Roasted Turnips

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Roasted turnips are ready in just 20 minutes and make a delicious alternative to potatoes with fewer carbs and calories. The whole family will love them.


If you aren't roasting turnips yet - it's time to start! They come out browned and crispy on the outside and perfectly tender and creamy inside. It's the perfect low carb alternative to potatoes and also makes the best Crispy Turnips Fries.

Turnips are one of those often overlooked vegetables, but it's time to take a second look. When prepared the right way, turnips can be super delicious. Plus they are naturally low in calories, low in carbohydrates, packed with vitamins, and a great alternative to potatoes. Trust when  I say you will want to give roasted turnips a try. They make such a delicious side dish. 

Think turnips are bitter? Turns out, many people who don't like turnips just haven't prepared them the right way. Although turnips can be bitter when raw, when they are roasted, their natural sweetness comes out and they lose their bitter flavor. Coming from the same family as cabbage, turnips have a similar mild flavor. Many people describe the flavor of turnips like a cross between a potato and a cabbage with a touch of spice. Delicious - right?

Another key cutting back on the bitterness, reach for smaller turnips. Young and smaller turnips are naturally sweeter than larger more mature turnips. Always look for small to medium turnips to get the best flavor and make sure to remove the skin. 

Are you ready to jump on the turnip train yet? The possibilities are endless once you get started! You can flavor roasted turnips in so many different ways. They will quickly become a favorite.

Chopped turnips with salt, pepper, and olive oil on a roasting pan.
How to Roast Turnips

Let's start with the basic instructions for how to roast a turnip so that it comes out caramelized, browned, and delicious every time. 

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Clean the turnip to remove any dirt or debris. Then peel your turnip using a sharp vegetable peeler or a sharp knife. 
  3. Cut the turnip into small pieces, about 3/4-1 inch each. This ensures the turnips get tender and caramelized. Larger pieces won't roast quote as well.
  4. Toss the turnips with an oil of your choice - olive oil, coconut oil, safflower oil, vegetable oil, almost anything will work. Then add whatever seasoning you like.
  5. Place on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet (or easy cleanup) and roast for 12-15 minutes until they are browned on the bottom and easily release from the baking sheet. If they stick, they aren't ready to be flipped.
  6. Give the pan a good shake and continue roasting the turnips for 5-7 minutes until tender.
  7. Serve immediately.

Do I have to peel turnips before roasting?

Yes. Turnip skin is tough and bitter. Many times it is also coated in wax to preserve the vegetable during shipping. Therefore, you will always want to remove the peel before roasting the turnips. Turnips can be notoriously difficult to peel, so many people prefer to simply slice off the skin using a sharp knife. Be careful of any tough spots and take your time. A vegetable peeler will also work if it is very sharp. 

What do roasted turnips taste like?

Roasting turnips helps bring out the natural sweetness. The flavor is mild with a hint of spiciness. Most people describe turnips as similar to potatoes with a slight cabbage-like flavor. They come from the same family as cabbage and cauliflower. Younger and less mature turnips tend to be sweeter and less bitter. They are the best option for roasting. And like all roasted vegetables, when they roast at a high temperature, the edges will get browned and caramelized and delicious. We fight over the super browned bits in our house.

How long do turnips last?

Generally, turnips should be used in 1-2 weeks after purchasing them. Although turnips may appear to still be fresh, especially if the skin is coated with wax, turnips can be really bitter when they are old. Keep your turnips in the fridge, unpeeled, until you are ready to use them. After roasting the turnips, the leftovers will stay good for 4-5 days in the fridge. 

Health Benefits of Turnips

Turnips pack in all kinds of health benefits and are really good for you. Plus they are naturally low in carbs, making them a popular alternative to potatoes in the low carb and keto circles. Let's start with the nutritional info. In one cup of turnips, there are just 36 calories and virtually no fat. One cup of turnip has 8 grams of carbohydrates, 2.3 grams of fiber, and 1.2 grams of protein. This is compared to 88 calories and 26 grams of carbohydrates in the same amount of potato.

Now let's talk about the other health benefits of turnips. Turnips are a good source of Vitamin C, calcium, folate, manganese, and potassium. They are also high in fiber, which can help digestion and help to reduce inflammation. 

Roasted turnips with caramelized edges in a white bowl with salt and pepper.

Recipes Ideas for Roasted Turnips

There are so many different ways to flavor roasted turnips. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Balsamic vinegar: I absolutely love adding balsamic vinegar to turnips. Toss them in some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper before roasting. Then drizzle on some extra before serving. So good.
  • Thyme or rosemary: Herbs pair really well with the flavor of turnips. Add some chopped fresh or dried thyme or rosemary to your turnips before roasting.
  • Paprika and cumin: To add a savory and smoky element, toss the turnips with sweet paprika and cumin before roasting. My kids love this option.
  • Garlic and red pepper flakes: I can't get enough spice, so I love adding red pepper flakes and either fresh minced garlic or garlic powder. It's such a tasty combo.
  • Garlic and Parmesan: Toss the turnips with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper before roasting. Then add fresh grated Parmesan before serving. It will melt on to the turnips, so good.
  • Steak seasoning: For some punch, use your favorite steak seasoning. The peppery flavors of the seasoning mix go really well with the natural spice in the turnips.

Tips for Roasting Turnips

  • For the most caramelization, make sure to cut your turnips on the small side. I like them in 3/4 inch- 1inch pieces.
  • Make sure not to crowd the pan and leave some space between the turnip pieces. This is the best way to ensure they roast and get browned.
  • Look for small to medium turnips, which are naturally less bitter. Also, make sure your turnips are fresh. 
  • If you are just starting to eat turnips, you can mix them in with other vegetables like carrots, parsnips, or onions. Just cut everything the same size so it roasts in the same amount of time.
  • Try subbing turnips for potatoes in some of your favorite recipes to save calories and carbohydrates. You can also use half potatoes and half turnips, like in this Skinny Fries recipe.
  • If your turnips seem dry at all after roasting, just toss them with a bit of extra olive oil or melted butter.
The Recipe
Roasted turnips with olive oil in a white bowl with a blue napkin.

Roasted Turnips

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  • 1 lb turnips, peeled and chopped (small to medium sized)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

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Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.


Clean and peel the turnip using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Chop into 3/4-1 inch pieces.


Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can add any other spices or seasoning you like.


Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy clean up). Place the turnips in a single layer, making sure not to crowd the pan.


Roast for 12-15 minutes until browned and caramelized on the bottom. They should easily release from the pan. Shake the pan a few times and return to the oven for 5-7 minutes until tender.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2/3 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 62
Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 518mg
Total Carbohydrate 8g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 4g
Protein 1g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Roasted Turnips
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March 28, 2019 - 15:08
Add a Rating:
I love turnips fixed just about any way. I tried roasting them for the first time last year and was very surprised how it brought out the sweetness. Easy to grow in the garden. It shocks me how expensive they are in the grocery stores. The poor man's potato is what I remember my Mom always telling me. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
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Beverley Parchment
December 20, 2019 - 13:04
It's good to know the benefits of the turnips will have more of it in my diet
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