Fall/ Side Dish/ Spring

Cheesy Hakurei Turnip Gratin with Fresh Herbs

September 28, 2021
hakurei turnip gratin

We made this dish with Hakurei turnips–one of our most anticipated root vegetables to harvest in the spring and fall! Crisp, sweet, and absolutely delicious. Hakurei turnips are great eaten raw with a dip or salad, in a roasted medley, or in this yummy gratin. For this Cheesy Hakurei Turnip Gratin, we combined the strong, rich flavors of Gruyere cheese, garlic, and heavy cream to create a filling side dish for those cool fall days.

Turnips lend themselves nicely to gratins as their texture becomes incredibly tender and silky. Not to mention, there is a slight sweetness you get from turnips, especially Hakurei turnips, that you don’t find in potatoes. The sweetest turnips you’ll find will have had some exposure to cooler temperatures. Just like carrots, they gain all their sweetness during the frost. As temperatures approach freezing, the stored starches inside the roots slowly convert into sugars.

Before I started farming, I would pass by the turnips in search of the more common, “flavorful” vegetables–oh what my tastebuds were missing out on. Once I learned of their balanced and sweet flavor, I couldn’t get enough. Purple top turnips are also delicious, but the next time you visit your local farm stand, ask about Hakurei turnips..you won’t be disappointed!

Tips & Substitutions

  • If you have pesto or romesco on hand, even better! Dot a little between the layers and forgo the other herbs, oil, and garlic, if you so choose. Try it out with this Arugula Pesto.
  • Add other vegetables if you wish such as beets, carrots, potatoes, etc. This makes for a delicious way to “eat the rainbow”.
  • If you’re able to find celery root or parsley root at your local market or grocer, give them a try. Eaten raw you may find them a little strong, but roasted or cooked in a gratin like this, they mellow into a delicious conglomeration of heavenly fall flavors.
  • If you have a mandolin, this would be a time saver for this recipe! If not that’s okay, it doesn’t matter how thick the slices are just as long as they’re uniform. You may want to adjust the baking time. Just cook until fork tender.

More Root Veggie Recipes:

Roasted Parsnip Soup

Pesto Potato & Beans (cheating, potatoes are a tuber)

Roasted Beet Relish

Creamy Leek & Potato Soup

Cheesy Gruyere And Hakurei Turnip Gratin with Fresh Herbs

Dinner, Side Dish, Main Dish Italian, French, American
By Katelyn Bailey Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes Total Time: 40-50 minutes

This gratin really celebrates the lovely taste and texture of turnips, especially Hakurei turnips. They become nice and tender with a nice added crunch from the cheesy breadcrumbs. Super easy to make and takes 30-40 minutes to cook.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds, or 2 bunches of Hakurei turnips, or Purple Top turnips
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of Gruyere cheese, or a cheese of your choice, grated
  • ½-1 teaspoons fresh or dry herbs (I used thyme, rosemary, and sage)
  • ¼ cup of heavy cream
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 375°F.


Wash and thinly slice turnips with a knife or mandolin.


In a large bowl, mix the sliced turnips with some salt, pepper, 2 tbs of olive oil and the minced garlic. (If you have a mortar and pestle, you could also make the garlic into a paste and mix with the olive oil before tossing with the turnips.)


Melt the butter in an 8-10” skillet and begin layering.


Start with a layer of turnips and then cheese, herbs, and a dash of heavy cream.


Repeat the layering process until the last turnip layer.


Combine the parmesan cheese and bread crumbs and sprinkle over the top of the gratin. Finish assembling with a drizzle of garlic oil, or olive oil.


Place in the oven until golden brown, about 30-40 minutes until fork tender. Enjoy!


  • 318 Calories
  • 13.9g Carbohydrates
  • 56mg Cholesterol
  • 25.2g Fat
  • 3g Fiber
  • 11.6g Protein
  • 11.9g Saturated fat
  • 9938mg Sodium
  • 2.6g Sugar


Refrigerate for 3-5 days in sealed container.

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  • Reply
    July 8, 2023 at 1:11 am

    Holy guacamole this was incredible!!! I used my homemade pesto like the instructions recommended as a sub and fontina cheese instead of Gruyère. It’s better than potatoes au gratin. My husband hates hakurei turnips and even he liked it. Truly magical.

    • Reply
      October 9, 2023 at 7:14 am

      Yay, so glad you and your hubby enjoyed it!! It’s about to be root veggie season, so I’ll have to try it with the Fontina cheese this time 🙂

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