12 Best Turnip Substitutes That You Should Try

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Being a fan of root vegetables, it is no wonder that you are looking for the best substitutes for turnips. Turnips are such dazzling, versatile vegetables with amazing health benefits. But what happens on a day when you are out of them?

Turnips

You must be wondering, “What could be the best substitutes for turnips?” I have got them covered for you. Some of the best turnip substitutes are rutabagas, celery root, parsnips, and carrots.

Turnips are root vegetables that are grown underground. They are wholly edible; bulbs and leaves (known as turnip greens). They taste simply yum when sauteed or roasted and can be used along with other veggies in stir-fries.

It is important for you to be aware of the best alternatives for turnips in case you are out of time to go to the store (or just lazy). We are going to discuss turnips and their substitutes in this article.

Turnips in the Culinary World

Turnips are those cream-colored root vegetables adorned by an attractive purple-colored crown. They have a sweet, nutty flavor and crispy, crunchy texture. Their leaves, turnip greens, register a mild peppery flavor.

Although, their edible skin has a mild, bitter taste. This is the reason why their peels are removed before being used for cooking.

Did you know that these adorable veggies come in various names, sizes, and colors? Well, I will not name all 23 of them for you here. Let us save it for another day. 

Some of the varieties of turnips are scarlet queen turnips, white lady turnips, Manchester market turnips, Tokyo cross turnips, gilfeather turnips, royal crown turnips, and orange jelly turnips. 

Turnips are often wrongly assumed to be the same as rutabagas, but they are not. Rutabagas are also root vegetables in yellow or purple color. In fact, they are a hybrid of turnip and cabbages with a slight butter taste.

Uses of Turnips

Turnips are a bunch of functional vegetables that can be used in a wide range of applications. You can roast them with garlic or butter, mash them, bake them, boil them or steam them. You can use them in stews, soups, and stir-fries.

Turnips on The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Turnips are an amazing powerhouse of nutrition. They are a rich source of vital nutrients that boost our health and prevent diseases. The high vitamin A content in them aids in proper tissue growth in our body.

Turnips help prevent the risk of anemia, osteoporosis, cancer, and diabetes. They are great in enhancing the fertility of men and women. The presence of choline in turnips deeply improves our sleep, learning, and memory.

Why Should We Substitute Turnips?

Well, it is great to have a bunch of turnips in your grocery cupboard. You know what is equally great? Knowing their substitutes in case you don’t like the flavor of turnips. Why? I have reasons.

You need the help of the best substitutes for turnips in case you are out of it and short of time to buy them. These substitutes will help achieve a flavor and texture close to turnips, making you less worried about their absence. Also, if you are turnip tolerant, these best turnip substitutes can save your day. So, shall we talk about them right away?

12 Best Turnip Substitutes

Now that you know why we need to substitute turnips, it’s time to see the substitutes for it. The twelve best substitutes for turnips are as follows:

1. Rutabagas

Rutabagas, also known as swede or Swedish turnip, are root vegetables that were cultivated as a hybrid between turnips and cabbages. They are yellow in color with green or purple skin.

Rutabagas are the best substitute for turnips in terms of flavor and texture. In fact, rutabagas are sweeter than turnips. It tastes a lot like a turnip with a mildly bitter taste. While choosing to replace turnips, go for smaller swedes.

2. Celery Root

Also known as celeriac, knob celery, and turnip-rooted celery, celery root refers to the underground tuber, like a potato. It has a rich, earthy, nutty flavor very similar to turnips except for the latter’s spicy leaves.

Celery root is a worthy turnip substitute due to the flavor it has. While replacing turnips, you will have to peel off the skin of celery root and use it quickly before they get dried out.    

3. Parsnip

Parsnip, a valuable parsley family member shaped like a carrot, has a sweet flavor. It has a tender texture with an intense earthy flavor like turnips. Parsnips and turnips differ in texture but have a mild, bitter taste like them.

You can choose parsnip as an alternative to turnips, and you will not be disappointed. Use it in soups, stir-fries, or salads in the same amounts as turnips. You shouldn’t peel but scrub parsnips so as to not lose the flavor found beneath the skin.

4. Carrot

Carrot is another versatile sweet substitute for turnips. It is sweet with a crunchy kick. In fact, they taste a lot sweeter than turnips with no bitter taste whatsoever. Carrot is a major cure for Vitamin A deficiency and is rich in minerals, vitamins, and other beneficial compounds.

But, that doesn’t compromise the potential of carrots as an easily available, healthy substitute for turnips. Go for carrots instead of turnips in soups, stews, or smoothies.

