Appalachian Food

Stewed Turnips


My fall turnips didn’t do as good as they usually do. I even replanted them and they still didn’t make.

Thinking of Spring planting I pulled up all the turnips we had left in the garden.

I love to eat turnips raw with salt! That’s probably my favorite way to eat them. I like the flavor and the crunch.

My second favorite way to eat turnips is stewed.

For stewed turnips I quarter or chunk up the turnips, cover with water, add butter, salt, and pepper and stew till done.

Stewed turnips make a fine accompaniment to soup beans and cornbread.


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  • Reply
    Douglas Mosier
    November 1, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    My grandpa Mosier would always put a bowl of sliced turnips in water into the fridge and he’d snack on them sprinkled with salt through the day. One day I remembered this and vaguely remembered eating a slice and actually liking it, so i went to the store and bought a turnip and sliced it up and put it in water in the fridge. It brought back very nice memories of grandma and grandpa’s house (this was in the early 90s and they had both passed in ’73), so I’ve kept turnips in the fridge ever since. I’m gonna need to find a recipe for creamed turnips and try those, one of these days.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    My people ate lots of turnip greens and turnips. Mama and Grandma would simmer turnips in a little water and a dried pod of red pepper. When tender, they would be seasoned with some bacon grease. When eating them, we’d put some hot pepper vinegar on them. We always grew mustard with turnips and the greens of both were always eaten together. Good stuff, too!

  • Reply
    Tom Gulledge
    March 3, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    Peeled them in the garden. I love that peppery flavor!

  • Reply
    Trudy Breland
    March 3, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    I grew up in the country in central Louisiana, and we grew just about everything we ate. My mama and daddy taught me about hard work and never giving up, and that has certainly paid off in my life. Reading about your turnips makes my mouth water. But living in Florida for over 30 years now, I must say, it’s nearly impossible to find fresh home-grown turnips and collards in any grocery store. No field peas or butter beans and seldom do we find fresh yellow crookneck squash. Thank you for sharing your stories and tidbits of your life with everyone. I do envy you so. I can’t wait to try the coconut crack!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    I like raw turnips, but I don’t like them cooked. When I was in college many years ago, my Daddy had cancer and friends were bringing food to help out. Well, I sat down to the table, and took a big scoop of what I thought was mashed potatoes, and it was mashed turnips! I was so disappointed. To this day, I have a good laugh about it. I told my husband the story, and we both agree that no one should take mashed turnips to anyone!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2021 at 11:13 am

    Sure have enjoyed reading everything today….such neat ideas to try … as a child I didn’t like turnips or greens of any sort or cooked cabbage….as an adult I love greens and cabbage (especially stir fried)…but turnips well I haven’t tried them in a longggggg time so not sure . My mama, and granny loved them. After reading all these ways to cook them , and eat them …think I’ll have a re-try .

  • Reply
    Joe Finnell
    March 2, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    I grow turnips every year, mostly for the greens. Last year’s did extremely well with some as big as softballs. Not my favorite dish but I did manage to cook a few for supper. The best I ever had was quite by accident. Left some boiling on the stove — turnips, a little butter and a little sugar — and forgot about them. When I did come back, the water had boiled away and the turnips had caramalized, turning a golden brown in color. They were delicious, but I doubt I could ever repeat that.
    Another good way to eat them was shown me by a friend. Simply shred them into thin strips and soak in apple cider vinegar. Very good, especially if you like them raw.

  • Reply
    March 2, 2021 at 10:47 am

    To Donna and Tipper, in my area, Greenville County, SC, most of the older people said to plant on Aug. 15 if you wanted to have turnips. It was ok to plant latter if you only wanted the greens. I think July would be too hot and dry, to me even Aug.15 is pushing it.

    Not to start any arguments , but I think and feel like I know for sure the weather is not the same now as it was in my grandparents, parents or even in the early years of my life.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    March 2, 2021 at 10:42 am

    I like turnips chopped up in greens or stewed like you do. I’m intending to plant some–already have seeds. I don’t remember liking them raw and haven’t had them as an adult. We used to eat potatoes that way. We’d be standing around while Mama was peeling the potatoes so we could get a slice.

    • Reply
      March 3, 2021 at 10:51 am

      We enjoyed raw potatoes with salt just that same way..

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    March 2, 2021 at 10:12 am

    We love turnip greens with corn meal dumplings! Also I peel, chunk, and boil them in salted water for 5-8 minutes. Drain and pour into buttered casserole dish. Add melted butter, cheese and diced fried bacon bits. Bake about 20 minutes. They are delicious.

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    March 2, 2021 at 10:04 am

    They make a good soup, just like potato soup, I also mash them plus make kraut, and love them pickled, I think I like pickled best of all.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 2, 2021 at 9:32 am

    I tried posting a comment yesterday and kept getting a “500 Internal Server Error” message.

