This vibrant Swede and Carrot Mash is a simple yet incredibly delicious side dish. It’s the perfect addition to a hearty roast dinner and any meal traditionally featuring mashed potato, like stews, casseroles, grilled meats, and sausages. It’s also a great way to add some extra veggies to your plate.
Swede goes by different names depending on where you are. In England, it’s ‘swede,’ up in Scotland, it’s ‘neeps,’ and interestingly, it’s sometimes called a ‘turnip’ in both regions. These variations trace their roots back to their Swedish origins and the name ‘Swedish Turnip.’
Now, head across the Atlantic to North America and Canada. You’ll find it answering to the name ‘rutabaga,’ derived from the Swedish dialectal word “rotabagge.”
But this root vegetable is a gem no matter what you call it. Its mildly sweet, earthy, slightly nutty flavor, with a hint of peppery spice, makes it a must-try. And if you already like swede, you’ll love this recipe.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s easy to make.
- You can make it ahead, and it doesn’t lose its flavor.
- It’s a super-versatile side that works with a range of main dishes.
- Swede and carrots are both nutrient-dense vegetables.
- It’s wallet-friendly—as both swede and carrots are very affordable.
Here are the ten simple ingredients to make the best carrot and swede mash.
- Swede (Rutabaga): The star of our dish! Earthy, slightly nutty, and perfect for mash.
- Carrots: The co-star that brings sweetness to the earthy swede and a pop of color.
- Garlic: For a savory flavor boost.
- Olive Oil: The secret to that creamy, smooth texture we all love.
- Vegetable Stock: For flavor and creaminess without the need for butter.
- Fresh Thyme: For freshness.
- Cream (optional): A luxurious splash of heavy cream (double cream) enhances the mash’s creaminess and richness.
- Ground Nutmeg: A little nutmeg takes the flavor to the next level. It’s delicious. If you have some, a little fresh nutmeg is also superb.
- Salt and Pepper: To make all the flavors pop.
These visual step-by-step instructions provide a quick overview of the recipe. You can find the recipe card with the complete list of ingredients and detailed instructions at the end of this post. ⇩
Before we dive into how to make swede and carrot mash, let’s prepare the swede.
HOW TO PREPARE SWEDE (RUTABAGA) FOR STEAMING
- Using a chopping board and a sharp knife, slice the swede’s top and root end. Peel the tough outer skin with a vegetable peeler.
- Rest one of the flat sliced ends on the chopping board so it’s stable, and carefully chop it in half.
- Cut each half into roughly 10mm slices.
- Then, chop each slice into 10mm cubes.
MAKING MASHED SWEDE AND CARROTS
STEP 1: Add the chopped swede and carrots into steamer baskets. Steam the vegetables over a large saucepan of boiling water for 20-25 minutes or until tender.
STEP 2: Remove the vegetables from the heat and let the steam evaporate for at least 5 minutes. You don’t want excess water in your mash.
STEP 3: Meanwhile, place a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil and garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Don’t allow the garlic to brown.
STEP 4: Add the vegetable stock and thyme. Allow the liquid to warm up until hot but not boiling.
STEP 5: Remove from the heat and stir in the cream if using.
STEP 7: Pour the garlic and thyme-infused stock mixture over the mashed swede and carrots, a little at a time, until you achieve your preferred creamy consistency. You may not need to use all the broth, so go slowly. Save a little to drizzle at the end.
STEP 8: Season with a little salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg to taste.
STEP 9: Transfer the mashed swede and carrot to a serving dish. Garnish with additional fresh thyme leaves and a drizzle of the creamy thyme stock. Serve hot as a delicious and nutritious side dish.
Even Slices: Chop your swede and carrots into pieces similar in size. This way, they’ll cook evenly, and your mash will have a consistent texture.
Careful Cooking: Be careful not to over-steam the veggies. You want them tender but not mushy.
Hot Stock: When you’re ready to mix in the vegetable stock, ensure it’s hot. Cold stock can cool down your mash in a hurry.
Mashing: For a rustic look and slightly chunky texture, use a potato masher or a fork. If you prefer silky-smooth, turn to your trusty food processor. I often use a hand blender to get a texture that sits somewhere in the middle.
- Swede (Rutabaga): Turnips have a similar firm texture and can provide a slightly peppery flavor. But they are not swede, so expect a different flavor outcome.
- Carrots: Sweet potatoes offer a natural sweetness and a vibrant color that can work well in the mash.
- Garlic: Garlic powder or roasted garlic paste are great alternatives that can provide a garlic flavor without the need for fresh garlic cloves.
- Vegetable Stock: You can use alternative stocks, like beef or chicken stock, depending on your dietary preferences. Milk or plant-based milks are also fab.
- Fresh Thyme: Dried thyme or other fresh herbs like rosemary or tarragon work well. Use what you love.
- Cream: Great subs for cream here are whole milk, half-and-half (single cream), dairy-free milk, sour cream, or Greek yogurt.
- Vegan Swede and Carrot Mash: To make this recipe vegan, omit the cream. If preferred, you can use a vegan cream alternative. Alternatively, vegan butter is a great option.
- Cheesy Mashed Carrot and Swede: Stir in some grated cheese or nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.
