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Perfectly Roasted Parsnips: A Simple and Delicious Side Dish

Discover the simple joy of perfectly Roasted Parsnips. Our easy-to-follow recipe will guide you to a flavorful and healthy side dish that compliments any meal.

July 18, 2023
vegetarian food iconvegan food icon
Roasted ParsnipsPhoto By Canva
Difficulty Easy
Servings 4 people
Preparation 10 mins
Cooking 25 mins
Total 35 mins



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C), and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the peeled and sliced parsnips into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the olive oil, salt, black pepper, minced garlic, and fresh thyme leaves to the bowl. Toss everything together until the parsnips are well coated.
  4. Transfer the parsnips to the prepared baking sheet, spreading them out in a single layer.
  5. Roast in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the parsnips are tender and caramelized. Turn them halfway through cooking to ensure even roasting.
  6. If desired, sprinkle with a bit of lemon zest for an extra burst of freshness just before serving. Enjoy your perfectly roasted parsnips as a wonderful accompaniment to your main dish!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Roasted Parsnips
Serves 4
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Protein 1 g2%
Total Fat 3.5 g4.5%
Total Fat 3.5 g4.5%
Total Fat 3.5 g4.5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  • Choose fresh parsnips. Look for firm and smooth parsnips with no signs of softness or blemishes. Smaller parsnips tend to be sweeter and more tender.
  • Peel the parsnips to remove any tough outer skin, and trim off the ends. Young and tender parsnips may not require peeling, but older ones might have a thicker skin that can be fibrous when cooked.
  • Cut the parsnips into evenly sized pieces to ensure they cook uniformly. Aim for pieces that are similar in thickness and length.
  • Preheat your oven to around 425 °F (220 °C) for a hot and effective roasting temperature.
  • Coat with oil. Toss the parsnip pieces in olive oil, vegetable oil, or melted butter to coat them evenly. The oil helps the parsnips become crispy and enhances their flavor.
  • Sprinkle the parsnips with your favorite seasonings, such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, or fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme. These seasonings add depth and aromatic flavor.
  • Spread the parsnip pieces out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. This ensures even cooking and prevents overcrowding.
  • Flip the parsnip pieces to ensure both sides become golden and crispy.
  • Cooking times may vary depending on the size of the parsnip pieces and your oven's efficiency. Roast the parsnips until they are tender and have caramelized edges, usually around 25-30 minutes.
  • For a touch of sweetness, you can drizzle a bit of honey or maple syrup over the parsnips during the last few minutes of roasting. This adds a delightful glaze.
  • Serve them hot. Roasted parsnips are best served immediately while they're hot and crispy. Enjoy them as a delicious side dish or as a nutritious addition to salads and grain bowls.
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Welcome to your guide to a simple yet delightful side dish - Perfectly Roasted Parsnips! Parsnips, often overlooked in the root vegetable family, have a unique, slightly sweet flavor and a hearty texture that make them an excellent choice for roasting. When cooked properly, they turn into golden, caramelized treats that can accompany any main dish. Let's discover how to turn these humble roots into a star side dish!

How To Make Best Roasted Parsnips?

Here are some tips to make vest Roasted Parsnips:

Choosing parsnips: Look for medium-sized parsnips as they are tender and have the best flavor. Larger ones tend to have a woody core.

Preparing parsnips: Don't forget to peel the parsnips before cutting. This removes the tough outer skin and helps them roast evenly.

Seasoning variations: Feel free to get creative with your seasoning. You can use rosemary instead of thyme or add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese in the last 5 minutes of roasting for a cheesy twist.

Serving suggestion: Roasted parsnips are great with roasted meats, especially chicken and beef. They also make a delicious addition to a roast vegetable salad.

For more, check out our ‘How To Cook Parsnips?’ article.

Do I Have To Boil Parsnips Before Roasting Them?

Boiling parsnips before roasting them isn't necessary, but it can ensure that they're fully cooked and tender throughout. This method is often called parboiling. You would simply boil the parsnips until they are just starting to soften, but not fully cooked, drain them, then proceed with the roasting.

However, if you slice the parsnips into relatively thin and even pieces, they should roast evenly and become tender after about 25-30 minutes in an oven set to 400 °F (200 °C). This method saves a step and minimizes the number of pots and pans used.

