8 Best Substitutes For Turnips


If you are aboard the wagon of eating root vegetables, I am sure you are already in love with turnips. Turnips are such dazzling, versatile vegetables with amazing health benefits. But what happens on a day when you are out of them?

You must be wondering, “What could be the best substitutes for turnips?” I have got them covered for you. Some of the best among them 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.

Why Do We Need To Substitute Turnips?

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 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 am not going to 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.

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 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.

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. Let us talk about them now.

8 Best Substitutes For Turnips

Now that you know why we need to substitute turnips, it’s time to see the substitutes for it. The eight 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.

They 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.

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.

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. 

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

5. Parsley

Parsley root is one of our favorite garnishing leaves. To add more to its culinary uses, it is a worthy substitute for turnips. 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. It can easily be used as an alternative for turnips in soups, stews, and casseroles.

6. Jicama

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

It has a sweet taste with a low glycemic taste and calories and can be readily used to replace turnips.

7. Radish

Radish is a considerable substitute for turnips. It is available in many skin colors and has crispy flesh with a piquant flavor. 

It tastes less sweet than a turnip. Therefore, you might want to add sugar or honey while choosing radish to substitute for turnip.

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. 

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.


There you go! I have covered the eight 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!

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