Cooking with Turnips: Tips for Preparing Delicious Dishes

Looking for a new vegetable to add to your meals? Look no further than turnips! These root vegetables are versatile and easy to cook with. But how can you make them truly delicious? In this article, we’ll share tips for preparing turnips that are sure to impress.

Cooking with Turnips: Tips for Preparing Delicious Dishes | Eat Urban Garden
Cooking with Turnips: Tips for Preparing Delicious Dishes

What Are Turnips?

Turnips are root vegetables that belong to the Brassicaceae family, which includes cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. They are believed to have originated in ancient Europe and Asia and were brought to America by early colonists. Turnips are a popular, versatile vegetable that can be cooked in many different ways. They are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and calcium, making them a nutritious addition to any meal. Turnips have a unique flavor profile, with a slightly sweet and peppery taste, and a texture that is similar to that of a potato.

History of Turnips

The history of turnips can be traced to ancient Greece and Rome where they were known for their medicinal properties. During the Middle Ages, turnips were a popular crop in Europe and were used as a food source during times of famine. They were also used as animal feed and as a source of oil for lamps. Early settlers in America grew turnips as a cash crop and used them as a staple food during the winter months.

Characteristics of Turnips

Turnips are a round, bulbous root vegetable that can range in color from white to purple. They have a firm, white flesh that is similar to that of a potato or a carrot. The skin of a turnip is thin and can be easily peeled with a vegetable peeler. Turnips can be eaten raw or cooked and can be used in a variety of dishes including soups, stews, and casseroles.

  • Turnips are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and calcium.
  • They have a unique flavor profile that is slightly sweet and peppery.
  • Their texture is similar to that of a potato.
  • Turnips can be eaten raw or cooked and used in many different dishes.

What Are the Different Types of Turnips?

Turnips are root vegetables that come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. The most common type is the purple and white, globe-shaped turnip, but there are other varieties with unique characteristics.

1. White Turnips

The most common turnip, white turnips, have a white flesh with a purple or green top. They have a slightly bitter flavor and firm texture, making them perfect for roasting, grilling, or mashing. If you prefer a sweeter taste, you can choose smaller baby turnips that have a milder flavor.

2. Yellow Turnips

Yellow turnips, also known as rutabagas or swedes, have a yellow flesh with a purplish top. They have a sweet and nutty flavor, and their texture is softer and smoother than white turnips. They are ideal for mashing, making turnip fries, or adding to soups and stews.

  • Yellow turnips are high in vitamin C and potassium and can boost your immune system and lower your blood pressure.

3. Hakurei Turnips

Hakurei turnips are small, white turnips with a delicate and sweet flavor. They have a juicy and tender texture and can be eaten raw or cooked. This variety is popular for salads, pickling, or roasting with butter and herbs.

4. Tokyo Turnips

Tokyo turnips, also known as salad turnips, are small and round with white skin and a mild flavor. They have a crunchy texture, and their greens are edible and beneficial for your health. You can eat them raw or cook them with stir-fries, soups, or roasted dishes.

5. Purple-Top Turnips

Purple-top turnips have white and purple skin with a white flesh and a peppery taste. They have a tender and succulent texture, and they are ideal for grilling, oven-roasting, or adding to casseroles and pies.

You can try different turnip varieties and combine them with other root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, or sweet potatoes for a colorful and flavorful dish.

How Do You Select and Store Turnips?

Turnips are a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of different dishes and cooked in different ways. When selecting turnips at your local grocery store or farmer’s market, it’s important to choose the freshest ones available to ensure optimal flavor. Here are some tips for selecting and storing turnips:

Choosing the Freshest Turnips

When selecting turnips, look for ones that are firm to the touch and have a smooth, unblemished skin. Avoid turnips that have any soft spots or signs of decay.

The size of the turnip doesn’t necessarily reflect its quality, but smaller turnips tend to be sweeter and more tender than larger ones.

If you’re purchasing turnips with their greens still attached, make sure the greens look fresh and vibrant. They should be deep green in color, with no signs of wilting or yellowing.

Storing Turnips

Turnips can be stored in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer for up to two weeks. Before storing, remove the greens and place them in a separate plastic bag to prevent moisture from the greens from softening the turnip.

Turnips can also be stored in a cool, dry place such as a pantry or cellar. Make sure they’re stored away from other fruits and vegetables that release ethylene gas, which can cause turnips to spoil faster.

If you’ve cooked too many turnips and have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Leftover turnips can be reheated in the microwave or oven, or used in soups, stews, and casseroles.

How Do You Prepare Turnips for Cooking?

Turnips are a versatile root vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. However, before you can start cooking with turnips, you need to prepare them properly. Here’s how:

1. Wash the Turnips

First things first, give the turnips a good wash. Use your hands to scrub them under cold running water, making sure to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a clean towel.

2. Peel the Turnips

Next, use a vegetable peeler to remove the turnip’s skin. Alternatively, you can use a sharp knife, but be careful not to remove too much of the flesh. If the turnips are small and young, you can leave the skin on for texture and color.

