A bowl of smooth creamy, buttery swede mash just shouts comfort food. The classic accompaniment to haggis, ‘bashed neeps’ are also delicious with casseroles, sausages, or roasts.
Lighter than mashed potato, they are also nutritious and delicious. This simple swede (rutabaga) mash recipe will quickly become a new favourite side dish.
I’ve only recently learnt to love swede, and this buttery creamy mash recipe is the classic way to enjoy this humble but delicious vegetable. It is perfect for soaking up the juices from casseroles, stews and savoury bakes.
Simply peel, chop, and boil your swede. Then mash or blend with butter, a splash of milk (or cream for extra indulgence) to enjoy a sumptuous and nutritious treat.
You can use a blender or food processor to make your swede mash, which takes all the effort out and makes it easier than mashed potato.
Unlike potato, swede counts as one of your ‘5 a day’ vegetables. Lighter in texture, and sweeter in flavour, it is a good source of vitamin C and calcium as well as various minerals.
Swede has about a third of the carbohydrates of potato, making it a perfect choice if you are watching your starchy carbs. It’s also naturally gluten free.
Swede, neeps or rutabaga?
It is all the same thing.
The American name rutabaga comes from the Swedish name, for this Scandinavian root vegetable – rotabagge.
In the UK, the ‘Swedish turnip’ (or Swedish cabbage) was shortened to Swede in the south, and turnip or ‘neep’ in Scotland, where it is the essential side dish at a Burns Night Supper.
Why you will love this mashed swede recipe
- Plain boiled swede can be dull and unlovable, because it needs the richness of a little fat. Mash it with butter for a real treat.
- Just four ingredients for a tasty side.
- It is a fabulous and nutritious substitute for mashed potato.
- You can mash swede in a blender or with a food processor. Unlike mashed potato, it doesn’t go sticky and gloopy with over processing.
Swede mash ingredients
- Swede (rutabaga) – peel and cut into chunks of equal size so that it will cook evenly. Larger pieces take longer to cook.
- Butter – I like a salted farmhouse style butter. If you don’t want dairy, you can use a vegan spread.
- Milk/cream – adds a velvet smooth texture to the mash – again, you can use a vegan substitute.
- Salt and black pepper – to enhance the taste of the swede. I like a good sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
How to make mashed swede
Follow my step by steps with additional hints and tips to make this perfectly every time!
Step One – Quarter the swede, trim the stalk and root. Peel and cut into 5 cm/2″ chunks.
Put into a pan, cover with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 15–18 minutes, until soft.
Swede is a tough vegetable, so you need a good sharp knife and peeler. If you have trouble cutting into the swede, use a tea towel to press down on the back of the blade to make the first cuts.
Step Two – Drain the cooked swede and allow it to stand for a few minutes to steam dry. This will avoid the final mash becoming watery.
Step Three – Put the swede back into the saucepan, which will now be both dry and warm. Add the butter, milk or cream and the seasoning. Then give it all a good chop with a knife to start to break up the swede. (As you are cutting in a saucepan don’t use your best knife here!)
Step Four – Mash or blend the swede. I like to do this with a stick blender, as it makes less washing up than a food processor. You can, however, use one of these instead. You can also use a fork or masher/ricer, but the final mash will not be as smooth.
Your swede mash will be far smoother if you use a blender or food processor to mash it.
Check the seasoning and serve with some extra butter, ground black pepper and salt.
We love this swede mash served with my easy savoury mince.
What does swede taste like?
It is an earthy and slightly bitter root vegetable that becomes sweet when cooked.
Do I need to peel swede before eating?
Yes! The peel is tough and bitter, so I always peel it.
How do you prepare swede for cooking?
I slice it into quarters with a good heavy knife, and then peel it.
Swede mash – hints & tips
Cut your swede into pieces of equal size, to make sure that it cooks evenly.
Store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container and use within four days.
Make sure you let the cooked swede steam dry, or your mash will be watery.
Be generous with the seasoning for a really delicious mash. Swede loves black pepper!
Make this vegan with non-dairy versions of butter and milk or cream.
Add a generous handful of chopped herbs. Parsley is perfect.
Add a touch of heat (or a serious kick!) by adding some cayenne/chilli powder. You could also use a little horseradish sauce or grated horseradish.
Try adding a spoonful of a warming spice blend or curry powder.
More Swede Recipes
If you are not sure how to make the most of your swede, why not try one of these recipes?
More Classic British Recipes
- Parsley Sauce – ready in 15 minutes, serve with fish or ham / gammon.
- Salad Cream – the retro British classic – which is far nicer when homemade.
- Sandwich Spread – crunchy vegetables in a creamy tangy sauce
- Ploughman’s Lunch – The classic pub favourite that is easy to put together and far better made at home!
- More British Recipes – everything we love to eat, as well as great British pub grub and British Indian Restaurant classics!
- 1 swede (600–800 g)
- 2 tbsp butter (30 g)
- 1 tbsp cream (or milk)
- salt and pepper
- Peel the swede, quarter, and cut into 2"/5cm chunks.
- Place the swede in a saucepan, cover with salted water, and bring to the boil. Cook for 15–18 minutes, until soft.
- Once cooked, strain the swede in a sieve or colander. Allow to drain for a few minutes so that the swede is dry. This stops the mash becoming watery.
- Put the swede back into the saucepan. Add butter and milk or cream. Chop the swede up with a sharp knife (this makes mashing much easier).
- Mash the swede. For the smoothest results, use a stick blender or food processor.
- Check seasoning, and add pepper and extra salt to taste. Top with a knob of butter and serve.