Need an alternative to mashed potatoes that's paleo, low carb, and keto friendly? Give mashed turnips a try. They have a bit more flavor than other options.
Why you'll love it
For our Thanksgiving meals, I've always made a batch of cauliflower mash or keto cauliflower mashed potatoes. I often like to add in some garlic, celery root, or even spinach.
Over the last couple of years, I've been using more turnips as a low-carb potato or root vegetable substitute. However, it does have more carbs than cauliflower.
You can cook turnips on a low-carb meal plan as long as you eat them in moderation. If you're on a strict keto diet, radish is a better choice because it has almost half the carbs.
Since Thanksgiving, Christmas and the month in-between is a time to indulge, why not give mashed turnips a try? This side dish cuisine is a nice change from the usual mashed cauliflower.
These roasted turnips have just a few ingredients that are easy to find at the grocery store. Here's more information about what you'll need.
You'll need around 1.5 pounds of fresh turnips. The smaller the turnips the better, since the larger ones can be a little bitter.
To make this paleo-friendly, make sure to use dairy-free options. For a buttery flavor, I like to add butter-flavored coconut oil. To add creaminess without dairy, I use coconut milk.
Almond milk is another great option. Alternatively, you could use heavy whipping cream instead.
If you are doing keto and don't mind dairy, you can add in some sour cream or heavy cream instead.
To make the mashed turnips thicker, use either butter-flavored coconut oil or ghee. You can use regular butter if you can have dairy.
Although ghee is derived from cow milk, it's often used in paleo cooking. That's because dairy proteins and sugars are removed when butter is clarified to make ghee. This makes it less inflammatory than butter.
Spice up the turnips just like you do when making mashed potatoes! Add some kosher salt and ground black pepper, and top with some chives.
Please note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of ingredients used to make this low-carb recipe.
- Use an immersion blender. If you don't have a food processor, an immersion blender is easier to clean up.
- Peel with a vegetable peeler. A turnip bulb is really easy to peel, especially with the correct tool.
- Cut turnips into small pieces. Smaller turnips tend to cook quicker than larger pieces.
It's incredibly easy to make turnips into creamy goodness. The most time-consuming part is cutting them up!
Prepare turnips for mashing much the same way you do potatoes. Peel them first. Then, boil them until they are fork tender.
Then, mash them up with a little low-carb milk and butter-flavored fat. The mashing can be done with a fork, a potato masher, an electric mixer, or a food processor.
Keep mixing and whipping it until they reach your desired consistency.
The best thing about mashed turnips is that they go with almost any meal you make for lunch or dinner. They are also the perfect things to add to your weekly meal prep.
If you're following a paleo or low-carb eating plan, these mashed turnips make a great side dish served with roasted meat and keto gravy.
This is the perfect keto side dish recipe to serve with roasted beef tenderloin or some air fryer pork chops.
The ingredients are all suitable for even a strict autoimmune protocol (AIP) paleo diet if you don't add any ground pepper seasoning. You can even use it to top a keto shepherd's pie!
There are so many ways to make cooked turnips. Here are a few different changes you can make to the recipe. If you switch it up, let me know in the comments.
- Turn up the flavor. Mix in some roasted garlic. This will give them a richer and deeper flavor.
- Make it creamy. Add full-fat cream cheese if you aren't following paleo.
- Top with sour cream. This is another dairy product, so only add it if you aren't paleo.
Here are some questions people often ask about making mashed turnips. If you don't see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.
A half-cup serving of the recipe will set you back about 11 grams of total carbs or 8 grams net carbs.
To find net carbs, you take total carbs minus fiber. Because of the higher carb count, those with strict daily carb limits may want to use radishes or cauliflower instead.
Place the mashed turnips in a freezer-friendly bag or container and keep them in the freezer for up to six months. When you are ready to eat them again, let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
No, potatoes are not one of the low-carb root vegetables. They have a lot of carbs and will affect your blood sugar too much.
