While parsnips are typically used in autumn and winter, with honey roasted parsnips being a Christmas-time favourite, they over-winter well and can be harvested or stored right through into spring under the right conditions. We are growing them again this year, as I like them very much.
These lightly sweet root vegetables are a nice alternative to carrots and are especially good with the notes of caramelisation you get in this recipe. With a bit of honey and thyme, it’s a simple recipe that lets the veg shine and brings out that hint of sweetness. This is one of my favourite ways to use parsnips, and we serve it all season long, not relegating it only to the holiday period.
If you have lots of parsnips on hand or also count them amongst your favourites, try making roasted parsnip soup, a winter vegetable minestrone, or this lovely roasted vegetable pie with puff pastry.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Parsnips: try to find fairly small ones as they’ll be a bit sweeter and will cook more evenly. Larger roots can be halved or quartered lengthwise as needed.
- Thyme: use other woody herbs if preferred, like rosemary. See thyme substitutions. Dried herbs can also be used in the same way.
- Add-ins: if you want to add extra spices like pepper flakes, do so based on your preference. Omit the herbs if you’d like or add some garlic cloves (skin on) or onion wedges to the pan. If you want to add butter, either use unsalted or reduce the salt called for to a pinch.
Step by Step
Step 1: scrub the parsnips well and cut the ends off. Add all ingredients to a large roasting dish.
Step 2: use your hands to mix well, coating the roots.
Step 3: roast for 20 minutes.
Step 4: turn the parsnips so that the other sides can brown.
Step 5: roast for another 20 minutes.
Step 6: remove from the oven, mix in the thyme if using, and serve.
There’s absolutely no need to blanch the roots before roasting – it only adds extra time to the recipe and nothing else. Parsnips don’t take very long to cook and that’s an additional step you don’t need.
The thyme is added to the hot parsnips rather than cooking it with them to prevent burning. The oils will release once the leaves come into contact with that residual heat and will add a wonderful fragrance to the dish.
How to Store
Storage: keep cooled roasted parsnips in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days. The parsnips can be roasted in advance and then reheated before serving, but they will be much less visually appealing.
Freezing: place fully cooled parsnips into an airtight container and freeze for up to one month. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat as usual before serving.
- Choose parsnips: while they look virtually identical much of the time, parsnips and parsley root don’t taste much alike, and you’ll be in for an unpleasant surprise if you use parsley root instead (though it can also make for very good eating).
- Cover if needed: if the roots are getting too browned, especially on the smaller end, cover loosely with a sheet of parchment paper. This will prevent burning but still allow for steam to escape. No need to fold it under, simply place a sheet over the vegetables and leave it there.
- Serve immediately: while the taste is still very good when warm or even at room temperature, like most root vegetables, these will shrivel up a bit as they cool, and won’t look as nice. Try to plan your meal to make sure that they’re on the table right out of the oven and consider roasting in the dish you plan to serve in.
More Root Veg Recipes
Beet Salad with Spinach and Orange
Lentil and Potato Stew
Potato Leek Soup with lemon
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Honey Roasted Parsnips
- 500 grams parsnips about four medium
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons spelt flour or plain
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ½ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons thyme leaves or other herbs
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
- Scrub the parsnips well and remove the ends. Halve, or even quarter if they're very large, and place into a roasting dish. Try to avoid very long, thin ends, as they're more likely to burn.500 grams parsnips
- Add the olive oil, flour, honey, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to mix well, coating the parsnips evenly.3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons spelt flour, 2 teaspoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, then remove and turn each parsnip over so that both sides brown evenly.
- Cook for another 20 minutes, or until evenly golden. Remove from the oven and top with thyme, then serve immediately.2 tablespoons thyme leaves
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
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