Best Turnip Recipes: 10 Delicious Dishes For Every Occasion

Turnips, often overlooked in the vegetable aisle, are a versatile and nutritious root vegetable. These globe-shaped, sometimes purple-tinged vegetables, are a cool-weather favorite and can be transformed into a variety of delightful dishes. Whether roasted, mashed, or used as a potato substitute, turnips offer a slightly peppery flavor that can complement any meal. With their growing popularity, there’s a treasure trove of turnip recipes that cater to various tastes and dietary needs, providing an easy way to include this root vegetable in a meal in under 30 minutes.

From traditional comforting concoctions to innovative culinary creations, turnips can be the star of the show. They are more than just a substitute for other root vegetables; they shine brightly when given the chance in the kitchen. For instance, making a simple yet delicious mashed turnip dish only requires boiling them until tender, adding a bit of butter, and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. On the other hand, international cuisine presents turnips in unique ways – think pickled, layered in gratins, or even as the main ingredient in a hearty stew. Exploring the wide range of turnip recipes reveals just how much this humble root vegetable has to offer.

Key Takeaways

  • Turnips are a versatile and nutritional root vegetable perfect for quick meals.
  • A range of recipes exists, from classic favorites to inventive dishes, highlighting turnip’s adaptability.
  • Turnips can be easily integrated into various cuisines and dietary preferences, offering an array of culinary possibilities.

The Nutritional Profile of Turnips

Turnips are a root vegetable renowned for their versatility and nutritional benefits. As a cruciferous vegetable, they are low in calories yet rich in vital vitamins and minerals that contribute to your overall health. A 100g serving of turnips contains approximately 28 calories, making it a diet-friendly option.

Nutritional Details per 100g:

Calories28 kcal
Carbohydrates6.43 g
Protein0.9 g
Vitamin C21 mg
Calcium30 mg
Magnesium11 mg
Potassium191 mg
Fiber1.8 g

The carbohydrate content in turnips is modest, primarily consisting of dietary fiber, which aids digestion. Turnips provide a decent amount of protein for a vegetable, which is essential for muscle repair and growth.

Moreover, they’re an excellent source of Vitamin C, crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system. The root is also a carrier of important minerals like calcium and magnesium, which play key roles in bone health and metabolic functions, alongside potassium, which is necessary for fluid balance and nerve function.

Example Turnip Recipe: Mashed Turnips

Turnips, peeled3 medium1. Cube turnips.
Garlic, minced2 cloves2. Boil turnips until tender.
Olive oil2 tbsp3. Drain and mash with garlic.
Salt and pepperTo taste4. Stir in olive oil, season and serve.

In terms of their vitamins and minerals, turnips can be a key part of your balanced diet, providing necessary nutrients without excess calories or carbs.

Comparing Turnips and Potatoes

When exploring root vegetables, you’ll likely come across turnips and potatoes as popular options. Both are versatile in the kitchen, but they have distinct characteristics worth noting. Turnips are generally lower in calories and carbs, making them a favorable ingredient for those following a low-carb diet.

NutrientTurnips (per 100g)Potatoes (per 100g)

While potatoes are a staple in many diets and are often used to make mashed potatoes, turnips can be a healthier alternative due to their lower carb content. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals.

Here are simple examples of how you can swap turnips for potatoes in recipes:

Mashed Turnips


  • Turnips: 1 pound
  • Butter: 2 tablespoons
  • Salt: ½ teaspoon
  • Pepper: ¼ teaspoon


  1. Peel and chop turnips into cubes.
  2. Boil until tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Drain and mash with butter, salt, and pepper until smooth.

Roasted Turnips


  • Turnips: 1 pound
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper: to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Peel and dice turnips into chunks.
  3. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

These alternatives underscore how turnips can easily be integrated into meals traditionally dominated by potatoes, providing a low-carb and nutritious option that doesn’t compromise on flavor or satisfaction.

Selecting and Storing Turnips

When selecting turnips, look for roots that are firm and smooth with a crisp, fresh appearance. Size can affect flavor; smaller turnips, like Hakurei turnips, tend to be sweeter and more tender. The greens should be brightly colored and free of wilting or yellowing, a sign of freshness.

For storage, the key is to keep turnips in a cool, humid place to maintain freshness. Start by trimming the greens from the roots. Then, clean off any soil from your turnips but avoid washing them to prevent moisture accumulation.

  • Turnip Storage: Wrap the roots in a damp cloth or paper towel and store them in a perforated plastic bag in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
  • Green Storage: Store unwashed greens in a tightly sealed plastic bag in the fridge to preserve nutrients and freshness.

