We'd ride the C-train right to 'the end of line'; it was the University of Calgary in those days. Then we’d make the long trek, walking for what seemed like a zillion miles to Aunt Joan and Uncle Harry's house in Varsity. Back then, I'd do almost anything for a home-cooked meal, especially a holiday meal.
When we moved to Calgary, they were the only people we knew and they would always make room for us at Thanksgiving (and any other friends or family that were in need of good company and a fantastic holiday meal.) Aunt Joan always made this amazing Turnip and Apple Casserole, which I have lightened up and turned into a healthy turnip recipe. It's the perfect side dish for your holiday turkey dinner!
For a myriad of reasons, I never imagined, that all these years later, I'd be the one making this turnip casserole. But time is a wizard.
Seriously, at that point in my life, I could barely cook. And if you knew me back then, you'd have a hard time believing that all these years later, I'd actually be creating my own recipes.
Secondly, growing up, I hated turnips. I had a gag hate, then spit-into-a-napkin kind of revulsion for turnips. My Mom cooked the crap out of them and then smashed them into oblivion and it was not pretty, nor was it appetizing. They had this raunchy aftertaste that no vegetable deserves to possess and I wanted nothing to do with them. That is until I tried this old-fashioned turnip casserole! Then every nasty feeling I ever had for turnips dissipated.
🍲Weight Watchers Casseroles
Aunt Joan and Uncle Harry are both gone now and I miss them desperately. And the way I deal with missing people is by making their food. It's not only comforting, it helps me honor them and carry on family traditions. So, recently, when I went to make this turnip casserole for a holiday dinner, being back on Weight Watchers, I looked at the WW points and knew I needed to lighten it up!
And I successfully lowered the points. Weight Watchers Casseroles are a great option for holiday dinner side dishes. And if you're looking for more, then you'll want to check out my Lazy Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls too! They are only 5 WW points per serving (on my plan) and everyone loves them!
This turnip bake recipe originally came from The Best of Bridge cookbook, which Aunt Joan adored. Although they are excellent recipes, they are definitely not known for being light or Weight Watchers friendly. Fortunately, I didn't want to live without this family tradition and I was able to bring down the WW points in this turnip side dish and make it healthier.
Okay, so I know what you're thinking - it's the butter that makes it so good! And yes, I totally get that butter makes everything better, but in this case, it's not just the butter because I removed most of it to lighten up this dish. I really think there's just some kind of magical reaction when you combine apples, brown sugar, and even butter flavor. It simply transforms mashed turnips into utter deliciousness.
For this recipe, you'll need:
- white turnip * You can substitute yellow turnips (rutabagas) but you'll need less (1-2), as they are usually bigger
- apple sauce
- butter extract (affiliate link)
- maple syrup (I use reduced sugar)
- green apple
- brown sugar
So, if you are looking for mashed turnip recipes, give this one a try! Even if you're not a fan of mashed turnips, this recipe will definitely turn you, and without breaking the weight watchers points bank!
This Turnip Apple Casserole is a delicious mixture of apples, turnips, brown sugar, and butter. It makes a fabulous side dish for holiday dinners. I serve it at Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas dinner! And it's easy to make!
- Preheat oven 350 degrees F and spray a medium casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Peel, dice, cook, drain, and mash the turnip with maple syrup, apple sauce and butter extract
- Peel and slice apples.
- Toss with brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Layer in casserole dish, alternating between turnip and apple mixture, starting with turnips
- Begin and end with turnips.
- Mix flour and brown sugar together, then cut 2 tablespoon of butter into mixture and combine. Pat down on top of casserole. * See NOTES about cutting in butter. Bake in prepared oven for one hour. Serve warm.
💭 Top Tip
I keep my butter frozen (also works when it's very cold) and cut it into recipes with a cheese grater. It's less messy and distributes it evenly throughout the recipe.
Store leftover turnip casserole in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
This make-ahead turnip casserole is ideal for bringing along to a potluck holiday dinner. You can make it a couple of days in advance or freeze it months in advance.
👪 Serving Size
This turnip casserole recipe makes 8 servings. However, you can half, double, or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust.
This mashed turnip recipe is Weight Watchers friendly @ 3 WW points on my plan. You can plug the ingredients into the recipe builder in the app to see how much it is on your plan.
Time is a wizard
Not only is the end of the line a lot further down the road than it once was, I have also come a long way since the days when I could barely cook canned soup and grilled cheese without burning it. But what is even more surprising, given my life-long loathing for turnips, is that I'm the one making this turnip and apple casserole at Thanksgiving.
At Uncle Harry's funeral last fall, we got to connect with some of Aunt Joan & Uncle Harry's friends; the ones that we spent many-a-special holiday dinners with. It really was beyond wonderful to be able to reminisce with them about those days and the amazing meals we shared. And now that I'm the one making this Turnip and Apple Casserole I hope that one day, I can pay it forward and make this for family and/or friends that are in need of a home-cooked holiday meal as much as I was back then.
So if you're looking for old-fashioned turnip recipes, you'll love this delicious and healthy turnip apple casserole!
Want more vegetarian and Weight Watchers friendly Thanksgiving side dishes? Try this Gluten-free Corn Succotash!
📋 Turnip and Apple Casserole recipe
- 3 medium white turnips * You can substitute yellow turnips (rutabagas) but you'll need less (1-2), as they are usually bigger
- 2 tablespoon apple sauce
- 1 teaspoon butter extract
- ½ tablespoon reduced sugar maple syrup * I use E.D. Smith brand (Amazon does not carry this) , but you can get other brands of sugar free or reduced calorie
- 2 green apples
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- pinch of cinnamon
- ⅓ cup flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- Preheat oven 350 degrees F and spray a medium sized casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Peel, dice and place turnips in large pot, then cook. Drain.
- Mash turnips with maple syrup, apple sauce and butter extract.
- Peel. core and slice apples.
- Toss with brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Layer in prepared casserole dish, alternating between turnip and apple mixture, staring with turnips,
- Begin and end with turnips.
- Mix flour and brown sugar together, then cut 2 tablespoon of butter into mixture and combine. Pat down on top of casserole. * See NOTES about cutting in butter
- Bake in preheated oven for one hour. Serve warm