Spicy Skillet Turnip Greens Recipe

Spicy Skillet Turnip Greens

One of the Mr’s favorite things to eat is turnip greens.  Add roast beef, skillet cornbread, and maybe even some mashed potatoes and his rating of supper would most certainly be a 10.

The other night, I decided I would make his favorite meal to welcome him home for a long week of meetings, meetings and more meetings. I remember what those are like from my corporate days and immediately knew he needed some comfort food.

I remembered to start the roast cooking earlier during the day, but totally forgot the turnip greens while Little Buddy and I were outside working spreading pine straw around the flower beds in the back yard.

Not realizing what time it was, it finally hit me as I heard the diesel engine of my husband’s truck lumbering down our long driveway.

Determined not to let my plans for a welcoming, comforting meal fall by the wayside, my mind quickly kicked into gear and I decided I’d make these spicy skillet turnip greens for him instead. It was my only shot at pulling the meal together with a little pizzazz.


I knew they had to be done fairly quickly.

I heated up my skillet, drizzled a bit of olive oil in the bottom and got busy peeling my onion. In the onion went and I started cutting up my turnip greens. I knew I needed a lot, because as they cook, turnip greens will cook down a lot. Not quite as bad as spinach, but they will cook down a good bit.

I added half of my pound of turnip greens to the skillet as the onions became tender and cooked them down before I added the remainder of my greens. Then, I added a little bit of water and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes for the heat.

In the same amount of time it took my cornbread to bake in the oven, my turnip greens were ready and my husband loved them.

I think you need to give them a try the next time you need a comforting meal. A plate full of turnip greens, cornbread, and roast beef definitely feels like home to me.

Spicy Skillet Turnip Greens Recipe
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5 from 1 vote

Spicy Skillet Turnip Greens Recipe

A quick recipe for spicy skillet turnip greens for a comforting, home-cooked meal.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 6
Author: Robyn Stone


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion cut into wedges
  • 1 pound turnip greens cleaned and chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • pinch brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes adjust to preference


  • Drizzle olive oil into skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onion and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Then add 1/2 of turnip greens. Allow to cook down and add the remainder of the greens.
  • Add water, brown sugar and red pepper flakes. Adjust the amount of red pepper to your personal taste.


Which reminds me, I really need to get out and finish putting pine straw on the rest of my flower beds.

39 comments on “Spicy Skillet Turnip Greens Recipe”

  1. What a thoughtful welcome home dinner 🙂 Can’t wait to try these, I love greens too.

  2. Never in a million years would I think to cook turnip greens this way! What a great way to have them a different way – what a mind you have to kick start this idea!!!! I love your husband’s rated 10 meal menu. Thanks for once again coming up with a fantastic recipe with a great picture!!!

    • Thanks so much, Mary. They are delicious cooked this way, they still have a little bit of the bite and texture while having all that delicious, spicy flavor. It is a new favorite way to prepare them for me. Let me know if you try it. I think you’ll enjoy them, too.

  3. I’m going to have to try these. My husband loves any kind of greens, but I have never eaten the before. Can you believe that? I’m adding turnip greens to my grocery list. Thanks!

    • I can’t wait to hear how you like these! Of course, I never really liked greens until I was older but my Grandmother always made the best greens that she would cook all afternoon on the stove. YUM! These still have a bit of a bite to them and tons of flavor! Can’t wait to hear how your husband likes them!

  4. I LOVE turnip greens! The leaves already have a slightly spicy flavor, I pair them with mung beans, garlic, onions and tomatoes!

  5. I love using every part of everything, and I love the red pepper flake kick!

  6. Yummy spicy turnip greens! I need a cast iron, now 😀

    • Thanks, Kiran! Yes! You need at least one piece of cast iron. Then, I promise, you’ll be addicted to using it. 🙂

  7. Girrrrrl, I love me some greens! And the crushed red pepper is the perfect touch. 🙂

  8. looks really delish. will be trying it soon.

  9. i’m looking for new ways to eat greens. i know I have to eat them, not a big fan tho. Going to try your way, love the spicy touch

  10. I make pan-fried greens, but I’ve never seen turnip greens for sale here in the Northwest, either in a grocery store or at the farmer’s market. I’m sure they are very nutritious. I’ve just seen turnips sold with the greens off. Are your turnip greens from the garden, or were you able to buy them?

    • I wish I could say that they were from my own garden, but they were not. I bought them at my local grocery store. Hope you find some soon! If not, I think kale would do nicely.

  11. Thanks for the recipe. I added a bit of spaghetti squash and jerk marinade. It came out magnificent and very filling.

  12. Made this last night – picked the turnip greens fresh out of my garden. I love greens, but turnip greens always have a bitter taste that I don’t care for, BUT the pinch of brown sugar cut that bitter taste and they were DELICIOUS! The dish looks EXACTLY like the pic too! Wonderful! Thank you for a great recipe!!!!

  13. This recipe is delicious. I used leeks rather than onions (because I had them) and stock rather than water (because I was making it at the time) and they were delicious. I used the turnip greens that were attached to four turnips and that seemed to be the right amount. Yielded about a quart of cooked greens. Loved the texture. I think I am going to try this with collards next time.

  14. Pingback: Slow Cooker Turnip Greens Recipe - Cooking | Add a Pinch | Robyn Stone

  15. I had never made greens before, but love them at the employee cafeteria at the local hospital. This was super easy and tasty–and so healthy!! Thanks for a great recipe!

  16. I like the sound of these. I’m more of a collard greens fan because turnip greens are more bitter. The brown sugar should help and a little red pepper…why…yes! Pinned it!

  17. I was pleasantly surprised! Tasted very much like spinach. Will repeat again!

  18. I skipped the broth all together – and it was excellent.

  19. I made this recipe. I altered it a bit. I used a purple/red onion and added yellow, orange,& red mini peppers and more than a dash of brown sugar since my greens were bitter. My greens cooked longer until they were tender to my liking and I added a little salt. VERY YUMMY!!!!! I’ll by a larger batch of greens next time. Today I was experimenting.

  20. Such a simple and DELICIOUS recipe! I added some radishes to bulk mine up, and they complemented this dish very well. The brown sugar and red pepper combination was LOVELY and I will be doing this with all my greens going forward! Thank you so much!

  21. excellent recipe, very delicious indeed and this was my first time to eat turnip greens.

  22. My husband says these are the best greens he’s ever eaten! THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for sharing!

  23. I love finding ways to utilize the entire vegetable and this recipe was delicious! I’m doing a whole 30 so I omitted the brown sugar (which didn’t seem to change the taste) Will definitely add this to my turnip routine.

  24. How long do you cook them?

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