Glazed turnips and apples. Sorta seems an unsexy, if unlikely, duo. Yet when sweet apples and earthy turnips take a quick turn in a skillet with some butter and thyme and a splash of cider vinegar, they transform into one of fall’s finest and most fetching side dishes.

The turnips turn tender, the apples turn soft without collapsing into mush, and, perhaps most enticingly, all that in less than half an hour. Sufficiently simple for a weeknight yet amply elegant to hold its own at your holiday table. And lovely with roast pork, duck, or goose.–Angie Zoobkoff

Glazed Turnip FAQs

Can you eat turnip greens?

Yes, you absolutely can eat the greens, so if your bunch of turnips arrives with greens attached, don’t toss them. They can be eaten raw in salads or cooked into soups, sautéed with oil, or braised. Treat them the same way you would kale or Swiss chard.

What’s the difference between a turnip and a rutabaga?

Rutabagas tend to be larger than turnips, and have yellow-tinged flesh, while turnips have white flesh. They have a similar flavor, however, rutabagas are slightly sweeter than turnips.

A white platter filled with turnip and apples segments, topped with thyme sprigs.

Glazed Turnips and Apples

4.50 / 2 votes
These glazed turnips and apples are easy, healthy, and on the table in minutes. Made with butter and cider vinegar and thyme. It doesn’t get simpler–or better.
David Leite
Servings8 servings
Calories43 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time25 minutes


  • 3 (about 22 oz total) sweet eating apples, such as Jonagold, Cox’s Orange, or Ambrosia, unpeeled
  • 1 pound turnips, peeled (about 3 medium turnips)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 10 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Cut the apples and turnips into wedges about 1/2 inch (1 cm) wide.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the turnips and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden but not yet tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the apples, salt and pepper to taste, and vinegar, and gently stir the apples and turnips to coat them.
  • Continue to cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the apples and turnips are on the soft side of crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper, if desired, and serve immediately.
Scandinavian Comfort Food

Adapted From

Scandinavian Comfort Food

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 43 kcalCarbohydrates: 4 gProtein: 1 gFat: 3 gSaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 8 mgSodium: 39 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 2 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2016 Trina Hahnemann. Photo © 2016 Columbus Leth. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This glazed turnips and apples recipe is a perfectly delicious side dish for fall. The bite of the turnips pairs nicely with the sweetness of the apples and the vinegar adds a touch of acidity that rounds everything out. This dish would be a great addition to a holiday meal—it’s delicious, easy, quick, and doesn’t take up valuable oven space.

I used 2 Jonagolds and 1 Pinova apple and 1 gargantuan turnip. I added 2 1/2 tablespoons vinegar. After adding the apples and cooking for 5 minutes, the turnips and apples were crisp-tender, which was perfect for me.

It’s nice to find a turnip recipe that doesn’t involve throwing it in a stew or mashing it with potatoes. This turnips and apples dish was attractive and served as a great side dish to a dinner of roast pork. With the addition of a little vinegar and the use of a sweet apple, this becomes an attractive sweet-and-sour side dish.

I used Aurora apples. I’m glad I chose a relatively sweet apple as a tart apple would not have meshed well with the cider vinegar. The preparation was simple although I prefer my turnips tender, not crunchy, and achieving that state took 20 minutes of cooking before I added the apples and the vinegar. (An alternative would be to slice the turnips into thinner wedges so that they would cook faster.)

So I freaking LOVE fall and everything about it, but the warm aromas of soulful comfort food on a crisp evening is easily the best thing about it. Cozying up together in a warm kitchen over supper is enough to bring joy to even the most mundane of weekdays. One of the best ways to bring color and aroma to an autumn plate is to take advantage of the season’s best produce that lends itself beautifully to slow roasting and fragrant spices.

These glazed turnips and apples were no exception—the turnips were a nice, neutral canvas for the butter and thyme and the apples added a lovely sweetness that made the dish almost decadent. (I have a thing for baked apples in all forms, from pie to sauce.)

The best part is that it’s really not super labor intensive—just slice some things and toss them in a pan for a quick sauté without a ton of attention needed. I’d also wager that you could roast the apples and turnips in the oven, too, if you wanted the recipe to be completely hands off.

I used Gala apples. I sliced my turnips relatively thin since they are absolutely terrible when undercooked. The apples didn’t get too soft or mushy.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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