake the rutabagas at 400 F degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. Flip pieces and rotate the pan 2 to 3 times during bake to ensure even doneness.
The roasted rutabagas are done when the outside is golden brown and they are fork tender.
I like to garnish with additional thyme leaves.
- Peeling uneven rutabaga is the hardest part of the recipe. Peeling one or two large rutabagas is much easier than a bunch of small ones.
- Make a brown sugar version by substituting it for honey. Be sure to warm the oil in the oven, mix in the sugar and then toss the rutabaga. Also highly recommend cooking on parchment paper if you go this route.
- Garnish with fresh orange zest for another layer of wintery flavor.
- Feeling spicy? Drizzle on chili oil for a kick.
- Don't skip warming the honey and olive oil in the oven before tossing the rutabagas. It really does make things easier.
Store leftovers in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat the roasted rutabaga, you can place it on a baking sheet and warm it in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes, or until it is heated through.
You can also microwave the roasted rutabaga, covered, for about 1-2 minutes or until it is heated through. Be sure to stir the rutabaga and check its temperature before serving to ensure that it is heated through evenly.
🥗More Cozy Side Dish Recipes
Rutabagas pair perfectly with other winter dishes. Here are a few you might like.
💬Frequently Asked Questions
Rutabagas are typically peeled before cooking. The peel of rutabaga is thick and can be tough and bitter, so it is usually removed to reveal the tender, flavorful flesh underneath.
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Honey and Thyme Roasted Rutabaga
- Preheat oven to 400 F and place rack in the middle of the oven. Pour olive oil and honey on a large baking, place in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes while the oven is preheating.2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons raw honey
- Remove sheet pan from the oven. Toss cubed rutabaga with olive oil and honey. Sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper.1 pound rutabagas, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until the rutabaga is fork tender and the outside is golden brown. Tossing halfway through to ensure even browning.
- Store leftover rutabagas in the fridge in a covered dish for 3 to 5 days.
- Reheat in the oven at 300F degrees, microwave on medium power for 3 to 5 minutes, or pan fry.