Turnip Gratin

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Turnip gratin with thinly sliced turnips, bread, onions, and Gruyere cheese baked until bubbly and browned.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

I’m guessing that you are either a turnip lover or not. Turnips aren’t one of those happy-go-lucky neutral vegetables, like green beans for example, that seem to get along with everyone. No, turnips have a bit more “I dare you to eat me” attitude, that unfortunately ends up keeping too many people away from them.

Well, if you are a turnip lover, you should be drooling right now, just with the very concept of this turnip gratin, a casserole layered with thinly sliced, tender turnips, onions, bread, and bubbly browned Gruyere cheese. You will not be disappointed (at least I hope you won’t).

Turnip Gratin

If you fall in the “uh, maybe not, no, no thank you” camp, if there is one recipe that could possibly change your mind, this is it. We have made it 4 times in the last 2 weeks and will likely find its way to our Thanksgiving table this year. So, if you’re on the fence, give it a shot!

Turnip Gratin Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

This recipe serves four, but it can easily be doubled. If you double it, use a 9x13 casserole dish. This recipe works best with young turnips with relatively high moisture. Large old turnips, or storage turnips, that are tougher and drier may need to be blanched for more than 3 minutes.


  • 2 medium sized young turnips (about 1/2 pound total), peeled, and sliced 1/8-1/4 inch thin
  • Olive oil
  • 3-4 slices white bread (enough to make two single layers in the pan), crusts removed
  • A few slices of onion, very thinly sliced, enough to cover the pan in one layer
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8x5 baking pan or casserole dish


1 Preheat oven to 325°F. Blanch the raw turnip slices in salted boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove from water and drain.

2 Coat the inside of the casserole dish with olive oil. Place a layer of bread on the bottom of the casserole dish. Layer on half of the turnip slices in a single layer, season with salt and pepper.

Layer on all of the onions. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Add another layer of bread, turnips, and cheese. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper.

3 Place casserole on top rack of oven. Cook for 25 minutes. For the last few minutes, if you want, and you are using a pan (metal or ceramic) that can safely handle broiling temperatures, broil for a couple minutes to brown the top.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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Showing 4 of 26 Comments

  • Susan

    I have made this dish several times with great success. I have used various white cheeses that are sharp, including Asiago, manchego, aged Gouda and my personal favorite, Prairy Breeze from Iowa. It has small calcium crystals in it and the tiny crunch is amazing. It is available online. Usually I only eat the greens and wondered what to do with the turnips themselves.
    If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, it is terrific reheated with a poached or fried runny egg. The most delicious brunch item ever and your veg friends will love you forever!

  • Sara

    Delish! Subbed provolone because that is what i had on hand. Thank you for sharing :)

  • annie

    This looks good~I’m a turnip lover. I like this because my husband is a “I could care less if turnips were to be extinct” person, but it has everything he loves in it except for turnip. I will definitely give it a try, and even if he doesn’t love it, more left over for me.
    What’s the difference between gratin and scalloped stuff?

    I think in this case there is milk or cream in the scalloped versions that isn’t in the gratin. But don’t hold me to this explanation. I’m not an expert on gratin. ~Elise

  • laurel

    This looks awesome. Well, anything involving melty Gruyere is awesome. Is there a particular reason the bread should be white bread? I never have it around, but if it’s essential I’ll pick some up.

    We always have either Italian or French loaf around, which is why I’m suggesting white bread. Whole wheat bread brings in more flavors, I assume it will work fine with this dish, but don’t know. If you try it, please let us know in the comments how it turns out. ~Elise

  • Marla

    Would this be good with kohlrabi?

    It’s worth a try! ~Elise

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