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Honey Roasted Parsnips

Honey roasted parsnips boast just a few simple ingredients, a natural sweetness and a nutty, earthy flavor. Sort of like parsnip fries, but baked.

They’re a delicious side dish for a Sunday roast dinner or Christmas dinner and you can tweak them the way you like.

bowl of honey roasted parsnips

Although parsnips are part of the carrot family, they look and taste quite different.

In this recipe, we roast them at a high heat with olive oil, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Bottom line: Roasting the parsnips creates a soft interior, a beautifully caramelized exterior and enhanced sweetness. This is an easy side dish that pairs well with vegetarian and meat dishes alike.

Ingredient notes – tailored to your taste

parsnips, honey, lemon, salt, pepper

Here are some variations and substitutions to try. 

  • Make a veggie combo: Try a combination of honey roast carrots and parsnips for beautiful color contrast. Just make sure to cut the carrots to the same size.
  • Types of honey – instead of regular honey, try lime-honey (pictured above) or honey mustard. If you don’t have honey, you can use maple syrup.
  • Seasonings: Experiment with other seasonings that go well with parsnips such as cumin, coriander and cinnamon.
  • Jazz up the parsnips with garnishes after roasting such as:
    • chopped fresh herbs like thyme, dill, parsley or oregano
    • lemon or orange zest
    • a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction

Tips 

  1. How to choose parsnips: see FAQ. Bigger is not better!
  2. How to cut them: The trick is to cut the parsnips into pieces of a similar size they will roast evenly. Don’t cut them too thin as they lose a lot of moisture in roasting and can dry out.
  3. How much to serve: Estimate about 1/2 pound of raw parsnips per person. (The weight will be lower after cooking).

 Step by step instructions

Peel parsnips with a vegetable peeler and cut into sticks of similar size, about 1/2 inch/1.27 cm thick. Toss with oil, honey, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

parsnips laid on foil lined pan in single layer

Lay them in a single layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil (sprayed with oil).

roasted parsnips on pan

Roast at 425F/218C for 22-30 minutes or until golden brown and caramelized, turning once.

bowl of browned honey roasted parsnips

Serve immediately garnished with lemon zest, fresh herbs or a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

Make Ahead

  • Roast ahead, then rewarm in a 350F/177C oven for 8-10 minutes. The parsnips are also good served at room temperature.
  • Store leftover roast parsnips in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

Recipe FAQ

Are parsnips healthy?

According to Healthline, parsnips are a great source of fiber, vitamin K, folate and antioxidants like vitamin C. They have a lower calorie and much higher fiber content compared to a potato. For instance, one cup of cooked parsnips has 5.6 g of fiber, almost 25% of the daily recommended value.

How do I choose the best parsnips?

The prime season for parsnips is Fall and Winter. Choose small or medium-sized parsnips that are white, firm and not shriveled with brown spots. Smaller parsnips are better because the larger ones have a larger bitter core. Unfortunately, parsnips are often sold in a package so you may get a couple of larger ones. Not a big deal.

If my parsnips are soft and limp, are they still good?

Since they have a high water content, the limpness means they have lost too much moisture. As long as they are not slimy, limp parsnips are still fine to use, but are best added to soups and stews.

What to serve with roasted parsnips

Here are a few suggestions for pairing main course proteins with the honey roast parsnips: Cedar Planked Chicken, Boneless Pork Roast with Gravy, Roast Turkey Breast, Sous Vide Bone-in Pork Roast, Vegetable Strudel or  Classic Prime Rib Roast.  And check out our summer Sunday dinner ideas for more options.

Of course, roasting parsnips with other root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips and onions makes a great side dish too.

Other roasted vegetable side dishes to try

Salt is king when it comes to flavor enhancers. Check out our article on what experts say about the best salt for cooking (and what you should know).

bowl of honey roasted parsnips p1

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bowl of honey roasted parsnips
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Honey Roasted Parsnips

Honey roasted parsnips boast just a few simple ingredients, a natural sweetness and an earthy nutty flavor. An easy side dish for a holiday or Sunday roast dinner.
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time38 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 2 -3
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh parsnips (small or medium-sized parsnips if possible)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil (or 1 tbsp olive oil + 1/2 tbsp melted butter)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional garnishes: drizzle of Balsamic reduction, lemon zest, orange zest or 1 tbsp fresh herbs

Instructions

  • PREHEAT OVEN to 425F/218C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil (sprayed with oil).
  • PREPARE PARSNIPS: Peel parsnips with vegetable peeler. Cut into even sticks, about 1/2 inch/1.27 cm thick. Don't cut them too thin or they will dry out. By cutting them the same thickness, you will ensure they will finish cooking at the same time. In a medium bowl, toss parsnips with oil, honey, salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
  • ROAST AND SERVE: Place parsnips on sheet pan in a single layer (no overlapping). Roast in preheated oven for 22-30 minutes, turning half way through, until soft when pierced with a fork and caramelized on the edges. Cooking time will depend on thickness. Taste and add an extra touch of honey or salt if needed. Transfer to serving bowl and serve. If desired, add optional garnish like a drizzle of balsamic reduction, lemon zest, orange zest or fresh chopped herbs.

Notes

  1. Variations and substitutes
    • Make a veggie combo: Try a combination of carrots and parsnips for beautiful color contrast. Just make sure to cut the carrots to the same size.
    • Honey glaze – instead of regular honey, try lime-honey or honey mustard. If you don’t have honey, you can use maple syrup.
    • Seasonings: Experiment with other seasonings that go well with parsnips such as cumin, coriander and cinnamon.
    • Herbs: that pair well with parsnips are fresh rosemary, thyme, dill, parsley, chives and oregano.
  2. Make Ahead:
    • Roast ahead, then rewarm in a 350F/177C oven for 8-10 minutes. The parsnips are also good served at room temperature.
    • Store leftover roast parsnips in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
 
Nutritional information is estimated for 2 good size portions and do not include optional garnishes. The dish will serve 3 if you are serving other sides. 

Nutrition

Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 605mg | Potassium: 862mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 1mg
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4 Comments

    1. Glad they worked out well. Timing will depend on you oven temperature (most ovens are off a bit) and how well you’re able to space out the parsnips in the pan. If they’re a bit crowded, the cook time will take a bit longer. 😊

  1. These are great! i made them tonight. With some carrots cause i only had 3 parsnips. Worth it.