The Root Vegetable We Love For Dinner... And Dessert

October 19, 2017

Parsnips! On the outside they may seem like pale, slightly dowdier carrots—the less-flashy root vegetable that doesn't get to star in Instagram photos or headline crudité platters. But underneath its slightly "blah" exterior lies a (delicious) heart of gold; oh, how we have been wasting parsnips' potential! Starchy, nutty, and endlessly versatile, parsnips should be your new favorite root vegetable.

Hear us out: Parsnips shine just as brightly in sweet recipes as in savory. Parsnips are excellent mashed, roasted, or grated into cakes and latkes. Plus, "parsnip" is also a very fun word to say.

Have we convinced you? If we haven't, these 16 recipes will do the trick.

What's your favorite way to use parsnips? Give us some more inspiration!

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • jaybels
  • AntoniaJames
  • Catherine Lamb
    Catherine Lamb
A kitchen scientist and dog-lover. Someday I want to have you over for dinner.


jaybels October 21, 2017
@AntoniaJames I have actually experimented with parsnips and pasta and it is revolutionary. My first experience with this combination was at my favorite Atlanta restaurant named Suh Kon Dong. The complex textures are fantastic and the flavor is inviting yet mysterious at the same time. Let me know your thoughts about this different, yet exciting pairing!
AntoniaJames October 19, 2017
I use the cooking liquid from the parsnip and potato mash linked above when making this potato bread (I add 1/4 cup of dry milk powder when making that substitution.)

Parsnips also work well pureed with butternut squash - not quite as sweet as when mashed with sweet potatoes Substitute coconut cream for creme fraiche if you like (and curry leaves for bay leaves) for a change of pace. or to make it vegan.

And this flourless sweet potato and parsnip cake:

Another suggestion: substitute parsnips, by weight, for 3/4 of the potatoes you'd use in potage parmentier. Add nutmeg for complexity. I typically run it through a strainer before adding regular or almond milk. ;o)
Catherine L. October 20, 2017
Definitely into the coconut cream, parsnip, and butternut squash mash-up!