Michigan Fresh: Using, Storing, and Preserving Turnips (HNI46)


January 23, 2015 - Author:

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Recommended varieties

For roots:  Just Right, Gilfeather, Golden Ball, Market Express, Purple Top, White Globe, Royal Crown, Scarlet Queen, Tokyo Cross, White Knight, White lady.

For turnip greens: Alltop, Seven Top, Shogoin, Topper.

Storage and food safety

  • Using a vegetable brush and running water remove all soil from turnips.   Turnips can be stored two weeks in refrigerator or 8 to 10 months in freezer.
  • To prevent cross contamination keep turnips away from raw meat and meat juices.
  • Wash hands before handling fresh produce.
  • For best quality and nutritional value do not preserve more than your family can consume in 12 months.


3-4 medium, 1 pound 2 1/2 - 3 cups cooked and mashed
turnip greens, 1 pound 6-7 cups raw leaves, 1 cup cooked leaves

How to preserve


Turnips may be canned, but usually discolor and develop strong flavor when canned.

Hot pack method: Wash turnips, scrubbing well. Peel, slice or dice. Place turnips in a saucepan, cover with boiling water and boil 5 minutes. Pack hot pieces into hot jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Add ½ teaspoon salt to pints, 1 teaspoon to quarts, if desired. Fill jar to 1 inch from top with boiling hot cooking liquid. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust two-piece lids, tighten and process.

Process in a dial-gauge pressure canner at 11 pounds pressure OR in a weighted-gauge pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure.

Pints……………………..30 minutes

Quarts…………………  35 minutes


Select small to medium, firm turnips that are tender and have a mild flavor. Wash, peel and cut into ½-inch cubes. Water blanch for 3 minutes. Cool promptly in cold water and drain. Pack into containers, leaving ½ inch headspace. Seal, label and freeze.

Water blanching: Use 1 gallon of water per pound of prepared vegetables. Put vegetables in blanching basket or colander and lower into boiling water. Place lid on blancher. Return water to boil and start counting blanching time as soon as water returns to a boil.


The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, 2009 Revision. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539.

Andress, Elizabeth and Judy A. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. Bulletin 989, 6th edition. Cooperative Extension University of Georgia, 2014.

USDA National Center for Home Food Preservation.

How Much Should I Buy? CYFC 064. Michigan State University Extension.

More information

Prepared by: Joyce McGarry, MSU Extension educator


Tags: michigan fresh, vegetables


Joyce McGarry

Joyce McGarry

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