Creamed Turnips

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.

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


  • 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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  • 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!


  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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. :-)

  • Rebecca H

    I just love turnips, although the orange type. It was the only reason my Grandma made them at Thanksgiving. I’d rather eat turnips than mashed potatoes. Mmmm.


    I was baffled by your comment, orange turnips? Never heard of them. But doing some research on Google revealed that orange turnips go by the name of swede turnips and also rutabagas. We love rutabagas, they’re great in stews. ~Elise