Easy Delicious Mashed Turnips

Mashed turnips in two serving dishes

The Spruce


Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
72 Calories
5g Fat
6g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 204mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 13mg 66%
Calcium 56mg 4%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 222mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Mashed turnips are a less starchy, more sharply flavored alternative to mashed potatoes. They have a bit of bite that is delightful alongside roasted meats of all kinds and are particularly well-suited to serving with lamb. "Neeps," as they call them in Scotland, is a prized side dish served with hearty stews and other slow-cooked and meat dishes.

Because turnips don't have the same level of starch as potatoes, you don't have to worry about over-mashing them and making them gluey. This also means they don't have the same fluffy texture as potatoes, and yes, they can be a bit bitter in comparison to potatoes. Mashed turnips, however, offer a pleasant, creamy texture that makes a nice side dish or base for roasted meat or vegetables.


Watch Now: Easy and Delicious Mashed Turnip Recipe


  • 2 pounds turnips

  • Fine sea salt, to taste

  • 1/2 cup whole milk or cream

  • 3 tablespoons butter

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for mashed turnips

    The Spruce

  2. Rinse and peel the turnips. Cut them into large, even pieces, which will help ensure that they cook at the same rate. Put the turnip chunks in a pot, cover them with cold water, and bring to a boil. Salt the water.

    Peeled and cut turnips in a pot of cold water
    The Spruce
  3. Cook the turnips until they're very tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 to 15 minutes after the water comes to a boil.

    Turnips cooked until tender and pierced with a fork
    The Spruce 
  4. Meanwhile, gently heat the milk in a saucepan over low heat (or in a microwave-safe container for 15 seconds at a time on high power). Add the butter and melt it into the milk. Set aside.

    Melted butter with milk in a saucepan
    The Spruce 
  5. Drain the turnips thoroughly, return them to the pot, placing it over medium-low heat. Shake the pot slowly, but constantly, to keep the turnips moving (but not browning), for about 3 minutes to dry them out a bit. This will prevent them from becoming watery.

  6. Mash the turnips until they're as smooth as possible.

    Mashed turnips in a white bowl with a serving spoon and butter alongside

    The Spruce

  7. Stir the warmed milk and melted butter into the mashed turnips. Add salt to taste; don't be shy, salt is the key to bringing out the best in all root vegetables. Serve hot. Enjoy!

    Mashed turnips in two pale green serving dishes

    The Spruce


  • You can mash these in more aggressive ways without worrying about them getting gummy—they've got less starch than potatoes. If you have a ricer, use it to "mash" the boiled turnips for a fabulously even texture. You can pulse them in a food processor or use a hand mixer to mash them.
  • Know that mashed turnips are not as fluffy as mashed potatoes, so don't think you can serve them without people knowing you've made the switch! For a fluffier texture and a less intense turnip taste, substitute a few potatoes for some of the turnips.
  • To make ahead of time: Transfer the mashed turnips to a casserole or other baking dish, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to eat, simply heat up in a hot oven (uncovered for a browned top).

How to Store Mashed Turnips

Mashed turnips will keep for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator in a covered container. To reheat, simply return them a saucepan over medium-low heat, adding a little bit of water, milk, or cream to thin it out if need be. You can also microwave them for a minute or so until they're hot.

These turnips will also freeze well, too, for up to 3 months. Simply transfer to them to a freezer-safe container and leave about an inch of headspace. Thaw in the fridge or in the microwave when ready to use.