Mashed Turnips

5 Stars (2 Reviews) 2 Comments

Mashed turnips offer a delightful alternative to traditional mashed potatoes, boasting a creamy, fluffy and buttery texture that are begging to be smothered in gravy or more butter.

This mashed turnip recipe offers a low carb alternative to the classic mashed potato dish. With a few additions, including a unique method to neutralize the bitterness from the tuber, you’ll be making this potato replacement over mashed cauliflower every time.

Two pats of butter melting over a bowl of mashed turnips.

Turnips are in the tuber family just like potatoes. Unlike a potato, it is considered a non-starchy vegetable so it has less carbohydrates compared to a russet potato.

How to remove bitter taste from turnips?

Turnips can be bitter. It’s a common complaint and why they aren’t very popular. However, there are a couple of tricks you can to do eliminate this unpleasant flavor.

  • Use small turnipsSmaller turnips tend to be sweeter compared to the larger turnips. Larger turnips taste bitter.
  • Add a potato – Don’t worry, we aren’t mashing a potato in this recipe. Adding a half a potato to the diced turnips while they are boiling helps to absorb the natural bitter flavor from the turnip. Once the turnips are softened, the potato gets tossed.
  • Dry cookThe cooking liquid can contain much of that bitter flavor. After the turnips are cooked, drain the liquid. Then return the turnips to the pot and dry cook them over the stovetop to cook off any remaining moisture.
  • Add fat – Adding butter and heavy cream to the mashed turnips helps to counteract the bitter flavor from the turnips. If you find your turnip mash still tastes bitter, add more fat.
  • Add sweetnessA tablespoon or two of sweetener will decrease the bitterness from the turnips. This works similar to adding sugar to bitter chocolate you don’t taste the bitterness at all after that!


How to make mashed turnips

  1. Prepare the turnips. Peel turnips using a paring knife or vegetable peeler. Then dice into small pieces. The smaller cuts will soften faster when boiled.
  2. Boil until softened. Add diced turnips to a large pot. Pour in chicken broth and add enough water to cover the turnips. Drop a half a sliced russet potato into the turnip water. Bring to a boil, then let simmer until turnips are softened. Drain and remove the potato. Return turnips to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until remaining moisture and liquid is cooked off.
  3. Mash ’em up. Add cooked turnips to a blender or food processor along with butter, cream, pepper and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  4. Garnish. Top with more butter, chopped parsley and cracked pepper. Or pour on your favorite gravy.

Mashed Turnips Recipe Video

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Mashed Turnips Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds small turnips
  • 1/2 of a medium-large russet potato, skin on
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt to taste

Mashed Turnips Directions

  • Mashed Turnips
  • A wood spoon inside a dish filled with mashed turnips.


    Besides the basics of butter, cream, salt and pepper, consider adding the following to give your mashed potato equivalents more flavor.

    Add cheese

    Cheese will add more savory & salty flavor, nuttiness, and will help reduce any leftover bitter flavor from the turnips. For cheeses, try any of the following: grated parmesan, cream cheese, gruyere, gouda or mozzarella.

    Flavor enhancers

    For a pop of flavor, add crumbled bacon, crispy shallots, roasted garlic or garlic powder, sprinkle of nutmeg or paprika.

    Fresh herbs

    Herbs like parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano and basil can add a subtle earthy taste to the turnips.

    Can I make this dairy free?

    For a vegan or dairy free option, make the following substitutions to these keto mashed potatoes.

    Instead of chicken broth

    Use vegetable broth or water. Vegetable broth is preferred over water since it will add extra flavor to the side dish.

    Instead of butter

    For a dairy-option, use ghee. If vegan, use olive oil to add fat along with flavor.

    Instead of cream

    To replace the heavy cream, use a nut milk like macadamia nut milk, coconut milk or coconut cream, almond milk or hemp seed milk (if allergic to nuts).

    Whole turnips on a cutting board with a half a potato, butter, salt and pepper, cream and chicken broth.

    Storage information


    Allow the mashed turnips to cool to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container and into the refrigerator. Can be stored for 3-5 days. 


    If you need to keep them longer, you can freeze this side dish. To freeze, transfer turnip mash to a freezer-safe container or ziploc bag. Be sure to leave space at the top for expansion when frozen. Freeze up to 1 year. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in microwave or stovetop. If texture is watery, cook until excess moisture if cooked off. If texture is gritty, add more cream or butter to restore the creamy texture.

    Mashed Turnips: FAQS

    What do turnips taste like?

    Raw turnips have a peppery and somewhat subtly sweet flavor (especially young, smaller turnips). Large turnips can be bitter. When cooked, turnips develop a rich, earthy flavor with a slight nuttiness.

    What can I use in place of the potato?

    If you don't have a potato, you can omit this step. After you have prepared the mashed turnips, if they are still bitter, just add more butter, cream or a tablespoon of sweetener.

    Can I cook turnips in the microwave?

    Yes! You can use the microwave to cook turnips by adding the diced turnips to a large microwave safe dish. Add about 1/3 - 1/2 cup chicken broth or water. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 8-10 minutes or until softened.

    Nutritional information & Macros

    Nutrition Information

    Mashed Turnips

    Servings: 6

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 122
    Fat 9.6g
    Protein 1.2g
    Total Carbs 7.5g
    Net Carbs 5.5g

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    1. Totally delicious, and so much fun to make and eat! This really is silky smooth, and maybe it’s just the small turnips we get here in the UK, but they did not seem bitter to me at all – next time I might just skip the potato. The amount of butter and cream is just perfect, and I added a little parsley on top for some oomph. Next time I’ll try the other suggestions of garlic (maybe even black garlic!), and maybe even paprika? Thanks for a great recipe, Annie, this one is a keeper!

    2. I didn’t follow the recipe so I’m not leaving a rating for that, but I used your suggestion about the potato. OMG, what a difference that makes. Thank you so much!

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