This quick and easy Turnip Salad recipe delivers a sharp, tangy, and crisp raw shredded veggie dish packed with fiber and flavor. You only need grated turnips, carrots, crunchy pumpkin seeds, and a simple dressing. It’s seriously that simple!
Turnips are an underrated root vegetable – so before we discuss the details of this delicious raw turnip salad, let’s break down the basics of a root vegetable that maybe you’re new to preparing!
What is Turnip?
Turnips belong to the cruciferous vegetable family (along with cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and a few others).
Turnips are usually round and heavy for their size. They have smooth skin that is white at the bottom and light purple or greenish at the top part.
As for texture and taste, salad turnips are similar to crunchy radishes but with a mild, less intense flavor.
Turnips thrive in cold weather and store very well, so they are a great way to enjoy inexpensive and nutritious fresh produce when many vegetables are out of season.
Turnips are typically boiled, steamed, or roasted, but this turnip salad proves that turnips are even better when enjoyed raw.
Raw turnips have a pleasant mild taste and can be eaten as a snack as you would eat a carrot. They also work great, served as a part of a veggie tray.
So without further ado, pick your turnips (and carrots), and let’s make this delicious turnip salad.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This bright, healthy salad is the perfect quick, budget-friendly side dish for weeknight dinners and entertaining.
- It’s quick and easy. Once the veggies are grated, all you have to do is toss them.
- It’s flexible. There are SO many ways to customize this recipe.
- You can use this salad wherever you’d usually use coleslaw (sandwiches, tacos, grain bowls, etc.).
- This easy recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, and plant-based!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Turnips – Fresh turnips are usually sold with the greens still attached. Turnips without the greens are either packaged in plastic bags or sold loose.
- Carrots – Sweet and crisp carrots pair perfectly with zesty turnips.
- Parsley – For refreshing, herbaceous flavor.
- Pumpkin seeds – Feel free to toast the pumpkin seeds to enhance their flavor. For more crunch, you can also add sunflower seeds.
- Lemon juice & olive oil – The dressing! It’s straightforward, so the natural root veggie flavor shines.
- Sea salt – To taste! Feel free to add a bit of fresh cracked black pepper as well.
How To Make Raw Turnip Salad
- Peel and grate turnips & carrots: Turnip peels are edible but tend to be bitter and tough, so I suggest peeling the turnips with a paring knife or vegetable peeler. Then shred the turnip flesh with a box grater, hand grater, food processor, or spiralizer. Do the same with the carrots.
- Toss the salad ingredients and serve: Add the grated vegetables, chopped parsley, and pumpkin seeds to a large salad bowl. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, and toss until the vegetables are fully saturated in lemon juice and olive oil.
Use FRESH veggies. Your turnips and carrots must be fresh and firm. If they’ve started to dry out and wilt, you should use them for soups and stews instead of raw salads.
Add a variety of fresh herbs. Fresh herbs add flavor and nutrition to any meal. In addition to fresh parsley, cilantro, basil, chives, or tarragon are great in this salad.
Variations and Serving
- Other fresh add-ins: Add shredded apple and a variety of vegetables. Mix and match the turnips and carrots with raw beets, radishes, parsnips, cabbage, or Brussels sprouts.
- Add vinegar: Feel free to add a splash of apple cider, balsamic, red, or white vinegar to the dressing.
- Dressing alternatives: Toss the veggies with a simple mixture of rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and fresh ginger for an Asian-inspired flavor. You can also sprinkle some sesame seeds on top of the salad.
- Add spice: Give it a subtle spicy kick with Sriracha or minced jalapenos.
- Make it a meal: Serve your salad with simple chicken and fish dishes. It’s also great as a side salad with cozy soups like ground turkey soup, chicken vegetable soup, or quinoa chili.
This turnip salad keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Keep in mind that once grated, turnips will change their color from pure white to slightly yellowish and translucent. So, if a picture-perfect presentation is important, you’ll want to make the salad immediately before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you eat turnips raw in a salad?
