Roasted Parsnips

published Jul 23, 2021
Roasted Parsnips

This quick sheet pan roasted parsnips side dish has a rich flavor profile thanks to a dukkah spice mix.


Prep15 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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Roasted parsnips on a black plate with spices nearby
Credit: Renae Wilson
Roasted Parsnips

When it comes to vegetables, parsnips fly totally under the radar. Although the root vegetable is shaped similarly to a carrot, its flavor is a little more challenging to pinpoint than its orange brethren. There’s a slight sweetness and earthiness, along with nutty notes and a subtle zippiness that’s almost like celery root.

When thinking of where I would use a parsnip, I follow this guideline: Anywhere that a potato can go, a parsnip can go. It’s just as easy to prep — all you have to do is peel the skin and decide if you want to roast (as we do here), mash, purée, or even leave whole. Another rule of thumb? The smaller the parsnip, the better the flavor. You can even get away with leaving the skin on younger ones.

Roasting the vegetable brings out the flavors that make them so enjoyable. Because of the underlying notes, warm seasonings tend to pair best. I chose to jazz up this easy side with dukkah. Dukkah is an Egyptian spice mix of ground nuts, seeds, and warm spices. Whether you use store-bought or homemade, just make sure to toss the mix with the parsnips when there are only a few minutes left of the cooking or else the spices will burn. Serve these alongside lamb burgers, a pork tenderloin, or just family-style like french fries.

Credit: Renae Wilson
Roasted Parsnips

How to Select the Best Parsnip?

When selecting parsnips, try to find ones that are around the same size to get equal roasting. Again, the younger, smaller parsnips will be sweeter and more tender.

Do You Need to Peel Parsnip?

The older and larger the parsnip, the tougher the skin. These will need to be peeled, while smaller ones can be roasted with the skin on.

What to Serve with Parsnips?

Parsnips are not only a versatile vegetable to cook with — they can also accompany many different dishes.

  • Serve mashed alongside a pork tenderloin
  • Use parsnips in a beef stew with cipollini onions, red potatoes, mushrooms, and celery. 
  • Roast them and serve at room temperature with a salad Niçoise.

Roasted Parsnips

This quick sheet pan roasted parsnips side dish has a rich flavor profile thanks to a dukkah spice mix.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 2 pounds

    parsnips (8 to 10 medium)

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons

    dukkah or za'atar spice


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF.

  2. Peel and trim 2 pounds parsnips. Halve each parsnip crosswise. Halve each bottom, thinner piece lengthwise. Halve the top pieces lengthwise, then cut lengthwise again into thirds or quarters so they are roughly the same size as the bottom pieces. Transfer the parsnips to a rimmed baking sheet.

  3. Drizzle the parsnips with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Toss until evenly coated, then spread out into a single, even layer.

  4. Roast until starting to brown on the bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the parsnips from the oven. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons dukkah or za’atar spice and toss until evenly coated. Spread back into an even layer.

  5. Return the parsnips to the oven and roast until fork tender and the spices are fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The parsnips can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Roast for 25 minutes without the dukkah spice, let cool, and refrigerate. Reheat in a 350ºF oven for about 10 minutes, then sprinkle with the dukkah or za’atar and bake for 5 minutes more.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.