These turnip greens are hearty, healthy, and packed with a ton of Southern flavors! They're sauteed in butter with onions, bell pepper, and turkey ham, and then they're simmered in beef broth until tender. Honestly, you won't find a turnip greens recipe more delicious than this one. Plus, the best part is that it takes just 5 minutes to prep them.
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My Take On Turnip Greens
Turnip greens are a staple of Southern cooking, along with collard greens, black eyed peas, and other vegetables. But I think this turnip greens recipe creates the most delicious Southern veggie out there. I might be a little biased on this one, though, since this is my grandma's famous recipe.
The fresh turnip greens wilt wonderfully and take on such a delicious flavor once they cook with the rest of the simple yet flavorful ingredients this recipe includes.
Honestly, if you're looking for a recipe to get your family hooked on healthy leafy greens, this turnip greens recipe is it. Not only are these greens seriously delicious though, but they're also seriously packed with tons of health benefits - similar to a lot of cruciferous vegetables like kale, mustard greens, and spinach. So this recipe is a win-win.
By the way, if you're looking for a tasty entree to serve these turnip greens with give this southern meatloaf recipe a shot. We make them together all of the time, and it's a hit with the entire fam when we do.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
It's so easy to make. You basically just have to add everything to a pot and let it cook, so there's really no hands-on cooking required!
It's a one pot recipe. Everything cooks in just one pot, so it makes the entire process that much easier. Plus, cleaning up is a breeze too, and I'm always a fan of an easy clean-up after dinner.
The cooked turnip greens actually taste good. Seriously, the blend of ingredients in this recipe makes turnip greens even two year old loves. So I think everyone in your family will love this chopped turnip greens recipe too!
So, all of the ingredients you'll need to make these turnip greens are kitchen and pantry staples. In fact, besides the liquid smoke, you probably have most - if not all - of them on hand already.
Anyway, here's what you'll need to make turnips greens:
- 1 pound of washed and cut turnip greens
- 1 tbsp. of butter
- ½ cup diced red bell pepper
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 tsp. of garlic powder or minced garlic
- 1 cup diced turkey ham
- 1 ½ cups of beef broth
- 1 splash of liquid smoke
Not to shabby, eh?
My Ingredient Addition and Substitution Recommendations
While I recommend making this turnip greens recipe with the ingredients listed above, I do have suggestions for making substitutions to some of them if you're in a pinch.
Simmering the turnip greens in the broth will break down the tough and fibrous strands of the turnip plants, and make them nice and tender when you're ready to eat. And, as you may have noticed, I used beef broth to simmer them in - it just help enhance the smoky flavors. But, if you'd like to substitute it out you can definitely use chicken broth - or vegetable broth - in it's place if that's all you have on hand.
Now, as far as substituting out the turkey ham, you can use regular ham, bacon, smoked sausage, salt pork, smoked turkey, ham hocks, or even chicken if you prefer to do so. My granny just always made turnip greens with turkey ham, so that's why I used it. However, if you want to keep it a vegetarian side dish, just leave the meat out altogether.
For the veggies, you can throw in almost anything you have in the fridge. Got some leftover baby carrots or mushrooms? Slice them thin and add them to the skillet while cooking the onions and peppers. You can also add peas, some broccoli, and really anything else you want!
Lastly, you can also customize these turnip greens with a little extra spice. For example, sprinkle chili powder, red pepper flakes, or cracked black pepper into the dish while it's cooking. If you want to make them extra Southern, add some creole seasoning or cajun seasoning.
Really, no matter how you decide to customize your turnip greens, they'll taste delicious if you follow the cooking instructions below!
How To Make Turnip Greens
This recipe for turnip greens will take about 45 minutes to make. But, practically the entire time is passive, hands-off cooking! So, that gives you plenty of time to prepare the entree of your choice to go with this healthy side dish as it cooks.
Anyway, now, without further ado, let's get into how to make these turnips greens!
Step 1: Sauté The Veggies
First, take out a large pot, put it on the stovetop over medium heat, and add the butter to it.
Once the butter melts, add the diced onions and peppers and sauté for about 10 minutes - until they're tender. Also make sure to stir the veggies around frequently while cooking.
Step 2: Add The Rest of The Ingredients
Next, add the garlic powder and ham to the sauteed onions and peppers, and sauté for a few minutes until the ham browns a bit on all sides. Then, pour in the broth and let the liquid come to a boil.
Once the broth is boiling, add the fresh turnip greens to the pot and stir everything around, so the turnip greens are evenly coated in broth.
Next, put a lid on the pot, turn the heat down to low and let the greens simmer for about 30 minutes, checking on them every so often.
Step 3: Season and Serve
After about 30 minutes, the turnip greens should be nice and tender. So, once they are, season with a dash of salt and pepper, then add a few drops of liquid smoke to the pot.
Finally, serve these turnip greens hot alongside anything you want, and enjoy!
What To Serve with Turnip Greens
As I've mentioned a few times, these turnip greens go great with all sorts of dishes. They're fantastic as a side dish, but they're also hearty enough to be a meal on their own!
With that said, here's some recipe inspiration to help you plan your next meal with these turnip greens:
For what it's worth, my family's favorite is serving these turnip greens with the air fryer cat fish recipe listed above! So, I highly recommend pairing the two together.
How To Store Turnip Greens
This recipe for turnip greens will make about 4 side dish servings. So, if you want more, just double - or triple - the recipe.
Then, if you have any leftover turnip greens, they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. With that said, I don't recommend freezing them, as they can become mushy once thawed.
How To Reheat Turnip Greens
To reheat these turnip greens, simply heat them up in a pot on the stove over medium heat. Just make sure to add a splash of broth - or water - to the turnip greens to get them nice and moist again.
You can also microwave the turnip greens in 30 second increment to reaheat them. Just make sure to stir them often if you go this route so they don't dry out. And, again, you may want to add a little liquid to 'em help them retain their moisture as they cook.
My Final Thoughts
Well, that's how to make turnip greens!
This recipe is really great for sneaking some healthy veggies into your dinner routine without sacrificing taste. Plus, these turnips greens are simple enough to whip up on busy weeknights, and they go great with just about anything.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy these turnip greens as much as I/we do at our house.
If you give this recipe a try, leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!
More Easy Recipes
If you enjoyed this low-maintenance meal, we have a ton of other recipes that are just as easy to make on the blog as well!
Check these out:
- Hoppin John
- 4 ingredient potato soup
- Sweet potato cornbread
- Cheesy spinach casserole
- Grandma's chicken noodle soup
- Honey glazed candied carrots
- Texas Roadhouse country fried chicken
These turnip greens are hearty, healthy, and packed with a ton of southern flavors! They're sauteed in butter with onions, bell pepper, and turkey ham, and then they're simmered in beef broth until tender. Honestly, you won't find a turnip greens recipe more delicious than this one. Plus, the best part is that it takes just 5 minutes to prep 'em.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Side
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Vegetable
1 pound of washed and cut turnip greens
1 tbsp. of butter (or olive oil)
½ cup diced red bell pepper (yellow, green, or orange would work too)
½ cup diced onion
1 tsp. of garlic powder or minced garlic
1 cup diced turkey ham
1 ½ cups of beef broth (you can use chicken broth or veggie broth as well)
1 splash of liquid smoke (optional)
- Melt the butter in a pot and add the onions and peppers. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ham, and beef broth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add the turnip greens.
- Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes.
- Adjust salt and pepper and serve with a splash of liquid smoke.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 102
- Fat: 4
- Carbohydrates: 7
- Protein: 10
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