Using turnips in recipes is simple with this straightforward guide:

Glazed TurnipsTurnips, butter, sugar, salt4 turnips, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp sugar, pinch of salt1. Peel and chop turnips into cubes. 2. Melt butter in a pan, stir in sugar and salt. 3. Add turnips and cook until caramelized.
Turnip MashTurnips, milk, butter, salt, pepper3 turnips, 1/4 cup milk, 2 tbsp butter, to taste1. Boil turnips until soft. 2. Drain and mash with milk and butter. 3. Season with salt and pepper.
Roasted TurnipsTurnips, olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme6 turnips, 3 tbsp olive oil, to taste, 1 tsp thyme1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 2. Toss turnips with olive oil and spices. 3. Roast until golden.

Remember to consume stored turnips and greens within a few weeks for optimal taste and nutrient retention.

Basic Turnip Preparation Techniques

Before you start experimenting with turnip recipes, it’s essential to understand the basics of preparing this versatile root vegetable. Master the initial steps of washing, peeling, boiling, steaming, and roasting to ensure your turnip dishes are perfectly cooked and full of flavor.

Washing and Peeling Turnips

Turnips should be thoroughly washed to remove any dirt and residues from their surface. Use a vegetable brush under running water for best results. For peeling, a sharp peeler or a paring knife will help remove the thin skin, revealing the flesh that’s ready for cooking.

Boiling and Steaming

Boiling and steaming are popular methods for softening turnips, which is ideal for mashes or purees. Cut your turnips into uniform chunks, add them to a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt, and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. For steaming, place the turnip pieces in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover, and let steam until they can be easily pierced with a fork.

Simple Turnip Mash:

Turnips3 largePeel, cube, and boil until tender.
Butter2 tablespoonsMash with turnips for richness.
Garlic (minced)1 cloveAdd to turnips while mashing.
SaltTo tasteSeason and serve warm.

Roasting Turnips

Roasting turnips can elevate their natural sweetness and create a deliciously crispy exterior. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut turnips into bite-sized pieces, toss them with olive oil and garlic, and spread them on a baking sheet. Season with salt and roast until they are golden and caramelized, typically around 30-40 minutes.

Roasted Turnip Bites:

Turnips4 mediumPeel, dice, and coat with olive oil in a bowl.
Olive oil2 tablespoonsDrizzle over turnips before roasting.
Garlic (minced)2 clovesMix with turnips prior to cooking.
Salt1 teaspoon or to tasteSprinkle over the turnips on the baking sheet. Roast until tender.

By mastering these basic techniques, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any turnip recipe and enjoy the natural flavors of this root vegetable.

Classic Turnip Recipes

Turnips are a versatile root vegetable that can be enjoyed in many forms. Here, you’ll find recipes for traditional mashed turnips, a warming soup, and aromatic roasted turnips, each with a distinct set of flavors and preparation styles.

Mashed Turnip with Butter

Turnips, peeled and cubed3 cups
Butter4 tablespoons
Salt1 teaspoon
Pepper1/4 teaspoon
Milk or cream (optional)1/4 cup


  1. Boil turnips in salted water until tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  2. Drain well and return to the pot.
  3. Add butter, salt, and pepper.
  4. Mash the turnips with a potato masher until smooth.
  5. Stir in milk or cream for a creamier texture if desired.

Simple Turnip Soup

Turnips, peeled and diced4 cups
Onion, chopped1 medium
Vegetable or chicken broth4 cups
Garlic, minced2 cloves
Olive oil2 tablespoons
Salt and pepperTo taste
Thyme1 teaspoon


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic, sauté until translucent.
  3. Add turnips and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat, add thyme, and simmer until turnips are tender, about 30 minutes.
  6. Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Turnips with Herbs

Turnips, peeled and cut into wedges4 cups
Olive oil3 tablespoons
Rosemary, chopped1 tablespoon
Thyme, chopped1 tablespoon
Garlic, minced3 cloves
Salt and PepperTo taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In a large bowl, toss turnips with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  3. Spread the turnips in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  4. Roast in the oven until golden and tender, about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Innovative Turnip Dishes

When it comes to turnips, there’s more to them than meets the eye. These recipes showcase the root’s versatility, bringing new flair to your table with flavorful gratins, glazes, and mashes that are sure to impress.

