Rutabaga Fries

4.97 from 468 votes

Rutabaga is an under-served root vegetable that can be cut up, seasoned and oven-baked to make this keto friendly low carb low calorie Rutabaga Fries recipe

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I first discovered rutabaga at the farmers market in Florida and I read about it and learned how to roast it like french fries. When I first made this recipe everyone was amazed at how the shape and consistency of the cut rutabaga was just like that of a potato! Honestly I was amazed too. And although these rutabaga fries can’t replace potato fries, they’re a wonderful substitute with way less carbs and they are keto friendly!

Oven baked rutabaga fries on a plate with ketchup
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What is rutabaga?

Rutabaga is a root vegetable that is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. It looks similar to a turnip but there are some slight differences. Rutabaga is larger in size than turnips, their color is more yellow-ish/brown-ish instead of white and purple, and they actually taste sweeter than turnips. That’s a good thing since turnips can be somewhat bitter.

They are usually in season between October and March. So you know they’re perfect to add to autumn and winter recipes. Are rutabagas better than potatoes? That depends because each vegetable has unique health benefits and nutrients.

However if you’re looking at it from a weight loss perspective, rutabagas are lower in both calories and carbs. A 1-cup serving of boiled cubed rutabaga has 51 calories and 12 grams of carbs, compared to 136 calories and 31 grams of carbs in the same amount of potatoes. For that reason, I would highly recommend introducing rutabaga to your diet if you’re looking for low carb options.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Rutabaga: The rutabaga is peeled and cut into fries before being seasoned and baked in the oven.
  • Oil: Oil helps to cook the fries evenly and get crispy. We like to use olive oil, but canola or vegetable will work well.
  • Seasonings: We made these with paprika, garlic powder and salt and pepper, but you can use lots of different flavor combinations.
Hand holding rutabaga vegetable to show size

How to cut rutabaga?

Don’t be intimidated by this giant under-served unpopular root vegetable. Not only does it have great health benefits and a great taste, but it’s also quite easy to cut and prepare.

  • Step 1: Place the rutabaga on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut it vertically down the middle through the stalk. This creates two equal halves that can rest flat on the cutting board and make it easier to continue prepping.
Rutabaga cut in half
  • Step 2: With each rutabaga half on its flat side, slice each half into semi-circles. You can cut them into ½ inch thickness. And you’ll notice that the end pieces usually have rough skin, so you can discard those.
How to cut rutabaga vegetable
  • Step 3: Remove the outer skin of the semi-circle pieces using a small knife. You’ll find that since the outer peel is usually waxed to keep it fresh in grocery stores, it’s very easy to peel the skin. You can use a paring knife or a small vegetable peeler.
Peeling the skin off rutabaga fries
  • Step 4: Now that you’ve removed the skin, lay the pieces on a cutting board and slice them into spears or sticks to mimic the shape of french fries. The image on the right shows what two semi circles look like when cut. And now you’re ready to bake them!
Cutting rutabaga into spears

How to cook rutabaga

There are so rutabaga recipes and ways to prepare them, just like potatoes. The most common ways are boiling them and roasting them. We’re going to go over how to roast them today.

  • Once the rutabaga fries are cut, you can season them how you’d like. You can go simple with salt and pepper or jazz it up with whatever seasoning you like. I use salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder, which is my favorite combination for potato fries too!
  • Then drizzle some olive oil all over the fries and rub them together so they’re all well coated by the oil and seasoning. When it comes to baking, I would recommend using two or even three baking dishes depending on the size of the rutabaga you started with.
  • You want to line up the rutabaga spears with enough room between them so they’re not touching. This helps to create a more crispy factor so the rutabaga fries don’t turn out mushy.
Cut rutabaga lined up on a tray

Once they come out of the oven, you’ll notice their yellowish color is actually richer and darker, and they truly look like french fries! With the right seasoning and enough crisp factor, you can really fool a lot of people. Plus the calorie and carb comparison to potatoes makes them feel like a sneaky indulgence. This is a great ketogenic recipe that helps you stay on track with your macros and keep carbs under control if you’re monitoring that.

Tips to make this recipe

  1. Cut the rutabaga as evenly as you can. The fries should be a similar thickness so that they cook evenly.
  2. Coat the fries well in the oil and seasonings. We like to use our hands to toss everything together so that the fries are coated. The oil helps them to crisp up so you don’t want any dry bits.
  3. Don’t overcrowd your baking sheet. The fries should be in a single layer and not touching for the best results. If they are crowded, they can steam rather than roast and they’ll turn out soggy.
  4. Mix up the seasonings. You can easily use other seasonings that you have to hand to season these vegetable fries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you cut the fries ahead of time?

