Mashed Turnips

Mashed turnips in a bowl
Diana Miller/Getty Images
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2 cups (4 servings)

Turnips may get a bad rap, but they're absolutely delicious when cooked properly. This recipe mashes turnips with the richness of butter and sweetens the dish with a hint of sugar. The taste is amazing and enough to convert any turnip non-believers in your family!

The mashed turnips make an excellent side dish and alternative to mashed potatoes, particularly during the cold season when the root vegetable is at its best. Serve it alongside chicken or pork dishes and a salad for a healthy, well-balanced dinner.


  • 1 pinch Kosher salt
  • 1 pound turnips (peeled and cut into a large dice)
  • 2–3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the turnips. Cook until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

  3. Drain water from the turnips, and place them back into the pot. Add butter, sugar, pepper, and salt.

  4. Using a potato masher, mash the turnips with the butter and seasonings until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

  5. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Tips

  • Use a knife to check the tenderness of the turnips.
  • The turnips you select can have a big impact on the flavor of this dish and turnips are known to be somewhat "hot." Generally, if you want a soft, delicate flavor, choose small, young turnips. The older and larger the turnip the more flavorful it will be. Cooking does mellow the flavor considerably, but you'll still notice the difference.
  • It's easy to turn the mashed turnips into a vegan dish. Simply use vegan margarine or a similar dairy-free substitute for the butter.

Recipe Variations

  • A variety of herbs and spices can be added to the mashed turnips. Try a couple tablespoons of finely chopped sage or rosemary, a clove or two of garlic, or a pinch of paprika or ginger.
  • If your turnips came with the greens, don't throw them away! Rinse and chop the turnip greens and add them while mashing.
  • For a slightly creamier mashed turnip, add a heaping tablespoon of sour cream with the butter.
  • Add other root vegetables, such as a carrot, potato, rutabaga, or parsnip, to the boiling water if you like.