- Crunchy Toppings: Top your mash with crispy fried onions or shallots, toasted wholewheat breadcrumbs, or chopped nuts for added texture.
Storage and Reheating
Refrigeration: Place any leftover carrot swede mash in an airtight container and refrigerate within two hours of cooking. Consume within 3-4 days.
- In the microwave: Use short intervals, stirring occasionally until piping hot.
- On the stove: Heat over medium-low heat, adding a little liquid if needed. Ensure it’s hot throughout before serving.
Freezing: Your swede carrot mash can be frozen but may change slightly in texture. But don’t worry, it’ll still taste delicious. To freeze, cool to room temperature, then portion into airtight containers or freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Keeps well in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Thawing and Reheating from the Freezer: Thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat as above, adjusting consistency if needed with hot liquid.
Swede (rutabaga) is a good source of dietary fiber, which keeps your digestive system running smoothly. Plus, its satiating effect can help you feel fuller for longer, making it a helpful ally in weight management. [Source]
Carrots are brimming with beta-carotene, a remarkable antioxidant that the body can transform into vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision, radiant skin, and a strong immune system. [Source]
Garlic contains compounds like allicin, which may help lower blood pressure, support heart health, and even possess antimicrobial properties that can strengthen the immune system. [Source]
Olive oil is a heart-healthy fat rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. It has been linked to reduced risk of heart disease and improved cholesterol levels. [Source]
Fresh thyme contains vitamins C and A, and antioxidants, which can support the immune system, reduce oxidative stress, and have potential anti-inflammatory benefits. [Source]
It’s important to note that while this vegetable mash contains ingredients that may offer these potential health benefits, as with anything, it should be consumed as part of a balanced and varied diet.
Wondering what to serve with swede and carrot mash? Here are some ideas:
- It’s the perfect side dish for:
- Roast dinner. It’s a great accompaniment to roast chicken, beef, pork, or meat alternatives like this Nut Roast.
- Sausage dishes. It’s a fantastic alternative to mashed potatoes when you’re serving sausage casserole, sausage and mash, or toad in the hole.
- Pies. A root vegetable mash and a chicken and leek, steak and ale, or mushroom pie is just a DE-lic-IOUS combo!
- Stews and casseroles: Mash is perfect for soaking up the gravy from your favorite stews and casseroles.
- Enjoy it as a topping on shepherd’s pie, cottage pie, fish pie, or hot pot.
- Use instead of potato in fritters, Irish Colcannon, and Bubble and Squeak.
And you will always see this swede mash recipe on my Christmas table alongside a Turkey, my Crispy Roast Potatoes, Honey-Roasted Parsnips, Braised Red Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Gravy, and Cranberry Sauce!
Yes. You can use frozen swede and carrots if fresh ones are unavailable. Just consider that the texture may be slightly different, and follow the package instructions for cooking or steaming them before mashing.
Absolutely! This swede recipe can be prepared in advance and reheated when needed. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days to ensure it remains fresh.
Yes, you can omit the cream or use a non-dairy alternative for a lighter version. Your rutabaga mash will still be flavorful and delicious.
Yes, you can freeze swede carrot mash for 2-3 months. Just ensure you use freezer-safe containers and allow to cool before freezing.
Swede and carrot mash is not typically considered keto-friendly due to its higher carbohydrate content from the carrots and swede. However, if you’re following a more flexible low-carb diet or want to enjoy mashed carrots and swede in moderation, you can adjust the portion size to fit your carb allowance for the day.
More Healthy Sides
Looking for more delicious and nutritious side dishes? Try these next…
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Creamy Swede and Carrot Mash with Fresh Thyme
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- Vegetable Steamer
- Large Mixing Bowl
- potato masher, or Fork
- Small Saucepan
- Kitchen Spatula, or Wooden Spoon
- 2 medium swedes (rutabagas), chopped into small, even-sized cubes
- 6 medium carrots, chopped into small, even-sized cubes similar sizes to the swede.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ cup (60 milliliters) low-sodium vegetable stock, gluten-free
- 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream (double cream)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Prepare: Gather and prepare your ingredients. Peel and chop the swede and carrots into small, uniform pieces. Smaller pieces will cook faster and ensure a smoother mash.
- Steam: Place the chopped swede and carrots in a steamer basket and steam over boiling water for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Alternatively, you can cook them in a large pot of boiling water, but steaming helps retain more nutrients. Once the swede and carrots are tender, remove from the heat and let the steam evaporate for about 5 minutes. This will prevent excess moisture from making the mash watery.
- Thyme Infused Stock: Meanwhile, place a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil and garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Don’t allow the garlic to brown. Add the vegetable stock and thyme. Allow the liquid to warm up until hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream.
- Combine: Pour the garlic and thyme-infused stock mixture over the mashed swede and carrots, a little at a time, until you achieve a creamy consistency. You may not need to use all the broth, so go slowly. Save a little to drizzle at the end. Season with salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg to taste.
- Serve: Transfer the creamy swede and carrot mash to a serving dish. Garnish with additional fresh thyme leaves, and drizzle with creamy thyme stock if desired. Serve hot as a delicious and nutritious side dish.
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.