Yes, you can prep the fries up to two days ahead of time. Keep them refrigerated in a bowl of water so that they don’t brown and pat them dry before seasoning and baking.

How long do leftovers keep?

Once cooked, these fries will keep well in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. To reheat, pop them in the toaster oven or regular oven on a high heat so they can crisp up again.

Can you cook them in the air fryer?

If you have an air fryer, these will cook perfectly in them. Cook them at 400F for around 15 minutes til they are crispy and tender. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook them in batches so that they stay in a single layer.

Oven baked rutabaga fries on a plate with ketchup and garnished with green onions

Even if you don’t care about carbs, calories or macros, I still urge you to try out rutabaga sometime. Roast them in the oven with your favoriting seasoning. That will make these rutabaga fries a great way for you try this less popular root vegetable. And it’s one of the most popular rutabaga recipes out there. I hope you give it a try and share your experience with me!

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Rutabaga Fries

Rutabaga is an under-served root vegetable that can be cut up, seasoned and oven-baked to make this keto friendly low carb low calorie Rutabaga Fries recipe
5 from 468 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Side Dish
Calories 102
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
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  • Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine rutabaga spears with oil and spices, and toss until evenly coated.
  • Lay rutabaga spears onto a baking sheet, leaving space between
  • Bake for 30 minutes, flipping the rutabaga spears halfway through; they should be cooked through and crisped on the outside


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge. To reheat, I would recommend popping them in the toaster oven or regular oven so they can crisp up again.
Freezing Instructions: You can freeze them for up to 6 months. I would recommend blanching them before freezing them. Then you can cook them straight from frozen either by roasting them or boiling them.
Make Ahead Tips: You can wash, peel and cut the rutabaga vegetable up to 2 days in advance. Store it in the fridge in some water until you’re ready to use. Then just drain and dab with a paper towel until dry.


Calories: 102kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 12mg, Potassium: 326mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 490IU, Vitamin C: 24.1mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 0.6mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Side Dish
4.97 from 468 votes (447 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Susan says:

    I posted a previous comment that was not posted. It was negative because the directions for this recipe did not yield those results. As I said, I would give it another try. We did. Lowered the temperature to 345, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, salt. Air fryer on for 20 minutes but turned every 5 minutes. Ok. So…these will never be crispy. They work ok for a French fry substitute. Going to try some other things next time. Any port in a storm when you want a French fry and can’t have them. 1/2 rutabaga per person.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Hi Susan, Thank you for your feedback! I don’t remember seeing a comment from you previously, maybe it did not submit. Like most food that is substituted for fries – carrots, zucchini, and even sweet potatoes it is just not the 100% the same as using regular potatoes, unfortunately.

  2. Lynn Nelson says:

    These are delicious and my whole family loved them including my grandchildren ages 14 years and 2 years. We didn’t even feel the need to have a dip!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      That makes me so happy to hear! Yay!!

  3. Amy Jojo says:

    OMG these are SO good! I cooked them for about 20 mins in my air fryer at 380, shook them every 5 minutes and they were perfect! A healthier replacement for the standard deep fried potato. That being said, if you’re expecting a potato, you will probably be disappointed.. I tossed mine in olive oil, paprika, onion & garlic powder and a little bit of baking powder and the outsides were crunchy and the insides were soft. I’ll definitely be making these again soon!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you so much! It’s definitely not the same, but it’s a great way to switch it up. That’s perfect!

  4. Amy says:

    These oven fries have changed my life, no joke! Of course they’re not the same as junk food potato fries, but they’re by far the best root vegetable oven fries I’ve attempted – way better than parsnips, celeriac, carrots, butternut squash and dare I even say sweet potato. At less than 40 cals per 100g of raw rutabaga (or swede as we call it in the UK), these have become something I cook every week, at least. Plus it’s a cruciferous vegetable (same family as brocolli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale) which means it’s SUPER good for you too.

    My tips: Make sure each fry is totally coated in oil and not touching on the pan; add plenty of seasoning (salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and cajun is my favourite combo); and don’t forget to shake/toss about 20 mins into the cooking time just to make sure they don’t overcook and burn.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      That’s amazing! So glad to hear you’re loving this recipe! Great tip, too.

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