Turnips are a type of root vegetable not many people in the US know about, much less know how to cook. White on the bottom and purple or yellow on top where it comes in direct contact with the sun, turnips are available year-round, but their main growing season is from October to March. Crunchy and less starchy than a potato, they’re slightly bitter in flavor but become much sweeter when roasted.

If you’ve yet to buy your first bunch of turnips, be adventurous and don’t pass them up for ‘safer’ root vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots. Instead, try one of these approachable recipes and discover how you like your turnips. Once you know how to eat turnips a few different ways, you’ll find it easier to incorporate them into your diet.

1. Turnip Fries

french fries, potato
Claire Couron

Replace oily French fries with these baked turnip fries. You won't even notice the difference as the outside becomes crispy and the inside turns fluffy. And no one said these fries can't be covered in ketchup!

2. Turnip Chips

sweet, chips
Gabby Phi

Smaller sized turnips have a milder flavor, especially when they're thinly sliced and baked until crunchy. Sounds like a potato chip, and who doesn't love snacking on those? To add more flavor, these chips get sprinkled with piney rosemary. 

3. Kale Pesto Turnip Spaghetti

vegetable, herb, pasta, salad
Mujahid Zaman

Spiralized vegetables are part of a craze that swaps flour-based spaghetti for nutrient-packed vegetables. Turnips should not be overlooked when used in this way, especially when the sauce is a herb loaded kale pesto. Buon appetito!

4. Mashed Turnips

Mashed Potatoes

veganLazySmurf on Flickr

A great side to serve along any hearty meat dish. Because turnips aren't starchy, they won't be as fluffy as regular mashed potatoes. To make mashed turnips extra creamy, be generous with the milk and butter.

#SpoonTip: Some mashed turnips recipes add a potatoes to make the final dish fluffier.

5. Turnip Coleslaw

cabbage, vegetable, salad, carrot, slaw, coleslaw, pepper
Kirby Barth

Enjoy turnips raw by shredding them and adding them to coleslaw. This is a great side dish to accompany any summer meal. Your guests will definitely be impressed when they crunch down on this unusual ingredient added to your basic coleslaw recipe.

6. Roasted Chicken with Vegetables 

Chicken Roasted with Turnips and Carrots

naotakem on Flickr

With this recipe, your entire dinner can be cooked on one roasting pan. Simple bake until the chicken can be pulled apart and the vegetables are tender. Turnips paired with sweet carrots may just be your new favorite combo. 

7. Turnip Home Fries

hash, bacon, egg, potato
Alex Vu

Change up your usual breakfast by adding diced turnips to this diner staple. Cutting up the turnips creates more surface area, which means an extra crispy and flavorful bite. Adding a sunny side up egg for a runny yolk is never a bad addition!

8. Turnip Gratin

potato gratin

AdamsBest on Flickr

This indulgent gratin is super simple to make. Thinly slice peeled turnips, lay them in a baking dish, and sprinkle herbs, cheese, butter, and cream over top and bake in a hot oven until the cream is about to bubble over. 

9. Salad with Turnips 

rotisserie chicken salad, bitter greens, walnut dressing, bread crumbs

T.Tseng on Flickr

A light and refreshing salad with turnips is another flavorful way to enjoy this root vegetable. Choose fresh, in-season greens, then add toasted nuts and thinly sliced turnips. Toss with a bright and lemony vinaigrette. When did healthy become so enjoyable? 

10. Turnip Greens

Collard Greens Horta a la Greque

garlandcannon on Flickr

The large bulb isn't the only edible part of a turnip. Prepare them like you would spinach or collard greens. Add bacon, onion, a spoonful of sugar, and a small amount of water. The turnip greens are ready when they're tender and have wilted down.

Not only are turnips prized for their crunchy texture and unique flavor, but they also contain multiple vitamins and minerals. With the 10 turnip recipes above, you'll become more comfortable working with this underrated root vegetable. Cash in on the many health benefits of turnips and stop wondering how you're supposed to incorporate them into your diet.