In sum, both methods can work well, so you can choose based on your own preferences and time constraints.

Do You Need To Peel Parsnips For Roasting?

Yes, it's generally recommended to peel parsnips before roasting them. The outer skin of parsnips can be quite tough and fibrous, especially in larger, more mature vegetables. Peeling them ensures a more tender and enjoyable texture in the final dish.

However, if you have young, small parsnips, their skin may be tender enough to leave on. If you do choose to leave the skin on, be sure to wash the parsnips thoroughly to remove any dirt or impurities. Whether to peel or not often comes down to personal preference and the specific parsnips you're working with.

Why Are My Roasted Parsnips Bitter?

There could be a few reasons why your roasted parsnips taste bitter:

Age: As parsnips age, they can develop a woody core, which can contribute a bitter flavor. To avoid this, choose younger, smaller parsnips, or remove the core from larger, older ones.

Season: Parsnips are typically sweeter when harvested after the first frost of the season. The cold turns their starch into sugar, giving them a sweet flavor. If parsnips are harvested too early or in warmer climates, they may not develop this sweetness and can taste bitter instead.

Preparation: If parsnips are overcooked or burned during roasting, they can develop a bitter flavor. To avoid this, make sure your oven temperature isn't too high and that you're checking the parsnips regularly to prevent them from overcooking.

Remember, parsnips also naturally have a slightly bitter flavor profile, which is part of their unique taste. However, if you find them too bitter, trying a different cooking method like boiling or steaming might help reduce the bitterness.

Are Parsnips Good For Diabetics?

Yes, parsnips can be a good choice for people with diabetes, but they should be included as part of a balanced diet and eaten in moderation. They have a medium glycemic index (GI) of around 52, which means they can have a moderate impact on blood sugar levels. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food can raise blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI are digested and absorbed more slowly, leading to a slower and smaller rise in blood sugar levels.

Parsnips also contain a good amount of fiber, especially when eaten with their skin on, which can slow the digestion process and help control blood sugar levels. They also provide various nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate.

However, like any starchy vegetable, parsnips can still impact blood sugar levels if eaten in large quantities. Therefore, it's recommended to balance them with other non-starchy vegetables and proteins in your meal. As always, it's a good idea to consult with your doctor or a dietitian if you have specific dietary concerns related to managing diabetes.

What To Serve with Roasted Parsnips?

Roasted parsnips are a versatile and flavorful side dish that can be paired with a wide range of main courses. Here are some delicious options to serve with roasted parsnips:

Butternut Squash Soup: Serve roasted parsnips as a side to a creamy and flavorful butternut squash soup for a comforting and wholesome meal.

Grilled Chicken: Roasted parsnips complement grilled chicken beautifully, creating a comforting and well-rounded meal.

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts: The combination of the nutty and slightly sweet flavor of roasted parsnips with the savory and slightly crunchy Brussels sprouts creates a delicious and well-balanced side dish.

Baked Salmon: The sweet and nutty taste of roasted parsnips makes a delightful side dish to accompany grilled or baked salmon.

Vegetarian Quinoa Salad: Create a wholesome vegetarian meal with roasted parsnips served over quinoa and accompanied by roasted vegetables and a flavorful sauce.

History of Roasted Parsnips

Roasted parsnips are a beloved staple in many homes, particularly in European countries such as England and Ireland. The earthy sweetness of parsnips paired with the caramelization that occurs during roasting creates a side dish that is simple yet flavorful. Although not as popular as their close cousin, the carrot, parsnips have a unique flavor that has garnered them a dedicated following of food enthusiasts.

The parsnip is a root vegetable native to Eurasia and has been cultivated since antiquity. They were used extensively in ancient Roman cooking and were a staple in medieval Europe before the arrival of potatoes from the New World. They're typically harvested in the late fall and winter when the colder temperatures help convert their starches into sugars, giving them a distinct sweet taste that pairs wonderfully with the savory flavors of a roast.

Roasting is a popular method for cooking parsnips and is known to bring out their innate sweet flavor. This method of cooking is thought to originate in medieval times when large fireplaces with rotating spits were the primary method of cooking food. Today, an oven-roasted parsnip is a quintessential part of a traditional roast dinner, particularly in Britain, and are commonly served during Christmas feasts. They can be roasted alone or along with other root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, making them a versatile component of any meal.

Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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