No-Waste Bacony Turnip Greens And Mash Recipe

Recipe developer Rachel Steiner enjoys shopping in farmer's markets and then putting the produce to full use. "I strive to embrace the no-waste mentality for all the ingredients I use," she says about her sustainable cooking philosophy. In this particular recipe, she's showing you what to make with your turnips that still have the greens attached. Besides being waste-free, this dish "balances bacon-y acidic braised greens with buttery mashed turnips," Steiner says, and it has the added benefit of being easy to put together.

While Steiner admits that "Japanese turnips aren't traditionally used in a braised turnip greens recipe," she prefers to use them here because she finds their greens to be more tender than the ones attached to standard purple turnips. If purple top white globe turnips are all you can find, though, she says you can certainly use those as long as you cook the greens for a longer time.

Assemble the ingredients for no-waste bacon-y turnip greens and mash

In addition to the turnips (roots, greens, and all), you'll of course need some bacon to deliver on the "bacon-y" component referenced in the name of the recipe. The rest of the flavor comes from an onion, some vegetable stock, apple cider vinegar, salt, butter, and milk.

Fry the bacon

First step: Cut the bacon slices into pieces, then fry them up in a pan. After about 10 to 12 minutes, they should be sufficiently crispy and crumbly, as this low and slow method is the best way to render bacon fat. Remove the bacon from the pan and let it drain on a paper towel-lined surface, but don't get rid of the fat in the frying pan — this no-waste recipe means we'll use it in the next step.

Cook the onions and turnip greens

You guessed it: you'll use the bacon fat to fry the onions and, later, the greens. While the onions cook in the pan, chop up the turnip greens into bite-size pieces. Once the onions have softened up a bit, which should take 3 to 5 minutes, toss in the greens, stir in the stock, and let everything come to a boil. At this point, you'll plop on a lid, turn down the heat, and simmer the greens for about 45 minutes to an hour until they are very soft and beginning to fall apart. (If you're using purple turnips instead of the Japanese kind, Steiner advises cooking the greens for an additional 30 minutes.)

Boil and mash the turnip roots

While the turnip greens are simmering away, you can start cooking the roots. Chop them into cubes and boil them in salted water for 10 to 15 minutes until you can easily stick a fork in them; they may need more or less time depending on their size. Once the roots are done, turn off the heat, drain out the water, and put the roots back into the pot with butter and milk. Mash the roots up until they have a similar texture to that of lumpy mashed potatoes, then season them with salt to taste.

Top the mashed turnips with the bacon-y greens

And now, back to the turnip greens. Once they're done braising, turn off the heat and stir in the cooked bacon bits, vinegar, and as much salt as you like. Use the cooked greens as a soft, unctuous, flavorful topping for the mild and creamy mashed turnips.

No-Waste Bacony Turnip Greens And Mash Recipe
5 from 28 ratings
Don't throw away those turnip tops! These versatile greens can be braised until tender for a tasty topping over creamy mashed turnips.
Prep Time
Cook Time
mashed turnips with turnip greens
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • 12 ounces bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 turnips, divided into roots and greens
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup milk
  1. Fry the chopped bacon over medium-high heat for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's crispy and the fat is rendered. Drain the cooked bacon on paper towels and set aside.
  2. Fry the onions in the bacon fat for 3 to 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Chop the turnip greens into small pieces, then stir them into the onions.
  4. Add the vegetable stock to the pan, bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat to low. Simmer the greens for 45 minutes to an hour until they have nearly broken down. (This will take closer to 90 minutes for the greens from purple top white globe turnips, as opposed to the more tender Japanese turnip greens.)
  5. Meanwhile, chop the turnip roots into cubes and boil them in salted water for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on their size, until softened.
  6. Turn off the heat, drain the turnip roots, and return them to the pot along with the butter and milk. Mash the turnips until they have the consistency of chunky mashed potatoes. Season with salt to taste and set aside.
  7. Remove the braised turnip greens from the heat and stir in the cooked bacon and vinegar. Season with salt to taste.
  8. Spoon the cooked greens over the mashed turnips.
Calories per Serving 425
Total Fat 37.9 g
Saturated Fat 14.6 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 72.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 7.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Total Sugars 4.7 g
Sodium 730.6 mg
Protein 13.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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