Today I have a super simple recipe for roasted parsnips with oil, herbs and salt. This technique of cooking parsnips is as easy as can be and the perfect healthy side dish to pair with a variety of meals.

A side view closeup of roasted parsnips

This post was originally shared on March 12, 2015. I have updated the photos and some of the text today. 

My Favorite Easy Roasted Parsnips Recipe

Around here we love our Vegetables! One of our core missions here at Healthy Seasonal Recipes is to help you find easy ways to enjoy seasonal veggies. That’s why we’re here today with this simple technique for roasted parsnips. Which is arguably the best parsnip recipe and also the easiest!

Like mixed roasted vegetables, these roast parsnips are the perfect side dish to toss in the oven while you prepare dinner so you have a veggie side dish ready to go with minimal effort! Roasting is a terrific way to prepare them because it brings out their natural sweetness and caramelizes their sugars.

I just made this and MAN are they delicious. Got the parsnips from a farmer`s market a few days ago and did the recipe as printed. Will do over and over again!

~Jule

What Are Parsnips?

whole parsnips

Parsnips are a root vegetable similar to carrots, from the Apiaceae family. In appearance, they roughly resemble a white carrot with a fat top and pointy tip. This root veggie is very sweet tasting. I would describe the flavor of parsnips as uniquely floral with a nutty flavor and notes of hazelnut, pear, vanilla, and caramel.

They are in season from fall through the spring and make a great storing crop because they have low water content. If you can wait until early spring, spring-dug parsnips are particularly sweet because the cold soil helps to intensify the sugars.

How To Make Roasted Parsnips

Step 1: Preheat The Oven

Parsnips are very high in natural sugars, so they can burn more easily than roasted carrots, therefore you want to set your oven to 400 degrees. That’s slightly cooler than what you would normally use for most other roasted veggies. 

Step 2: Cut and Season

Use Oblique Cut: First peel the parsnips to remove the bitter and tough outer skin. When cutting them for roasting I use an oblique cut by cutting into bias-cut chunks about 1-inch each. If desired, roll the parsnip a half turn between each cut.

Toss With Oil and Seasoning: Toss with olive oil, salt and seasoning. Today I used dried Greek Seasoning herb blend, but I have also used Italian Seasoning and Herbs De Provence instead. 

Step 3: Roast

Roast Them: Spread parsnips out on a baking sheet in a single layer, and then simply transfer them to the hot oven. You’ll want to stir them once or twice as they roast since the bottoms will brown first.

How To Know When They Are Done: Depending on the size of your chunks, they will take anywhere from 25 to 35 minutes to roast. You’ll know that they are ready when you can easily slide a fork into them, and there is little resistance.

FAQs and Expert Tips For This Parsnip Recipe

Do I need to peel parsnips?

The first time I tried roasting parsnips was when I was in my first year of culinary school. I neglected to peel them before I roasted them, and I learned the hard way (and unfortunately for the folks dining that day) you have to peel them before you cut them. The skin is actually a little pithy and a little bitter.
Peel the carrots before cutting

Do I have to core parsnips?

Unless you have older parsnips, you should not have to remove the core. If they have been left in the ground too long they can develop a woody core that is too pithy. You will notice it as you try to cut the tops off. If this is the case, quarter them lengthwise then remove the cores with a sharp chef’s knife.

How to store and reheat leftovers

Keep leftovers in a air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave until they’re steaming hot. Or you can heat them in the oven. To do so place them in a glass baking dish and cover them with foil. Bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until they’re steaming hot. 

Make Ahead

You can cut the parsnips up to four days ahead. Just store them in a resealable glass container in the fridge to keep them cold and dry. When you’re ready to make them, toss them with the oil and seasonings just before roasting them.

Purchasing Tips

  • If you’re not familiar with them, I like to say that parsnips look like white carrots. Most of them are relatively wide at the top and skinny/pointy at the bottom. This shape is more tapered than that of a carrot. This is totally normal.
  • You can find them year round at most grocery stores, but they are best from fall through the spring. As with all root vegetables, parsnips are a storing crop, so they can be held in a root cellar or the refrigerator for several months. 
  • Look for those that are not growing fine root hairs (that means they are over the hill and will not be as sweet.) You also want to make sure they are free from punky or slimy spots. This means they were stored with too much moisture and are rotting. If they are kept dry this shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Try to pick parsnips that are around 1-inch thick or so at the top and all of about equal size. Smaller parsnips can burn more easily.

Serving Suggestions

  1. Parsnips are wonderful with roast beef and pork. This Grilled Pork Tenderloin with garlic and lemon zest would be super yummy with the naturally sweet parsnips. 
  2. In colder months this Roasted Pork Loin with Apple Chutney is great with earthy parsnips.
  3. They’re great with Roasted Chicken and baked chicken thighs.
  4. Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders are a family fave. Your oven will already be set at 400 degrees so that would be super easy! 
  5. If you like fish, this Pan Fried Fish would be nice main course with these. I’d recommend the caper sauce variation with them. 
  6. You can’t go wrong with Garlic Herb Chicken. It is one of my all-time favorite ways to grill chicken. Pair it with a salad with some Apple Cider Vinaigrette and you’ve got a complete meal! 

Variations To Try

  • Add Acid: Finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice to balance the sweet flavor.
  • Herbs: Feel free to use other herbs instead of parsley. My roasted veggies with spring herbs is a good place to reference. I have also made gremolata (a mix of parsley, lemon zest and garlic) and sprinkled it over the cooked parsnips. (This is particularly festive with rack of lamb.)
  • Parmesan: Once the golden brown and lightly crispy parsnips come out of the oven, add on a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese before serving.
  • Honey Glazed: While the parsnips roast, melt a couple pats of unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add in a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup. In the last four or five minutes of roasting, drizzle it over the parsnips, toss to coat and continue roasting. The honey butter will add an additional touch of sweetness and coat the parsnips like a glaze! Just make sure to add on a little extra salt and black pepper for a savory flavor to balance it!
  • Spices: Instead of the dried herbs, let your imagine run wild and add other spices to the parsnips like curry or garam masala. I like a little heat from hot pepper flakes or crushed red pepper. Or just a couple of pinches of garlic powder is always good too!
a sheet pan of roasted parsnips

More Parsnips Recipes

Here are some more recipe ideas for using fresh parsnips.

At Healthy Seasonal Recipes, we specialize in cooking with fresh veggies and creating weeknight meals. Sign up HERE to get more produce-forward dinner ideas for FREE! If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought! Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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A close up of roasted Parsnips

Simple Parsnips with Oil and Herbs


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5 from 19 reviews

Description

Here is a simple recipe for roasted parsnips. Simply toss them with oil, herbs and salt and let the oven roast them into a perfect sweet and savory side dish.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 pounds parsnips
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon herbs de province, Italian seasoning or other dried herb mix
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel parsnips and cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss with oil, herbs and salt in a large bowl. Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Roast, stirring once or twice, until the parsnips are tender in the center and browned in spots on the outside, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a platter or plates and garnish with parsley.

Notes

  • To tell if the parsnips are done, slide a fork into one or two. It should go in with little to no resistance.
  • You can cut the parsnips up to four days ahead. Just store them in a resealable glass container in the fridge to keep them cold and dry. When you’re ready to make them, toss them with the oil and seasonings just before roasting them.
  • If you have leftover parsnips they can be reheated in the microwave until they’re steaming hot. Or you can heat them in the oven. To do so place them in a glass baking dish and cover them with foil. Bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until they’re steaming hot.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 110
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 550 mg
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 1.5 g