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When Thanksgiving rolls around, we prepare ourselves to spend most of the day cooking and most of the night in a food coma following our opulent feast. While the roast turkey is a key staple of the Thanksgiving dinner, more often than not the sides end up as the star of the show. From mashed potatoes to mac and cheese to cornbread dressing, our favorite Thanksgiving sides tend to lean on the heavier side, incorporating lots of butter and cream to create extra-indulgent dishes. But too much indulgence can leave you feeling heavy and weighed down. Lighten up the Thanksgiving table this year with our modern twist on classic mashed potatoes—Simple Mashed Rutabagas and Potatoes.Rutabagas are nutrient-rich root vegetables that, when mashed, take on many of the same starchy textural qualities as potatoes. A cross between cabbage and turnips, they’re mild and slightly bitter in flavor, making them a beautiful complement for earthy potatoes. The two root veggies join forces in this lighter version of a holiday mash.Just because it’s a lighter take on classic mashed potatoes doesn’t mean that this dish isn’t still indulgent. Like a classic mash, this recipe incorporates heavy cream and butter for a silky, creamy texture. The mash doesn’t need much seasoning to dress it up—all it requires is some salt and a teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg to bring out the dish’s warm holiday flavors. Top it with chopped parsley to add herbaceous freshness. This healthy holiday side will be a favorite addition to the Thanksgiving spread.

Nancie McDermott


Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe Summary test

40 mins
40 mins
Serves 8


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place 3 quarts water, rutabagas, and 1 tablespoon of the salt in a large stockpot, and bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until rutabagas are barely tender, about 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, heat cream in a small saucepan over medium, undisturbed, until steaming hot but not boiling. Remove from heat, and cover to keep warm.

  • Once rutabagas are tender, add potatoes to stockpot. Cook over medium until potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain well, and return rutabagas and potatoes to stockpot. Add warm cream, butter, nutmeg, and remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons salt. Mash well until a few tiny lumps remain.

  • Transfer mixture to a serving bowl or platter, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot or warm with butter.