How to Cook French-Fried Turnips

imperfect organic turnips, fresh green tops on authentic wood background


All the Crispiness of French Fries Without the All the Carbs

You can take deep-fried turnips in a lot of tasteful directions, just like potatoes. But unlike potatoes, you get a little more base flavor to play with, while consuming about a third of the carbs. Fried turnips have a pleasant bitterness and peppery bite redolent of kohlrabi and radishes, making them perfect with piquant spice mixes like Cajun and creole seasoning. If you want to go with fresh herbs, soft-leaf herbs like basil, thyme and oregano make a great addition.

You don't need a deep-fryer or Dutch oven for french-fried turnips unless you're making a very large batch; two to four servings require just 1 cup of vegetable oil.

Total Time: 20 minutes | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 2


  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 pounds turnips, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch-wide sticks
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly chopped herbs (optional)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons mixed spices (optional)


  1. Add enough canola oil to fill 1/4 inch of the bottom of a 10- or 12-inch skillet or other heavy-bottomed pan. Heat the oil on the stove over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the turnips to the pan without overcrowding it; the turnip slices can touch but not overlap each other. Cook the turnips in batches if necessary.
  3. Fry the turnips until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the fried turnips to a large mixing bowl lined with a paper towel.
  4. Let the turnips drain a few seconds and add salt, pepper, herbs and spices to taste. Toss the fries, and serve immediately.