How to Cook Kohlrabi - Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian (2024)

How to Cook Kohlrabi - Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian (1)

Sharon Palmer

Published on February 15, 2023

Updated on January 16, 2024

How to Cook Kohlrabi - Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian (2)

Wondering how to cook kohlrabi? Looking for kohlrabi recipes and more information on kohlrabi nutrition? I’ve got you covered in this guide to how to prepare kohlrabi.

Have you ever spied the intriguing vegetable kohlrabi in your supermarket or farmers market and wondered how to cook kohlrabi? You’re not alone! Kohlrabi is a healthy, versatile, seasonal vegetable worth getting to know better. I love trying less familiar vegetables in my plant-powered kitchen, and kohlrabi is one that you can find in farmers markets, home gardens, and supermarkets in the cooler months.

How to Cook Kohlrabi - Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian (3)

What is Kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi is a highly nutritious vegetable, which is part of the famous cruciferous vegetable family, along with cabbage, cauliflower, kale and brussels sprouts. Known as the “German turnip” because of its resemblance to turnips, kohlrabi literally translates to “cabbage turnip.” Originally from northern Europe, this unique looking bulb was unknown in the U.S. until the early 1800s.

How to Cook Kohlrabi - Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian (4)

Kohlrabi Nutrition

These pungent vegetables have phytochemicals that are linked with cancer protection. Rich in fiber, vitamins A, C, K and the Bs, you can’t go wrong with adding this vegetable to your lineup.

How to Cook Kohlrabi - Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian (5)

What Does Kohlrabi Taste Like?

Its flavor, which is like a milder, sweeter turnip, has also been likened to broccoli stems. Be sure to eat them when they’re young, as the flavor intensifies and they toughen with age. The freshness of the attached greens is a good indicator of age, so try to find kohlrabi with greens attached.

How to Cook Kohlrabi - Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian (6)

How to Prepare Kohlrabi

Don’t be afraid of its unusual, knobby appearance. Kohlrabi is made up of a bulb (usually pale white-green or purple) with stalks of leaves sprouting up. How to eat kohlrabi? If the greens are young and fresh, use them like other greens—raw in salads, sautéed, or steamed. You can use the crunchy bulb in fresh slaws or with dips; cooked in soups or stews; roasted like you might other vegetables, or sautéed in stir-fries or fritters.

Keep reading to learn how to cook kohlrabi and use it in your kitchen!

How to Cook Kohlrabi

How to Cook Kohlrabi - Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian (7)

1. Roasted Kohlrabi. One of my favorite ways to enjoy kohlrabi is roasted. Cut into small, uniform chunks, roasting caramelizes them beautifully, sweetening their flavor deliciously. Toss them with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper, and add a few herbs—I like the flavor of thyme here—and finish with a drizzle of your favorite vinegar if you like. Try them in my recipe, Roasted Kohlrabi with Pumpkin Seeds—garlic, cumin, pumpkin seeds, and white wine vinegar really make them shine.

How to Cook Kohlrabi - Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian (8)

2. Enjoy it Raw. Take advantage of this veggie’s raw crunch! Sliced into discs or matchsticks, kohlrabi is a nice change served with your favorite veggie dip. It also adds a novel kick to salads with its subtly spicy flavor, similar to a mild radish. Definitely give grated kohlrabi a go in slaws. Tossed with a good quality olive oil and lightly seasoned, it’s so good, but try mixing in other slaw faves for color and flavor, like I do in my recipe, Shaved Kohlrabi, Carrot, Radish Slaw.

3. Try Sautéing. This is the perfect way to use the whole veggie. Both the crunchy bulb and the tender greens can be utilized, complementing the different textures and similar flavors each brings to the pan. Be sure to slice the bulb into small slices for quicker cooking and add them to the pan ahead of the greens, which just need a short wilt. Delightful with lemon juice or light vinegar, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs or pine nuts, this is a quick meal, perfect for weeknights.

How to Cook Kohlrabi - Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian (9)

4. Steam up a Batch. Kohlrabi is incredibly versatile. Cut or slice as desired, steam, and most anything goes. Add steamed kohlrabi to dishes, like stir fries, pasta, soups, and stews. It’s also fun to mash them with cauliflower or potatoes.

How to Cook Kohlrabi - Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian (10)

5. Fry some Fritters. Who says you can’t play with your vegetables! Kids absolutely love fritters—as do adults, for that matter—and kohlrabi makes the ideal fritter. Grate the bulb and mix it into a batter of flour or breadcrumbs. Bake or fry—frying gives them that nice crisp exterior—and enjoy on their own or with your favorite dip or sauce, like cashew cream.

For other guides on using seasonal produce, check out the following:

Top 5 Ways to Use Sweet Potatoes
Top 5 Ways to Use Chickpeas
Top 5 Ways to Use Jackfruit
Top 5 Ways to Use Quinoa

More Tools for Eating and Living the Goodness

How to Cook Kohlrabi - Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian (11)
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  1. Is there a way or place to buy kohlrabi extract to add to diet when it isn’t in season to eat fresh?


