A Mashed Potato Alternative Side Dish with Winter Veggies

There is something about cooler weather that screams “hot chocolate! Macaroni and cheese! COMFORT food!” and sometimes, you just have to heed that call. But that doesn’t mean junk food – fall is the perfect time of year for soups, stews, and hearty vegetables.

Here is a very simple recipe that does not require an oven. It produces a colourful side dish for your meal or Thanksgiving dinner after cooking only about 20 minutes. It’s perfect for using up veggies that have been in the fridge for a while.

Autumn vegetables are easy to work with. They store well, they’re inexpensive, and they taste great.

Preparing the Cold-Weather Vegetables

Don’t worry about dicing the vegetables in any particular way – they will be mashed and mangled anyway. Just be sure to make the pieces uniform so they cook evenly. The “chop and toss” method works well for this recipe.

Choosing a Vegetable Broth

If you make your own vegetable broth, good for you! Get some out; you shouldn’t need more than a cup. If using store-bought vegetable bouillon/stock, look for one that’s meat-free (no animal by-products). This is the perfect opportunity to use a high-quality chicken-flavoured vegetarian stock.

Using a bouillon cube will give a stronger flavour; simply mix the cube into less water than it calls for. If sodium is an issue, look for low-salt varieties.

Autumn Root Vegetable Mash Recipe

Serves 3-4

Preparation + cooking time: 40 minutes (20 preparation + 20 cooking)


  • About 1 cup vegetable broth – homemade, canned, or cube bouillon. Use a vegetarian version!
  • One (1) small rutabaga, peeled and diced
  • Two (2) small carrots, diced
  • Two (2) small potatoes, diced
  • About one (1) cup shredded cabbage (optional)


  1. Pour the broth into a saucepan. If using the bouillon cube, put it in the pot with about one cup of water and heat (and stir) until it dissolves. Adjust heat to medium.
  2. Add the rutabaga, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage (if using) to the pot.
  3. Place the lid on top and simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes, checking periodically to make sure there is still broth in the bottom and the veggies aren’t sticking.
  4. After 20 minutes, check the vegetables for tenderness. A fork should easily slide in. If they’re done, remove from heat.
  5. Either transfer them to a serving bowl (this will allow you to strain excess liquid if too much remains) or leave them in the pot.
  6. With a potato masher or fork, gently mash the vegetables. The cabbage will retain its shape.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Keep warm in the pot until it’s time to serve.