I’ve boiled them, mashed them, and stuck them in a stew. I’ve fried them, seared them, and pureed them for soups.
Potatoes, right? Nope… think again.
I’m talking about parsnips!
If you’re ready to retire those russets – at least temporarily – switch to this root veggie with a hearty texture and earthy sweetness.
Parsnips can play in many of the same recipes you would normally make with potatoes, all with spectacularly tasty results.
But you won’t be able to take your hands off these oven-roasted parsnip fries.
Simply seasoned with coarse salt, freshly cracked black peppercorns, and garlic powder, each beautifully cooked strip has an infectious personality.
As they roast, the strips become tender on the inside and golden brown on the outside, with addictively crispy ends and edges.
Perfect on their own, they have the potential to become even better when dipped in a zippy honey mustard sauce.
This easy mayonnaise-based condiment quickly comes together in a few seconds – just whisk a handful of ingredients together in a bowl until combined while the veggies cook.
No pain, all the gain.
Give potatoes a day or two off – it’s party time, with parsnips!Print
What’s not to love about any iteration of crispy fries? Try this easy version – oven-roasted parsnips served with a creamy honey mustard sauce.
For the Fries:
- 1 pound parsnips
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh curly leaf parsley, for garnish
For the Dipping Sauce:
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup country-style Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
For the Fries:
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed half-size baking sheet with aluminum foil or a silicone mat.
- Peel the parsnips, trim the ends, and cut into strips about 3 inches long and 1/4 inch wide.
- Place the parsnips in a large mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder and toss again to coat evenly.
- Arrange the strips in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch each other.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Roast the parsnips for about 20 minutes, or until tender in the center and browned and crispy on the edges, tossing the strips and rotating the pan halfway through.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve immediately with the dipping sauce.
For the Dipping Sauce:
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, honey, vinegar, salt, and cayenne (if using) until completely combined.
- Use immediately, or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Vegetable
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: Side Dish
Keywords: parsnip, fries, mustard, honey, sauce
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients for the Fries
Measure the olive oil, salt, and garlic powder. Grind the black peppercorns fresh for the best flavor and measure them.
Wash and scrub the vegetables before peeling them. With a chef’s knife and sturdy cutting board, cut off both ends of each parsnip. Save the peels and ends for your compost. Good work reducing food waste in your home!
Slice each one into small strips about 3 inches long and 1/4 inch wide.
I prefer cutting them in thin slices, which will yield more browned and crispy edges! However, if you like a meatier fry, cut them in 1/2-inch-wide strips. If cutting them in thicker pieces, you may need to add 5 minutes to the total cooking time.
Depending on the size and shape of your parsnips, you may only need to slice the top portions into smaller pieces, as they can taper to fairly thin tips at the bottom.
Chop the parsley, place it in a bowl, and set it aside in the refrigerator until you’re ready to garnish. The fries will only take 20 minutes to cook, so you can prep this fresh garnish now with no risk of wilting excessively.
Step 2 – Season the Strips
Place the root vegetable strips in a bowl large enough to allow ample mixing space.
Drizzle the olive oil on top of the strips and mix together until the oil evenly coats the strips. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the bowl. Toss again until the seasonings are evenly distributed.
Step 3 – Transfer to Baking Sheet and Roast
Transfer the strips to the prepared baking sheet, arranging them in a single layer with enough space between each strip to prevent steaming, without any pieces touching.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Give the strips a good stir with a heatproof spatula and rotate the baking sheet – these actions will help the parsnips cook evenly.
Roast for another 10 minutes, or until they are tender inside when pierced with a fork, and the edges and tips are crisp and slightly browned.
Step 4 – Make the Dipping Sauce
The sauce comes together in no time at all, so you can quickly measure and mix the ingredients as the vegetables are cooking.
Measure the mayonnaise, mustard, honey, vinegar, and salt into a small mixing bowl. If spice is nice amongst your guests, add the 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. And if you aren’t a fan of mayo, feel free to use yogurt or sour cream instead!
Whisk together the ingredients to form a smooth, slightly runny mixture. Cover and place in the refrigerator until the fries are ready to serve.
Step 5 – Remove from Oven, Garnish, and Serve
When the parsnips are fully cooked, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Immediately garnish with the chopped parsley, and serve with the dipping sauce.
In my house, we often can’t wait to transfer the fries to a separate plate – we eat straight off the baking sheet! But if you prefer a prettier presentation, you can use a flat spatula or tongs to transfer the fries to plates or a large serving platter before garnishing with the parsley.
No matter your final serving style, these fries are at their best fresh from the oven. Eat them right away to enjoy the crispiest texture… while it lasts!
Add Some Cheese, Please
You’ll never hear me say, “Ummmm, but I wouldn’t put cheese on that.”
Like lightly sprinkled on top of these parsnip fries, right?
Along with the chopped parsley, evenly scatter about 1/8 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top of the fries as soon as they come out of the oven.
The salty bite will be irresistible!
How will you add a personalized touch to this recipe? Maybe you’ll serve it with a different dipper? Made-from-scratch ketchup, perhaps? I want details! Chat with me in the comment section below.
Want more playtime with parsnips? Get the most out of one of our favorite root veggies and try these homemade recipes next:
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally written by Jennifer Swartvagher. Last updated on December 22, 2022.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.