What Are The Best Rutabaga Substitutes?

Rutabaga is a root vegetable that is very similar in look and taste to turnips and cabbage. It has a mildly bitter taste. While many love its taste, not all of us are fans of it and want something sweet and savory.

So, today I have come up with a list of the five best rutabaga substitutes that you can use in your recipes.

Rutabaga has a pungent flavor, and it reduces when you cook it, leaving a slightly bitter taste. These are popular in various dishes like casseroles, stuffings, and stews and are often baked into pasties.

If you are not a fan of rutabaga, let’s take a look at different substitutes that you can use in your recipes instead.

Best Substitutes For Rutabaga

1. Turnips 


Turnips are close substitutes for rutabaga. These are mildly bitter with a pungent taste. I recommend using them in recipes that contain rutabaga as these are very close in flavor and consistency. In fact, rutabaga is considered a cross between cabbage and a turnip.

Turnips are small in size as compared to rutabaga and they are less sweet. Make sure to choose young turnips because old ones are more bitter and chewy.

They have a spicy undertone and go great with carrots, onion, sweet potato, and zucchini. You can serve it with any meat dish you want.

2. Daikon 


Daikon is another close rutabaga substitute. It is slightly more sweet and crispy in texture. Because of its neutral and mild flavor, it goes with a lot of dishes.

Daikon is popular in salads, curries, and stir-fry recipes. In East Asia, daikon is served as a palate cleanser with different dishes. You can also find it served with sushi.

This vegetable is a side dish on its own. There is a popular type of daikon called purple daikon that is used to make salads. It goes great with cucumber, tomato, onions, and olive oil.

3. Black Radishes 


If you don’t like the flavor of rutabaga and want a substitute that packs more spice, then black radishes are perfect. They have black and pungent skin, but their flesh is white which is not only crispy but also has spice to it.

Because of their unique taste, black radishes are mostly eaten raw in salads, but you can also find them in stews, soups, and casseroles.

I recommend sprinkling some salt and olive oil if you are going to make a salad using black radish.

4. Kohlrabi 


Kohlrabi belongs to the cabbage family and it has a sweet taste. It is a sweeter substitute for rutabaga.

Kohlrabi has light green skin with white flesh. It also comes in various colors like purple or complete white. Although all of it is edible, mostly its bulb is used in recipes.

It does not contain any bitterness and is mild in taste which is why it is popular in stews and soups. Make sure to buy firm kohlrabi, because a soft one indicates it’s going bad.

This vegetable has a lot of benefits and is used for weight loss and boosting overall metabolism. As its high in calcium and magnesium, Kohlrabi contributes to stronger bones and should be a part of your meal.

5. Celery Root


Celery root is another great substitute that you can use in your dishes instead of rutabagas. This vegetable is not the root of celery stalks that you buy at the supermarket. No! This is a completely separate vegetable.

Celeriac or Celery Root is cultivated for its root instead of the stalks and leaves. It has a parsnip-like texture and is crisp. The root itself is tougher on the outside, but once you remove the skin, the inside is mildly sweet.

If we talk about its taste, it’s a cross between celery and potatoes. You can also use it to make mashed potatoes.

Also, look at my list of gorgonzola substitutes, flax seed substitutes, butter extract substitutes, and tex mex paste substitutes.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is rutabaga and turnip the same?

Rutagabas are quite similar to turnips, but they are not the same. They have a slightly bitter taste to them and are yellow in appearance. Although not the same, rutabagas are considered a cross between cabbages and turnips.

Does rutabaga taste like a potato?

They have a slightly bitter flavor, but when cooked, rutabagas become sweet and taste similar to potatoes. You can use it in potato soups and mashed potatoes.

Can you substitute rutabaga for carrots?

Yes, rutabagas can be used in place of carrots in any recipe. It can be boiled, stir-fried, braised, or pureed to use in soups and stews.


When it comes to rutabaga substitutes there are a lot of options available as discussed in the blog. Since these are close substitutes, you can use the same quantities in your recipes and the results will be similar. Just make sure to buy the fresh produce for the best flavors and results.

Emily is a tech and entertainment writer who loves the art of writing for research-based articles in different niches. As she translates her thoughts into words, they inspire others to do so too!