5. Parsley Root

Parsley root is one of our favorite garnishing leaves. It is a worthy substitute for turnips to add more to its culinary uses. You know why? It is because it is also known as turnip-rooted parsley. It has a crunchy texture when raw and a smooth, creamy texture when cooked.

Parsley root can easily be used as an alternative for turnips in soups, stews, and casseroles. You can use it in salads, soups, casseroles, and coleslaw. You can soak it in hot water for easy peeling.

6. Jicama

Jicama, also known as Mexican turnip or yam bean, is a root vegetable with a yummy, fleshy texture. Jicama has a nutty flavor that can be deemed the cross between potato and pear. 

Jicama has a sweet taste with a low glycemic taste and calories and can be readily used to replace turnips. It is a good turnip substitute not only for its flavor and texture but also for its nutritional values.

7. Radish

Radish is a considerable substitute for turnips. It is available in many skin colors and has crispy flesh with a piquant flavor. The root of radish is used as a medicine. Consumption of radish helps treat digestive disorders, liver problems, and loss of appetite. 

Radish tastes less sweet than a turnip. Therefore, you might want to add sugar or honey while choosing radish to substitute for turnip. You can use it in salads, stir-fries, and curries.

8. Potato

Potato is a variety of root vegetables with a sweet, mild taste. It has a dense, starchy tuber which makes it a starchy vegetable. It aids in the weight loss process since it is replete with fiber which helps us feel fuller.  

Potatoes can be one of your last resorts as an alternative for turnips simply because they don’t have any considerable similarities in flavor profiles. These can be baked, mashed, fried, roasted, grilled, and boiled.

9. Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a cruciferous vegetable which is also known as German turnip. It comes from the family of cabbage, kale, and broccoli. It has a crunchy texture and a sweet, peppery flavor. Its flavor is similar to cabbage and broccoli.

Kohlrabi is a good turnip substitute due to the similarities in their flavor profile. It can be sauteed, steamed, and used in stir-fries, pasta, soups, and stews. Roasted kohlrabi cubes taste even more flavorful.

10. Salsify

Salsify

Salsify is a root vegetable that comes from the dandelion family. It is also known as the oyster plant because it tastes like an oyster when cooked. It resembles a parsnip in appearance but is dark brown. It comes in two varieties – black salsify and white salsify.

Salsify has a sweet, earthy flavor and a fine, fibrous texture making it a considerable substitute for turnip. Remember to scrub the salsify well before use and peel the skin off. The roots should be kept in lemon water or vinegar so that they don’t get rotten when not in use.

11. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato

Coming from the morning glory family of plants, sweet potatoes are large, tuberous roots full of starch. Bearing testimony to their name, these have a naturally sweet flavor. These are staple food in many countries. They are rich in fiber, potassium, vitamins, and other essential nutrients. 

Sweet potatoes are worthy substitutes for turnips in baked and roasted dishes. Go for dark sweet potatoes while substituting turnips as they taste similar to turnips. You don’t have to cook sweet potatoes for long since they have soft skin.  

12. Mangold Wurzel

Mangold Wurzel

Shall I bore you with some names? Be ready! Mangoldwurzel is also known as Mangelwurzel, mangold, mangel beet, field beet, fodder beet and (archaic) root of scarcity. OMG, right?!

Mangold Wurzel is a major root vegetable used as an animal feed. But its roots and leaves are edible, making it a dual-purpose vegetable. It has an earthy flavor similar to beetroot and a crunchy texture.

Mangold wurzel has a flavor similar to turnips making it a worthy alternative for turnips. It can be shredded, diced, or crushed and used in salads and juices. 

Short Recap Of Best Turnip Substitutes

That must have been an exhaustive read on the best turnip substitutes, right? Let me make it easy for you to remember the details with the help of some points.

Flavor: The best turnip substitutes in terms of flavor are rutabagas, celery root, parsnip, and parsley root.

Texture: The best turnip substitutes for texture are rutabaga, radish, jicama, and kohlrabi.

Final Musings

There you go! I have covered the twelve best substitutes for turnips for you. These are closest to turnips in flavor with considerable differences in texture. Use any of them based on the demands of your recipe, and let me know what gave you success. See you soon with another article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can radishes be substituted for turnips?

Radishes can be used to substitute for turnip due to the similarities in flavor and texture. 

What vegetables do turnips taste like?

Turnips taste like a cross between cabbages and radishes.

What are the turnip substitutes in soups?

The good turnip substitutes in soups are rutabagas, celery root, parsnips and carrots.

How do you get the bitterness out of turnips?

Turnips can be soaked in a pan of salt water along with a few sliced potatoes. The salt extracts the bitterness from the turnips and the potatoes absorb it.

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