    I don’t eat turnips or turnip greens. It’s been so long since I tasted them that I don’t remember what they taste like. Reckon I ought to try them again?

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 2, 2021 at 9:28 am

    I never cared for cooked turnips, maybe because we just never had them at home when I was growing up. I like them raw OK, though one every now and then is enough.And I like turnip greens. Just that the turnip itself has too much of a turnippy taste.

    But I have a dunny story kinda along that line. Years ago, on a vacation to the coast, we went the Mrs. Wilkes Boardinghouse in Savannah, GA. One of the bowls they set out had something orange in it. I thought it was cooked squash like my Grandma made. So I got a hefty portion and was surprised to find it had a faint turnippy taste. I couldn’t figure it out. We had left and was walking down the street went suddenly I knew what it was – rutabagas! First and only time I have ever had them.

  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    March 2, 2021 at 9:21 am

    Sorry to hear that your turnips didn’t do too well. For me, turnips taste good – raw or stewed – anytime. As kids, we would eat them, as well as cabbage, spring onions and carrots straight out of the garden patch. And nothing makes the house smell better than turnips cooking in a pot of stew!

  • Reply
    Donna M Wood
    March 2, 2021 at 8:41 am

    I make creamed turnips. That’s how my mother made them, but I could never get the taste like hers until I found a recipe at for Thanksgiving Day creamed turnips. I cannot get enough of them!

    Did you plant your turnips the 25th of July so you could harvest them on the 25th of October?

    Plant turnips on the 25th of July
    Harvest on the 25th of October, drunk or sober.

    • Reply
      March 2, 2021 at 8:46 am

      Donna-I’ve never had creamed turnips I’ll have to try them! I love your little saying about turnips 🙂 Maybe I’ll try planting them on July 25 this year!

      • Reply
        Donna W
        March 2, 2021 at 1:06 pm

        Oh, I left off part or it. plant them the 25th of July, wet or dry
        Harvest the 25th of October, drunk or sober.

  • Reply
    March 2, 2021 at 8:25 am

    As one who grew up loving any kind of greens, I have also eaten more than my share of turnips. If I did not have access to any from somebody’s garden, I would always buy one to chop up in whatever greens I cooked. For whatever reason, I have never been successful with most root vegetables in the garden. Maybe, I need to pay more attention to the signs.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    March 2, 2021 at 8:19 am

    My granny liked turnips. My WORST supper memory she made was boiled turnips and potatoes. I do not care for turnips, radishes or food like that. I can’t eat or smell horseradish either. But to each her own and let me add you look wonderful so whatever you’re eating does you well!!! Why can’t fudge have nutrition like a raw turnip???? Lol

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    March 2, 2021 at 8:18 am

    I love turnips too. Stewed or raw, they’re good.

  • Reply
    March 2, 2021 at 8:05 am

    I will eat turnip greens or sallet as we called it along with cornbread all day long but you can have the turnips. I have never liked them except to toss in air and shoot them with a shotgun. My wife and son do like them. Like yours, my turnip greens did not do good this fall.

    • Reply
      Sheila Clark
      March 2, 2021 at 9:38 am

      I am so excited about spring and getting out in the garden again. I have never grown turnips. What is a good crop to grow? May try some this year. It is a fall crop, right?

      • Reply
        March 2, 2021 at 11:52 am

        Sheila- turnips are more of a cold weather crop so they do well in the spring and in the fall. There are lots of varieties a real common one that does well for us is Purple Top White Globe.

    • Reply
      Wanda Devers
      March 2, 2021 at 10:46 am

      Sallet! It was usually called turnip sallet when I was a child. I guess the term changed to “greens” to seem more modern. I wouldn’t eat it as a child but I love it now. Mama would put “pepper sauce” on hers and on most every vegetable. As an elderly woman, she visited us and saw a cayenne pepper stalk that still had peppers on it. We had to take a chair out there so she could pick it off to make pepper sauce. This is one of my favorite memories.

  • Reply
    carol harrison
    March 2, 2021 at 7:53 am

    I buy 1 or 2 small turnips and eat them with salt, like an apple. So good. My mother grew them in her garden along with parsnips.

  • Reply
    Dona Silver DiBernardo
    March 2, 2021 at 7:51 am

    I will have to cut up a turnip and try it raw with my grandson. He loves tangy foods and sweets but he is like me. A terrible picky eater.
    I was and at times still that way. Like Granny I would rather not eat than eat food I did not want. I drove my parents crazy and developed anemia my entire life. What can I say.
    But speaking of the turnips my sister is in charge of cooking them on the holidays. She pretty much boils them down as you do tipper with butter snd salt but she adds lots of sugar. We all loved them candied.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 2, 2021 at 7:22 am

    I like turnips best raw also, they are crisp and tangy! Since I don’t grow a garden I guess I just forget to buy them..I mean , who buys one turnip!

    • Reply
      Margie G
      March 2, 2021 at 8:21 am

      One turnip for sale. Lol that would be a sight.

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