What Does A Turnip Taste Like? Do Turnips Taste Good?

Turnips are root vegetables that are low in carbohydrates. They are known as a winter vegetable and are often cooked alongside hearty ingredients to form a delicious meal for the whole family.

Otherwise, more often than not, they are easily looked over when it comes to choosing veggies for your next meal, despite their wonderful taste.

What Does A Turnip Taste Like? Do Turnips Taste Good?

They do taste very similar to another favorite vegetable, but we shall get onto that a little later in the article. However, the other veggie is a lot more appealing and bright orange.

So, if you are wondering ‘what does a turnip taste like?’, then look no further. We have all the answers for you. Read on to find out more.

What Are Turnips?

Known as a root vegetable, turnips are a member of the cruciferous family which includes the likes of cabbages, kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, radish, and many more.

Turnips themselves are very easy to maintain and grow. More often than not, they can be harvested within ten weeks of being planted. That is quite fast for a vegetable.

It means that once they are planted mid-to late summer, they are then harvested in the colder months.

They can then be eaten raw, but most people choose to cook them when making dishes at home. The texture changes when cooked, and they are much softer. 

However, the great thing about turnips is that you can eat every part of it, meaning that none of the turnip is wasted. Some people like to eat the greens of a turnip due to the high amount of vitamins within it. 

What Does A Turnip Look Like?

The variety of turnip that is most commonly grown has a sphere shape and is white at the bottom with a purple top. However, the kind you may find at the grocery store will be all white and a long shape.

Some turnips are also green. It basically depends on which variety of turnip that is grown, and where you buy it from. 

The turnips you purchase or grow will be relatively small in size. The smaller turnips are very flavorful, hence the reason they are grown for human consumption.

Turnips that are wider than 3” are often kept to give to livestock. However, large and light turnips can also mean that they are quite old too. 

What Does A Turnip Taste Like?

The taste of a turnip always depends on how you cook them and whether you decide to eat them raw or not. The size of the turnip and when it is harvested can also affect the taste, too.

Generally, a turnip has an earthy and nutty flavor, with an undertone of sweetness. This is due to it being a root vegetable. This means it has a similar profile to that of a carrot.

A smaller and younger turnip is sweeter. This is when they taste the most similar to something like a carrot. When the turnip is small, it means you only need to cook them for a short amount of time.

Smaller turnips also mean you can consume the skin. Even so, you might find this bitter compared to the sweeter inside.

You can eat turnip raw. You will find they are quite juicy, yet also very crunchy. Not everybody likes to eat raw turnips, however eating raw carrot is a lot more common. 

A larger turnip has a similar smell to a radish or even a cabbage. However, the taste is often compared to a potato. As we stated before, larger turnips are often given to livestock to eat. 

As humans we can’t eat raw large turnips because the taste will be so off-putting and difficult to eat. This includes the skin too, which will be very bitter on a large turnip.

How Does A Turnip Compare To Other Cruciferous Veggies?

How Does A Turnip Compare To Other Cruciferous Veggies?

When a person eats a turnip, or even sees one, veggies like radishes and cabbages can spring up in your mind. However, while they have a similar look, they aren’t all the same.

This is because cabbages are not as sweet as something like a turnip. Radishes on the other hand are spicy and have a crunch when eaten.

You can also consume the greens on a turnip. While some people compare these greens to mustard greens, they are both quite different. Mustard greens have a sharpness to them which turnip greens do not.

Also, turnips greens are less spicy compared to mustard greens, though they do have some spiciness to them.

Some people do choose to eat turnip greens raw, rather than cooked. That is absolutely fine, however it is an acquired taste. Not every person enjoys the taste and texture of raw turnip greens. 

The most common reason people use turnip greens is to add them to stews and soups as a complimentary flavor.

Do Turnips Have Health Benefits?

Yes, turnips have a whole host of health benefits. They are rich in the antioxidant known as lutein. This is great for keeping the eyes healthy. 

Turnips are also full of glucosinolates. These are plant-based chemicals which can potentially help to prevent different cancers of the body.

But not just that, it can also help support the balance of blood sugar, and protect a person against very harmful bacteria.

Turnips are also anti-inflammatory. This makes them a great addition to your next dish!

How Do You Cook And Serve A Turnip?

Turnips are a good vegetable to use if you are looking to replace something like a potato, but they also do go well alongside them too. 

Because turnips can be bitter, you will need to cook them well. Here are some ways to achieve a delicious dish with turnips:

  • Mashed turnips – instead of mashed potatoes, you can use mashed turnips. It is a lot healthier too! Boil turnips to soften them in the same way you would potatoes, and mash them alongside seasoning. 
  • Casserole – adding turnips into a casserole with lots of seasoning is a great way to get them into your diet.
  • Turnip greens – if you have leftover turnip greens, chop them up and season them with spices and olive oil. Put them into the refrigerator to marinate and cook them an hour later.
  • Chicken soup – you can add texture to chicken soup by adding in turnips. Cut them into chunks and place them into the broth to cook. You can also add the leaves and the roots for extra nutritional value. 

Final Thoughts

It isn’t surprising that you have stayed away from turnips for this long. They can be an intimidating vegetable, especially if you are not sure what they taste like or how to cook them.

Turnips have a nutty and earthy flavor, that has an undertone of sweetness depending on how they are cooked, and what size the turnip is.

They have lots of nutritional value too, making them the perfect winter veggie to eat in a comforting dish like chicken soup or a meaty casserole. 

If you are looking for a sweet turnip, then always choose a smaller one. You can eat the skin too as it is less bitter. Bigger turnips aren’t as tasty and are given to livestock. 

What Does A Turnip Taste Like? Do Turnips Taste Good?

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Taste Like


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Turnips

  • Ingredients from your favorite recipes


  • Turnips are a good vegetable to use if you are looking to replace something like a potato, but they also do go well alongside them too.
  • Because turnips can be bitter, you will need to cook them well.
Scroll to Top