Ham and Turnip Gratin

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Ham and Turnip Gratin recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

A couple weeks ago, my brother brought me a huge bag of turnips. As gardens tend to do, his coworker’s garden had produced far more than they could possibly use. I wanted to try something different with them. I’ve used turnips this year in stews and salads and grown to like their flavor.

This was an entirely different approach, I expected it to taste more like a potato gratin, but turnips have a strong and distinct flavor all their own. If you already like turnips, you are going to love this dish. If you are undecided, I’ll be honest and tell you that it could go either way for you. My family is split down the middle on this dish.

My oldest son, adored this and has already named it one of his “top most favorite meals ever.” My husband liked it as well; commenting that the turnip flavor is different at first, but it grows on you.

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My middle son simply declared that he is not a fan of turnips. My youngest was unimpressed as well. So, take that for what it’s worth. Me, I’m okay with letting my oldest have my portion of this dinner. I’ll stick to my favorite Winter Salad to use the rest of the turnips.

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Ham and Turnip Gratin

5 from 2 votes
Recipe adapted from and with thanks to The Pioneer Woman
Servings: 7 -8 servings


  • 1 ham steak about 10 ounces, diced into 1/2" cubes
  • 3 large turnips peeled and sliced very thin
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • approximately ½ cup cream
  • approximately ¼ - ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large oven proof skillet, over medium high heat, warm the olive oil and then place a layer of turnip slices (slightly overlapping them) on the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle with about ⅓ of the ham and garlic and drizzle with a bit of the chicken broth, cream, salt and pepper and then sprinkle with some of the cheese.
  • Repeat these steps a couple more times, leaving the pan on the hot stove throughout the process. By the time, you finish the layers, the pan should be bubbling. When the layers are done, top with any remaining cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese on top starts to turn golden brown. Enjoy!
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Jenn says

    I always say I'm not a fan of turnips, but I tried them once.. when I was like 6…so I could totally like them now for all I know 🙂 Either way, I love gratins and this sounds really good!

  2. Beth says

    What an innovative way to cook with turnips! Even if a recipe doesn't work out, it's always worth trying. And lucky you, to have a child who loves turnips!

  3. Jean | Delightful Repast says

    I don't have a particular fondness for turnips. They're something I eat and enjoy well enough when I run into them at someone else's table, but I just never think to cook them. This dish *could* bring turnips more to the forefront of my mind!

  4. Amrita says

    My family's split right down the middle too on parsnips. I do think they're sort of unsung heroes, underestimated and confusing.

    The gratin looks delicious!

  5. Anonymous says

    looks interesting, but you left out the ham, i presume you sprinnkle that in with the other things? i'm going to try it tonight, with a side of turnip greens 😉

    • Mary says

      That is correct. I sprinkled the ham in the layers. Thanks for the heads up. I've corrected the recipe. Have a great afternoon!

  6. Mark Miller says

    I like the idea of this, ended up using both potatoes and turnips, adding thyme to the broth. After 20 minutes in the oven, the turnips were still pretty crisp, so I left it in longer. It seemed like it would need almost an hour to fully bake (like in most potato au gratin recipes), but maybe I used more turnip and potato than you did. Tasty – thanks for posting this!5 stars