Roasted Turnips are a delicious way to enjoy turnips. Simply toss with olive oil, honey, thyme, salt, and pepper and roast until tender and caramelized!
This Roasted Turnips recipe is easy to prepare, and is simply the most flavorful, sweetest way to cook turnips. Read on for the full recipe and more ideas for preparing turnips!
Why Make This Recipe
- Great Winter Vegetable Option: Turnips can be easily stored, so they are readily available in winter when seasonal vegetables are scarce.
- Turnips are Good for You!: Turnips are low-calorie and low-carb, and are a good source of Vitamin C, calcium, and fiber.
- Inexpensive Side Dish: You will not spend a fortune at the farmers’ market to go home with a couple of pounds of purple top turnips.
- Turnips: You can use any kind of turnip for this roasted turnip recipe. Purple top turnips are the most common type of turnips, though there are several different varieties. When buying turnips, smaller ones are generally less fibrous than larger ones. Look for smooth turnips without wrinkled skin.
- Olive Oil: Use a mild olive oil for roasting, or replace it with canola or grapeseed oil.
- Honey: Adding honey gives you the sweet roasted turnips you're looking for. You could replace the honey with maple syrup if you wanted a vegan version of this recipe.
- Thyme: I love the flavor of fresh herbs combined with roasted vegetables. Thyme is delicious in this recipe, but you could try rosemary or sage as well.
🥣 Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius or 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Peel 2 pounds of turnips, then cut turnips into bite-sized chunks. Baby turnips can be left whole.
3. Toss with 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon honey, 2 fresh thyme springs, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl.
4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and distribute turnips and thyme sprigs in a single layer on the sheet.
5. Roast turnips for 20 minutes, then stir. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, and test with a fork to see if they are fully tender.
6. Remove from oven when done, and discard thyme sprigs.
🧐 Recipe FAQs for Honey Roasted Turnips
Never had a turnip? Their flavor can be a bit sharp and/or bitter, especially when raw. But roasting brings out their sweetness, and they end up tasting a bit like a potato crossed with a radish. Smaller turnips (harvested early), are usually sweeter than older/larger turnips.
Turnips are generally planted either in the spring, for summer harvest, or in late summer. In the spring, turnips are often harvested early, when they are small. Eat them within a week for the sweetest flavor. Turnips planted in late summer are harvested just before the first frost, and are often hardy enough to store in a refrigerator or a root cellar throughout the winter. (That said, turnips do become bitter as they age, so for best flavor, use within a couple of weeks of purchasing or harvesting.)
You don’t need to peel baby turnips, just scrub them. With larger turnips, however, peeling them is a good idea because the skin is fibrous and hard to chew. You can either use a sharp vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, as turnip skin can be difficult to peel.
Turnips belong to the cruciferous family, which also includes kale, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. They are a root vegetable whose greens are also safe to eat. Low in calories, turnips are a good source of fiber, Vitamin C, calcium, and folate. Turnip greens are an even better source of nutritional benefits, as they also contain high amounts of Vitamin K and Provitamin A. Since turnips are low in carbohydrates, they can be a good replacement for potatoes (or substitute some turnips within your mashed potato recipe).
👩🍳 Expert Tips
The trickiest part of this recipe (and it's not tricky at all!) is making sure your turnips are cut in the same size chunks. Purple top turnips can be larger than yellow turnips, so take care to cut them down to the same size. You can also easily roast other root vegetables along with your turnips, such as carrots, parsnips, beets, or potatoes. Just make sure all the vegetables are cut about the same size. Otherwise, the larger chunks may still be raw when the smaller pieces are full cooked.
These honey glazed turnips are extremely easy to make, and this recipe is quite flexible. You can jazz it up by adding spices like garlic salt, paprika, smoked paprika, pimente d’espelette, cumin, or red pepper flakes. Try adding some balsamic vinegar before roasting, or just before serving. You can also take out the honey if you prefer—I like it because it reminds me of the popular French technique of cooking turnips with butter and a bit of sugar to counteract some of the sharp turnip flavor.
This is a perfect side dish with many kinds of main courses, though my favorite might be to serve this with a roast chicken or rotisserie chicken. But they would also work in a grain bowl like my Ramen Egg Rice Bowl or my Parmesan Pearl Barley Grain Bowl. And, serving them with a runny egg on top next to this Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad would be truly delicious.
How to Cook Turnips
If you are looking for other turnip recipes, here are some ideas for you:
- mashed (either alone or combined with potatoes): great low carb alternative to potatoes!
- chips (slice thinly with mandoline before baking or frying)
- soup (cook in vegetable or chicken broth with or without potatoes, then purée)
- stew (include as one of the vegetables in your beef or chicken stew)
- roasted with chicken or duck (turnips easily—and deliciously—absorb fat in a dish, which is why they are often served with duck confit in France)
- baked or fried in French fry form
- salad (slice thinly and serve with greens and other salad fixins)
- boiled and then sautéed with a glaze of butter and sugar (très populaire en France!)
- grated and combined with cabbage in coleslaw
And don’t forget sautéeing those healthy turnip greens, if they came with your turnips!
Other Roasted Vegetable Recipes
If you’re looking for other recipes for roasted vegetables, be sure to check out some of my favorites here on the site:
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below—I read them all, and your feedback is invaluable to me. And please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook or subscribe to my newsletter. I'd love to inspire you with more delicious, healthy, and seasonal recipes!
📖 Recipe Card
- 2 pounds turnips, preferably small-medium
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground cracked pepper
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius or 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel turnips, then slice into bite-sized chunks. Baby turnips can be left whole.
- Toss with olive oil, honey, fresh thyme springs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and distribute turnips in a single layer on the sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then stir.
- Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until tender and lightly browned.
- Remove from oven when done, and discard thyme sprigs before serving.
Ingredient Tips: You can use any size and any type turnips for this recipe, but note that large turnips can be tougher and more bitter than smaller turnips. Whichever you choose, make sure you cut them into the same size chunks.
Recipe Tips: You can jazz up this recipe by adding spices like garlic salt, paprika, smoked paprika, pimente d’espelette, cumin, or red pepper flakes. Or try adding some balsamic vinegar before roasting, or just before serving.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 52Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information is provided as a general reference for users courtesy of the online nutrition calculator Nutritionix.