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The 5 Best Substitutes for Turnips

Wondering how to cook turnips? This winter root vegetable is surprisingly versatile—it can be oven-roasted, mashed, or even eaten raw.

While its flavor is slightly bitter, turnips can be a delicious and healthy addition to any meal.

They’re also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Not a fan of turnips? Here are five substitutes that will give your dish the same flavor and texture: rutabagas, parsnips, celeriac, kohlrabi, or carrots.

Give one of these a try next time you’re looking for a way to add some extra flavor and nutrition to your meal.

What’s Turnip?

You may be wondering, what exactly is a turnip? Turnips are root vegetable that is part of the brassica family, which also includes vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Though they are often thought of as being white or pale in color, turnips can actually come in a variety of colors, including yellow, purple, and red.

When it comes to taste and texture, turnips are slightly sweet and crunchy.

They can be enjoyed raw, roasted, mashed, or even pickled.

Turnips have a long history and were actually one of the first vegetables to be cultivated.

They are native to Europe and Asia and have been grown for thousands of years.

In ancient times, turnips were mostly used as animal feed.

However, over time people began to realize how versatile and delicious they could be.

Today, turnips are enjoyed all over the world and can be found in many different dishes.

So next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to pick up a few turnips and give them a try.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Turnips

If you’re not a fan of turnips or just can’t find them at your local grocery store, don’t worry.

There are plenty of substitutes that will work just as well in your recipe.

Here are the five best substitutes for turnips:

1 – Rutabagas

Rutabagas, also known as Swedes or yellow turnips, are a root vegetable that’s often overlooked in favor of its close relative, the turnip.

However, rutabagas offer a unique flavor and texture that make them worth seeking out.

Rutabagas are larger and sweeter than turnips, with a creamy white flesh that has a mild cabbage-like flavor.

When cooked, they can be used as a replacement for potatoes or other starchy vegetables.

They can be roasted, mashed, or puréed, and they make an excellent addition to soup or stew.

If you’re looking for a new root vegetable to try, consider giving rutabagas a chance.

2 – Parsnips

Parsnips are root vegetables that look like creamy white carrots.

They have a sweet, nutty flavor and a slightly fibrous texture.

When cooked, they can be mashable like potatoes or roasted until crispy.

Parsnips can be used as a substitute for turnips in many recipes.

When boiled or roasted, their sweetness becomes more pronounced, and they make a delicious side dish.

Try roasting them with carrots and potatoes for a classic winter root veggie medley.

Or, for something different, try pureeing them into a soup or using them in place of pumpkin in a spice cake.

Parsnips are versatile and delicious vegetables that are worth exploring.

3 – Celeriac

Celeriac, also known as celery root, is a knob-shaped root vegetable that has a creamy white flesh with a mild, celery-like flavor.

Its texture is similar to that of a turnip, but it is slightly more starchy.

Celeriac can be eaten raw or cooked, and it makes an excellent substitute for turnips in many recipes.

When raw, celeriac can be shredded and used in salads or slaws.

It can also be diced and roasted or pureed and used as a thickener for soup.

When cooked, celeriac becomes tender and sweet, making it a delicious addition to mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables.

4 – Carrots

Carrots are a type of root vegetable that is typically orange in color, although they can also be white, yellow, or purple.

The taste is generally sweet, and the texture is crunchy.

Carrots are often used in salads and as a dipping Vegetable, but they can also be cooked in a variety of ways.

When substituting carrots for turnips, it is important to keep in mind that the two vegetables have different textures.

Turnips are usually crisper than carrots, so they may not be suitable for all recipes.

However, if you are looking for a vegetable with a similar flavor and sweetness, then carrots are a good option.

5 – Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a root vegetable that resembles a turnip but with a milder flavor.

It can be eaten raw or cooked and is often used as a substitute for turnips in recipes.

When raw, kohlrabi has a crisp texture similar to that of cucumber or apple.

When cooked, it becomes tender and can be mashed like potatoes.

Kohlrabi is an excellent source of vitamins C and B6, as well as fiber and potassium.

It is also low in calories and fat-free.

To substitute kohlrabi for turnips in a recipe, simply dice or slice the kohlrabi into the desired size and shape.

Then, add it to the dish in place of the turnips.

For best results, cook the kohlrabi until it is tender before serving.


In conclusion, there are many different substitutes that can be used for turnips in recipes.

Rutabagas, parsnips, celeriac, carrots, and kohlrabi are all good options.

Each of these vegetables has a unique flavor and texture that can add interest to your dishes.

So, next time you are looking for a new root vegetable to try, consider one of these five substitutes for turnips.

You may be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Turnips

The 5 Best Substitutes for Turnips
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Rutabagas
  • Parsnips
  • Celeriac
  • Carrots
  • Kohlrabi


  1. Select your favorite sides from the list above.
  2. Prepare the side dish according to the recipe instructions.
  3. If you're short on time, some of these can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
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