Lemon Roasted Carrots and Parsnips – Oh sweet basil

lemon roasted carrots and parsnips are salty and sweet and become caramelized and delicious when fried.

We crown them with a Honey Lemon Dressing make a… garnish simple enough for a weeknight meal, but fancy enough to be a side dish for you Easter (or Thanksgiving or Christmas) feast!

a photo of a sheet pan full of roasted carrots and parsnips with chopped parsley

Filled in more ways than just food

I’m really longing for that simple classic recipes the past lately. It’s almost as if a feeling of homesickness and longing for childhood has grown in me. I don’t know exactly what triggered it or what to do with it, but I’ve found that I look back on life with a tenderness and affection I’ve never had.

I was a girl with one foot in the future for most of my junior high and high school years. I think it was partly because I had two older sisters who were far enough away in age that they were already in college and I felt left behind. I know now that living like this isn’t the best idea, but I have to be careful not to look back with the same feelings.

Being present now, breathing in happiness instead of waiting for it or missing it from yesterday has become very important to me. Part of merging all of my worlds into one was bringing together recipes we used to love but were sidetracked by new, modern ideas. Roasted carrots and parsnips may seem dated, but I bet you’ll be filled in more ways than just food when you make them.

a photo of whole carrots and parsnips that have been roasted and caramelized and topped with chopped fresh parsley.

Ingredients for Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

The ingredients are simple and few. Here’s what you need:

  • Carrots: You can peel them if you like, but it’s not necessary.
  • Parsnips: If the parsnips are very thick, cut them in half so they are about the size of the carrots.
  • Garlic: Leave the cloves whole and in their skins to roast with the vegetables.
  • Olive Oil: Helps veggies caramelize to golden perfection.
  • Kosher Salt: Enhances the flavor of the vegetables.


  • White wine vinegar: If you don’t have it, red wine vinegar is the best substitute, or rice wine vinegar (unseasoned) works great too.
  • Lemon Zest: Adds a bright and fresh flavor that goes so well with root vegetables.
  • Honey: Adds natural sweetness and thickens the dressing.
  • Parsley: Fresh is preferred, but if you must use dried, use 1 teaspoon.

You can find the measurements for each ingredient in the recipe card at the end of this post.

a photo of colorful carrots and parsnips that have been roasted and drizzled in a lemon honey dressing.

Do parsnips need to be parboiled before frying?

Normally I would say no, but we want to par-cook both the carrots and parsnips for this recipe. Then dry them thoroughly and let the oven do all the work roasting and caramelizing them. Parboiling shortens the frying time and allows the caramelization to take place perfectly.

Should I peel parsnips before roasting?

I don’t usually peel parsnips unless the skin seems particularly thick. Really good quality carrots don’t need to be peeled either. Parsnip and carrot peeling is mostly for aesthetics and doesn’t alter the flavor in any way.

Can I cook carrots and parsnips ahead of time?

If you’re going to peel or chop your carrots and parsnips, you can do so ahead of time. Store them in an airtight container until ready to cook. They can be prepared up to a day or two in advance.

You can also pre-cook the veggies up to a day in advance before roasting them.

a photo of whole roasted carrots and parsnips garnished with chopped fresh parsley and a honey lemon dressing.

Tips for preparing the best roasted root vegetables

When roasting vegetables, it’s important that you spread the vegetables out in a single layer and don’t touch each other too much. You want the vegetables to have room to roast and caramelize. If they’re too close together, the veggies will steam and not roast because air can’t circulate around them.

Make sure the vegetables are about the same size so they cook evenly. If some of the parsnips or carrots are very thick, cut them in half. It’s also good to leave them fairly large, as they’ll shrink a bit as they fry.

What do you eat with roasted carrots?

The light side dish goes with almost every main course. Whether it’s ham for Easter, turkey for Thanksgiving, or prime rib for Christmas, these roasted root vegetables are a great option.

They’re also perfect for an easy weeknight dinner like stroganoff, grilled chicken, or pot roast. They really go with everything!

a photo of roasted multicolored carrots and parsnips on a baking sheet with chopped parsley.

Why you will love this recipe

There are so many reasons to love this recipe, but here are just a few:

  1. Root vegetables are always available at the grocery store.
  2. It’s easy to customize with different spices. If you don’t like parsley, you can use thyme or rosemary.
  3. Frying vegetables preserves the nutrients they contain. Many nutrients are lost when vegetables are cooked or steamed.
  4. You’ll have a delicious and easy side dish ready in just about half an hour.
  5. Root vegetables are so versatile and go well with most main dishes.
  6. This recipe is allergy-friendly – gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian.

Store, reheat, and freeze parsnips and carrots

storage: Store roasted parsnips and carrots in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

warm up: We prefer to microwave carrots and parsnips in 30-second intervals until warmed through. You can also reheat them in the oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Freeze: These roasted root vegetables freeze really well. Store them in an airtight container and they’ll keep for up to 2 months. Let them thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat according to the directions above.

The Roasted Carrots and Parsnips recipe takes you straight back to grandma’s Sunday dinner. It’s comforting, familiar and so delicious. It is a vegetable side dish this is quick and easy to make and the whole family will love it.

Caramelized carrots video

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More healthy side dishes

Servings: 6

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

  • Wash carrots and parsnips. Heat a large pot of water until it boils and add the vegetables, no more than 4-5 minutes. Drain them well until dry.

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place the vegetables and garlic on a baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Throw to cover.

    2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Place the baking sheet in the oven, turning every 10-15 minutes until golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.

  • In a bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Put aside.

    2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 tablespoon of parsley

  • When the vegetables are cooked, remove from the oven and drizzle with the dressing. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and serve with the vegetables. Serve immediately.

Calories: 139kcalCarbohydrates: 23GProtein: 2GFat: 5GSaturated Fatty Acids: 1GPolyunsaturated fat: 1GMonounsaturated fatty acids: 4GSodium: 449mgPotassium: 549mgFiber: 6GSugar: 8thGVitamin A: 12686ieVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 1mg

Author: basil

Course: 200+ easy side dish recipes every mom needs

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