How to Make Turnips Taste Good

How to Make Turnips Taste Good

Turnips come in such a beautiful shade of purple that it’s wild to think that they are humble roots! Turnips can add so much to the plate.  The only catch is that one has to know what to do with them!  Fret not, this post is here to show you how to make turnips taste good!

Turnips have more flavor than the average potato and a healthy dose of vitamins.  They can be a great addition to anyone’s repertoire, once you know how to make them taste good!


What are Turnips?

These bulb-shaped vegetables are just that, bulbs. Turnips are a root vegetable, related to cauliflower and Brussel sprouts. Raw turnips are almost spicy, but they turn sweeter as they cook.

These little purple veggies may grow underground, but that doesn’t mean they have to taste like dirt! Try some of these fun tips to take these pretty roots to the next level!


How to Cook Turnips

Turnips can be handled similarly to potatoes, then turned up a notch with some tricks! Some of the easiest and most popular ways to cook turnips are boiling, roasting, and air frying.


Cook by Boiling

Start by washing and peeling the turnips. Then chop them into 1cm cubes. Place the cubes in a large stockpot and cover them with salted water.  Bring them to a boil, and simmer. Check for doneness by piercing with a fork; a fully cooked turnip should be soft enough to pierce easily. Once cooked, drain.


Cook by Oven Roasting

To roast, preheat an oven to 400°F, then wash and peel the turnips. In a large bowl, toss the turnips in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread in a flat layer on the sheet pan. Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Check for doneness with the fork test.


Cook by Airfrying

To air fry, set the air fryer to 400°F.  Wash and peel the turnips.  Toss the turnips in a large bowl with a generous amount of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Transfer the turnips to the air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove the turnips, repeat the tossing process, then return the turnips to the air fryer for 10 more minutes.


How to Make Turnips Taste Good

Turnips have big potential to become great, but they need some help!  Cooked turnips can taste earthy and sweet, and when treated well they can be a real star! Try these excellent ideas on how to make turnips taste good!


Mash Them

To mash turnips, chefs will want to start by using the boiling method of cooking. Once drained, add a few pats of butter, a splash of milk, and mash as you would potatoes.


Toss in Some Other Vegetables

When making the roasted turnips, feel free to throw in some other veggies!  Get wild and add whole garlic, Brussel sprouts, and sweet potatoes for a gorgeously warm harvest-inspired side dish.  


Spice Things Up

This trick applies to all cooking methods for turnips, add some spice!  Nobody likes bland food, so add some punch with extra seasonings. Garlic, rosemary, dill, and thyme all bring out the very best in the turnips but don’t be afraid to experiment. Add some chili or hot sauce if you like it hot.

For mashed turnips, add salt at every stage of cooking, but don’t forget the other seasonings, too.  Add spices before mashing, then taste and decide if the dish needs more pow!

For roasted turnips, add some spice with the olive oil before you toss the turnips.  Mix chili, paprika, honey, and oil to make a sweet and spicy roasted turnip.

Whether it’s adding heat or a depth of flavor, spices are a great way to make turnips taste better!


Add Bacon

Some people like to say bacon makes everything better, and that is certainly true of turnips! Add some bacon bits to the mash, or try roasting turnips and bacon together to make a bacon fat-infused turnip that will blow your mind!


Sauce it Up

Adding a drizzle of delicious sauce can make just about any dish taste better, and turnips are no exception.  Try jazzing up your turnip mash with some rich brown gravy.  Douse your roasted turnips in flavor with a creamy aioli or butter sauce. Whichever sauce you choose, it will surely add smoothness and a little something extra to the turnips!


Add in Some Dairy


Don’t be afraid to add some cheese!  Whether chefs are preparing a turnip mash or roasted turnip medley, dairy can only help!  Adding a bit of freshly grated fontina to mashed turnips is a rich delight, and sprinkling roasted turnips with shaved parmesan is delicious! However you like it, you can’t go wrong with dairy!


Try Turnips Raw

It sounds wild, but turnips have a sweet and spicy flavor when raw which can be really fun in salads. The key to eating raw turnips is to cut them very small, so you don’t get a huge bite of the spicy turnip crunch. To try them raw, chefs should cut them as finely as possible and toss them in a salad with a tasty vinaigrette.



How to choose a turnip at the grocery store?

To choose the right turnip, look for greens that are lush (if attached), look for skin without any cuts or bumps, and make sure your turnips have a nice weight.  Small turnips will have a sweeter flavor, so seek out turnips on the smaller side.


Are turnips healthy?

Once beautifully dressed in one of the ways suggested here, turnips can bring some light to the dinner table.  There is a ton of vitamin C in these bulbs and a fair amount of dietary fiber and potassium.  They are a bit high in natural sugars; but overall, turnips are a great side dish and a fun alternative to traditional potato sides.


Final Thoughts

Turnips are the perfect addition to your dinner table, but they might need a little glow-up. Once turnips are all dressed up they are the prettiest plate on the table, and they bring plenty of vitamins. Feel free to go wild with flavor combinations, and really bring out all the tasty flavors of a turnip!


Additional Kitchen Resources

If you loved learning how to level up turnips, try exploring more with these fun ideas!

Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.