Turnip Gratin with Parmesan

Turnips, thinly sliced4 cups
Heavy cream1 cup
Grated Parmesan cheese3/4 cup
Garlic, minced1 clove
Salt1 tsp
Freshly ground black pepper1/2 tsp
Fresh thyme leaves1 tbsp


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a bowl, mix the turnips with cream, half of the Parmesan, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Layer the turnips in a baking dish and sprinkle with thyme and the remaining Parmesan.
  4. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until golden and bubbly.

Sweet and Savory Turnip Glaze

Turnips, cubed3 cups
Butter2 tbsp
Brown sugar3 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar1 tbsp
Salt1/2 tsp
Freshly ground black pepper1/4 tsp


  1. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat and add turnips.
  2. Cook for 10 minutes, then stir in brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  3. Continue to cook until the turnips are tender and coated in a glossy glaze.

Turnip and Carrot Mash

Turnips, peeled and chopped2 cups
Carrots, peeled and chopped2 cups
Butter2 tbsp
Salt1 tsp
Pepper1/4 tsp
Optional: nutmeg1 pinch


  1. Boil turnips and carrots in salted water until soft, about 20 minutes.
  2. Drain and return them to the pot.
  3. Add butter, salt, and pepper (and nutmeg, if using) and mash until smooth.

Turnip in International Cuisine

Turnips are a versatile root vegetable that can be found at the heart of many delicious dishes around the world. From the spicy and tangy flavors in Korean cuisine to the subtleties of Japanese seasonings and the rich spice-infused dishes of India, turnips have carved out a place in international culinary traditions.

Korean Turnip Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish, often made with napa cabbage or radishes, but turnips provide a delicious variation. Known as “chonggak kimchi,” this dish involves pickling young turnips with vibrant spices and flavors.

Young turnips1 poundClean and cut into matchsticks
Coarse sea salt1/2 cupSprinkle over turnips, let sit 2 hrs
Garlic4 cloves, mincedMix with turnips
Ginger1 inch, gratedAdd to the turnip mix
Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)2 tablespoonsCombine with turnips for heat
Fish sauce2 tablespoonsStir into the mix for umami
Green onions1 bunchChop and include for freshness
Sugar1 teaspoonAdd for a hint of sweetness

Mix the prepared turnips with the rest of the ingredients, pack into a jar, and let ferment at room temperature for a few days before moving to the refrigerator. You’ll end up with a crunchy and spicy kimchi that’s perfect as a side dish.

Japanese Miso-glazed Turnips

Miso-glazed turnips are a Japanese delicacy, combining the earthiness of turnips with the sweet and savory notes of miso paste. A simple yet elegant approach to featuring turnips in your meal.

Small turnips1 poundTrim tops and slice
White miso paste2 tablespoonsWhisk with mirin and soy sauce
Mirin1 tablespoonCombine with miso and soy sauce
Soy sauce1 tablespoonMix into miso glaze
Sesame oil1 teaspoonDrizzle over turnips before roasting
Sesame seedsFor garnishSprinkle on before serving

Toss the turnips in the miso mixture, roast until tender, and then broil for a few minutes to caramelize the tops. You’ll be rewarded with a dish that’s subtly sweet with deep umami flavors.

Indian Turnip Dhal

Dhal is a staple in Indian cuisine, commonly made with lentils, peas, or beans. Turnips add a delightful twist, contributing a slight peppery undertone to the hearty and comforting dish.

Turnips1 poundPeel and dice
Red lentils1 cupRinse until water runs clear
Onion1, finely choppedSauté until translucent
Tomatoes2, dicedAdd to onions, cook until soft
Garlic3 cloves, mincedMix in with tomatoes and onions
Mustard seeds1 teaspoonAdd for a pop of flavor
Turmeric1/2 teaspoonStir in for color and health benefits
Garam masala1 teaspoonSeason for warmth and depth
Water3 cupsPour in to cook lentils and turnips

Cook the onion, tomatoes, and spices until aromatic, add the turnips and lentils, pour in the water, and simmer until everything is tender. Serve your turnip dhal with a side of rice or warm flatbread for a nourishing meal.

Special Diets and Turnips

Turnips, being a low-calorie and nutrient-rich root vegetable, cater to various dietary choices ranging from low-carb to vegetarian and gluten-free. Each subsection below offers tailored turnip recipes that align with your dietary needs.

