Lebanese-style quick pickled turnips

A terrific taste sensation from the Middle East!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have always considered pickles to be a food group, which is why there are quite a few pickle recipes on this blog. I love them all – pickled apples, pickled blueberries and pickled cauliflower are but three of my favourites. I’ve been asked many times to share my recipe for pickled turnips, so here it is. Note that these are made with the little white turnips that often have a rosy hue at one end, not yellow-fleshed rutabagas. They are commonly served with many Middle-Eastern foods, especially shawarma, but they’re great with plain roast chicken too! I sometimes chop them and add to salads for a crunchy burst of flavour. Because they’re fast to make, I like to prepare just one jar at a time but you could easily double or triple this recipe.

Pickled Turnips Lebanese-Style


  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) cold water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) white vinegar
  • 2 small white turnips
  • 1 small beet
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced into 3 pieces



  • In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the water and the salt, stirring, until salt has dissolved (you can also do this in the microwave in a heatproof vessel). Add remaining water and vinegar; stir and set aside.
  • Peel the turnips and cut them into 1/3 inch (.6 cm) thick batons.
  • Peel the beet and quarter it. It’s a good idea to keep the beet in quarters so you can distinguish their shape from the turnips when serving (some people prefer not to eat raw beets).
  • In a clean glass jar with a tight lid, add about one quarter of the turnip batons, 2 of the beet pieces and one garlic slice.
  • Repeat the turnip, beet and garlic layers, adding the bay leaf. Pack the jar as full as possible, squishing the vegetables down into the jar with your fingers.
  • Pour the brine over the vegetables, filling right to the top of the jar.
  • Put the lid on the jar and let it rest at room temperature for 6 hours.
  • At that point, refrigerate the jar and let the turnip become saturated with the brine.
  • The pickles will be ready to eat the next day and will be good for about 3 weeks. After that point, they are still tasty although they will lose some of their crispness.

Makes one 2 cup/500 mL jar.


Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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