How To Cook Turnips In The Microwave

Categorized as Microwave Cooking
How To Cook Turnips In The Microwave

You’re standing in front of the microwave, turnip in hand, and you’re not quite sure what to do. You know that you could just eat it raw, but that doesn’t sound like much fun. You could boil it, but that seems like a lot of work.

And then you remember that you saw someone microwaving a turnip once. But is that even possible? And if so, what are the right steps?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about cooking turnips in the microwave, from whether or not it’s possible, to the best methods for doing it.

Can You Cook Turnips In The Microwave?

You might be surprised to learn that yes, you can cook turnips in the microwave. In fact, microwaving is one of the quickest and easiest ways to cook turnips. It’s also a great way to retain the nutrients in your turnips, as opposed to boiling them.

However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any challenges to microwaving turnips.

Anyone who has ever microwaved vegetables knows that it can be a bit of a trial-and-error process. Depending on the vegetable and the desired level of doneness, finding the right cooking time can be a challenge.

This is especially true for turnips, which are fairly dense and vary widely in size. In addition, without a steaming basket, many veggies tend to come out a little limp and less attractive.

Here are the basic steps for microwaving turnips:

  1. Wash the turnips.
  2. Remove the greens (if attached). Peel and slice the turnips into thin pieces.
  3. Place the turnip slices in a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle with water.
  4. Cover the plate with a microwave-safe lid.
  5. Microwave on high for 5-10 minutes or until tender.
  6. Remove from the microwave and check their doneness. If they need more time, microwave in 5-minute increments until they’re tender.
  7. Drain any excess water and season as desired.

Is It Safe To Microwave Turnips?

Is it safe to microwave turnips? The answer depends on whether the turnips are raw or cooked. It is safe to cook raw turnips in the microwave, but reheating them is an entirely different matter.

Turnips are nitrate-rich vegetables, and when heated again, they can release carcinogenic compounds making them unsafe to consume.

For this reason, it’s best to avoid microwaving turnips more than once.

How Long Should You Cook Turnips In The Microwave?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors, such as the wattage of your microwave and the number of turnips you are cooking. In general, it will take 5-10 minutes to cook turnips in the microwave.

However, if you are cooking a large number of turnips, or if your microwave is on the lower end of the wattage spectrum, it may take a bit longer.

How To Cook Turnips In The Microwave

Here are the instructions along with some explanations for cooking turnips in the microwave:

1. Wash the turnips

If you’re planning on cooking turnips in the microwave, the first step is to wash them. Turnips are root vegetables, which means there’s a good chance some dirt or debris is clinging to them. Be sure to give them a good scrub under running water.

2. Prepare the turnips

After washing the turnips, the next step is to remove the greens (if attached) and peel and slice the turnips into thin pieces. The thinner the slices, the better they will cook. It’s not recommended to cook turnips whole in the microwave.

If the turnips that you bought have the greens attached, you can remove them by cutting them off with a knife or slicing them away with a vegetable peeler. But don’t throw them away! The greens are edible and can be cooked in the same way as other leafy greens like spinach or kale.

3. Place turnip slices in a microwave-safe bowl

Once the turnips are sliced, place them in a microwave-safe bowl and add a small amount of water. You can also use a casserole dish or other deep dish. The water helps to create steam and prevents the turnips from drying out while cooking.

4. Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid

After adding water to the plate, cover it with a microwave-safe lid. If your dish doesn’t have a lid, you can use a plate, paper towel, or another microwaveable cover. By covering the dish, you help to trap the steam and cook the turnips more evenly.

5. Microwave on high for 5-10 minutes

Now it’s time to cook the turnips! Place the dish in the microwave and turn it on to high power. Nuke for 5-10 minutes.

6. Remove from the microwave and check their doneness.

After 5-10 minutes, take the dish out of the microwave and check to see if the turnips are done.

So how can you tell if your turnips are done? The best way is to stick a fork into one of the turnips; if it feels tender, they’re done.

If they need more time, put them back in the microwave and cook them in 5-minute increments until they’re as soft as you like.

7. Drain any excess water and season as desired

Once your turnips are cooked, feel free to season them as desired and enjoy!

When it comes to turnips, there are many different ways to serve them.

One popular method is to add a small amount of olive oil and season with salt, pepper, lemon, ginger, or soy.

Another way to enjoy turnips is to mash them as an alternative to potatoes. They can also be used in soups and stews for added flavor and nutrition.

And for those who like their turnips a little sweeter, try adding a knob of butter and nutmeg or cinnamon. This is a great way to get kids to eat their turnips!

Can You Reheat Turnips In The Microwave?

As mentioned above, turnips are best cooked fresh. However, if you have leftovers or need to reheat them for some reason, the microwave is one thing you should avoid.

That’s right, microwaving turnips can convert their naturally occurring nitrates into nitrosamines, which can be carcinogenic.

So if you want to save your turnips, plan to reheat them in a conventional oven instead.


Turnips are a versatile vegetable that can be cooked in a variety of ways. In this article, I’ve outlined how to cook turnips in the microwave for 5-10 minutes. And I’ve also given some ideas on how to serve them once they’re cooked

With just a few simple steps, you can have perfectly cooked turnips that are tender and delicious. So next time you’re in the mood for something different, give this method a try!

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!