3. Cut the Turnips

Once the turnips are washed and peeled, you can cut them into whatever shape or size you need for your recipe. For roasting, it’s best to cut them into wedges or cubes. For stews, try slicing them into rounds or chunks.

4. Cooking Methods

There are several cooking methods that work well for turnips. Here are a few to try:

Cooking Method
Coat turnips in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in a preheated oven at 400°F for 25-30 minutes, until tender and browned.
Add turnips to a pot of boiling salted water and cook for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Drain and serve.
Heat a little butter or oil in a pan. Add turnips and cook for 10-15 minutes, until tender and golden brown.

Experiment with different cooking methods and seasonings to find your favorite way to cook with turnips.

What Are Some Classic Turnip Recipes?

Turnips are a versatile root vegetable that can be cooked in a variety of ways, making them a great addition to any meal. Here are some classic turnip recipes to inspire your next cooking adventure:

Mashed Turnips

Mashed turnips are a comforting, classic dish that’s easy to make. Simply peel and chop turnips, boil them until fork-tender, and mash with butter, salt, and pepper. Add a splash of cream or milk for added richness if desired. Serve alongside your favorite protein and vegetables for a satisfying meal.

Turnip Fries

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to traditional french fries, turnip fries are a great option. Simply cut turnips into fry-shaped pieces, toss with oil and seasonings of your choice (garlic, paprika, and salt work well), and bake in the oven until crispy. Serve with a dipping sauce like ranch or ketchup.

Turnip Gratin

For a more gourmet turnip dish, try making turnip gratin. Layer thin slices of turnip in a baking dish with cream, garlic, thyme, and parmesan cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbly for a decadent side dish that pairs well with roasted meats or grilled vegetables.

Gingered Turnip Soup

Turnips also work well in soups, and this gingered turnip soup recipe is a crowd-pleaser. Saute diced turnips, onions, and ginger in butter, add chicken broth and simmer until vegetables are tender. Puree with an immersion blender and finish off with a splash of heavy cream and a pinch of cayenne pepper for added heat.

Roasted Turnips with Honey and Thyme

Roasting turnips brings out their natural sweetness, and this recipe takes it up a notch with the addition of honey and thyme. Cut turnips into wedges or cubes, toss with oil, honey, thyme, salt, and pepper, and roast in the oven until tender and caramelized. Serve with roasted meats or alongside other roasted vegetables.

What Are Some Unique Ways to Cook with Turnips?

Turnips are a versatile vegetable that can be used in various dishes and cuisines. Here are some creative ways to cook with turnips.

Create Delicious Turnip Fries

Instead of regular French fries, try making turnip fries as a healthier alternative. Simply slice the turnips into thin strips, toss them with olive oil and your favorite seasonings, and bake them in the oven until crispy and golden brown.

Make a Turnip Gratin

A turnip gratin is a tasty side dish that is perfect for special occasions. Simply layer sliced turnips in a baking dish with cream, garlic, cheese and herbs, and bake in the oven until golden brown and bubbling.

Make a Creamy Turnip Soup

Turnips can make a creamy and satisfying soup that is perfect for a cold winter day. Saute diced onions and turnips until soft, then add broth and simmer until the turnips are tender. Puree the mixture and add cream for added richness.

Create a Turnip and Carrot Slaw

Grate turnips and carrots and toss them with a simple dressing of olive oil, vinegar, sugar and salt for a refreshing and healthy side dish. This is a great option to make instead of traditional coleslaw.

Cook up some Turnip Gnocchi

For a unique twist on traditional gnocchi, try using turnips instead of potatoes. Mix cooked, mashed turnips with flour, egg and salt to form a dough, then shape into small dumplings and cook in boiling water until they float to the surface.

Roast Some Turnip and Sweet Potato Medley

Mix turnips and sweet potatoes together and roast them with some olive oil, salt and pepper. This is an easy and tasty side dish that can go with almost any main course.

Thanks for Reading!

We hope you enjoyed learning about cooking with turnips and gained some useful tips for preparing delicious dishes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and cooking methods to find what works best for your taste buds. Remember to visit our website for more recipes and cooking ideas. Happy cooking!

Cooking with Turnips: Tips for Preparing Delicious Dishes | Eat Urban Garden

Cooking with Turnips: Tips for Preparing Delicious Dishes

Learn about cooking with turnips and gain some useful tips for preparing delicious dishes. Find out different ways to cook turnips, how to store them and some of their health benefits.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 150 kcal


  • 2 large turnips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Peel two large turnips and dice them into 1-inch cubes.
  • Place the turnips in a bowl and drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over them. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Toss well to coat evenly.
  • Arrange the turnips on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender and caramelized.
  • Garnish with 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme and 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley. Serve hot.
Keyword cooking with turnips, turnip recipes, how to cook turnips, healthy recipes

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