Simple Herby Roasted Turnips Recipe

The turnip may not star in as many root vegetable dishes as the more widely used potato, but there are plenty of reasons to reach for this humble vegetable more often. Turnips are low in calories and carbs and high in nutrients, especially vitamin C. They have a mild flavor and are versatile to prepare — they can be mashed, boiled, sautéed, roasted, or cut into fries to bring different flavors and textures to the table.

Roasting is an excellent way to develop delicious flavor from this earthy white and purple bulb without spending too much time in the kitchen. Turnips can be roasted along with other root veggies like potatoes, carrots, and parsnips, but don't downplay the satisfaction of turnips by themselves. Recipe developer Michelle Bottalico brings us a recipe for simple roasted turnips with fresh herbs. The turnips develop a soft, moist interior and a browned and crispy exterior in the oven. Olive oil, salt, and fresh marjoram and thyme mingle with the turnips to develop a flavor that will have you reaching for seconds every time.

Gather the ingredients for these simple herby roasted turnips

The main ingredient in this recipe is, of course, turnips. Choose those that are smooth and firm, have a bright purple underside, and are ideally smaller in size, as the larger ones have a greater chance of having a bitter taste. Avoid soft, wrinkly, or discolored bulbs, which are not fresh. You will also need extra virgin olive oil, fresh marjoram and thyme, and salt to flavor the vegetable.

Peel and cube the turnips

The first step is to preheat the oven to 400 F. While the oven is heating up, wash the turnips and cut off both ends. Use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to peel the outer skin off of the turnips from top to bottom, all the way around. Then, cut the peeled turnips into roughly 1-inch cubes, aiming for a uniform size so the pieces roast evenly.

Coat the turnips with flavorings

The next step is to place the turnips in a large bowl and add the flavorings inside. Pour the olive oil into the bowl, then add the marjoram and thyme leaves and the salt. Stir well to evenly coat the turnips with the fragrant, oily mixture.

Arrange the turnips on a pan

Carefully arrange the turnips in a single layer on a medium-sized pan — ideally a roasting pan or heavy sheet pan. You don't need high sides to roast cubed turnips; 2-3 inches max is plenty. A mistake people make when roasting food is to overcrowd the pan, so if you see that the turnips are piled up in a second layer, use a larger pan or spread them out onto 2 pans instead.

Bake and flip the turnips

Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake the turnips for 45-55 minutes. Make sure to flip the pieces over at about the halfway point to evenly brown both sides. You'll be able to tell when they are done because the centers will be nice and tender while the outside surface should look browned and crisp. 

Serve the roasted turnips

Serve your herby roasted turnips immediately as a side dish for anything you like, from fried eggs and mushrooms to steak or pork tenderloin. If you're making these ahead of time, they will last for up to 4 days in the fridge and, handily, are also very good at room temperature.

Simple Herby Roasted Turnips Recipe
5 from 24 ratings
If you've never tried turnips before, give these unsung root veggies a simple treatment of olive oil, herbs, and a good roast, and you'll be hooked.
Prep Time
Cook Time
roasted turnips in serving dish
Total time: 55 minutes
  • 1 ¾ pounds turnips, washed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs marjoram (about 2 teaspoons)
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs thyme (about 2 teaspoons)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Place the turnip cubes into a large bowl. Add the olive oil, marjoram, thyme, and salt, and stir well until the turnips are evenly coated.
  3. Arrange the turnips in a single layer on a medium sheet pan.
  4. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes until the centers of the turnips are soft and the tops are browned, flipping the turnips halfway through for even cooking.
  5. Serve immediately.
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