Turnips can have a bitter taste, and the larger turnips seem to be the most bitter. So, if you want a milder flavor, it's best to stick to young turnips.
Potatoes tend to be very bland. Cauliflower is pretty tasteless, too, which is why turnips are a popular choice for making keto faux mashed potatoes.
I find that turnips have a slight bite, along with some sweetness. But, this makes them more flavorful than cauliflower or radishes.
To see if you like them better, give them a taste yourself. It's the only way to know for sure whether you'll like them. I like adding them to soups and stews where they don't taste much different than regular potatoes.
If you love mashed turnips, here are some more keto side dishes you should make next! They are some of my favorite delicious recipes - and I'm sure you'll agree!
- Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce with blueberries is a sweet and tart side dish with amazing flavor.
- Low Carb Green Bean Casserole is a gluten-free side dish you can make all year long.
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a kid-friendly side dish that adults will dig into as well.
- Keto Squash Casserole is a delicious and low-carb way to serve yellow squash.
- Healthy Keto Sweet Potato Casserole only has 4 grams net carbs in each serving - it's a delicious take on a classic Thanksgiving side.
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- 1.5 pounds turnips peeled and quartered
- ¼ cup coconut milk or almond milk
- 2 tablespoons butter flavored coconut oil or ghee
- salt and ground black pepper to taste (omit pepper for AIP)
- chives for garnish
- Boil turnips in pot until tender (about 30-45 minutes). Remove from water and place into a large mixing bowl or food processor.
- Add butter flavored coconut oil (or coconut milk) and almond milk (or ghee).
- Blend with electric mixer or food processor until well mashed and at desired consistency. Add additional low carb milk if needed. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.
Low Carb Sweeteners | Keto Sweetener Conversion Chart
Array ( [serving_size] => 0.5 [calories] => 135 [carbohydrates] => 11 [protein] => 1 [fat] => 10 [saturated_fat] => 8 [cholesterol] => 0 [sodium] => 115 [potassium] => 355 [fiber] => 3 [sugar] => 6 [vitamin_c] => 35.7 [calcium] => 54 [iron] => 1 [serving_unit] => cup )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
© LowCarbYum.com - Unauthorized use of this material without written permission is strictly prohibited unless for personal offline purposes. Single photos may be used, provided that full credit is given to LowCarbYum.com along with a link back to the original content.
First published November 5, 2018. Last updated September 6, 2022, with new images and additional recipe information.
Just wanted to say, I love mashed turnips, but I think they're gross if you make them with boiled turnips. I always roast them under the broiler instead, then put them through the Cuisinart. It caramelizes them, and the weird flavor disappears.
If you like them a bit sweeter, then definitely roast them to allow the sugars to come out.
So Yummy! Loved this recipe. I also added garlic salt instead of regular salt as well as parsley since I have a lot growing
I have loved mashed turnips since childhood (I'm 86) and can't wait until colder weather for the good smaller ones to be available. My mother always added a smidgen of sugar. I know more carbs, but still add a bit when I cook them along with a bit of bacon drippings.
I have made hash rounds from turnips before but never made “ mashed potatoes ‘ with them.
This sounds delicious to me and I plan to make them!
Ours turned out Soooooooo watery! Unsalvageable 🙁
Sorry about that. Maybe your turnips just had more moisture. Mine were pretty thick.
I've learned with mashed cauliflower to let it sit in the strainer for a couple minutes. Not only does it drain all of the water, but it also helps to steam them a little more. I get much better results that way and I'll be doing that with this recipe as well.
Great tip! Thanks!
First time turnip taster and after reading the entire article realized I used huge turnips and hence my mash turned out a bit bitter. I also decided to roast the turnips in the oven alongside the garlic. Really looking forward to trying it again with small turnips.
I'll admit to not eating enough turnips. This recipe looks like a winner. Can't wait to try this!
This is such a nice change from the traditional mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving! Thanks for a great recipe!