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Cooking with Parsnips - Easy and Delicious Ways to Prepare Parsnips

Updated on June 19, 2013
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Kathy is a busy mom of two teens who loves to cook tasty and simple food for her family and friends.

There are many ways to add parsnips to your everyday meals.
There are many ways to add parsnips to your everyday meals. | Source

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Parsnips are underappreciated vegetables

Have you ever tried parsnips? Did you like them? Many people I know tell me that either they've never eaten them, or they can't stand them. They certainly don't seem to be high on the vegetable popularity list.

However, whenever I cook parsnips, people seem to enjoy them and often remark that they should cook them more often.

I thought maybe it was time to share some information about parsnips, and the best ways to prepare them to help them gain some respect in the vegetable world.

Parsnips Nutrition Benefits

  • Low in fat, calories and sodium
  • High in fiber
  • Source of vitamins C, K, E, some B vitamins, folate and protein
  • 1 cup of raw parsnips has 100 calories, less than 0.5 g fat, 24 g carbohydrates and 1.6 g of protein


What are parsnips?

Parsnips are root vegetables that look a lot like pale coloured carrots. However, don't be fooled - they do not taste like carrots at all.

Parsnips can be cooked in several different ways. The most common methods are boiling, steaming, or my favourite method, roasting. I've also cooked them in my slow cooker at Thanksgiving with sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and beets and they turned out well.

If you haven't tried parsnips before, or didn't really enjoy them when you did have them, read on for some simple ways to prepare parsnips that might help you change your mind about this under-appreciated vegetable.

Roasted Parsnips

In my opinion, the best way to cook parsnips is to roast them in the oven. Roasting parsnips brings out the sweetness in them and is so easy to do. You can either cook them on their own, or combine them with other root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes or beets for a delicious vegetable medley.

One of my favourite ways to cook parsnips is to make roasted parsnip fries as a side dish in the fall and winter months. It's a quick and easy recipe, and the parsnips end up sweet and delicious, with a caramelized taste.

Roasted carrot and parsnip fries.
Roasted carrot and parsnip fries. | Source
Cast your vote for Roasted Parsnip Fries

Ingredients for Roasted Parsnip Fries

  • 4 large or 8 small parsnips
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

Instructions

  1. Peel parsnips, and slice into 2-3 inch strips.
  2. Pour olive oil and garlic into small bowl.
  3. Add parsnips and toss until coated with oil.
  4. Spread parsnips in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake in oven at 375 degrees Farenheit until lightly browned and tender (approximately 25-35 minutes).

You can also make carrot fries the same way, although they may take a little longer to cook. I often make some of both, as they go very well together.

Parsnips are delicious in soups and stews

Parsnips make a wonderful addition to a variety of soups and stews. You can use them as the main vegetable, or as a complement to other vegetables. They go particularly well with carrots, apples and pears.

I often add parsnips to my favourite slow cooker beef stew recipe `- it's a great way to use up any leftover parsnips you might have in your fridge.

To make a basic parsnip soup, sautee a chopped onion and some garlic in butter or olive oil for a few minutes, then add chopped parsnips and vegetable or chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Blend the soup in a blender or with a hand mixer, and enjoy. Great seasonings for parsnip soup are salt and pepper, ginger or curry powder. You can also add chopped apples, carrots or pears when you add the parsnips for a tasty variation on this basic recipe.

Here is a sampling of some other delicious parsnip soup recipes to try:

Parsnip soups are perfect on a cold fall or winter day, either for lunch or as an appetizer before dinner.

Curried Parsnip Soup Recipe

Other Yummy Parsnip Recipes

Here are a few more easy and delicious recipes for you to try:


Root vegetable cookbooks from Amazon

Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes
Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes

More than 225 recipes for a variety of root vegetables, including parsnips.

 
Recipes from the Root Cellar: 270 Fresh Ways to Enjoy Winter Vegetables
Recipes from the Root Cellar: 270 Fresh Ways to Enjoy Winter Vegetables

Delicious recipes featuring fall and winter vegetables like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, brussel sprouts, squash and more.

 

More Ways to Use Parsnips

Here are a few other ideas for adding more parsnips to your everyday meals:

  • add some to juice or smoothie recipes - pineapple, carrot or apple go particularly well with parsnips
  • grate some to add to a salad
  • substitute parsnips for some of the carrots in your favourite carrot cake recipe
  • use them in muffins, like this recipe for Spiced Apple and Parsnip Muffins from Whole Foods Market

Which parsnip recipe would you most like to try?

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    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks rbm, RTalloni, ChitrangadaSharan and Glimmer Twin Fan. I hope you all give parsnips a try to enjoy them. Please let me know if you try any of the recipes!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I'll have to give parsnips a try. Those fries look good.

    • rbm profile image

      rbm 4 years ago

      That parsnip soup look yummy! Thanks for the great recipe ideas.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for this look at parsnips with the yum-looking recipe. I knew the name and that's it. Now I know what I need to know about this vegetable.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      A very well researched and well written hub. Honestly I have never heard of Parsnips or seen them. May be it is not readily available in this part of the world. But all the nutrition facts you suggested are great. If I found them I will try the soup for myself and fries for my children.

      Thanks for sharing.