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Carrot and Swede Mash – A Simple Yet Delicious Side

Carrot and Swede Mash

Quick Recipes, Sides, Winter | 17th December 2019 | By

A simple but tasty and colourful winter side dish. No need for fancy equipment and no need to roast or fry. Just chop, boil and smash. Carrot and swede mash is delicious just as it is.

Carrot and swede mash is a traditional British side dish. It makes a great accompaniment to all sorts of meals, but it works particularly well with a roast dinner. It’s really just a pan of cooked carrots and swede that are then mashed with butter and pepper. But it’s so much greater than the sum of its parts. When sun is at its lowest ebb and light is at a premium, the bright orange glow emanating from the veg feeds the eye as well as the body. Do try it if you haven’t already.

When is a Swede not a Swede?

Well a swede is always a swede, but it’s not necessarily a turnip. A turnip is usually small and white, whilst a swede is large and orange. But it is confusing. In Cornwall and northern England the swede is often referred to as a turnip. The name is, apparently, short for Swedish turnip. But it goes by other names too. The Scots call it neeps, whilst in North America it’s called rutabaga.

Carrot and Swede Mash

The traditional recipe for carrot and swede mash is for equal measures of carrot and swede. You don’t really need to be too exact about this though. If you have a bit more of one and a bit less of the other, it’s not going to make a big difference. For this recipe I’ve gone with a whole swede, weighing 600g and 500g of carrots. As the carrots are only topped and tailed whilst the swede is also peeled, it’s not going to have that big an effect in the end.

Although I like to keep as much peel on my veg as I can, as that’s where many of the nutrients lie, swede skin is just a bit too tough. It really needs peeling. Carrots, on the other hand, don’t. Just give them a good scrub.

You will need a large sturdy knife to cut the swede. It can be quite tough.

Raw cubed carrots and swede ready for cooking in a saucepan.

I add a bayleaf and a little salt to the pan along with enough water to almost, but not quite, cover the vegetables. Less water means you retain more of the flavour and nutrients. Once cooked and drained, then mash with your favourite implement. My mother uses a simple hand masher. I use a stick blender to pulse the mixture so that it doesn’t get too smooth. We like a bit of texture to our carrot and swede mash. However, if you prefer a smooth purée, blend for longer or use a jug blender.

Cooked carrots and swede in a saucepan.

For a dairy-free or vegan version, just replace the butter with olive oil. Some people add nutmeg. I’m one of those. Just a little nutmeg gives quite a lift. I also cook my carrots and neeps with a bay leaf. This also adds flavour without overwhelming the sweetness of the veg. Who needs sweet potatoes?

What Goes With Carrot and Swede Mash?

Carrot and swede mash will be one of the side dishes present on our Christmas table this year. My mother is coming up to stay over the festive period and in her eyes no Christmas dinner is complete without carrots and neeps. Having said that, it’s a really delicious dish which I’m more than happy to include. It will accompany my lentil nut roast, this braised red cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce and a whole heap of other delights.

Carrot and Swede Mash

This batch of carrot and swede mash accompanied sausages and mushroom gravy last night. It was delicious. In fact, the mash was so good all by itself, I couldn’t help but tuck into a bowlful for lunch yesterday. There are leftovers and they will probably have an egg and some flour added to make some sort of pancakes or fritters. Then again I might just turn it into soup. This stuff is versatile.

Other than an accompaniment to a roast dinner, carrot and swede mash can be used as a straight swap for mashed potatoes. As well as sausages, it works well with pies and you can even use it to top a shepherd’s pie.

Carrot and Swede Mash Benefits

  • Diabetic friendly – substitute for mashed potatoes.
  • Nutritious – contains dietary fibre and is rich in various antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and B6.
  • Cheap – neither swede nor carrots cost very much which makes this a frugal but delicious side dish.
  • Adaptable – make it dairy-free or vegan, if required. Just swap the butter for olive oil. Adjust the salt to suit your taste and health requirements. Add nutmeg or not. Vary the ratio of swede to carrot. I could go on.
  • Make in advance and just reheat in the oven when needed.
  • Delicious leftovers – use to top a shepherd’s pie, turn into soup or make pancakes. Alternatively bake some savoury muffins.

Other Swede Recipes You Might Like

I’m astonished to find I have no swede recipes on Tin and Thyme – until now. Swede is a much underrated vegetable and it’s a shame it’s not used more than it is. It can easily be included in stew-type recipes such as my end of season vegetable stew with mushroom dumplings.

Keep in Touch

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this carrot and swede mash, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.

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Carrot and Swede Mash. PIN IT.

