The Three Best Ways to Eat Turnips–Turnip Patties, Mashed and Roaste

8 patties
30 min

The three bests ways to eat turnips are seasoned, breaded, and pan-fried into turnip patties, mashed or roasted. Each method is simple and delicious. This post contains affiliate links.

If you remember, we have been getting our produce through Misfits Market. I did a whole post on that here. We have been very pleased with their service. While it is not perfect, and we do occasionally get less than desirable produce, the company is always quick to make it right with a credit for the next order.

One positive benefit is that we are eating a greater variety of veggies. We can get in a rut and just buy the same produce from the store. We are rural and our local selection isn’t always the best. Misfits has helped us to try veggies that we would have otherwise overlooked or ones that we haven’t been exposed to.

Are Turnips Tasty?

This is definitely a matter of opinion and up for debate…even within our home! My exposure to turnips has been the ones we have grown in the garden. Those were kind of spicy and not very pleasant. This leads me to believe that not all turnips are created equal. Some definitely have a more pleasant flavor than others. The turnips we have been getting from Misfits have been a purple top white globe. These are mild and not offensive.

Benefits of Eating Turnips

What are turnips good for anyway? If I am convincing my children to eat a vegetable I always like to know what benefit there is to our bodies. That way they know why they should eat them. I say things like, “I know you don’t like onions that much, but they clean your blood.” or “Beets may not be your favorite, but did you know they are good for your brain?”

So what little gems will I be sharing with my kids about turnips? Well, surprisingly turnips have numerous health benefits. A quick read about turnips shows that they are nearly a cure-all! Turnips are good for your heart, lungs, and bones. They aid in digestion, strengthens your immunity, fights inflammation, improves metabolism, and are good for your eyes. My favorite, and the one I will be sharing with my children at the dinner table…turnips prevent body odor!

Turnips are loaded with nutrients:

  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Beta-Carotene
  • Lutein
  • Fiber
  • Vitamins C, A, & K

How to Cook Turnips

Before you mash the turnips or before you make turnip patties, you must cook them. I have tried two different methods, both yielded similar results.

The first method is to simply peel the turnips and chop them in chunks like you would a potato. Then cover them with water and boil them for about 10 minutes.

The next method was to peel the turnips and cook them whole in the Instant Pot. I put them on the rack with about 2 cups of water. This of course depends on how many turnips you have. I usually have three large turnips. Using the steam setting cook them for about 6 minutes. You can quick release the steam after about 2 minutes, or you can let it release naturally.

A warning about cooking turnips in the Instant Pot. For whatever reason, turnips smell bad when you pressure cook them. Like, everyone who walked through the kitchen was asking…”what are you cooking?” This was said with a very unpleasant look on their face! I didn’t notice the smell nearly as bad when I boiled them. It must just be something about pressure cooking them!

Turnips Mashed

If you get a mild and tasty turnip, they are really quite good cooked and mashed like a potato. Add some butter and a little salt and pepper and I think you will find they are quite good! Super easy and a low-carb substitute for white potatoes. One of the best ways to eat turnips!

Turnip Patties

This is my favorite of the three best ways to eat turnips! After you have cooked the turnips as instructed above, rather than mashing them, you can make them into delicious breaded turnip patties. Follow the instructions below. There are several steps, but believe me, they are worth it!

Drain Excess Liquid from the Turnips

Turnips hold a lot of liquid when you boil or steam them. I let them drain in a strainer for a bit after they were cooked, but found that they were still too wet to patty very well. In order to get the excess liquid out, you can use a tea towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out the excess liquid. The turnips don’t need to be extremely dry, just dry enough to stick together when you make them into a patty.

Sprinkle some seasoned salt approx 1 tsp (we love Johnny’s) into a bowl with the strained turnips and mash it all together.

I actually seasoned before I strained…don’t do that. I didn’t realize how wet they would still be!

Make a Quick Breading

For the breading, I used equal parts bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Depending on how many turnips you have cooked, your amounts will vary. For three large turnips, I used 1/2 Cup shredded parmesan and 1/2 cup bread crumbs. I also sprinkled in about 1/2 tsp garlic salt.

Make the mashed turnips into patties, pat each side with breading.

Pan Fry the Turnip Patties

Now that you have the patties made, melt 2 tbs butter in a cast iron skillet (or whatever you have) on medium-high heat. Cook the patties for a few minutes on each side, until they are golden brown. Don’t rush it, let them get crispy and brown before you flip them. If you rush, they might fall apart.

Roasted Turnips

I am of the belief that roasted vegetables are just about the tastiest thing ever! I have yet to meet a veggie that I don’t like roasted. This is my go-to for simple veggie side dishes. I roast sweet potatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, radishes, white potatoes, squash, cauliflower, parsnips, carrots…you get the point. Roasting the veggies brings out the best flavors!

This is the simplest thing to do as well. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Peel the turnips and chop them into chunks. Put a liberal amount of coconut oil or lard or your oil of choice on a baking dish. Sprinkle liberally with seasoned salt or garlic salt. Again for seasoned salt, we love Johnny’s. Roast uncovered for about 20-25 minutes. Stir them around about 3/4 of the way through. You want the turnips to have some crispy almost burnt edges, trust me!

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Turnips and Five in a Row

We homeschool and use Five in a Row for our younger children. This is a fun way to read great books and learn about geography and different cultures. We try to cook foods that go with the books we read. One of the books is called Down Down the Mountain. The book is all about a little boy and girl that grew turnips to earn enough money to buy some creaky squeaky shoes. We made roasted turnips and ate them while we read the book. So fun!

Best Ways to Eat Turnips

I hope you enjoyed this post on the best ways to eat turnips! Please let me know if you give any of these a try, and tell me honestly if you have been converted to a turnip lover!

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The Three Best Ways to Eat Turnips–Turnip Patties, Mashed and Roaste
Recipe details
  • 8  patties
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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  • 3 large turnips
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • 4 Tbs butter for pan frying

Cook the turnips either in the Instant Pot or boil on the stovetop. First peel the turnips. If you are using the Instant Pot, you can leave the turnips whole. If you are boiling the turnips chop them into chunks like you would for mashed potatoes.For the Instant Pot steam for 6 minutes and either quick release or let it naturally release. For stovetop, boil for approximately 10 minutes or until fork tender.After the turnips are cooked and cooled a bit, strain as much liquid as you can. This is easier to do with a tea towel or cheesecloth. Next, mash the turnips and sprinkle in a tsp of seasoned salt.Using your hands, make the mashed turnips into small patties.Mix ½ cup bread crumbs and ½ cup parmesan cheese add ½ tsp garlic salt. Coat both sides of the turnip patty in the mixed breading.Melt about 4 tbs butter in a skillet.Pan-fry the turnip patties for a few minutes on each side over medium-high heat. Don't flip until nice and golden brown, otherwise, the patty will fall apart. Place on a paper towel-lined plate. Enjoy!
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