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Air Fryer Rutabaga Fries

Air fryer rutabaga fries are such a fun alternative to French fries. A healthy, lower carb alternative to fries, rutabaga fries are the perfect side dish to burgers, sandwiches, chicken nuggets or a fun snack to enjoy any time of the day!

Plate of rutabaga fries with a ramekin of spicy dip.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Ready in about 30 minutes – using the air fryer to make rutabaga fries helps them cook up quickly and get nice and crisp on the outside. The hardest part about this recipe is cutting the rutabaga into fries. A sharp knife will help you with making hand-cut fries though!
  • Great way to introduce new foods – Air fryer rutabaga fries are a fun twist on traditional fries. Cutting foods into fry shapes and cooking them in the air fryer can help picky eaters try new foods! The rutabaga fries don’t taste exactly like French fries but with the fry coating, they are seriously delicious and will quickly become a family favorite.
  • Versatile – change up the seasoning and dips to change up the flavor of the rutabaga fries to match any meal.
  • Healthy side dish – rutabaga fries in the air fryer are a healthy, delicious side dish. These are vegan, gluten free, dairy free, paleo, Whole30 and low carb. They fit in almost any lifestyle and are easy to make.
Ingredients to make air fryer rutabaga fries.
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Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Rutabaga – for this recipe, you want a small/medium sized rutabaga, or you will likely need to cook the rutabaga fries in batches in the air fryer as they won’t cook all the way through. When picking out a rutabaga, you want to find one that feels heavy for it’s size and is free of any blemishes or soft spots. The rutabaga will likely be coated in wax if it’s from the grocery store, that’s ok, it comes right off as you peel it.
  • Avocado oil – avocado oil helps to coat the rutabaga fries, so the spices stick and so the outside gets crispy when cooking in the air fryer. You could also use olive oil, melted coconut oil or melted ghee/butter.
  • Spices: Salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder (optional) – the spices help to elevate the flavor of the fries. You can also change out the flavor by changing out the spices. Check out more ideas below.

How to make rutabaga fries in the air fryer

Start by peeling the rutabaga. You will need a sharp vegetable peeler. If there is wax, it will come right off when you peel the rutabaga.

Next cut the top and the bottom to ensure that you have a flat surface to cut the rutabaga fries down.

Cut the rutabaga in half then cut into ½ inch strips. Cut the strip down into thin fries.

Steps on how to peel and cut a rutabaga into fries.

Note: If you cannot cut the rutabaga in half, cut it down from the outside first on all sides. The center of the rutabaga root is the thickest and can be tough to cut through. Cutting away as much of the “cheeks” of the root can make it easier to then cut through the center.

Add the rutabaga fries to a large bowl. Coat with avocado oil and spices. Use tongs or your hands to stir the fries up to ensure they are well coated in oil and spices.

White bowl filled with rutabaga fries with spices on top.

Place the rutabaga fries in the air fryer basket (it’s ok to overlap in the basket) and turn it on 400F for 20-22 minutes.

Rutabaga fries in the air fryer basket before cooking.

Pause and shake the basket after the first 7 minutes. Then again 7 minutes later. Then again during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. This helps ensure the fries are cooking evenly.

Enjoy immediately after cooking. The air fryer rutabaga fries start to lose their crispy texture as they sit after cooking.

Air fryer rutabaga fries in air fryer basket after cooking.

Top tips

  • When choosing a rutabaga, you want to choose one that seems heavy for its size. For this recipe, you don’t’ want a rutabaga that is too large (they can be tough to cut into when very large). You are looking for one that is the size of a softball. Be sure there are not any soft spots on the rutabaga).
  • Don’t make the fries too thick or wide, as you want these to be thinner fries, so they cook all the way through without burning. You want them to be 1/2 inch or less in width. Be sure to cut the fries the same thickness so they all cook evenly.
  • If you are having a hard time cutting the rutabaga in half, cut down the cheeks of the rutabaga first (instead of through the center). The center is the densest part of the root so it can be tough to cut through. Cutting from the outside in can make it so there is less to cut through once you are close to the center.
  • Pause the air fryer and shake the basket 3-4 times during cooking to ensure all the fries get evenly browned and none burn.
  • Cut the rutabaga down into small cubes to create a rutabaga hash to cook in the air fryer. Follow the same instructions, however these may be finished cooking a minute or two earlier since they aren’t as large.
  • If you buy a large rutabaga, cook the fries in batches. It’s ok to have the fries overlap but you don’t want to have too thick of a layer where the fries can evenly cook. Depending on the size of your air fryer and how big the rutabaga is, you may need to cook the fries in batches.
  • If you don’t have an air fryer, or want to make a large batch at once, I recommend using the oven instead (425F for 30 minutes, flip after 20 minutes).

Other spice blends you can add

Cajun – omit the smoked paprika and add ½ tablespoon of your favorite Cajun seasoning.

Taco – add ½ tablespoon of taco seasoning to the spice mixture.

Ranch – omit the smoked paprika and add ½ tablespoon of dried chives, ½ teaspoon dried parsley and ¼ teaspoon dried dill.

Italian seasoning – omit the smoked paprika and add ½ tablespoon italian seasoning.

Spicy – add ¼ -1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the seasoning mix.

Hand dipping rutabaga fry in spicy sauce.

What to serve with rutabaga fries

Serve air fryer rutabaga fries anywhere you would normally serve French fries. Some great options include:

What dips go well with air fryer rutabaga

You can’t have fries without something to dip them in! Here are some of my favorites

Common questions

What is a rutabaga?

