Roast parsnips are an essential part of any Christmas dinner. Find out how to make them with my step-by-step guide. This recipe is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Parsnips are a pale coloured root vegetable that’s in season in the winter months. They are surprisingly sweet and when roasted are an (in my opinion) very delicious addition to any roast dinner.
Roast parsnips are also considered a traditional part of a Christmas Dinner by many families. However, cooking methods can vary between families (in fact we nearly had #parsnipgate at home one year).
The method below is my tried and tested way of making roast parsnips. There are a few simple steps to follow but it’s not difficult at all and at the end of you will have perfect roast potatoes. Enjoy!
How to choose the best parsnips
Parsnips can grow to a substantial size. The problem is that as they grow larger so does the woody core, which doesn’t roast well and is best removed.
For the best results opt for medium-sized parsnips. Avoid any with shrivelled flesh - you want nice firm parsnips for your roast. Brown patches are also best avoided.
Do you peel parsnips?
If your parsnips are very young you don’t need to peel them. Use a vegetable scrubbing brush to clean them instead, particularly if yours as muddy - as they might be if they're from an organic veg box or you've grown your own.
Larger parsnips are best peeled before cooking.
How to cut parsnips?
I go into this in more detail below but how you cut your parsnips will depend on their size. The most important things are to remove the core from larger parsnips and make sure that you cut them up into similar size pieces for roasting. If they’re all different sizes small pieces will burn while larger parsnips will take longer to cook.
Should you take the core out of parsnips?
If you have larger parsnips then yes, it is better to remove the core. If you have small, young parsnips however, you won’t need to worry about removing the core before cooking them.
Do you need to parboil parsnips?
You can parboil parsnips before roasting if you want to. However, it isn’t essential and you’ll still end up with delicious roast parsnips if you skip this step.
What ingredients do you need to make roast parsnips?
I like to keep things simple with my roast parsnips and simply use:
- Sea salt
Do you need any special equipment to make roast parsnips?
You will need the following equipment:
- chopping board
- sharp knife
- roasting tin
Can you make them in advance?
You can roast your parsnips in advance and then reheat in the oven and probably no-one will even notice. Alternatively you could peel and chop them and leave them in a pan of cold water in the fridge overnight. Drain and roast when you’re ready to cook.
What other flavours can you add to parsnips?
While roast parsnips are delicious on their own the following flavours are also delicious:
Add 1-2 tsp cumin seeds along with the oil and salt.
- Maple syrup
Add 1-2 tbsp maple syrup to your roast parsnips about ten minutes before the end of cooking time.
Rosemary, thyme and sage are classic Christmas herbs so if you’re making your roast parsnips for Christmas dinner you may want to add 1-2 tbsp chopped herbs. Finely chopped flat leaf parsley added to your parsnips once cooked is also delicious and makes them look really pretty too.
Mustard is another flavour that goes well with parsnips. Stir through a tablespoon of your favourite mustard before roasting - I prefer wholegrain but Dijon is also good.
How to prepare roast parsnips
See the recipe card below for ingredients, quantities and full instructions.
- Wash your parsnips.
- Top and tail your parsnips - cut off the top and bottom.
- Peel them (you don’t need to peel very young parsnips).
- Cut each parsnip into quarters, lengthways.
- Cut out the core and discard.
- Cut each piece in half again, lengthways.
- Place in a roasting tin (use two tins if needed - don’t overload or they won’t get crispy) and drizzle with oil and salt then roast.
What to serve with roast parsnips
There are so many things you could serve with roast parsnips. Here are some of my favourites.
- Chestnut and cranberry nut roast
- Parsnip wellington
- Balsamic Brussels sprouts
- Easy Christmas red cabbage (on my other blog Sneaky Veg)
- Parsnip, chestnut and sage nut roast (on my other blog Sneaky Veg)
- Vegan gravy
- Sage roasted potatoes
- Chestnut and sage stuffing balls
If you like this you might also like these Christmas vegetable side dishes.
More parsnip recipes you might like
- Leek and parsnip soup
- Parsnip, chickpea and cauliflower korma
- Parsnip wellington
- Curried parsnip soup
- Mashed parsnips
- Parsnip and cashew nut roast
Or you might like this mushroom gravy.
Pin easy roasted parsnips for later
How to make roast parsnips
If you have made this recipe and loved it please consider leaving a comment and rating below.
- 800 g parsnips peeled, cored and cut into equal sized pieces.
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- Preheat the oven to 220°C fan/240°C/gas mark 9.
- Prepare your parsnips and then add to a roasting tray. You don’t want your parsnips to overlap so use two trays if necessary.
- Drizzle over 1 tbsp sea salt and 3 tbsp sunflower oil and mix well.
- Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Turn over and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
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