Roasted Parsnips

ThanksgivingGluten-FreeVegetarianRoot Vegetables

Roasted parsnips are the perfect side dish for a fall meal or holiday dinner. These parsnips are roasted in butter and stock and then tossed with parsley, chives, garlic, and a touch of horseradish.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a fabulous class, taught by and in the home of local cooking maestra Evie Lieb.

In the class we covered many dishes, but my favorite was the Roasted Parsnips with Horseradish-Herb Butter.

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I love these parsnips! Note to those who run from horseradish — try it anyway.

I can’t distinguish the horseradish from the flavors of the parsnips and butter, and neither could my parents until I told them what was in it. The flavors of the ingredients are a perfect complement to each other.

From the editors of Simply Recipes

What is a Parsnip?

Parsnips look like funny white carrots, which makes sense--they're members of the carrot family. They have a sweet, mild, earthy flavor that's all their own. You can actually eat them raw, but cooking improves their taste and texture.

How to Pick the Best Parsnips

Look for parsnips that are small, rather than beefy. Large parsnips can be fibrous, while smaller ones are more tender and have a better flavor. The larger the parsnip, the larger its woody core—a part that's best removed, rather than cooked.

Avoid parsnips that are shriveled, spotted, or floppy. Parsnips are best in the cold weather months, fall to winter.

How to Prep Parsnips for Cooking

Peel parsnips as you would carrots. Cut off the narrow end of the parsnip first. Then quarter the wide end lengthwise so you can cut out and remove the fibrous core, if needed. Sometimes the core isn’t very hard or developed, and you don’t need to remove it.

Parsnips will discolor if cut and stored over an hour or two. To minimize browning of cut parsnips, refrigerate in water with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Love Parsnips? Try These Recipes!

Updated November 4, 2020 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the original recipe. Enjoy!

Roasted Parsnips Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Note that parsnips at the end of the season (February vs. November) can have a woodier center, which no amount of cooking can soften. If this is the case with your parsnips, you might want to cut some of the center part out and discard before cooking.

To save time, the parsnips (with the oil, salt, pepper, and broth) can be pre-cooked in a covered container in the microwave for 5 minutes. Transfer to oven to finish cooking in a much shorter time. You may want to uncover them to help evaporate the liquid when in the oven.

Adapted by Evie from a recipe by Grace Parisi in the November 2004 issue of Food and Wine magazine.


  • 1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 1/2 inch batons
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup stock (low sodium turkey stock, chicken stock or vegetable broth)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 teaspoons drained, bottled horseradish (or homemade)
  • 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 1/2 small garlic clove, minced


1 Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

2 Season the parsnips: In a large roasting pan with sides no more than 2 inches high, toss the parsnips with the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Add the broth, cover with aluminum foil.

How to cook parsnips by roasting in a baking sheet.

3 Roast the parsnips: Roast, stirring once or twice, until the parsnips are tender and the stock has evaporated or been absorbed, 20-45 minutes (depending on how tender the parsnips are to begin with). Check often to avoid their getting mushy, especially if they are to be reheated later.

4 Make horseradish-herb butter: Combine the softened butter with the horseradish, parsley, chives and garlic and season with salt and pepper.

5 Serve: Toss the warm roasted parsnips with the horseradish-herb butter to serve.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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33 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Mary

    I love parsnips, and look forward to trying this recipe. I have never had success roasting them before but this recipe covers all the bases


  2. Vickie

    These were easy and delicious. I microwaved for 8 minutes instead of 5, my mistake. Through it on a sheet pan till it the liquid evaporated. Tossed it into a bowl with the butter, horseradish and thyme.


  3. Thomas

    I’ve been making a parsnip puree for a stuffed pasta filling. I just thought I’d share my method.

    So combi oven 30% moisture 350f, medium fan. Cut parsnips in half the long way and trim off the thin “tail” side. The smaller side will just over-cook and you will end up discarding it anyway. Cook for about 45 minutes (depending on the size). Blend with a generous amount of water and a little bit of melted butter(I use half a pound of butter for every 10lbs of parsnips).

    Ideally this puree comes out with a nice golden brown colour. Roasting really helps bring out the natural sweetness and flavour of the parsnips. The lower heat and the combi help making it workable in the blender. I orginally tried a high dry heat and it was just a pita to puree

  4. fellini

    You are a culinary genius! We loved the recipe. I wouldn’t eat horseradish out of the jar with a spoon but it was nice to find a good use for it. I tried making my own once, powerful to blow your bloody head off. Add herbs and butter to the jarred product and your mouth will say, “Thank you!”. And I’ve promoted (demoted?) my Sweet Tom to be my Sous Chef. Life is good.


  5. Kelley Marie

    I went to Pinterest for parsnips recipes. Should have known I’d wind up here! I loved the horseradish and herbed butter sauce. I plan on using it for other meals as well.

    @Gary Lloyd – I like my parsnips a little crispier too. After 30 minutes with foil on, I removed the foil and broiled the parsnips for about 4 minutes on each side.

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A white serving dish with roast parsnips inside.Roasted Parsnips