Carrot and Swede Mash

Carrot and Swede Mash – The Recipe

Carrot and Swede Mash
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5 from 8 votes

Carrot and Swede Mash

A simple but tasty winter side dish. It makes a lovely accompaniment to all sorts of dishes, but is particularly good with a roast dinner, pie or sausages. Use olive oil instead of butter to make it dairy-free or vegan.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Keyword: carrots, Christmas, easy, mash, neeps, quick, swede
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 76kcal


  • 1 small swede - about 600g
  • 500 g carrots
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 25 g salted butter (or 1 tbsp olive oil for dairy-free)
  • good fresh grating of nutmeg - about ¼ tsp
  • good grinding of black pepper - about ⅛ tsp


  • Peel the swede, then chop the flesh into rough cubes - about 1 ½ cm sq.
  • Scrub the carrots well, then top and tail. No need to peel. Chop into similar sized piece to the swede.
  • Place in a large lidded pan along with the bay leaf and salt.
  • Almost, but not quite, cover with water. Bring to the boil with the lid on then simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the cubes are cooked, but not mushy. You can test by inserting a knife into a cube of each. If it goes in easily, it's done.
  • Drain through a colander, reserving the cooking liquid for gravy or soup. Allow to steam dry a little, then return to the pan. Add the butter, nutmeg and pepper and mash to your desired consistency.


You will need a large sturdy knife to cut the swede. It can be quite tough.
Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on serving size and exact ingredients used.


Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 429mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 10519IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg


I’m sharing this delicious dish of carrots and neeps with Lost in Food for #CookBlogShare.

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  1. Chris

    17th December 2019 at 11:56 am

    Oh I LOVE swede! It’s a very underrated vegetable and it is delicious in so many recipes! This looks fab, I’m loving the addition of a smidgen of nutmeg.

    • Choclette

      17th December 2019 at 2:58 pm

      Every time I have swede I wonder why we don’t eat it more often. Thanks for your recipe. I’m now keen to try it and the others too.

  2. sherry

    17th December 2019 at 12:09 pm

    i’m not sure that we see swedes here but maybe i’m just not looking:-) this sounds very tasty. have a great festive season. cheers sherry

    • Choclette

      17th December 2019 at 2:57 pm

      I think it’s a cold weather vegetable Sherry, so not sure Australia would have the right growing conditions for it. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you.


    17th December 2019 at 12:21 pm

    I love swede and I love carrots, why I have never made Carrot & Mash Swede is beyond me! Will make this to go with our New Year roast beef – yum:-)

    • Choclette

      17th December 2019 at 2:59 pm

      It’s funny the recipes we “know” about and the ones we don’t. Sounds like a good new year plan.

  4. Mandy

    17th December 2019 at 1:26 pm

    Mmmm this sounds so good. Love the sound of carrot and swede together. Thanks for including my recipes x

    • Choclette

      17th December 2019 at 3:00 pm

      You get five gold stars for having so many swede recipes Mandy. This one is a good one too though.

  5. Michelle Rolfe

    17th December 2019 at 2:26 pm

    I love this combination! It brings me straight back to childhood days (when I wouldn’t eat carrots or swede on their own!) my mum always mashed them with lashings of butter and shocking – but a bit of white sugar too! I wouldn’t dream of adding sugar to beautiful veg now but it does bring lots of fond memories back! Thanks for sharing #CookBlogShare. Cheers, Michelle x

    • Choclette

      17th December 2019 at 3:03 pm

      Trying hard not to be shocked! Cooked carrots I would eat, but never swede. My mother used to give me raw sticks of it to chew on whilst she was preparing it for cooking. I was quite happy with that way.

  6. Michelle Cannon

    17th December 2019 at 5:32 pm

    I’ve never heard of this until now, but it sounds good! I may have to try it soon.

    • Choclette

      18th December 2019 at 10:09 am

      It’s really good Michelle and it makes a nice change from mashed potato.

  7. angiesrecipes

    17th December 2019 at 7:04 pm

    That’s truly a fantastic side dish! Have never thought of adding bay leaf…I love it!

    • Choclette

      18th December 2019 at 10:12 am

      Thanks Angie. It just adds a little extra something without being obvious.

  8. Ramona

    17th December 2019 at 11:38 pm

    Delicious combo! Made it last night and it made such a nice side to our stake – yummm. Great timing!

    • Choclette

      18th December 2019 at 10:13 am

      Yay, glad my recipe had such a quick impact. It makes a healthy and nice change to mashed potato.

  9. Monika Dabrowski

    18th December 2019 at 6:07 pm

    I love a healthy mash and carrot and swede make a great pair. Pinned it!

    • Choclette

      19th December 2019 at 10:04 am

      Swede is such an underrated veg and yet it can be really delicious, especially when mashed with carrot.

  10. Cheese Curd In Paradise

    19th December 2019 at 12:19 am

    Carrots are so delicious and I love the addition of the nutmeg in your recipe! I can’t wait to give this one a try!

    • Choclette

      19th December 2019 at 10:04 am

      There are somethings that nutmeg goes particularly well with and this dish is one of them.

  11. Jo Allison

    19th December 2019 at 8:19 pm

    Such a simple and delicious side dish and lovely change from standard mashed potatoes.

    • Choclette

      20th December 2019 at 9:01 am

      It is and I really do wonder why I don’t make it more often. The leftovers made fabulous fritters too.

  12. Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food

    21st December 2019 at 5:51 pm

    I had no idea what a swede was! But I’m all about roasted root vegetables, so a mash is just up my alley! This looks like a wonderful holiday side dish.

    • Choclette

      21st December 2019 at 6:15 pm

      Roast swede is pretty good too, but it works really well just boiled and mashed too.


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