Turnip Greens don’t have to be cooked to death to be delicious. These spicy skillet turnip greens are perfect for a quick weeknight meal.

Spicy Skillet Turnip Greens

One of Bart’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 Sam 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

4.93 from 13 votes
A quick recipe for spicy skillet turnip greens for a comforting, home-cooked meal.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 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.


Calories: 52kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 8772IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Robyn xo

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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Recipe Review


  1. 5 stars
    thank you, just what I was looking for! Never cooked turnip greens before but got them in my CSA box. Excited to try them out!

  2. 5 stars
    The quickest and the best I’ve tasted and I e added some other ingredients to this recipe since then I’m Hispanic so I added some diced tomatoes and some garlic powder along with a pich or 2 of ground cumin powder and a pinch of salt. Awesome eating thank u for the inspiration.

  3. 5 stars
    This is fantastic!
    I cooked some spicy sausage first and then added everything else except the sugar which I donโ€™t eat. When I tasted it, I found it really bitter. I realized the pinch of brown sugar must have a magical effect. Adding about a teaspoon of molasses changed it completely. So much healthy yummmmm.
    Thank you for your recipe.

    1. Emily, I do add that little bit of sugar to prevent the bitter taste. So glad the molasses worked for you. Thanks!

  4. Believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve cooked turnip greens and these are
    fabulous. I have some fall turnips in my garden and the greens looked too perfect not to try to cook them. Loved how easy this was and will definitely make again.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Linda. I’ll have to try that sometime. So glad you liked this recipe.

    1. Sarah, I’m thrilled that you tried this recipe as your first turnip greens recipe and loved it. Thanks!

  5. this is the first time I’ve cooked turnip greens. as others suggested, I used bacon grease to cook mushrooms and onions first. Reduced a little white wine and with the greens and garlic, used maple syrup instead of brown sugar, herb seasoning and olive oil. So delicious.

  6. thanks for your help. neighbor gave me a huge bunch of turnip greens.. TBD ๐Ÿ˜‰
    will get it together & share results & a pan of corn bread โœ…

    1. These spicy turnip greens will be great with a pan of cornbread shared with your neighbor, Nikki.