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“Pickled Turnips”

I’m pickling a lot these days. That seems to be the way it goes with summer gardening. You hoe and weed and till and sow and water and worry and then it all comes pouring in at once, faster than you can eat it.

When I have this problem, I pickle.

Folks, get ready for a lot of pickling posts. It’s a sure path to colorful shelves. And besides, colorful shelves in the cold winter months are a good thing,

The turnips didn’t grow yellow. But I tend to dye my vegetables when I pickle them so that they don’t turn an unappealing brown color while they sit in the liquid for a time. It also imparts some flavor.

For this, I used turmeric to color them, but you could also use saffron if you have it handy.

These were the turnips from the garden. There was more than this but I think someone had steamed turnips for dinner.

Here is what you’ll need to pickle these turnips: Anise seed (you could also use star anise) turmeric, white vinegar (you could also use rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, etc, etc) coriander seed, sea or Kosher salt, black peppercorns, sugar, mustard seed, and turnips of course!

Give your turnips a nice peel.

Then slice them thinly. I recommend a mandolin for this unless you have serious knife skills.

But you don’t want the slices to be paper thin, you want them to have some sturdiness to them. Otherwise they’ll disintegrate in the hot liquid.

Next you make your pickling mixture. Pour in the vinegar…

The salt!

The anise…

The mustard seed!

The sugar.

The peppercorns!

The coriander seed.

And at last the turmeric.

Keep in mind, that if you’re feeling elaborate, you can toast the seeds for 1-2 minutes in a pan before you add them to the liquid to bring out the flavorful oils. Just don’t toast anything powdered, ie. the turmeric, sugar, salt.

Once you bring your mixture to a simmer and turn off the heat, you can add your turnips to the mixture, or even better you can add your turnips to mason jars, tightly packed and pour the liquid over them, one by one.

But of course, I’m not the best at doing things the easy way. So I dumped ‘em in, then dumped ‘em in the jars.

Ain’t it purty?

These are such a fun and flavorful condiment to add to a salad, or a burger, or a sandwich. They really jazz things up. And sometimes life needs jazzing up.

Give this a try sometime!

“Pickled Turnips”

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 quarts (20 cups)

“Pickled Turnips”


  • 12 cups white or rice wine vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric or saffron
  • 12 cups turnips, thinly sliced to about 1/8 inch thick


  1. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan.
  2. (Optional) Toast the coriander, mustard, anise, and black peppercorn in a pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the seeds begin to exude their perfume.
  3. Add the turmeric, coriander, mustard, anise and peppercorn to the liquid and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat.
  4. Pack the turnip slices in jars, pressing down gently to fill spaces. Pour the liquid into each jar leaving a 1/2 inch of head space at the top.
  5. Place the lids on top and tighten gently. Store in the refrigerator or put the jars in a boiling water bath (212°F) for about 45 minutes. Remove them from the water and tighten the lids further. You will hear a fun “popping” sound as they cool which indicates they are sealing.

Leave a Comment



  1. Looks an awful lot like what’s going on in my house these days! Picked zucchini, pickled cucumbers, picked beets, picked radishes…

  2. The turmeric is perfect, and they end up looking like golden disks of sunshine. They’d be perfect for those long winter months. We just pickled green beans and cucumbers last week. This week I am going with peppers and cauliflower. I love canning season.

  3. I just made and canned my first set of Kosher Dill pickles. I am on my way – keep bringing on the pickling recipes.

  4. I’ve never pickled anything and I’ve never eaten a turnip. Hmm…you just opened up a whole new world for me, Georgia!

  5. I love anything pickled, and know I would love these, looks amazing!

  6. Well. I thought I had seen or made every kind of pickle there is, but I have never in my life seen pickled turnips! And know what – now I can’t wait to try them for myself! Thanks, Georgia.

  7. Pickling & dying them first is such a great idea. Would love these over salads & these babies are gorgeous for presentation.

  8. I haven’t ever pickled anything either…you make it look simple.

  9. They are purty! So sunshiny!

  10. So gorgeous, Georgia! YUM!

  11. Well turnips are something I’ve never pickled. Gotta try this!

  12. Love the bright color!

  13. Georgia- this is so great. I just had pickled turnips at a restaurant in Seattle the other night, and thought they were brilliant. Then, in a streak of luck, received a huge bunch of gorgeous white turnips in my weekly produce bin! now I know what to do with them :)

  14. I just made a pepper relish with similar ingredients. Delish over cream cheese or goat cheese. I wish we could do some canning together :) We just picked a huge turnip from our garden, it got a little tooo big! :)

  15. Fantastic idea, with the colouring….. never mind the pickling itself. Thank you for this post :0)

  16. Love this! I’m just pickled tink that you’re posting this!

  17. I love pickles in all shapes, colors and sizes – so pretty – this would probably be good with any baby root veg -

  18. Georgia, have you ever had pickled watermelon rind? I’ve heard it’s quite the Southern delicacy but I’ve not had a chance to try any here in Arizona. If you post that recipe, I just might attempt to pickle it myself.

    • Yes! It’s on my list of things to pickle. I used to make it all the time in my restaurant days, I’m definitely going to post it for ya.

  19. oh my gosh Georgia – i LOVE these!!! would never, ever thought to pickle a turnip . . . am now having one of those ‘why didn’t i think of that?!’ moments!

  20. Are you pickling any green beans? My hubs found some in a bar in Key West and fell in love, and I don’t know how to make them!

  21. I can honestly say I’ve never pickled turnips. I do like turnips though. I would think that could be pretty tasty.

    I used to do a lot of canning, but not anymore. Even with my only 2 grape tomato plants I get swamped all of the sudden with too many.

  22. Turnips are the one root vegetable that I have never been a fan of… but these pickles could definitely be a game changer for me! Think I need to make some to test out that theory….

  23. I have had pickled beans, corn, okra, beets…but never turnips. Those just look golden delicious. I have a feeling I will be pickling soon one weekend :)

  24. These really are beautiful, and I think you may have answered a canning question I’ve had…I always wondered why some things are yellow when canned ans some aren’t.

    • Yes, I think people color things a lot to make them more appealing the jar. I use red beets often for that!

  25. As usual, you have taught me something new! :)