Keto turnip gratin is a keto swap for potatoes. Thin slices of turnips are baked in a rich cheese sauce until tender in this keto side dish.
One of the biggest fusses I hear people make about starting keto is that they “can’t eat potatoes”. Okay, sure, potatoes are off limits and that may seem off-putting to some of you, BUT there are many replacement options for potatoes that fit magnificently in a ketogenic diet.
We’re working with turnips in the Keto In Pearls’ kitchen today! If you’re not familiar with turnips or have only ever heard your Great Aunt Phyllis talk about them, let me give you the run down.
Turnips are a root vegetable like potatoes, rutabagas, or parsnips (one of my other favorites). People in the south like to cook the leafy greens off the tops of the turnips. Maybe you’ve heard someone say they want a bowl of greens? Most likely they mean turnip greens or collard greens, they’re basically the same thing.
Today, however, we’re working with the round white part of the vegetable. I’ll be up front and tell you that turnips smell pretty earthy. I definitely wouldn’t want to eat one raw (like in a salad) as I would a carrot or radish. But when they’re sliced thin, baked, and covered in a gooey sauce they taste no different than a potato!
I don’t really have a moment of inspiration for this dish other than the fact that a) I knew turnips were low in carbs and b) I had never cooked with one so that sounded like a fun challenge! I was also jonesing for some new keto side dishes to share on here with you. After all, variety is the spice of life!
Lo and behold, after a light round of recipe testing, I came out with a fantastic low carb “potato” dish. Turnips only have about 7 to 8 total carbs per 100g–that’s about the size of 1 turnip. Basically, they’re a very low carb and keto friendly vegetable.
Turnips are also dirt cheap -pun totally intended. Unlike many keto foods, turnips are not going to break your bank. And I’ve never been to a grocery store that didn’t have turnips. What I’m trying to say is: you don’t need to spend your life savings at Whole Paycheck for this recipe.
I opted to make a gratin (gra-tan, grau-taun, grat-in…however you pronounce it) with mine. I wanted to mimic a classic scalloped potato but obviously make it a keto scalloped potato.
I also chose to make this particular dish more on the foodie end of the scale. My kids weren’t crazy about this one but if I swapped the cheeses out, I’m pretty sure they would have liked it more. My husband on the other hand loved it and he can be a hard sell!
When I was testing this recipe, I made it two different ways. Hubs liked the first version best and I liked the second best. I’ve included a note in the recipe card for the slight change if you’d like to try the hubs’ version.
The ingredients for this keto side dish are simple, easy to find, and probably things you already have in your kitchen. If you don’t have a mandoline, I would really encourage you to buy one. They’re inexpensive and help you get even thickness in your veggies. I linked one below that is similar to the one I use. Just be careful and always use the safe guard!
I loved this keto turnip side dish so much that I have plans for more ways to use turnips as a keto potato replacement! If you love this recipe, I’d love it if you left a comment below! And don’t forget to tag me in your recreations across social media!
- 1.5 pounds turnips (about 2 medium turnips)
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon horseradish
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 80 g shredded extra sharp white cheddar cheese
- 50 g shredded gruyere cheese
- 2 tablespoons Boursin garlic and herb cheese spread
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a medium sized baking dish and set aside.
- Prepare the turnips by slicing off the ends and peeling the outer layer. Rinse off any dirt.
- Using a mandoline, carefully slice each turnip into thin slices, about 1/4" in thickness. The total weight of the sliced turnips should be roughly 1 pound.
- Layer the turnip slices in the prepared dish. They will overlap. Try to get the layers as even as possible so the top does not dome up. Set aside
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, heat the heavy cream but not let it boil. Whisk continuously to avoid burning.
- Whisk in the dijon, horseradish, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
- When the cream is hot, after 3 to 4 minutes, add half of the white cheddar, half of the gruyere, and all of the Boursin. Whisk until all the cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
- Carefully pour the cheese sauce over the turnips so that it is evenly coated. Use a wooden spoon to push the turnip slices around and make sure the sauce is evenly distributed throughout the dish.
- Top the dish with the remaining white cheddar and gruyere cheese. Cover with foil.
- Bake for 45 minutes covered. Remove the foil and cook an additional 10 minutes to get a nice golden color on top. Let the dish rest 10 minutes before serving.
For a spicier sauce, use 1 full tablespoon of horseradish. Mr. Pearls liked it better this way.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 233 Total Fat: 17.4g Carbohydrates: 6.6g Fiber: 1.4g Protein: 4.9g