Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center

Roasted Parsnips w/ Thyme

I love the nutty, sweet and spicy flavor of parsnips. Their unpopularity is a mystery to me – it seems many people don’t realize how delicious they can be. This dish brings out their best qualities. It’s very simple to prepare and can share the oven (with other roasted dishes). From The Herbfarm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld


  • 2 lb parsnips, about 5-6 medium
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 T packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 T coarsely chopped fresh thyme

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  • Peel the parsnips and cut them into 2-inch lengths. Quarter the thickest pieces, halve the medium ones, and leave the thinnest ones whole. You want all the pieces to be about the same size.

  • Put the butter in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the parsnips in a single layer and put the dish in the oven until the butter melts. Stir in the brown sugar and vinegar. Add the parsnips, salt and pepper and stir to coat all the pieces evenly.

  • Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and stir in the thyme. Continue to bake until the parsnips are browned and tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes longer.