Rutabaga is a root vegetable (similar to a potato) and a member of the cruciferous vegetable family (the same as cabbage, broccoli or brussels sprouts). They are round and typically coated in wax when sold at the grocery store (almost always in the refrigerated section of the produce department). Rutabagas have skin that is light yellow/brown that turns purple closer to the root. The flesh is a light-yellow color and it’s very dense.

Rutabagas are earthy, savory and slightly sweet when cooked and are packed with nutrition. Full of Vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber and lower in carbs that potatoes, they are a great alternative to regular potatoes.

I can typically find rutabaga all year long in my grocery store, but they grow during the cold weather months (October – March) so you can find them fresh at farmers markets during that time.

Large white plate filled with rutabaga fries.

What is the difference between a rutabaga and a turnip?

Rutabagas are referred to as turnips in many parts of the world. However, they are not the same.

Rutabagas are typically larger than turnips and have a yellow tint to the skin and a yellow flesh inside. Turnips are small, have white skin and are white on the inside. Both have a purple hue at the top closer to the roots.

Rutabagas are almost always coated in wax at the grocery store. Rutabagas are slightly sweeter in flavor when cooked. You can use turnips and rutabaga interchangeably in recipes; however, turnips are not as sweet or delicious as rutabagas.

Do rutabaga fries taste like french fries?

No, rutabagas have a buttery, slightly sweet flavor when cooked. They are not as neutral tasting as a potato, so there is a difference in the flavor. Rutabaga fries are delicious in their own way and once you try them you will love them!

Can you make rutabaga fries in the oven?

Yes, follow the same instructions on cutting the rutabaga and coating it in oil/spices. Add rutabaga fries to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 425F for 30 minutes, taking the rutabaga fries out of the oven after 20 minutes to flip them.

What is the best way to eat a rutabaga?

Most people like to roast rutabaga or eat it as a mash. I love using rutabaga to make lower carb pasta (it’s incredible). You can also make a rutabaga hash by cutting the rutabaga down into cubes instead of fries and cooking it in the air fryer.

Are rutabaga fries keto friendly?

Rutabaga fries are much lower in carbs than traditional French fries. 1 cup of rutabaga has about 8.8 net carbs, however it’s hard to eat just 1 cup, so they may not fit in your keto lifestyle. They are great as a low carb alternative though!

Rutabaga fries in the air fryer basket after cooking.

Storing leftovers

Fridge: Store leftover rutabaga fries in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Reheat in the air fryer at 350F for 5-7 minutes. You can also reheat in the microwave, but they will be soft (like roasted rutabaga) not crisp.

Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing leftovers as the texture will change.

If you love this recipe, you should try

Air Fryer Parsnips

Air Fryer Sweet Potato Wedges

Air Fryer Potato Cubes

Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli

Air Fryer Frozen Cauliflower

Air Fryer Frozen Brussel Sprouts

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Rutabaga fries on a ivory plate with ramekin of spicy dipping sauce.

Air Fryer Rutabaga Fries

Air fryer rutabaga fries are easy to make and the perfect healthy side dish. Rutabaga fries are a low carb alternative to french fries. These hand-cut fries go great with burgers, sandwiches, chicken nuggets or served as a snack with your favorite dip.
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer rutabaga fries, rutabaga fries air fryer
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Peel and cut the rutabaga into fries. Peel the rutabaga then cut the top and bottom off the rutabaga. Cut the rutabaga in half then cut the halves into 1/2 inch half moons. Cut those half moons into thin french fries.
  • Add rutabaga fries to a large bowl. Add the avocado oil and spice to the rutabaga fries. Stir the fries with tongs or your hands until the fries are all well coated in spices.
  • Put rutabaga fries in the air fryer basket. Turn on the air fryer 400F for 20-22 minutes.
  • After 7 minutes, pause the air fryer and shake the basket. Pause it again 2-3 more times during cooking to ensure the fries don't burn and the heat gets well distributed.
  • Serve hot.

Notes

Top tips
  • When choosing a rutabaga, you want to choose one that seems heavy for its size. For this recipe, you don’t’ want a rutabaga that is too large (they can be tough to cut into when very large). You are looking for one that is the size of a softball. Be sure there are not any soft spots on the rutabaga).
  • Don’t make the fries too thick or wide, as you want these to be thinner fries, so they cook all the way through without burning. You want them to be 1/2 inch or less in width. Be sure to cut the fries the same thickness so they all cook evenly.
  • If you are having a hard time cutting the rutabaga in half, cut down the cheeks of the rutabaga first (instead of through the center). The center is the densest part of the root so it can be tough to cut through. Cutting from the outside in can make it so there is less to cut through once you are close to the center.
  • Pause the air fryer and shake the basket 3-4 times during cooking to ensure all the fries get evenly browned and none burn.
  • Cut the rutabaga down into small cubes to create a rutabaga hash to cook in the air fryer. Follow the same instructions, however these may be finished cooking a minute or two earlier since they aren’t as large.
  • If you buy a large rutabaga, cook the fries in batches. It’s ok to have the fries overlap but you don’t want to have too thick of a layer where the fries can evenly cook. Depending on the size of your air fryer and how big the rutabaga is, you may need to cook the fries in batches.
  • If you don’t have an air fryer, or want to make a large batch at once, I recommend using the oven instead (425F for 30 minutes, flip after 20 minutes).
Storing leftovers
Fridge: Store leftover rutabaga fries in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheat in the air fryer at 350F for 5-7 minutes. You can also reheat in the microwave, but they will be soft (like roasted rutabaga) not crisp.
Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing leftovers as the texture will change.
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
67
Fat
 
4
g
Carbohydrates
 
8
g
Fiber
 
2
g
Sugar
 
4
g
Protein
 
1
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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