Lanttulaatikko- Finnish Rutabaga Bake

Never heard of a rutabaga before?  Perhaps you know it by one its other names: Swedish turnip, swede, or yellow turnip?   But considering the fact that the guy at the supermarket checkout line had to ask me three times what it was, I’m guessing that it’s not really that big of a seller.

That’s a shame because it’s actually one tasty root vegetable.  As it turns out, it originated from a cross between turnip and cabbage.  Not a crossbreed I would ever have thought of, but I guess that’s why I’m not a botanist.

I’m a couple weeks too late, but this rutabaga bake, made with mashed rutabaga, cream, bread crumbs and seasoned with a hint of nutmeg, is an old, traditional Finnish Christmas dish.  The rutabaga is inherently sweet, but if you’d like to dial it up a bit (a la the Sweet Potato Casserole), feel free to add a teaspoon or so of sugar.


Lanttulaatikko- Finnish Rutabaga Bake

Yield: 6 side servings


* 2 medium rutabagas, peeled and diced (about 6 cups)
* 3 Tablespoons butter, divided, plus extra for greasing
* 3/4 cup cream (I used half-and-half)
* 3/4 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* 2 eggs, slightly beaten


Place the diced rutabaga in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and mash. Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Add 2 Tablespoons of the butter, the cream, breadcrumbs, salt, nutmeg and eggs to the rutabaga and stir to mix. Pour into the prepared dish and dot the surface with pats of the remaining butter. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top has lightly browned.

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13 Responses to “Lanttulaatikko- Finnish Rutabaga Bake”

  1. #
    Miss Michelle — January 10, 2012 at 4:03 am

    how neat! i always look at the rutabaga at the grocery store and wonder what it tastes like or how to cook it! thanks for the recipe, totally going to buy one this week!

    ~Michelle @


  2. #
    CATE — January 10, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Hope you like it Michelle :)


  3. #
    Anonymous — January 10, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    We have this every christmas as a side dish to “Pinnekjøtt”, smoked/dried ribs of sheep; it is simply excellent. I recommend spreading the layer thin in a very large dish; this will make the top crunchy and sweet!


  4. #
    Anonymous — January 11, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Really love rutabega and turnip so I'll definitely try this recipe. I usually use it in stews or boiled and mashed with butter but this seems like a more “elegant” side to serve during the holidays. Thanx!


  5. #
    CATE — January 11, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Anon #1- thanks for the tip! I'll also have to investigate this Pinnekjøtt, but I'm guessing I won't be able to find sheep ribs :)

    Anon #2- I love turnip in stew too (as well as mashed)… this is a little richer because of all the cream :)


  6. #
    Hovkonditorn — January 11, 2012 at 3:23 am

    This is one of my favorite on the Christmas table!


  7. #
    Katie — November 11, 2014 at 5:35 am

    I have a good Finnish friend who was having a “pre-Christmas” party recently, and she sent me some pictures, including one of rutabaga casserole. She said they have it for Christmas every year. So I searched for a recipe and I came here. Congratulations on having truly “used” world recipes on your website! I’m very excited to try this out for Christmas :) thank you!


  8. #
    Cassie — September 28, 2015 at 10:19 am

    In my experience with this recipe, rutabaga should be boiled for 30 to 40 minutes.


  9. #
    Matti — October 30, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Lanttulaatikko brings back childhood memories…nightmares.
    Lanttulaatikko is awful. And I am not picky and love Finnish food. But not this one.
    My mom made it often, not just during Christmas. UGH!


  10. #
    Yvonne Anderson — November 30, 2016 at 2:48 am

    I’m a huge fan of rutabagas, and when I buy them, I frequently run into the same thing you do: the check-out person has to ask me what they are. Earlier this month, the check-out girl said, “Don’t tell me… I know what it is… sounds like a car, right?” I had no idea what she was getting at, until I told her they’re rutabagas, and she said, “That’s right. It kinda sounds like some sort of car, doesn’t it?” Then I figured out what she was thinking. I said, “You mean Studebaker?” HA! I’ve been chuckling at that for the past month.

    When I blogged about rutabagas last year, my cousin commented about a rutabaga casserole she once had, and I’m just now getting around to looking for a recipe. That’s what brought me here. I’m definitely going to buy some more “Studebakers” and try this recipe! If you’d like to read my post about them (the vegetable, not the car), you can find it here:

    I look forward to trying this dish!


  11. #
    Elizabeth Lauscher — February 7, 2017 at 12:57 am

    Loved rutabaga raw as a child (still do). We grew up calling this dish rutabaga loaf, probably cause we baked it in a loaf pan. I bake this 3 or 4 times a year, however, I don’t put egg or nutmeg just salt and pepper, milk and lots of butter! Yum.


  12. #
    Darlene — February 7, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. It’s a little different from how I make it. Sounds delish. I will try the thin layer in a large pan so the crust is sweeter & crunchier. Thanks for the tip.


  13. #
    Martina — December 25, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks for the recipe, GCW! I made this today, but made it vegan and GF, added a couple of teaspoons of molasses, and put the breadcrumbs on top dotted with butter instead of mixed in the mash. Such a nice flavor!


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