Turnips, Potatoes and Greens

Turnips, potatoes and greens.

Here’s a light, tasty and unexpected side dish that’s straight from the Farmer’s Market. Turnips, potatoes and greens, simply boiled, then browned in a hot skillet. Save the turnip greens to quickly sauté at the last minute.

turnips with stems and roots.

Inspiration strikes at the farmer’s market once again!  This week it was turnips.  I have to say, I don’t have an opinion one way or another about turnips, except to say the ones found at the supermarket are usually large and dull without any greens attached.   A very “meh” veg.


turnips, potatoes and greens

But then I spied these creamy white beauties with their leafy green tops and they were quickly deposited into my basket.   My motto – never bypass gorgeous produce — even if I don’t have any idea what to do with it — I’m obligated to try!

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turnips, potatoes and greens

  I could plop them into a soup or stew — but that wouldn’t really highlight their “straight from the earth” freshness. Plus those bright green tops and crazy tails showed no signs of wilt and I had to feature them.

turnips, potatoes and greens
turnips, potatoes and greens

I decided to treat the little bulbs separately from the greens.  Fresh greens should retain that vivid hue and some crisp, tender bite.  I do loathe overcooked veg.  So along with some red potatoes, I boiled the turnips and spuds to just tender, drained them and then browned and crisped them in a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil and butter. 

turnips, potatoes and greens
turnips, potatoes and greens

After transferring the root vegetables to a bowl, I did a quick sauté of some sliced shallots and those gorgeous turnip tops, until they barely succumbed to the heat.

turnips, potatoes and greens

Fresh thyme sprinkled over the dish was all the flourish it needed.  Turnips aren’t starchy like potatoes and their flesh retains some moisture, even after crisping.  This simple side is more than the sum of its parts.  Mild and earthy root veg with crispy, browned edges, a little crunch from the shallots and mild bitterness from the greens.

Serving the turnips and potatoes in a blue bowl.

This is a simple, homey spring side that would pair beautifully with lamb, ham, veal, chicken, or pork.   Don’t wait to make it.

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3.38 from 8 votes

Turnips Potatoes and Greens

An easy, delicious side dish for pork or chicken!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword potatoes, turnips
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • ½ pound baby turnips with greens attached
  • ½ pound small red potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon thyme fresh chopped
  • 1 shallot thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon butter divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Trim leaves and most of stems from the turnips and place in a bowl of water. Swish around to remove any sand or dirt from the leaves. Transfer the greens to a salad spinner and dry them. Set aside.
  • Rinse turnips (check the stems where sand collects) and cut into quarters. Slice potatoes into quarters about the same size as the turnips.
  • Fill a medium pot with water and kosher salt and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and turnips, Reduce heat to a rapid simmer and cook vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
  • In a medium skillet or cast iron pan, heat 1/2 teaspoon butter and 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Add sliced turnips and potatoes. Saute vegetables until crispy and browned. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Add remaining butter and olive oil to the pan. Add shallots and sauté for 2-3 minutes until slightly tender. Add the greens and cook until just wilted. Add the potatoes back to the pan and toss to combine.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.


Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 641mg | Potassium: 387mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 18.1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.7mg

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  1. Sherrille says:

    5 stars
    Excellent! What a great combination of these vegetables! I’ll definitely make again!

  2. Emily Larson says:

    5 stars
    Great side dish to any family dinner! Love that its so easy

  3. 3 stars
    I’m responding to your use of turnips
    with greens by suggesting other rarely used veggies. I made some soup using beets,tomatoes, daikon radish, and celeriac – it was wonderful. Of course, one can use their own choice of broth or stock, and their own choices of seasoning and herbs. The point being to invite wallflowers to the dance.

    1. I LOVE THIS!!! Inviting wallflowers to the dance… great ideas!