Low-Carb Turnip Options

For those on a low-carb diet, turnips provide a wonderful substitute for starchy vegetables like potatoes. A medium turnip contains only roughly 8 grams of carbohydrates. Here’s a simple yet delicious recipe that fits into your low-carb meal plan:

Roasted Garlic Turnip Mash

Turnips3 medium, peeled and cubed
Garlic4 cloves, minced
Olive oil2 tablespoons
Salt & PepperTo taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Toss turnips with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Roast for 25–30 minutes until tender.
  4. Mash the roasted turnips to your desired consistency.

Vegetarian Turnip Entrees

Turnips are also a great cornerstone for vegetarian entrees, bringing a rich depth of flavor while being low in both calories and fat. A standout vegetarian dish highlights their versatility:

Turnip and Chickpea Stew

Turnips4 medium, diced
Chickpeas1 can (15 oz), drained
Diced Tomatoes1 can (14.5 oz)
Vegetable Broth2 cups
Cumin1 teaspoon
Paprika1 teaspoon


  1. In a large pot, sauté the turnips until slightly golden.
  2. Add cumin and paprika, sauté for another minute.
  3. Add chickpeas, diced tomatoes, and vegetable broth.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes until turnips are soft.

Turnips in Gluten-Free Recipes

Turnips are naturally gluten-free and can be used in a variety of dishes. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and can also provide a modest amount of protein. For a gluten-free recipe, try the following:

Gluten-Free Turnip Gratin

Turnips5 medium, thinly sliced
Heavy Cream1 cup
Grated Parmesan½ cup
Salt & PepperTo taste


  1. Layer the turnip slices in a greased baking dish.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour heavy cream over the turnips.
  4. Sprinkle with grated parmesan.
  5. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 45 minutes until bubbly and golden.

Seasonal Turnip Ideas

Turnips are versatile vegetables that provide a wealth of options for seasonal dishes. Make the most of their peak flavors and complementing ingredients with these curated recipes.

Winter Vegetable Stew with Turnips

Prepare a comforting Winter Vegetable Stew featuring turnips as a robust addition. Gather your ingredients and follow this simple table guide for a hearty winter meal.

Turnips, peeled & cubed2 cups1. Add to the pot during the last 30 minutes.
Carrots, sliced1 cup2. Saute with onions before adding broth.
Onions, diced1/2 cup3. Saute until translucent.
Vegetable broth4 cups4. Use as the stew base; bring to a boil.
Garlic, minced2 cloves5. Combine with onions for flavor base.
Dried thyme1 teaspoon6. Add with broth for herbed seasoning.
Salt & pepperTo taste7. Season your stew and adjust as needed.

Spring Hakurei Turnip Salad

Hakurei Turnips are sweeter and more tender than other varieties, making them perfect for a fresh Spring Salad. Here’s a brief guide to create a light, crisp dish.

Hakurei turnips, sliced3 medium1. Toss raw with the greens for a crisp texture.
Mixed salad greens4 cups2. Use as a base for the salad.
Radishes, thinly sliced1/2 cup3. Add for extra crunch and spiciness.
Olive oil2 tablespoons4. Whisk together with vinegar for the dressing.
Apple cider vinegar1 tablespoon5. Mix with oil, salt, and pepper for tanginess.
Salt & pepperTo taste6. Sprinkle over the salad to season before serving.

Autumn Roasted Root Vegetable Medley

When autumn rolls around, celebrate the harvest with a Roasted Root Vegetable Medley. Try this simple recipe that will bring warmth to your table.

Turnips, peeled & cubed2 cups1. Roast until golden and tender.
Parsnips, peeled & cubed1 cup2. Combine with turnips and other root veggies.
Sweet potatoes, cubed1 cup3. Offer sweetness against the earthy turnips.
Olive oil3 tablespoons4. Toss the vegetables for an even roast.
Fresh rosemary, chopped1 tablespoon5. Add for an aromatic twist.
Salt & pepperTo taste6. Season the medley generously before roasting.

Home Gardening Tips for Turnips

When you’re eager to include turnips in your garden, choosing a location with full sun to partial shade is vital. Your soil should be well-draining and reach a pH between 6.0 and 7.5 for optimal growth.

Planting Turnips:

Begin by loosening the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches and mix in a 2-4 inch layer of compost.

  • Timing: Plant seeds directly in the garden as early as a month before the last expected frost. For a fall harvest, plant them in late summer.
  • Spacing: Sow seeds ½ inch deep and 1 inch apart in rows 12-18 inches apart.

Care Tips:

  • Keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.
  • Thin your turnips to stand 4-6 inches apart once they’re 4 inches tall.
  • Weeding: Be diligent in removing weeds that can compete for nutrients.