    • I have not seen kohlrabi extract available for purchase. You could switch to other cruciferous vegetables when kohlrabi is out of season for similar health benefits. Check out my blog on cruciferous vegetables here.


  2. Very interesting recipes for the use of Kalrabi! I am 89 yrs old and have never had Kolrabi except sliced raw like radish served with salt and butter bread or in my Hungarian beef or chicken soup. Freezes good nice. Addition to soup in winter with carrots etc. SO. I am gonna make the Fritters tonite ! I will make it like potato Latkes! Thank you for a new recipe !


    • How was it?


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How to Cook Kohlrabi - Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian (2024)


How do you prepare kohlrabi for eating? ›

There are several ways to cook kohlrabi, most of them similar to how you cook potatoes: boiled, steamed, roasted, fried or mashed. Slices and sticks can be stir-fried, and the whole stem can be hollowed out and stuffed with a veggie and rice or meat filling and baked like stuffed peppers.

Can you cook kohlrabi with skin on? ›

Kohlrabi Basics

The bulb kind of tastes like broccoli stems (my favorite part of broccoli!) It doesn't have to be peeled, but the peel can be tough so I usually do. You can eat it raw in slaws and salads, as well as roasted and stir-fried.

How do you cook kohlrabi and what does it taste like? ›

How to Cook Kohlrabi. This versatile vegetable can be roasted, steamed, stir-fried, or puréed in a soup. For a simple side dish, sauté the sliced kohlrabi in a bit of butter in a skillet. Once it begins to show some caramelization, season it with salt, nutmeg, and a little sugar​ for increased sweetness.

What's the best way to eat kohlrabi? ›

It may not look like the most delectable or visually stunning vegetable, but kohlrabi is nutrient-dense, subtly tasty, and worth adding to stews, curries, soups, pickles, and salads. Oh, and you can even eat it on its own — take a smaller springtime kohlrabi, peel back the leaves, and just bite it like an apple.

Is kohlrabi a laxative? ›

Kohlrabi is a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. The former is water-soluble and helps maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. On the other hand, insoluble fiber isn't broken down in your intestine, helping add bulk to your stool and promote regular bowel movements ( 19 ).

How do you know when kohlrabi is done? ›

Harvest kohlrabi when the bulb is two to three inches in width. If the bulb gets too large, it will become tough, woody and bitter. Spring-planted kohlrabi harvested in summer is more likely to become fibrous if you allow them to become over-mature. Fall-harvested kohlrabi can grow a bit bigger without losing quality.

Can you eat too much kohlrabi? ›

Kohlrabi is a healthy ingredient, and it's low in calories. Eating too much of any cruciferous vegetable can cause gas that can make you uncomfortable. Moderate your portion sizes to help ensure that you are able to enjoy the benefits of kohlrabi without negative digestive effects.

How do you cook a kohlrabi? ›

Combine olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Toss kohlrabi slices in the olive oil mixture to coat. Spread kohlrabi in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until browned, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally in order to brown evenly.

Does kohlrabi get soft when cooked? ›

The canonical application for kohlrabi that I'm familiar with is soup, for which you shred the vegetable (or if you're feeling fancy, julienne it). Naturally, the smaller pieces then get pretty soft when cooked.

How long does kohlrabi last in the fridge? ›

Place kohlrabi in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable crisper section. Kohlrabi with the leaves attached will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 weeks, without the leaves 2 to 3 months.

How long does kohlrabi last after picking? ›

Storage and food safety

Wash thoroughly and store with leaf stems removed. Kohlrabi can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Do you eat the skin of kohlrabi? ›

When serving raw, you may want to gauge the thickness of the skin—if it feels particularly thick and rubbery, you can remove it with a vegetable peeler. But the skin is perfectly edible. Many people actually eat kohlrabi right out of the garden, like an apple, in big crunchy bites.

Does kohlrabi need to be refrigerated? ›

Storing kohlrabi in the fridge will help it stay at its best for a week or two. It may even last for a month. Trim off any leaves and store them separately, as they can draw moisture away from the bulb.

What does a kohlrabi taste like? ›

What Does Kohlrabi Taste Like? Kohlrabi tastes similar to a broccoli stalk, but a bit more tender and sweet. Don't forget to remove the tough outer peel, then use the bulb either raw or cooked. It can be prepared much like a broccoli stalk, too—if raw, shred it and use it in slaw or thinly slice and use in a salad.

What part of the kohlrabi do you eat? ›

All parts of the kohlrabi are edible, though most people just stick to the bulbous bottom. The leaves and stems are best sautéed or added to a stir-fry. The bulb can be eaten raw, which maintains its super-crisp texture and mild bite, or it can be roasted, sautéed, steamed, or boiled and mashed like a potato.

Should you refrigerate raw kohlrabi? ›

Storage and food safety

Kohlrabi can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. Storage life can be extended if kohlrabi is placed in sealed perforated plastic bags. To prevent cross-contamination, keep kohlrabi away from raw meat and meat juices.

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