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turnip casserole in scalloped white baking dish with serving spoon

Turnip Casserole

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5 from 2 reviews


This simple yet delicious Turnip Casserole is layered with savory caramelized onions, creamy bechamel sauce and Parmesan cheese. With only 20 minutes of hands-on time, it is a relatively effortless recipe to keep in your repertoire! It makes a great side dish to serve with roasted meat and poultry or for an elegant holiday meal.


  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds turnips
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, warmed
  • 1/2 cup half and half, warmed
  • 35 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only or 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley


  1. Place an 8-inch square or 2-quart baking dish on middle rack of oven and preheat to 400’F. Once the oven is preheated, remove baking dish from oven and add the onion, oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat then carefully cover with foil and return to the oven. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden and tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and slice turnips into ⅛-inch thick slices. You can use a mandoline or a sharp knife. To make cutting with a knife easier, cut the turnips in half, then place the halves on their flat-cut side for better stability. Cut into thick half moons. 
  3. While the onions cook, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly golden, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk and cream and continue to stir until sauce is thick and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Stir in thyme, remaining salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  4. Remove baking dish from the oven and transfer onions to a bowl. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Caution the baking dish will be hot. Layer ½ of the turnips and ½ of the onions in the baking dish. Spread half of the sauce over the vegetables and add about half the cheese. Repeat the layer one more time. Cover casserole with foil.
  5. Bake the casserole until the turnips are tender when pierced with a knife tip, about 50 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Add in panko and paprika and mash with a fork until the panko is evenly moistened with the butter and the paprika has colored the panko evenly.
  6. Sprinkle panko mixture over the casserole. Bake, uncovered until top is golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.


Caramelizing Onions

While we love caramelizing the onions in the oven, because it is so hands off, it does take a little longer than the traditional stove top method. To speed up the prep time, you can cook the onions in a saucepan over medium-low heat, covered, until soft and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Splash in a tablespoon of water if they are browning before softening. 

Make Ahead

Prepare through step 4 up to 1 day in advance. Because the casserole will be cold, you will need to bake it for an additional 10 to 15 minutes in step 5.

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30-35
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2/3 cup
  • Calories: 208
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Fat: 13g
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 7g
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