Five delicious ways to cook parsnips

Rooting for parsnips? This veg may be the paler cousin of the humble carrot, but it’s certainly no less delicious.

Parsnips cut in half

Parsnips also have a lovely natural sweetness that makes them a great addition to all sorts of dishes. 

Before we go unearthing a few of our favourite parsnip recipes though, let’s take a closer look at this terrific root vegetable and how easy it is to prep in your kitchen.

What do parsnips taste like?

Parsnips have a truly unique taste. They share the same sweetness as carrots, yet have a slightly bitter undertone that’s similar to turnips or swede. Due to their naturally sweet flavour, parsnips taste wonderful roasted in herbs or garlic. You could also try blending them into a creamy soup with a hint of chilli.

Can you prepare parsnips ahead of time?

There are lots of ways to prep parsnips, from boiling them in chunks for mash to roasting them in the oven. Once roasted, parsnips can be blended into soup or served alongside other roasted vegetables. Parsnips can be cooked with the skin on or off too - it’s entirely up to you.

Having people around for dinner? You can get your parsnips ready in advance by parboiling them or half-roasting them for 15-20 minutes. You can then store them in the fridge overnight before roasting them for the same amount of time again the following day.

Can you eat parsnips raw?

Yes, you can eat parsnips raw. In fact, they make a delightful alternative to raw carrot sticks for dunking into homemade houmous. Raw grated parsnip is also a tasty addition to salads.

Just make sure you wash your parsnips well before chopping them and slice off any bits of skin that might look bruised or blackened. These scraps can be popped in your compost bin.

Five tasty parsnip recipes

Wondering what the best ways to cook parsnips are? Here are a few mouthwatering options for this wonderful root veg.

Parsnip soup

Creamy with a touch of sweetness, parsnip soup really is a classic. It couldn't be simpler to make, either. Wash and cut up your parsnips into small chunks before drizzling them in a little olive oil and roasting them in the oven for 30 minutes until tender. 

You can then fry up some onion and garlic in a large saucepan. Toss in the roasted parsnip chunks and season with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and herbs. Pour over some veg stock and a dash of milk of your choice. The liquid should completely cover the parsnips and onions. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes and blend. Add more stock if needed until you reach your desired consistency.  

Roasted parsnips

Want to mix up your Sunday dinners? Roasted parsnips are a fantastic side dish and can be flavoured with all sorts of seasonings to suit your tastes. 

Honey roasted parsnips (or maple roasted parsnips) are a fail-safe option that can be cooked and ready to serve in under an hour. For the perfect roasted parsnips, wash and trim the ends off 500g of parsnips. You can then slice them lengthways so they’re all roughly the same size. Place them in a large saucepan of water and boil them for five minutes. Drain your parsnips and let them steam dry for a few minutes. 

Pour the cooled parsnips into a roasting tin along with a tablespoon each of flour and honey/maple syrup. Add two tablespoons of veg oil and two of butter/vegan butter. Season well and toss the parsnips to coat them. Spread them out and roast for 40 minutes until golden, turning once halfway through.

(via BBC Good Food)

Parsnip tarte tatin

For a parsnip dish that’s simple to create yet will undoubtedly impress your friends, check out our Parsnip and Rosemary Tarte Tatin

Begin by caramelising slices of parsnips in butter in an oven-proof frying pan. Next, sprinkle over some balsamic glazed onions and chopped rosemary. Top the whole thing off with a layer of ready-rolled puff pastry. 

It can then be baked in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden. Once cooked, flip your tarte tatin onto a plate and serve it hot or cold. 

Parmesan parsnip chips

This is another sensational parsnip side dish and it’ll take you less than 30 minutes to make. To prepare your crispy fried parsnip chips, begin by preheating the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6. Wash and trim your parsnips and slice them into long, thin sticks. 

In a small bowl, combine some olive oil with a bit of paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour this over the parsnips and toss to coat. Spread the parsnips out on a greased baking tray, making sure none of them are touching. 

Roast them for 15 minutes on one side before flipping. Leave the tray in the oven for a few more minutes and then remove. Serve your parsnip chips sprinkled with grated parmesan/vegan parmesan and chopped fresh parsley. 

(via My Gorgeous Recipes)

Parsnip curry

With their earthy flavour and firm texture, parsnips are a brilliant choice for bulking out a vegetarian curry. 

You can whip up a fragrant parsnip curry in under an hour too. First, you’ll need to wash and half (or quarter) your parsnips. They can then be drizzled in oil, seasoned with cumin, nigella and mustard seeds, and roasted in the oven for 30-35 minutes. 

While your parsnips are cooking, blitz some onion, garlic and ginger with a little cold water to create a puree. Fry this in a large pan for 15 minutes before adding coconut milk, chopped tomatoes, chickpeas and garam masala. Simmer for ten minutes and then toss in the roasted parsnips. Stir and cook for a further 15 minutes. Serve hot with rice or naan. 

(via Olive Magazine)

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