Harvesting Turnips:

You can harvest your turnips as soon as they reach the desired size, typically when roots are 2-3 inches in diameter.

Example Recipe: Roasted Turnips

Turnips4 mediumPeel and cut into wedges.
Olive oil2 tbspToss with turnips.
SaltTo tasteSprinkle over turnips.
Black pepperTo tasteAdd to turnips and mix well.
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Spread the turnips on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway, until golden and tender.

Health Benefits of Turnips

Turnips can be a nutritious addition to your diet, offering a range of health benefits from weight management to improved digestive health and potent antioxidant properties. Here’s how incorporating turnips into your meals can contribute to your well-being.

Turnips in Weight Management

Turnips are low in calories and high in dietary fiber, which can help you feel full longer and thus potentially aid in weight management. Their high water content also helps provide volume without the extra calories.

Example Recipe: Simple Turnip Salad

Turnips, thinly sliced2 medium1. Toss sliced turnips in a bowl.
Olive oil1 tablespoon2. Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Lemon juice2 teaspoons3. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top.
Fresh parsley, chopped2 tablespoons4. Garnish with chopped parsley to serve.
Salt and pepperTo taste

Digestive Health and Turnips

Your digestive health can benefit from the dietary fiber in turnips, which helps to regulate bowel movements and support a healthy gut. Regular consumption of fiber-rich foods like turnips can also help to reduce the risk of digestive disorders.

Example Recipe: Turnip and Apple Casserole

Turnips, peeled and sliced3 medium1. Layer sliced turnips and apples in a baking dish.
Apples, peeled and sliced2 large2. Sprinkle cinnamon and spoon small amounts of honey between layers.
Cinnamon1 teaspoon3. Cover with foil and bake until tender.
HoneyAs desired4. Serve warm, either as a side or dessert.

Antioxidant Properties of Turnips

Turnips contain antioxidants, which are compounds that can neutralize harmful free radicals in your body. These antioxidants, including vitamin C, can help protect your cells from damage and support overall health.

Example Recipe: Roasted Turnip Snack

Turnips, cut into wedges4 medium1. Preheat oven and place turnip wedges on a baking sheet.
Olive oil2 tablespoons2. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
Sea saltTo taste3. Roast until golden and crispy.
Black pepperTo taste4. Toss with black pepper and enjoy as a healthy snack.

Frequently Asked Questions About Turnips

What is the nutritional value of turnips?

Turnips are low in calories and a good source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, and fiber. For example, one medium turnip (about 122 grams) provides approximately 34 calories.

How do you prepare turnips for cooking?

First, wash the turnips thoroughly to remove dirt. Peel the skin if it’s tough, although young, tender turnips can be cooked with the skin on. You can chop, dice, slice, mash, or roast them depending on the recipe.

Can you provide an easy turnip recipe?

Absolutely, here’s a simple roasted turnip recipe presented in table form for clarity:

Turnips4 medium1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Olive oil2 tablespoons2. Cut turnips into 1-inch cubes.
Salt½ teaspoon3. Toss turnips with olive oil and salt.
Black pepper¼ teaspoon4. Spread on a baking sheet.
Optional: fresh herbsto taste5. Roast until tender, about 30-35 minutes.

For variety, consider the dish Mashed Peppery Turnips which substitutes potatoes with turnips for a low-carb side.

What type of recipes can turnips be used in?

Turnips are versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes including soups, stews, salads, and side dishes. They can replace potatoes in most recipes for a different flavor and nutritional profile.


Experimenting with turnips in the kitchen can add variety and nutrition to your meals. Below are two tasty turnip recipes that can help diversify your culinary repertoire.

Mashed Peppery TurnipsParmesan Crusted Crushed Turnips
2 lbs turnips, peeled and cubed4 large turnips, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp olive oil2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper, ground1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Salt, to tasteSalt and black pepper, to taste
1. Boil turnips until tender.1. Boil turnips until just tender.
2. Drain and return to pot.2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
3. Add olive oil, garlic, pepper, and salt.3. Crush turnips lightly.
4. Mash to desired consistency.4. Place on baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil.
5. Serve warm.5. Sprinkle with Parmesan, thyme, salt, and pepper.
6. Bake until golden and crisp.

Turnips can be a versatile ingredient in your kitchen. Whether they’re mashed or baked, they provide a healthy alternative to traditional starchy vegetables. Be confident as you incorporate turnips into your side dishes or main courses, and enjoy the subtle, earthy flavors they bring to the table.

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