In this post, I would like to share with you the most delicious German Turnip recipe. I will show you step-by-step how to peel and cook the famous German turnip and how to make the Béchamel sauce, to serve it with!

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Why should you try this recipe?

  • German turnip is very nutritious, its a source of vitamin C and B as well as potassium
  • German turnip consists of 90% of water, therefore is low in calories
  • German turnip is easy and quick to prepare
  • You can keep raw German turnip up to 7 days in the fridge

German turnip is a cabbage turnip, and it belongs to species like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower or Brussel sprouts. It has nothing to do with regular turnips. The beauty about this vegetable is that it can be eaten either raw or cooked. Stem, as well as leaves, are eatable. When eaten raw Kohlrabi has a mild and sweet taste, and the texture is very similar to the apple, so crispy and juicy. 

German Turnip nutrition facts

German turnip consists of 90% of water, 4% of fibre, sugars and it has very little fat. Has a lot of vitamin C and B9 as well as Potassium, Calcium and Sodium. German turnip is easy to digest, also when eaten raw. 

But there are many other ways you can enjoy this seasonal vegetable. The most common way to serve the German turnip on Germany is to serve it as a side dish with a white sauce which is either Béchamel Sauce or cream sauce. If you prefer eating it raw, you can add it to a salad. You can also roast it or make a soup out of it! Some even serve it breaded, Schnitzel kind of way. Human creativity knows really no boundaries. 

Be aware that German turnip changes its texture after being cooked. It becomes softer but keeps its mild and sweet taste. 

Buying German Turnip

While buying German turnip, make sure you choose the smaller once. Small German turnips are less woody and therefore, easier to peel. It is a seasonal vegetable and tastes best from spring until late summer.

How to peel German Turnip

Before you start peeling the German turnip make sure you rinse it with called water. Tap it dry, cut off the stem and peel well. That means that you need to remove the green skin and all wooden parts. German turnip has more woody parts next to the stem, so make sure you remove all of them. For peeling I use a vegetable peeler, if you don’t have one, you can also use a small, sharp knife. After this has been done, you can cut it into stripes (around 1cm thick), and at this point, your turnip is ready to be cooked.

How to cook German Turnip

Before cooking, cut it into strips (around 1 inch thick). Fill the pot with 2l of cold, salty water (If cooking 2 large turnips), add the turnip stripes and bring them to boil. German turnip has to simmer 10-12 minutes over medium-low heat. Please check if the turnip is ready by trying one of the stripes after 10 minutes have passed. The cooked turnip has to be soft.

Traditional German Turnip with Béchamel Sauce
Traditional German Turnip with Béchamel Sauce

Making Béchamel Sauce for German turnip

While cooking German turnip, you have enough time to prepare Béchamel Sauce. For this, you will likely need a saucepan and a whisk. The base of the Béchamel sauce is a roux, and to make it you will need butter and flour. First, you need to melt the butter over medium heat then add flour, mix it well and cook for at least 3 minutes under medium-low heat. Afterwards, you need to add the milk and mix it with a whisk vigorously until all ingredients combine well. After you are happy with the consistency, you can season it with salt pepper and nutmeg. 

By this time you turnip should be ready. Make sure you drain it well imminently after cooking and mix it with the sauce.

How to serve German Turnip with Béchamel Sauce?

There are plenty of ways to serve German Turnip with Béchamel Sauce. The side dish tastes best if served warm and goes exceptionally well with hard-boiled, mashed or pan-fried potatoes. You can also sprinkle it with parsley, chives, dill or chervil. For meat lovers: German meatballs would be the right choice.

Traditional German Turnip Recipe

Creamy and traditional German Turnip recipe with Bechamel sauce!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine German
Keyword authentic german turnip recipe, traditional german turnip
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 4 people


Prepare German Turnip

  • 2 German Turnips medium
  • 2 l water
  • salt

Bechamel Sauce

  • 20 g butter
  • 20 g flour white
  • 200 ml milk
  • 1 tsp stock powder vegetable
  • salt
  • pepper
  • nutmeg


Preparing German Turnips

  1. Wash and remove the stems from German turnip with a sharp knife.

  2. Peel them and make sure you get rid of all woody parts! They are not eatable!

  3. Cut the turnips into long, 1 inch thick stripes.

Cooking German Turnips

  1. Pour to the pot water, add salt and German turnip stripes. Bring it to boil.

  2. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.

  3. After 10 minutes check if the German Turnip is soft. If not cook additional 1-2 minutes, if yes – rinse it and set aside.

  4. Rinse and set aside.

Making Bechamel Sauce

  1. Prepare the roux by melting butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add flour and combine both ingredients. Let it cook for 3 minutes.

  2. Add milk and stir vigorously with a whisk until all ingredients combine.

  3. Season with vegetable stock powder, pepper, nutmeg and salt, if needed.

  4. Mix it with cooked and rinsed German Turnip stripes.

Recipe Notes

For serving you can prepare mashed, pan-fried or hard-boiled potatoes as well as delicious German meatballs.

If you enjoy eating regional and seasonal food this time of a year, please make sure you also check my German Spinach Recipe and other German recipes for more inspiration.

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Traditional German Turnip with Béchamel Sauce
Traditional German Turnip with Béchamel Sauce

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