How to Cook Turnips & Carrots

by M.H. Dyer

While carrots and turnips are good when cooked individually, cooking these root vegetables together combines the best of both. Carrots and turnips are rich in vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber. In addition, carrots provide high levels of beta-carotene. Mash the carrots and turnips, and serve them as an alternative to mashed potatoes. If you miss the flavor of potatoes, add a potato to the mix, or blend in other root vegetables such as turnips or rutabagas.

Rinse carrots and turnips thoroughly, then scrub them with a vegetable brush.

Trim the tops of the carrots and turnips. If the bottom of the turnip has a long root, cut it off. Peel the vegetables only if the carrots and turnips are large. Scrubbing is adequate for small, tender carrots and turnips

Place the carrots and turnips on a cutting board, then dice both with a chef's knife. The size of the diced vegetables should be similar so both vegetables finish cooking at the same time.

Place the diced turnips and carrots in a large saucepan, and cover them with water. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook the vegetables for 10 to 20 minutes, or until they are tender.

Pour the turnips and carrots into a colander, and allow them to sit until most of the water has drained. Place the drained vegetables in a large bowl.

Add butter or margarine and salt and pepper to taste. Mash the mixture with a potato masher or stick blender.

Transfer the mashed turnips and carrots to a serving bowl. Garnish the dish with fresh, minced parsley, then serve hot.


  • Use butter or margarine sparingly if fat is an issue, or use a margarine that contains no trans-fats. Omit the salt or salt the mixture lightly if you are on a low-sodium diet. If you'd like, use a salt-free seasoning blend.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.