Roasted turnips are low-carb and a great change from a regular side of potatoes. Try this recipe for roasted turnips with sage browned butter tonight!
It’s taken all my life to try turnips, but I finally did. Turnips are root vegetables that my mama and daddy never grew in their garden nor did my mama ever cook them. My first recollection of a turnip was at my grandma’s house. Every now and then one would appear on the cart beside the refrigerator where she kept her snacks. The turnip was rather large and I think I recall seeing a turnip cooked once, although I never tried it.
40 years later I tried turnips for the first time. I only wish I had tried them sooner!
What Are Turnips?
Turnips are root vegetables like parsnips, potatoes, beets, carrots, or rutabaga. They are cousins to brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kale. They have white tops with purple bottoms and look similar to rutabaga with a potato-like texture—turnips taste like a spicy cabbage. When I say spicy, I mean similar to a radish. They have edible greens (turnip greens), a Southern cooking staple.
Loaded with vitamins and fiber, turnips are low calorie and low carb, making them a great side dish substitute for potatoes. Learn more about the health benefits of turnips here.
How to Select Turnips
Turnips are in season in the United States during the cooler months in the spring and fall. Look for young, sweet turnips about 2-3 inches in diameter, for the best texture. Shy away from large turnips because they tend to be tough and bitter. Turnips should have a vibrant purple bottom, heavy for their size, free of blemishes, and firm. If the greens are still attached, they should be fresh, bright green, and bushy.
Do You Peel Turnips Before Cooking?
You do not have to peel turnips before cooking smaller turnips. The larger the turnip, the tougher the skin, so I highly recommend you peel large turnips. Peeling them will also reduce the bitterly sharp aftertaste they tend to have when you eat them. Use a vegetable peeler to get the job done a lot easier than a pairing knife.
Ingredients You Need To Make Roasted Turnips
A detailed list of ingredients is provided in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Turnips: You’ll need 1 ½ pounds of fresh medium turnips (5-6 medium size) about 2-3 inches in diameter
- Oil: As always, I prefer extra virgin olive oil, but feel free to use whatever cooking oil you like.
- Seasoning: Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
For the Garlic Sage Brown Butter
- Butter: Use unsalted butter to control the sodium.
- Sage: 5-6 fresh sage leaves. If you can’t find sage, use marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano, savory, tarragon, or a combination of these fresh herbs.
- Garlic: fresh clove smashed to reduce the oils and then removed after the butter has browned. You can add minced garlic if you really love it. I love the flavor but don’t want to chew it.
How to Make Roasted Turnips with Garlic Sage Brown Butter
Detailed instructions are provided in the recipe card at the end of this post.
This side dish comes together quickly, and there is a bit of time savings if you prepare the brown butter during the last 10 minutes or so of roasting the turnips.
- Prepare the Turnips: Cut off the tops of the turnips and peel. If you do not peel, use a vegetable brush to clean the skins. Slice the turnips into quarters. Put the turnips on the foil or parchment-lined baking sheet, toss with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast the Turnips: Use the convection bake setting if your oven has one. It browns the turnips a lot better. If you don’t have a convection bake oven, it’s ok! Bake them until tender, tossing about halfway through.
- Prepare the Garlic Sage Brown Butter: Prepare the brown butter during the last 10 minutes of roasting. Melt the butter and heat it until it becomes fragrant. Carefully drop the sage leaves and smashed garlic clove into the melted butter, swirling or stirring constantly.
- Serve: Remove the brown butter from the heat immediately and discard the garlic clove, leaving the sage leaves. Drizzle the brown butter and sage over the roasted turnips and serve!
How to Store and Reheat Turnips
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days inside an airtight container.
To Freeze: It’s better to freeze the turnips spread out on a sheet pan before putting them together inside a plastic freezer bag. Freezing this way first keeps them from sticking together and helps keep them whole and more presentable when serving from frozen. When the turnips are frozen solid, then put them inside the freezer bag, squeezing as much air out as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating Turnips: Place on a sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees F 5-10 minutes, until heated through from the refrigerator or 20-30 minutes if frozen.
What to Serve with Roasted Turnips
Substitute turnips with anything you would typically pair with potatoes.
- Smoked Pork Chops
- Mustard-Maple Pork Ribeye Roast
- Italian Meatloaf (Revisited)
- Roast Chicken and Vegetables
This roasted turnip recipe is delicious and a great way to change up your side dish rotation.
Making this dish? We’d love your feedback. Leave us a comment and a star rating below. We value your opinion and appreciate your time.
See ya on the mountain!
Roasted Turnips with Garlic Sage Brown Butter
- 1 ½ pounds turnips medium about 2-3 inches in diameter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
For the Garlic Sage Brown Butter
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 fresh sage leaves
- 1 clove garlic smashed
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Use the convection bake setting if you have it. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment (optional for easy clean up).
- Cut off the tops of the turnips and peel. If you do not peel, use a vegetable brush to clean the skins. Slice the turnips into quarters.
- Put the turnips on the prepared sheet pan, toss with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake in the preheated oven until tender about 30-35 minutes, tossing about halfway through.
- During the last 10 minutes of roasting, prepare the brown butter. Melt the butter over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes until the butter starts to become fragrant. Carefully drop in the sage leaves and smashed garlic clove. Swirl or stir the melted butter constantly for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from the heat immediately and discard the garlic clove, leaving the sage leaves. Drizzle the brown butter and sage over the roasted turnips and serve!