Rutabaga vs Turnip: What’s The Difference?

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Do you understand the difference between a rutabaga and a turnip? Many chefs have been perplexed by these two vegetables, which is why the rutabaga versus turnip argument continues to this day.

Those wishing to add a root vegetable to their diet may be acquainted with them, but their similar appearance may make them very difficult to differentiate.

For the uninitiated, rutabagas and turnips are cruciferous vegetables (a category that includes radish and wild cabbage) from the brassica family.

While a turnip is a turnip, a rutabaga is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. Their size and taste are what distinguishes them.

Differences Between Turnips and Rutabagas

Rutabaga vs Turnip: What’s The Difference?

One of the most noticeable distinctions between rutabaga and turnip is their look. Though they seem to be the same, the smaller ones are turnips and the larger ones are most likely rutabagas.

This is because turnips taste best while they’re still the size of a tennis ball. Turnips become woody and have thicker skin that must be peeled as they mature.

Rutabagas, on the other hand, are picked when they reach a certain size. Small rutabagas are uncommon on the market. Unlike turnips, rutabagas retain their softness even when grown to a considerable size.

Their color is another distinguishing feature. If you know which hue belongs to which, you may easily distinguish between the two.

Turnips are white and purple on the outside, whereas rutabagas are yellowish-brown on the inside. The flesh of these two root vegetables differs as well, with turnips having white flesh and rutabagas having yellow meat.

How to Use Them?

Rutabaga vs Turnip: What’s The Difference?

Rutabaga and turnip may be used in a variety of cuisines, including soups, stews, and casseroles. They’re delicious roasted, cooked, or mashed. You can bake them to create fries like these rutabaga fries and turnip fries.

Another great method to utilize rutabaga and turnip is to add them to mashed potatoes, or to replace potatoes with turnips and rutabagas for a different flavor.

Aside from the rutabaga or turnip root itself, which is often used in meals, the greens of these plants are also edible. Rutabaga and turnip greens are not the same thing. Rutabaga greens taste more like cabbage and are less acidic than turnip leaves.

What Do They Taste Like?

Is there a flavor difference between rutabaga and turnip? There is, indeed!

Despite coming from the same family, their distinctions go beyond looks. The flavors of these two root crops are also distinct.

Turnips have a more pronounced taste than rutabagas, with a sharpness akin to radishes. Rutabagas, on the other hand, are thought to be sweeter.

It is also worth noting that as turnips get larger, they begin to taste harsh. As a result, little turnips the size of a tennis ball or less than 4 inches in diameter are preferable.

Because of these variances, it is not advisable to swap one for the other in a recipe if you want to achieve certain flavor profiles in your meal.


When it comes to storage, rutabagas and turnips have certain parallels and variances.

Let us begin with the parallels. When it comes to these two, they may share storage space in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Simply set the drawer to a humid setting to keep the veggies fresh for up to two weeks.

No, because of the variances. Rutabagas may be kept in a cold, dark spot, such as your pantry or cabinets, if necessary. Rutabagas may be preserved in this manner for about a week. However, you cannot keep turnips in this manner since they will lose their firmness.

Nutrition and Benefits

Here’s a quick breakdown of the nutritional advantages of 1 cup of raw rutabaga and 1 cup of raw turnip.

TOTAL FAT 0.3 0.1
SODIUM 28 mg 87 mg
SUGARS 7.8 g 4.9 g
PROTEIN 1.7 g 1.2 g
VITAMIN C3 5 mcg 27.3 mcg
CALCIUM 66 mg 39 mg
IRON 1 mg 0 mg


Because turnips contain less calories, they may be beneficial to persons on a low-calorie diet. However, when compared to rutabaga, it is likewise rich in sodium.

As a result, it is not suitable for persons following a low sodium diet.The nutritional advantages listed above show the many nutrients that may be obtained from rutabaga versus turnip. This information might be useful if you want to utilize them in your eating routine.

Rutabaga, on the other hand, is high in vitamins and minerals. It surpasses turnips significantly due to larger levels of Vitamin C, calcium, iron, and potassium. Despite having more calories, it also contains more nutritional fiber and protein.


When it comes to understanding what you are cooking for your family, the argument between rutabagas and turnips is a terrific topic to discuss. Distinguishing these veggies from one another saves unwanted cooking mix-ups.

This will guarantee that you always make the ideal meal with the proper components. It is critical to distinguish them, particularly when they have diverse preferences. Incorrect ones might change the flavor of your food and spoil your evening.

Another thing to keep in mind while purchasing these veggies is to evaluate their hardness and weight. A good rutabaga and turnip should be sturdy to the touch and rather hefty in size. Refrigerate them for maximum freshness.

Make a mental note to distinguish between these two root veggies the next time you go shopping. Thanks to this excellent instruction, it should be simple now!


Is a rutabaga the same thing as a turnip?

Rutabagas are also much bigger than turnips. To summarize, the brownish-yellowish ones are rutabagas, whereas the smaller white and purple ones are turnips. Rutabagas have a somewhat sweeter taste than turnips, whereas turnips have a slightly more radishy flavor.

Which is better for you rutabagas or turnips?

Turnips provide 36 calories and 2 grams of fiber per cup, whereas rutabagas have 50 calories and 4 grams of fiber. Both are high in calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, and folate, as well as dietary fibre and vitamin C.

Which is more bitter turnip or rutabaga?

Turnips are somewhat sweeter than rutabagas. (Perhaps this is why rutabagas are sometimes known as swedes.) Turnips that are larger (i.e., older) tend to be bitter, so choose smaller ones that are no larger than four inches in diameter.

Why do rutabagas have wax on them?

If you’ve never cooked with rutabagas before, the first thing you should know is that they’re normally sold in grocery stores covered with paraffin wax to preserve them from drying out in storage. You should absolutely remove it before cooking with them.

Do rutabagas taste like turnips?

Rutabagas (also known as swedes in certain areas of the globe) are similar to turnips but have a somewhat bitter taste and a yellower interior.

Is rutabaga inflammatory?

It reduces inflammation and boosts immunity.

According to research, rutabagas include minerals and phytochemicals that help reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system, such as vitamins C and E, as well as folate. lutein and beta carotene are antioxidants.

Does rutabaga cause gas?

Rutabaga, like other cruciferous vegetables, contains raffinose, a naturally occurring sugar that causes bloating and gas. 14 If rutabagas bother you, consider eating them steamed (rather than raw). It also helps to gradually introduce fiber-rich foods into your diet so that your digestive system can adjust.

Can diabetics eat rutabagas?

Root vegetables, such as potatoes, beets, carrots, radishes, rutabagas, turnips, and celery, are very beneficial if you have diabetes and wish to lose weight. Root vegetables, in general, are starchy vegetables.

Are turnips good for your bowels?

Assisting with weight reduction and digestion

Turnips’ fiber content may also help to avoid constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive system.

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