Root Vegetable Timbales with Sage Brown Butter

  • These savoury Root Vegetable Timbales are an elegant and tasty way to incorporate sweet potato, squash and rutabaga into your meal.

Our holiday crowd is very large so there are many favourite dishes that the meal would not be complete without.  Many years 80% of the rutabagas are left over, 70% of the sweet potatoes, 50% of the squash…the list goes on…you get the picture. I found a way to cover off everyone’s favourites without having to make multiple root vegetable casseroles.

I usually turn them into soups at some point which works well but it is still a lot of work to make several side casseroles in addition to the other potatoes and vegetables.

What is a Timbale?

Timbale is a French term for a dish that is tapered on the bottom and usually holds layers of meat, vegetables or cake.  I just sounds better then ‘muffin cups’! These little layered cups are just the answer.  You get a taste of sweet potato, squash & rutabaga nicely spiced.  Everybody gets a hit of their favourite and it isn’t overwhelming for those that just want to try a taste.  The sage and brown butter give them a classic savoury flavour hit.

sweet potato muffin cups

Chef’s Tips for Root Vegetable Timbales

  • You could substitute turnips for the rutabaga or acorn squash for the butternut squash.  Choose whatever you prefer or what is available at your farmer’s market.
  • Be sure to use  liners in your muffin cups so you can eject the timbales after they are baked.
  • I tried positioning the pecans in the bottom of the muffin cup and then adding the batter.  They sunk into the purée and kind of got lost.  It makes an nicer presentation if you top the timbale  with the toasted pecan after you have removed the muffin cup liner.  You might also try to  spreading toasted ground pecans on the bottom of the liner if you want a one-step approach.
  • You can make these ahead and store in the fridge for up to 2 days, or freeze. Reheat in oven in medium/low heat till warm through.  If frozen, reheat from frozen until just heated through.

All in all, I would say these are a perfect fall vegetable dish and especially suited to a holiday meal.

squash timbales


Root Vegetable Timbales with Sage Brown Butter

Get your family's favorite vegetables in one dish!
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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 12 timbales


Sweet Potato/Squash Purée

  • 3 cups sweet potatoes peeled, diced (about 2 medium)
  • 3 cups butternut squash peeled, diced (about 1 small)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Rutabega purée

  • 3 cups rutabaga peeled, diced (about 1 medium)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 15-18 sage leaves chopped roughly
  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth


  • 12 whole pecans
  • 12 muffin tin liners


  • Cover sweet potato and squash dice with water and simmer over medium heat approximately 20 minutes, til fork tender. Simmer rutabaga dice in a separate sauce pan approximately 20 minutes til fork tender. (Or - in my pressure cooker it took 4 minutes at high pressure for the squash and sweet potato, and 8 minutes for the rutabaga).
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sweet Potato/Squash Purée

  • Mash squash and sweet potato together.
  • Mix all other sweet potato/squash puree ingredients into the mashed sweet potato and butternut squash. Set aside.

Rutabaga Purée

  • Mash rutabaga in a small bowl.
  • In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat and wait til the milk solids turn golden brown (about 5 minutes). Stir in the chopped sage. Add the chicken or vegetable broth and simmer another 3 minutes. Stir into the rutabaga mash, mixing well. Set aside.


  • Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • Place 1/2 cup of sweet potato/squash purée in the bottom of the muffin cup.
  • Spread 1/4 cup of rutabaga mixture on top of the squash layer.
  • Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Toast pecans during last 15 minutes in a single layer in a separate pan. When done, let cool 15 minutes and remove paper liners. Transfer to serving platter and top with a toasted pecan.



Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 391mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 8682IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 1mg
Root Vegetable Timbales with Sage Brown Butter

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