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Recipe: Turnip Gratin


Published on

turnip gratin recipe
Turnip gratin makes a great side dish to roast chicken.

Though this recipe is great with turnips, you can easily use any root vegetable.

Type of dish: Side Dish
Equipment: Pot, 8 inch baking dish
Servings: Makes 4 servings


  • 3 medium turnips, peeled and rinsed
  • 2 TB butter, divided and at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups cream, milk, sour cream, coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Gruyere, shredded
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves plus additional thyme for garnish
  • freshly grated nutmeg or 1/4 tsp dried nutmeg powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Slice the turnips thinly. If using a knife and cutting board, this is about 1/8 inch thick, or if available, you can use a mandoline slicer.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add sliced turnips. When they come to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 4 minutes.
  4. In a saucepan, add 1 TB of the butter and the minced garlic. Heat over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Whisk in the cream.
  6. Grate in the nutmeg and add the thyme, a pinch of black pepper, and 3/4 cup of the Gruyere cheese so that it warms slightly.
  7. Butter the bottom of an 8-inch casserole dish with the remaining 1 TB butter.
  8. Arrange half of the turnip slices in the dish. You don’t need to make this neat and perfect, just spread them around somewhat evenly.
  9. Pour half of the cream mixture over the turnips.
  10. Fill the dish with the rest of the turnips, again, spreading them around, and add the other half of the cream on top.
  11. Heat the dish at 350 for 25 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven. Take a spatula and press down on the casserole, evening out the turnips. Then, cover the top with the remaining 3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, spreading in an even layer. Gruyere cheese contains a bit of salt and is the reason no extra salt is added to the dish (beyond the cooking water). Gruyere is also an easy cheese to find unpasteurized.
  13. Return dish to the oven and cook for 20 minutes. The top should have a hint of golden brown.
  14. Remove and let casserole sit for 15 minutes before cutting. Garnish with thyme and serve in slices once cooled.


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Chris Kresser in kitchen
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  1. I am fresh out of turnips, but this is my excuse to go buy more. I just got some gouda/gruyere at my local farm market that will be perfect in this. I’m good at imagining what recipes will taste like, and this is making me salivate. Thanks for sharing!

  2. –not the Andrea above–

    Fixed this last night using Gouda cheese as that’s what I had on hand. It was very good and a hit with my husband. This recipe is more involved than my usual roasted or sautéed vegetables but I think I would be willing to make it once a month or so. It created plenty of leftovers for the two of us.

  3. I’m new to this, are parsnips also a safe starch? Would it be just fine to substitute them in this recipe? It sounds delicious!