How to Cook Turnip Greens 

If you are learning how to cook turnip greens, this is one vegetable that both the leaves (or greens) and the roots are edible and so delicious. Turnip greens are usually harvested when very young and tender making them very good when cooked in a turnip greens recipe.

When learning how to cook turnip greens, you will find that vegetables like the turnip greens are the least understood of the vegetables. These greens that are not specifically grown for the leaves but more for the roots are often just thrown out and discarded. Turnip greens are delicious when properly cooked and seasoned.

How to Cook Turnip GreensHow to Cook Turnip Greens

Cooking turnip greens are a lot like cooking mustard greens and are very popular as a side dish in the southern United States. My family’s German heritage makes cooked greens, whether it is mustard, collards or spinach recipes very popular as a side dish or even a whole meal for us. Mom regularly fixed a large pot of greens for the health benefits.

The turnip root is high in vitamin C but the nutritional value of the leaves (or tops) include vitamin A, folate, vitamin K and calcium as well as the vitamin C. This is why such a large market has developed for the leaves to be sold by themselves without the root of the turnips.

If learning how to cook turnips greens, they can be purchased separately without the roots. It is best if you can find them to purchase without being packages. This gives you a clear view of the condition of the leaves. Look for brightly colored leaves that appear tender and crisp.

As for all your vegetable recipes but even more so for the greens it is best to find them locally grown. This is because all leaves are short lived and you should cook them as soon as possible. If you must store them, store for no longer than two days. After that the flavor and texture suffer and much of the rich supplies of vitamins and minerals have disappeared. When you learn how to cook turnip greens use the freshest ingredients available to you.


The following recipe is a little different and very good when you learn how to cook turnip greens.

  • 1 Pound turnip greens
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ Cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 1 Can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • ¼ Cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ Cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Cup mushroom pieces

Boil turnip greens in water until tender; drain off all water. In a frying pan, heat the oil; add onion and cook until tender. Add the greens and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Remove to a serving bowl and keep warm. In a saucepan combine the tomato sauce, cheese, sour cream, parsley, salt and mushrooms. Bring to a boil and pour over the greens.

BEEF STEW RECIPE with turnip greens

  • 1 Pound beef stew in 1 inch cubes
  • 2 ½ Cups boiling water
  • 1 Chopped onion
  • ½ Teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 Teaspoon allspice
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ Cup tomato juice
  • 1 Cup sliced carrots
  • 1 Cup cubed potatoes
  • 1 Cup diced celery
  • 1 Cup chopped turnip greens

Brown meat in hot fat; Add water, onion, lemon juice, seasonings and tomato juice.

Bring mixture to a boil, cover and simmer for 2 hours. (If needed add more water)

Add Carrots, potatoes, celery and turnip greens; cook until vegetables are tender.

BARLEY CASSEROLE RECIPE with turnip greens

  • ¼ Pound butter
  • 2 Medium chopped onions
  • ¾ Pound sliced mushrooms
  • ½ Pound cleaned chopped turnip leaves
  • 1 ½ Cups pearl barley
  • 3 Coarsely chopped pimientos
  • 2 Cups chicken broth
  • Salt/pepper

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.
Add onions, mushrooms and turnip greens; sauté until onions are translucent.
Add barley to the pot and cook until golden brown; move mixture to a casserole baking dish.
Add pimentos, broth, salt and pepper; bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
NOTE: Add more liquid if it seems to get too dry before 50 minutes.