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Crispy Turnip Fries – Slender Kitchen

Baked Turnip fries are the perfect side dish for any low carb, Paleo, or Whole30 dinner. We love serving them alongside these Healthy Ranch Turkey Burgers and Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes. And when it comes to dipping, you can’t beat this Skinny Ranch.

Looking for a lower carb, Paleo friendly, or lower calorie fry? Look no further and try these turnip fries. For those who have never had a turnip, it has an earthy flavor with just a touch of bitterness. A bit like a cross between a radish and a potato in my opinion. Sliced thin and baked until crispy, they make a terrific fry. And this is coming from someone who loves French fries, like seriously loves french fries.

Lately I have been experimenting with all kinds of vegetable fries to try and up our vegetable intake, especially for the kids and my husband who aren’t huge veggie eaters naturally. We’ve had Parmesan Zucchini Fries, Carrot Fries, Baked Barbecue Onion Rings, and this week we tried these yummy baked turnip fries. And I have to admit, these rank up there as one of my favorites and the whole family loved them.

The cool thing about turnips is that the texture is almost identical to a potato. I would venture to say you could even forget to tell everyone these were made with turnips and they may not even notice. I waited until everyone had scarfed down at least one serving before breaking the news. Plus turnips have all kinds of health benefits that make them an especially healthy option for fries.

Do turnips taste like potatoes?

Any time I post a recipe for turnips, people always want to know what a turnip tastes like. Turnips have a mild flavor, somewhat similar to a potato but with a mild bitter flavor almost like cabbage or radish. When they are cooked, the bitterness gets less intense and the turnips get slightly sweet. For the best turnips, you want to choose smaller, younger turnips. The larger and older a turnip is the more bitter it will be.

How do you make turnip fries?

The best way to make turnip fries is to cut the turnips that are crispy is to start with the right turnips. Choose smaller turnips, which tend to be less bitter. Then peel the turnip and remove any green stems. Cut the turnip into planks and then slice those into smaller fries. You can also make large, wedge style fries but they will take longer to cook. Then toss the turnips with olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil. Toss with your favorite seasoning and bake in a 425 degree oven for 18-22 minutes, flipping halfway through.

A few important notes. If you try to flip the fries and they are sticking to the baking sheet, they are not ready to flip. Wait until they brown on the bottom and can easily be flipped. You can also line the baking sheet with parchment paper if you are worried about the turnip fries sticking. Also depending on how you slice the turnips, they may take a bit longer. You want the fries to be crispy on the outside and tender inside. Lastly make sure to lay the fries in a single layer without overlapping the fries. This ensures they get nice and crispy and don’t steam.

Turnip fries on a plate with ketchup.

Can I make turnip fries in the air fryer?

Turnip fries are a great option for the air fryer.  Follow the same directions below for preparing the fries. Then cook them in the air fryer at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. If they still have become crispy, turn the heat up to 400 and cook them for an additional 3-5 minutes.

Are turnips better for you than potatoes?

It’s difficult to make a blanket statement that turnips are better for you than potatoes since it will be heavily dependent on your diet and needs, however turnips are lower in calories and carbohydrates, which makes them a preferred choice for anyone looking to lose weight or cut down their carb intake. 

  • Calories: Turnips have about 19 calories per cup versus about 60 calories per cup for potatoes.
  • Carbohydrates: Turnips have only 4.2 grams of carbohydrates in a 1 cup serving versus 13.5 grams in a cup of potatoes.
  • Fiber: Turnips slightly edge out potatoes with 1.2 grams of fiber per cup versus just 1 gram in the same amount of potatoes.
  • Vitamins: Neither potatoes or turnips are nutritionally dense when it comes to vitamins and minerals. Turnips are a good source of Vitamin C and calcium where are potatoes are a good source of potassium and some B vitamins.
  • Sodium: If you are watching your sodium intake, turnips have slightly more sodium than potatoes. Since they have more sodium naturally, you can cut back on the salt in recipes that call for turnips.

Can I use Rutabaga instead?

Rutabaga, also known as yellow turnip, is another great option for these fries and tends to be slightly sweeter with a less bitter taste. Technically speaking, a rutabaga is actually a cross between a turnip and a cabbage and much like turnips, it is a great low carb alternative to potatoes. If turnips aren’t your favorite thing, you may just like rutabagas since the flavor is definitely milder. Additionally, when you cook rutabagas, like in this turnip fry recipe, they get sweeter. 

Seasoning Ideas

Like many good fry recipe, these can be seasoned in a million different ways to create all kinds of flavor combos. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Buffalo Blue Cheese: Drizzle the finished fries with buffalo sauce and sprinkle with blue cheese! There are so so good.
  • Garlic Parmesan: Season the fries in the same way the recipe suggests but then finish everything with Parmesan cheese. You can use nutritional yeast for a similar flavor for Paleo/Whole30.
  • Seasoned salt: I know so many people who are addicted to using seasoned salt for french fries and this is another great opportunity. Just make sure to check the ingredients if you are low carb/Paleo/Whole30 since many popular brands of seasoned salt contain some sugar.
  • Spicy: For spicy turnip fries, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the fries or some chili powder. 

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