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Mashed Turnips Recipe – The Scottish Way (Neeps / Swedes)

This is how my grandmother made her turnips.  I know the supermarkets call them swedes, and in England they may be just that, but up here they’re more widely known as neeps or turnips.

We grew our own this year in the plot and have been pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out.  I like them simmered for up to 2 hours which makes the flavour more intense and darkens the vegetables.  I didn’t have long enough for this recipe, so they’ve only been simmered for about 40 minutes and are quite light in colour.

Mashed Turnips 2

I was surprised at how easy it was to peel and chop our own fresh turnip straight from the ground in comparison to the bought ones from the shops.  The taste is also much sweeter and more attractive to the kids.  I know the picture doesn’t show them as how nice they look, but you get the idea of how they work.  They’re fabulous  alongside the vegetables for roast dinners, haggis and chicken meals.   One of my boys just likes potatoes with his.

Our neeps from the plot are fairly big.  I only needed one for 6 of us.  I usually have to use 2 or 3 from the supermarkets for us all.

Mashed Turnips (Neeps / Swedes)

Lesley Smith
4.50 from 4 votes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Sides


  • 1 - 2 Turnips
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • As simple as it can be. Peel and chop the turnips (or swedes if that's what you call them) and put them in a big pan with boiling water. Add salt and pepper and simmer for up to 2 hours. Remember to replace the water as often as you need to. The neeps will be ready anytime after around 20 - 40 minutes, depending on your cooker and the size of chunks you cut your vegetables into, as well as your preference. We like long boiled darker mashed neeps here..
  • When cooked, the neeps will be easy to put a knife into and simply mash them with a little butter until the lumps are all out. Some people add a little milk, but I prefer mine without.
  • If you want to keep them hot while you are making a full meal ready, just put a knob of butter on the top, cover with tin foil and put in the oven on a low heat.