Sweet and robust, parsnips are often the first side dish to be scoffed. However, they can be used for much more than simply a roasted side. Like their relative, carrots, they can be used in sweet dishes and brunch recipes, and deserve to take centre stage as the star component of a main course. Here, we’ve picked out our favourite ways to cook with this versatile root veg.

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Being a rich source of fibre, it’s no surprise that parsnips help promote digestive regularity. Parsnips are a useful source of vitamin C, with one serving (80g) providing a fifth of your recommended intake. Research suggests that including vegetables like parsnips in your diet helps increase fullness and a sense of satiation.

Learn more about the health benefits of parsnips, or see our ultimate parsnip recipe collection.

See more budget ideas including healthy recipes and vegetarian meals.

How to prepare parsnips

  • Savour the nutrients and don’t bother peeling young, small parsnips. Gently scrub them to remove any dirt and serve whole.
  • When dealing with older parsnips, peel thinly to avoid waste. Make a judgement call on whether the central core is too fibrous and tough to be cooked.
  • Uncooked parsnips keep in the fridge for around one week.

Top parsnip recipes

1. Parsnip latkes

Why not try something different for brunch by swapping the potato in these latkes for grated parsnips? Fry them with fresh dill and serve with smoked haddock, spinach and a runny poached egg for the ultimate savoury comfort food.

2. Spiced parsnip & cauliflower soup

Green chillies and coriander give this hearty soup its colour. Flavour winter vegetables with fennel seed, turmeric and ginger.

If you're hosting a buffet, these curried parsnip soup shots will make the perfect canapés. Serve with a dainty topping of prosciutto or choose crisp kale for a vegan option.

3. Truffled parsnip & parmesan bruschetta

Turn the knobbly root into something altogether more elegant by puréeing and serving on Italian-style toasts for a light starter or as part of a canapé menu.

4. Parsnip gnocchi

Who says parsnips have to be plain? Transform this veg into beautiful golden dumplings for an impressive vegan dinner-party main. Finish off the gnocchi with a sprinkling of thyme, pepper and crunchy toasted walnuts.

5. Chickpea & roasted parsnip curry

When the chilly winter nights start to draw in, a wholesome vegan curry is just what you need. Crispy parsnips work perfectly mixed with soft chickpeas and coated in a creamy coconut sauce. Using a ready-made curry paste means you can prepare this dish in just 15 minutes, making it a speedy midweek meal. If you've got more time, try our fragrant, slow-cooked parsnip pilaf with a zingy mint salsa verde.

6. Roast parsnip & chestnut salad

You don’t get much more wintry than this rustic mix. Finish your salad with a honey-rosemary dressing and serve alongside a vegetarian main course. Or, try our sesame parsnip & wild rice tabbouleh, which delivers two of your five-a-day.

7. Honey-mustard parsnip & potato bake

Parsnip gratin

The beauty of this dish lies in its multiple textures: creamy sauce, crunchy breadcrumb topping and chunky parsnips.

8. Parsnip & maple syrup cake

This bake won our 20th birthday cake competition, and for good reason. Parsnips and maple syrup are a heavenly combination, and when teamed with spices, mascarpone and pecans, it's a seriously special sandwich cake.

9. Roast parmesan parsnips

Polenta and cheese add a lovely, crispy crumb to these roasted parsnip fingers – great for serving with roasted meat and fish. If you’re catering for vegetarians, make sure you use vegetarian hard cheese. For a sweet-and-spicy twist, try our sticky harissa & marmalade roasted roots.

10. Sticky toffee parsnip pudding

Parsnips may not be the first thing you'd throw in a pudding, but believe us, this magic ingredient helps soften and lighten the sponge texture. The root veg also imparts a sweetness that balances the salty caramel sauce and zingy stem ginger perfectly, making it an all-round winner.

More like this

11. Carrot & parsnip soup

Carrot & parsnip soup

Create a batch of creamy parsnip and carrot soup for a warming lunch or supper. Serve with crusty bread and freeze any leftovers you have for busy days.

12. Sage, bacon & parsnip linguine

Sage, bacon & parsnip linguine

Rustle up this easy sage and bacon linguine for a comforting supper on cold winter nights using 300g parsnips. It's a great way to use up parsnip leftovers.

13. Slow cooker spiced root & lentil casserole

Slow cooker spiced root & lentil casserole

Warm up on chilly days with this vegetarian slow-cooker stew. It's great for freezing and reheating for midweek meals. This recipe is ideal for a 3.5-litre slow cooker. If yours is larger, double the amounts and freeze the leftovers. You can also cook on the hob, covered, for 1 hr until the veg is tender.

14. Root vegetable tatin with candied nuts & blue cheese

Root vegetable tatin with candied nuts & blue cheese

Make this vegetable tatin with nuts and cheese as a weeknight supper. Perfect for a veggie family meal, it's a great centrepiece that serves six.

15. Pork & parsnip traybake

Pork & parsnip traybake

Sear pork chops, then roast with red onions and root vegetables for an easy weeknight dinner. This healthy recipe uses minimal ingredients and feeds the whole family.

16. Winter vegetable curry with fruity raita

Winter vegetable curry with fruity raita

Use hardy root vegetables in this filling, gluten-free curry. We used pumpkin, carrots and parsnips, teamed with tomatoes to keep it vegetarian. The curry is freezable, making it handy for busy weeknight suppers.

17. Slow-braised pork shoulder with cider & parsnips

Slow-braised pork shoulder with cider & parsnips

Shoulder is the ideal cut for this warming one-pot, packed with autumnal flavours and perfect served with a side of mash.

18. Sticky orange chicken with parsnips, maple & pecans

Sticky orange chicken with parsnips, maple & pecans

Pop chicken thighs and root veg into a roasting tin with a sweet and tangy maple glaze for a delicious one-pan dinner. It's a great way to use up storecupboard sauces like sherry vinegar, wholegrain mustard and maple syrup.

19. Parsnip pilaf

Parsnip Pilaf

Slow-cook basmati rice with lentils, spices and roasted root vegetables like parsnips and carrots, then serve with a coriander, dill, parsley and mint salsa verde. Its a great freezable vegetarian-friendly recipe.

20. Spiced parsnip shepherd's pies

Spiced parsnip shepherd's pies

Add a twist on classic shepherd's pie with these spiced individual pies. Loaded with ginger, chilli and turmeric, it's sure to warm you up on a chilly winter night.

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We'd love to hear about your favourite parsnip dishes. Leave a comment below.

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