These oven roasted turnips are perfectly crispy and served with a melted butter and fresh chive sauce to drizzle on top. A simple yet delicious side dish that’s the perfect alternative to potatoes.
I’ll admit I turned a blind eye to turnips for much of my life.
In fact, that whole section of the grocery store with all the root vegetables, turnips included didn’t get much love from me until I started venturing down the paleo diet path back in 2012.
During those few forays into Whole 30s and eliminating grains from my diet, roasted turnips became a go to for satisfying my need for a carb-like food on my dinner plate.
And let me tell you, oven roasted crispy turnips are just about the next best thing to a roasted potato.
The oven takes a somewhat bitter raw root vegetable and mellows it to a smooth, creamy and satisfying little gem.
If you were turned off to turnips because your mom boiled them to death in your childhood or just have never experienced them hot and crispy out of the oven, I implore you to give this humble vegetable another chance with this recipe.
CHOOSING TURNIPS FOR ROASTING
There are many varieties of turnips out there but the two most common are the white turnip shown here (also called a Harukei or Japanese turnip) and the white and purple turnips sometimes called Globe turnips.
The best turnips for roasting are smaller more tender ones of either variety.
I procured these white turnips at a local farmers market with the stems still attached to most.
If you can find turnips with stems from the turnip greens still attached, grab those!
The stems crisp up in the oven too and are loaded with nutrients as well.
And if you’re lucky enough to get all the greens attached, this sautéed greens recipe is the perfect way to use them up! Or, try this recipe for kohlrabi greens with bacon subbing in the turnip greens instead.
Larger turnips tender to have a fibrous outer layer. This seems to be especially true for the purple and white variety which are closely related to rutabaga.
If those are all you can find in the store, just make sure to chop off any woody ends and peel the turnip before roasting.
Smaller white turnips like these do not need to be peeled before roasting.
If you accidentally grab a rutabaga, no worries – make mashed rutabaga instead!
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE CRISPY ROASTED TURNIPS IN THE OVEN
While this recipe keeps seasonings to a minimum and uses a butter chive sauce for extra flavor, you can season the turnips using any spices you desire.
For the roasted turnips, you’ll need:
- 8 cups chopped turnips, stems attached if possible
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or another high smoke point oil)
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the melted butter chive sauce, you’ll need:
- 1 tablespoon melted butter or ghee (my preference)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
HOW TO ROAST TURNIPS
Start by prepping the turnips.
As mentioned, if any are large and woody, chop off the ends and peel the outer layer.
Otherwise, chop the turnips into bite sized even chunks. Some smaller ones may remain whole while larger ones may need to be cut into eighths or more. Making sure they’re uniform in size helps them roast evenly.
Combine the prepared turnips in a large bowl and add the avocado oil, salt and pepper.
Stir to combine the mixture then spread out onto a large, heavy duty rimmed baking sheet.
Place the turnips in the oven at 425°F using a convection setting if your oven is equipped with it and roast for 25-30 minutes. Toss the turnips halfway through.
Meanwhile, melt the butter or ghee in a small bowl then add the minced chives. Stir to combine and set aside.
Once the turnips have finished roasting and are golden brown, crispy around the edges with tender centers, remove from the oven.
Drizzle the butter chive sauce on top before serving and finish with a pinch of salt.
WHAT DO ROASTED TURNIPS TASTE LIKE?
Like roasted radishes, roasted turnips are truly transformed in flavor by roasting.
They go from a slightly spicy bitter vegetable to one that’s subtly sweet, creamy and nutty all with just 30 minutes in the oven.
It’s really no exaggeration to say they rival roasted potatoes.
In fact, this recipe with the chive butter sauce is very reminiscent of my roasted pesto potatoes. If you have pesto on hand, that would be a great substitute for the chive butter!
I’ve had turnips every which way but I truly think roasting them is the best way to eat them hands down.
The chive butter sauce with this recipe brings a bit of decadence and lots of comfort food flare.
Feel free to use another herb besides chives or skip the sauce altogether. The roasted turnips are that good by themselves, it’s not totally necessary.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ROASTED TURNIPS
Admired for their macro nutrient profile compared to higher-carb vegetables like potatoes, turnips (as well as celery root, kohlrabi and rutabaga) are a great stand in for those looking for a low-carb starchy vegetable.
While they still contain some carbohydrates, at about 6g net carbs per medium sized turnip, they’re significantly lower than all varieties of potatoes and most winter squashes.
Turnips are also a great source of fiber (like most vegetables!) and provide a good source of vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, potassium, calcium and copper.
Turnip greens are also loaded with nutrients and I highly suggest saving them if they’re attached to the turnips you buy.
A great simple way to enjoy turnip greens is to simply sauté in a pan with olive oil, garlic and onions. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes once wilted and enjoy!
In fact, that’s the way I enjoy most leafy greens. It’s basically my simple sautéed Swiss chard recipe just without the tomatoes.
Here’s a fun little tidbit too, did you know dogs can eat turnips? We gave our foster pup, Molly one of these out of the oven (without the butter sauce) and she loved it!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH ROASTED TURNIPS
I personally like to pair roasted turnips with just about anything I’d pair potatoes with.
Beef, chicken, pork and turkey are all great options.
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT
The cooked turnips will keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To reheat, it’s best to transfer turnips to an oven safe dish and place in the oven at 350-400°F until warm, about 10 minutes. You can also do this in a toaster oven if preferred.
I find the oven to be best for reheating and retaining a little bit of the original crispiness.
MORE ROASTED VEGETABLE RECIPES TO TRY
This roasted sunchoke salad is a great way to enjoy this superstar prebiotic vegetable which is actually quite similar to a turnip!
If you want a showstopper, these maple roasted Brussels sprouts on the stalk are the perfect dish. Love this one around the holidays for a centerpiece!
Ever tried roasted romanesco? It’s a fun cruciferous vegetable that’s sort of a mix between cauliflower and broccoli with a prehistoric look to it.
Purple potatoes are one of my newer obsessions. Smashed roasted purple sweet potatoes are stunning in both color and taste.
Crispy Roasted Turnips with Chive Butter Sauce
- 8 cups chopped turnips, 1-2″ stems left intact if possible (*see note)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt plus more for serving
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon melted butter or ghee
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Toss chopped turnips with avocado oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Spread out onto a large rimmed baking sheet in an even layer.
- Roast for 25-30 minutes, tossing once halfway through roasting.
- Mix together the melted butter or ghee and chives in a small bowl.
- Transfer the roasted turnips to a serving platter and drizzle the chive butter sauce on top. Finish with a pinch of additional salt.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.