Yes. Raw turnips have a pleasant, mild flavor and are a great vegetable to add to salads. Turnips are also yummy to snack on the way you would a carrot stick!
Do you have to peel salad turnips?
Technically, no. Turnip skin is completely safe to eat but can be woody and bitter. The skin on small baby turnips has a softer flavor and texture, which is acceptable to leave attached, but if you have large turnips, it’s probably best to peel the skin.
Are turnips nutritious?
Very! They’re a great source of vitamin B6, folate, calcium, potassium, and copper and are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, and manganese.
As for the glycemic index of turnips, some sources say that they are medium glycemic. However, according to this database, one medium-sized raw turnip has a low glycemic load of 2.
Raw Vegan Salads You’ll Love
- Healthy Cabbage Salad
- Red and Green Cabbage Salad
- German Cucumber Salad
- Raw Beet Salad
- Fresh Vegetable Salad
- Romaine Lettuce Salad
Raw Turnip Salad Recipe
A very easy to prepare Raw Turnip Salad Recipe. Just grate the vegetables, add the dressing and combine everything in a salad bowl. Full of fiber and healthy nutrients.
- 3 medium turnips, peeled and grated
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- Place the turnips, carrots, parsley and pumpkin seeds into a salad bowl. Add the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and toss to combine.
1. This salad keeps well in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Keep in mind that once grated, turnip will change the color from pure white to slightly yellowish and translucent. So, if you want to serve this salad for a dinner party and the appearance of the salad is important to you, make sure to prepare the salad just before serving.
2. Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 4 servings.
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Nutrition InformationYield 5 Serving Size 1/4 of recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 278Total Fat 21.5gSaturated Fat 3.5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 0mgSodium 104.6mgCarbohydrates 15.8gFiber 5.3gSugar 6.3gProtein 10.4g
Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.
Saturday 25th of January 2020
Loved this salad! Flavorful and crunchy and especially love the contrasting colors of this salad. I wonder if rutabaga in place of turnips would taste much different..
Monday 3rd of February 2020
Rutabaga would be wonderful in this salad! I think it would taste very similar to a turnip.
Friday 10th of January 2020
I love turnips fixed all different ways but I had a friend who loved slaw but was on coumadin blood thinner for years and was told not to eat cabbage slaw so I made turnip slaw and she could eat that and it is so good! I eat a lot of roasted veggies and raw veggies and over the last 2 years lost 100 lbs limit my intake of anything fried and count my carbs! I was a type 2 diabetic and no longer take meds to control diabetes! I will soon be 73 am very active and love to cook healthy foods for my friends?! Thanks for your recipes!
Saturday 18th of January 2020
Hi Mary! This is the best comment ever! Good for you for eating healthy and staying active. Your friends are so lucky to have you cook for them :)
Monday 4th of November 2019
Turnips!? Who knew. I bought a couple today to add to my big pot of Scotch broth but had never used them before. I had to try some of the diced pieces raw and was surprised, happily, to discover they taste wonderful raw. I immediately came online to check for raw-turnip salad recipes and found yours. Both of today's purchase went into the pot but next time I get groceries, I'll buy some more and make salad. They remind me of very mild radishes and I've made radish salad to use up some I only put a few into potato salad. I do recall my mother giving our milk cow a turnip sometimes as a treat. If I'd appreciated how good they were, I'd have dipped into the cow's supply.
Tuesday 5th of November 2019
Hi Naomi! You are right, they taste like mild radishes. I just love it that your Mom gave them to the cow. I am sure the cow enjoyed them :)
Thursday 16th of August 2018
What type of grater did you use to get that texture?
Thursday 16th of August 2018
I have an old mandoline slicer and one of the attachments grates into these long thin strips.
Monday 7th of December 2015
Thank you for a simple fast and delicious salad! I got wonderful fresh organic locally grown turnips and didn't want to cook them. My husband and me really enjoyed eating them raw in this salad.
Monday 7th of December 2015
Thank you so much for letting me know, Yana! I am so glad you enjoyed the salad :)