Baked Parsnip Fries

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The best parsnip fries that come out crispy, sweet, and delicious! Serve them as a side dish for a healthy alternative to traditional fries.

117 CAL 21g CARBS 4g FAT 1g PROTEIN 3
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These delicious Baked Parsnip Fries make the ultimate healthy side dish for your next meal. Serve them alongside your favorite burger, chicken tenders, or sandwich.

I am constantly on the lookout for ways to add more and new veggies to our routine and fries are an obvious answer. Between the familiar shape, crunchy texture, and dipping sauces - it's a way I can almost guarantee that everyone will have at least one bite.

If you aren't making fries with parsnips, you are missing out. These often overlooked root vegetables make the best fries. They are nutty, sweet, and packed with nutrients. Plus they roast in less than 25 minutes, making them ideal for busy weeknights. 

The other I love about roasting parsnips is that it completely transforms the flavor. As they roast, the natural sweetness of the parsnip comes out and the edges get caramelized. They take on this nutty, sweet flavor and you will be shocked at how quickly they disappear. My whole family ate an entire plate full before even asking what they were eating. 

How to cut parsnips into fries?

At first glance, parsnips may look difficult to cut since they tend to have a wide base that leads to a very thin end. Start by cutting the parsnip vertically in half, leaving a thin end and thick end. Cut the thin end in half to create two matchsticks or fries. Then cut the wider end in half and then into quarters. Slice those down as needed to create your fries. 

Parsnips that are peeled and cut into match stick fries on a cutting board.

Recipe Ideas and Tips

  • Make them spicy: Add a touch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the parsnips before baking them. You could also opt for a 
  • Add parmesan: I love adding some fresh Parmesan cheese on top of the fries
  • Add carrot fries: If parsnips are a new vegetable for you and your family, sometimes it helps to introduce it with something familiar like carrots. Replace half the parsnips with carrots to add color, flavor, and familiarity. 
  • Add sweet potatoes: Same philosophy as above  -adding something your family already loves makes it easier to add a new vegetable to the routine.
  • Dipping sauce: Everyone loves a good dipping sauce with their fries. Consider using spicy ketchup, honey mustard, healthy ranch, pesto, or marinara sauce.

What does a parsnip taste like?

While you might expect parsnips to taste just like a carrot since they look similar, parsnips tend to have an earthier, nuttier taste than carrots. They do have the same delicious sweetness as a carrot but also have some flavors similar to a celery root or turnip. When cooked, the natural sweetness of parsnips comes out, making them a great root vegetable to add to your routine.

Are parsnips good for you?

Parsnips are a root vegetable similar to carrots that have a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. They have a bunch of great health benefits and are packed with vitamins and nutrients. Specifically, parsnips only have about 100 calories per cup with a whopping 6.5 grams of fiber or over 25% of the daily recommended intake. They are also high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and folate.

Many people look to parsnips as a lower carb alternative to potatoes since they are similar in texture and color. However, they actually only have a slighter lower amount of carbohydrates compared to potatoes and they have a similar amount of calories. However, parsnips do have more fiber than potatoes and generally have more nutrients.

Roasted parsnip fries on a plate with a side of ketchup.

How to choose parsnips?

Parsnips can be found in most grocery stores and either come individually or in a larger bag. If you are able to find individual parsnips, here is how to choose them:

  1. Look for smaller parsnips: Smaller parsnips tend to be sweeter and have a less fibrous skin and inner core. They tend to have the best flavor so always opt for smaller parsnips if they are available.
  2. White or light color: You want to look for parsnips that are white or very light cream in color. The lighter the parsnip, generally the sweeter the flavor. Try to avoid browned or yellowed parsnips.
  3. Firm to the touch: Parsnips should be firm, like a carrot. They should be shriveled or soft. If you were to snap it in half, it should make a crisp sound.

Do I need to peel parsnips?

This is completely up to you and parsnips can be served with or without the peel. The peel has a bit of a woody flavor and can be a bit fibrous. Also, a good tip is to always peel larger parsnips, which tend to be much more fibrous than smaller, young parsnips. If you decide to leave the skin on your parsnips, just make sure to scrub them well since they are root vegetables that are harvested from the soil.

Can I make these in the air fryer?

These parsnip fries come out crispy and delicious in the air fryer. Simply cut them into fries, toss with oil and seasoning, and then cook at 380 degrees for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned and crispy.

More healthy baked vegetable fries recipes

The Recipe
Parsnip fries cut into match sticks with spices on a wooden cutting board with kethcup.

Baked Parsnip Fries

117 CAL 21g CARBS 4g FAT 1g PROTEIN 3
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  • 1 lb parsnips
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel your parsnips and slice in half. Slice in half again, and then into quarters and eigths as needed to make thin fries or match sticks.

Parsnips on a cutting board that are peeled and cut into match sticks.

Toss the parsnip fries with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper. Spread out in a single layer on a bakig sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

Parsnip fries in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway. Make sure to watch the parsnips carefully so they don't burn since it can happen quickly. They are ready when they are lightly browned and crispy.

Roasted parsnip fries on a baking sheet that are browned and crispy.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2/3 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 117
Calories from Fat 34
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 307mg
Total Carbohydrate 21g
Dietary Fiber 6g
Sugars 6g
Protein 1g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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