An easy recipe for roasted turnips, this side dish is anything but boring. This turnip recipe is seasoned with rosemary and a tangy mustard dressing and topped with crispy bacon and creamy goat cheese.
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📖Why This Recipe Works
Turnips get a bad rap, they are a little sharp with a slight radish flavor. The key isn't to cover it up with honey or sugar but instead to balance it with fat and acid.
By rendering bacon and then frying the turnips in the fat we are caramelizing the outside of the turnip and letting its natural sugars change the overall flavor profile.
Pan-frying before roasting the turnips in the oven ensures the perfect texture. And adding our red wine vinegar dressing at the end when they are soft enough to absorb the flavor is just perfection.
Most grocery stores carry one or two types of turnips. The purple top turnip, which is what I used in this recipe, and white turnips. Either variety can be used in this recipe.
What is important is the size of the turnip. Smaller-sized, baby turnips are mainly available in the summer months. They can be trimmed of their leafy greens and cut in half. They do not need to be peeled.
These greens can be used in our sauteed greens recipe as a complementary side dish.
Larger turnips, larger than 2 to 3 inches, are most often found October through February. The turnips should be peeled and cut into a 1-inch dice. By the time they make it to your grocery store the larger turnips typically do not have the greens still attached.
Bacon- Any variety you like. You can also use pancetta.
Red Wine Vinegar- Any milk vinegar will work like rice vinegar or champagne vinegar.
Shallots- The onion won't be cooked so if you need to substitute use finely diced sweet onion.
Fresh Rosemary- I would suggest other fresh herbs like chives, sage, or thyme over substituting with dried rosemary.
You will also need goat cheese, Dijon mustard, and honey.
💭 Vegetarian Variation
To make this recipe vegetarian, omit the bacon. Instead, melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in your pan. Pan-fry and roast your turnips according to the recipe instructions.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
⏲️How to Roast Turnips
I am going to blow your mind; we are going to take what some people call a bitter flavor and turn it into something unbelievable. And while just dicing up turnips and throwing them on a baking pan is fine.
I think your dinner plate deserves better.
Step 1- Crisp the Bacon
Cut your bacon into ¼ inch strips or do a small dice if using pancetta. Cook on low heat to medium heat so that the fat slowly renders out.
Once crisped up, use a slotted spoon to drain it on paper towels. Now is a good time to hide the bacon because if you're like me, you are going to be snacking on it while the turnips roast!
While the bacon is rendering you can work on cleaning, trimming, and peeling the turnips.
Step 2- Pan Fry
Drain off any excess fat, 1 to 2 tablespoons is fine. Place your turnips in a single layer in the pan. I prefer to have the flat side down to start.
Unlike with other roasted vegetables, you can wedge them in there tight. They are going to shrink up.
Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Check them after 5 minutes and if they are getting too dark, turn the heat down.
Step 3- Bake
Flip the turnips and pop the pan into a preheated 425-degree F oven. You may have noticed we haven't seasoned them with salt and pepper. No worries! The salt from the bacon and the mustard will season them up just right.
Speaking over which, while the turnips are enjoying their oven sauna. You need to make the sauce.
In a small bowl mix together the mustard, minced shallot, honey, and vinegar. Whisk to emulsify.
Step 4- Serve
Once the turnips are fork tender, for about 20 minutes remove them from the oven. Pour over the dressing and toss to coat. Do this in the roasting pan as the heat will help the turnips absorb all the flavor.
Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a large serving platter and sprinkle with fresh rosemary, crumbled bacon, and goat cheese.
🥗What to Serve with Roasted Turnips
These turnips pair with everything from your Thanksgiving roasted turkey to a seared bavette steak. For a complimentary side try shaved brussels sprouts, slow-roasted winter tomatoes, or a simple fresh green bean recipe.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- Use fresh herbs, not dried herbs, we don't want them to burn while roasting.
- Do not use a lid or aluminum foil to cover the pan. The turnips should be roasted uncovered.
- Most people prefer to peel the mature turnips. Technically it isn't required, just suggested because the outer layer can become fibrous.
I prefer using a cast-iron skillet, dutch oven, or a small roasting pan over a rimmed baking sheet for this recipe. That way you can make this a one-pot dish and you don't have any grease splatter in the oven.
Uncooked turnips can be stored for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Remove their greens and wash them before storing them in the crisper drawer.
The removed turnip greens should be used immediately.
Leftover roasted turnips should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Reheat in the oven at 350 F degrees or in the microwave.
More Root Vegetable Recipes
💬Frequently Asked Questions
The flavor of turnips is similar to a radish but less bitter. Baby turnips are sweeter while anything larger than medium turnips will have a stronger flavor.
Small turnips do not have to be peeled. If a turnip is larger than 3 inches, or is out of season, the outer layer should be removed with a vegetable peeler.
Turnips can be stored for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
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Roasted Turnips with Bacon and Goat Cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425 F degrees. Place the bacon in a cast iron skillet, or other heavy oven-proof skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the bacon renders its fat and is crispy. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.3 ounces bacon
- In the cast iron skillet pour off any excess bacon fat until you get about 2 tablespoons of fat. If you have less, add butter or olive oil. Over medium-high heat, add the turnips flat side down. and cook for 10 minutes. They should be golden brown on one side.1 ½ pounds turnips
- Flip the turnips and transfer to the oven. Bake the turnips for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are tender.
- While the turnips are roasting, whisk together the vinegar, shallot, Dijon mustard, and honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.2 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoon shallot, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1½ teaspoon honey
- Toss the turnips with the dressing and top with the bacon bits, goat cheese crumbles, and rosemary.2 ounces goat cheese, 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
- Smaller turnips, less than 3 inches long do not need to be peeled. Larger turnips should be peeled.
- Turnips can be cut in half or quarters depending on their size.