Home » Side Dish Recipes » Turnip & Carrot Mash with Rum

Turnip & Carrot Mash with Rum

Turnip and carrot mash is a delicious and sweet combination of mashed turnips, carrots, and rum. It’s a perfect lower-carb alternative to mashed potatoes for your next holiday meal or any meal.

A close up view of turnip and carrot mash in a bowl with melted butter on top

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Turnips are underrated, and carrots are so common, but when you combine these two root vegetables with a few other ingredients, you have a delicious and comforting side dish that everyone will love. It’s a great side dish for an autumn dinner, Thanksgiving dinner or any time of the year. We enjoy it as a side dish with honey garlic pork chops.  

🤍Why you will love this recipe

  • The combination of carrots and turnips creates a beautiful balanced flavor profile.
  • It adds a nice pop of color to any table.
  • It’s an easy recipe to prepare with simple ingredients.
photo of turnip carrot mash ingredients

Here is what you will need

This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this mashed carrots and turnips recipe; scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and detailed instructions.

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How to make carrot and turnip mash

carrot an turnip mash in a pan not mashed

STEP 1: Combine 2 cups of water, prepared turnips, carrots, honey, and salt in a medium saucepan. There will not be enough water to cover the vegetables, that’s ok. Cover the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until vegetables are soft.

STEP 2: Pierce the vegetables with a fork to test for doneness. Once the are soft, drain the cooked turnips and carrots in a colander reserve the cooking water.

carrot and turnips cooked in a saucepan
carrots and onions mashed

STEP 3: Place the cooked turnips and carrots in a large mixing bowl and mash the vegetables with a potato masher, or ricer.

STEP 4: Heat the butter in the saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it becomes soft.

carrot and turnip mash mashed in a bowl with butter an onions added
turnip carrot mash last process

STEP 5: Stir in the onions and butter mixture, milk, nutmeg and rum. Adjust the texture with reserved cooking water.

Ingredient notes and substitutions

The complete list of ingredients to make this carrot and turnips recipe is above. Below are notes about some of the ingredients, along with ideas for substitutes.

Turnips – If they are unavailable, they can be substituted with rutabaga which are interchangeable root veggies.

Honey – Adds the right amount of natural sweetness to this carrot turnip mash recipe. It can be replaced one-for-one with maple syrup.

Milk – I find milk to be creamy enough to make this recipe. If you prefer a more creamy texture, it can be replaced with an equal amount of light cream or heavy cream.

Rum – This is an optional ingredient, and can be left out. It can also be substituted with an equal amount of brandy or bourbon.

How to store leftovers

Turnip carrot mash can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days in an airtight container.

This dish can also be frozen by placing room-temperature mash in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

Defrost frozen carrots and turnip mash in the refrigerator overnight.

Reheat leftover and thawed turnip and carrot mash over the stove over low heat or in the microwave.

an overhead view of carrot and turnip mash

How to make turnip carrot mash ahead of time

This is a great recipe to make ahead of time. Cook and mash the carrots and turnips, and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Just before serving, heat the mashed carrots and turnips on top of the stove. Cook the onions in butter, stir the butter, onions, milk, and rum, and serve.

Serving suggestions

Serve carrot and turnip mash for your holiday get-togethers or any day. We enjoy them with turkey cranberry meatballs, slow cooker chicken legs, Swedish meatballs or turkey meatloaf.

Recipe variations

Dairy-free and vegan turnip and carrot mash – Use your favorite plant-based milk, replace butter with an equal amount of coconut oil, and swap out the honey with maple syrup.

Carrot parsnip mash – Swap out the turnips with parsnips for a slightly sweeter mash.

Spiced blend – Add a hint of spice with a pinch of cayenne pepper, dash of paprika and sprinkle to cumin.

Nutty crunch – Add texture by topping the mash with a sprinkle of toasted almonds, pecans or walnuts.

Roasted garlic – Add mashed roasted garlic cloves into the mixture for a mild garlic flavor.


  • If you prefer your mash to be smooth and more like a puree, add the vegetables to a food processor, blender or electric mixer for a smooth texture.
  • To prevent the carrots and turnips from sticking to the saucepan, you may need to add water during the cooking process gradually.
What is the difference between turnip and rutabaga?

Turnips are white with a purple rim around the top. Rutabega is yellow and dense and difficult to cut. Both root vegetables have a similar texture and taste when cooked. Though rutabaga tends to be sweeter than a turnip.

Can I use another cooking method other than boiling for the vegetables?

Yes, while boiling is the quickest way, you can also roast or steam the vegetables before mashing them. Please note the cooking time may be longer.

turnip and carrot mash in a bowl

Are you too tired to cook dinner?

If you’re feeling uninspired when it’s time to cook dinner, this free guide will help you make a quick and healthy dinner with ingredients you have in your kitchen.

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a bowl of mashed carrots and turnips

Turnip and Carrot Mash With Rum

Turnip and carrot mash is a delicious combination of turnips and carrots. It's the perfect side for your holiday meals!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Click on serving size to scale this recipe

Course: Side Dish Recipes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: turnip and carrot mash
Servings: 4
Calories: 198kcal
Author: Anne
Scale this Recipe 4


  • 1/2 pound turnips peeled trimmed and quartered
  • 1 pound carrots peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon rum optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg


  • Combine 2 cups of water, turnips, carrots, honey and salt in a saucepan (the water will not cover the vegetables). Cover the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium to high heat.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook the vegetables covered for 15 minutes.
  • Pierce the vegetables with a fork to test for doneness, and continue to cook to your preference, which can be up to 15 minutes longer adding water as needed to prevent sticking.
  • Drain the cooked vegetables in a colander reserving the cooking water.
  • Place the vegetables into a mixing bowl (or food processor) and mash the vegetables with a potato masher, ricer or food processor.
  • Heat the butter in the saucepan over medium to high heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent.
  • Add the onions to the turnip/carrot mixture in the mixing bowl and blend well adding cream as desired and enough reserved cooking water or rum (if using).


Serve carrot and turnip mash with roasted or grilled meat.
Store leftover carrots and turnip mash in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 
Reheat in the microwave or on top of the stove over low heat.
See the article above for recipe tips, variations and more!
Recipe adapted from Jubilee Recipes from two centuries of African American Cooking


Serving: 1 | Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 704mg | Potassium: 509mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 19313IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used

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  1. Carrots are an often unappreciated vegetable. They are very versatile, and inexpensive. I grew up eating boiled turnips as well as raw turnip pieces, but I only recently tried mashed turnips. They were good, but this combination seems better. I’ve pinned this recipe and plan to give it a try. I also plan to pick up a copy of that cookbook. It sounds amazing.

    1. Hi Louise! The recipe card mysteriously disappeared! It’s fixed now with all of the ingredient amounts and instructions. I hope you didn’t drink all of the rum😊