Creamed Turnips

Side DishVegetarianTurnip

Mashed, creamed turnips recipe with turnips, milk, butter, cream, cloves, and nutmeg.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

People either love turnips or they hate them. And if they love them, it was probably an acquired taste.

I can still remember making a face when thinking I was biting into a yummy potato in one of my mother’s stews I had speared a turnip instead.

Yet this dish is another proof point that almost all things taste better with butter and cream!

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Creamed Turnips Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serve 6-8 as a side dish

We have used older, larger turnips for this recipe. Older turnips are stronger in flavor, more bitter, and drier than young turnips. If you use younger, smaller turnips, they may be sweeter and a bit more watery, so you might want to use less cream. If the turnips are too bitter for your taste, try adding a little sugar at the end to balance the bitter.


  • 3 pounds turnips
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste


1 Boil the turnips, then drain: Peel and cut the turnips into large chunks. In a large saucepan of boiling water, add the tablespoon of salt, the peppercorns, cloves and bay leaves.

You may want to tie the spices into a sachet or cheesecloth bag — this makes it easier to remove them later.

Boil turnips until tender, 15 to 20 minutes, then drain and remove the spices.

2 Add cream, simmer, then mash: Return the turnips to the pot they boiled in and add the cream. Turn the burner to medium-low. Bring this to a gentle simmer and mash the turnips with a potato masher.

3 Add seasonings: Add the white pepper, the teaspoon of salt and freshly grated nutmeg to taste and serve at once.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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7 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. patti

    I followed recipe, using the white turnips, and sadly I disliked it. I guess they really took on a strong flavor with the cloves, and it overpowered the entire dish for me. It is still sitting on top of the stove 12 hours later, lol. I usually never have an epic cooking fail- this was one.


    Show Replies (1)
  2. lizard

    Creamed turnips are AWESOME! My grandmother got us to eat them when we were pretty young. Her secret is putting a tbsp sugar in the water when you boil it. Helps tame them, but does not leave a sweet taste whatsoever. She did this with cauliflour, parsnips, broccoli and squash, too. Try it on your pickier eaters, you’d be surprised!

  3. Jennifer

    Just made this using 1% instead of cream (did not have cream in the house) and it turned out wonderful! This will be a holiday dish for sure as well! Love turnips!


  4. lavenderwolf

    My auntie used to make them, including tiny apples from her chicagoland apple tree in Hillside, IL and I’ve never seen them any where since then. Thank you.

  5. Karell

    I disagree! I remember being taken to a family friend’s house and served them when I was young. The bitter spiciness of mashed turnips and potatoes together just dumbfounded me, I thought it was so good. Acquired taste indeed! Hmph. :-)

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