These roasted parsnips with salted caramel makes the most wonderful Thanksgiving side and they are perfect for Christmas too. The parsnips are cut into long chips and then roasted in the oven until crispy. Once cooked they get a liberal drizzle with store-bought salted caramel sauce and a sprinkle of fresh rosemary. The sweet salty caramel really enhances the sweetness of this delicious root vegetable and I find this encourages the kids to enjoy them too.
I know salted caramel with vegetables sounds odd but it works AMAZINGLY well. The parsnips are wonderfully crispy from the oven, some of the thinner bits have a little caramelization on them, deeply savoury and then drizzled with a sweet caramel sauce and a good sprinkling of salt. Oh and don't forget the fresh rosemary, it is just the perfect garnish!
In fact you should pin these to your sides board, your Thanksgiving board, your Christmas board and your, 'I want to eat these everyday' board 😉 Because if you are a lover of root vegetables then these parsnips are going to become your new favourite recipe. Go on Pin away 😀
Lets talk caramel sauce....
So you can 100% make your own caramel sauce, and I have a great recipe on the blog if you want to. But when you are getting a big dinner together, a jar/bottle of store bought caramel will be absolutely perfect here. In the words of Ina "Just make sure it is good caramel sauce". This isn't the time for those squeeze bottles of fake runny caramel ice cream topping. You want the real deal, thick caramel sauce.
If you want to have a go at making your own then this is my recipe - Salted Caramel Sauce.
But I buy store bought caramel and I have never had an issue with these being leftover! I buy the jars of Hershey's caramel topping or if I am at the gourmet food store I'll but Fleur de sel caramel.
Give your caramel a little taste, some already have a hefty amount of salt in them. So if this is the case then go easy on the crystal salt at the end of the recipe.
Then just drizzle your parsnips with the deliciousness and watch everyone go crazy! You don't need much caramel sauce, for enough parsnips for 6-8 people you will need ¼ cup.
Don't forget the salt!
It is paramount here, so you don't end up with a plate of veg that just tastes sweet!
Add a good sprinkling of sea salt to your dish.
Oh and whilst I am on my high horse. Don't forget the fresh rosemary too. It is delicious!!!
If you have left over rosemary then try my Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Maple, Pecan and Rosemary it is yet another amazing side dish in my Holiday sides collection!
Look at those beautiful flakes of salt raining down!
How to cut up parsnips.
To ensure your parsnips all cook in the same amount of time you want to cut the chips to be around the same size. Some slightly skinnier ones is okay, these skinny ends get good and crispy which is great with the caramel sauce.
You can these steps visually below.
- Top and tail and peel the parsnips
- cut them in half across the middle
- cut the fat top in half and then in half again
- cut the skinnier bottoms in half
This should give you chips that are around the same size.
I cannot rave about this dish enough. It really is just one of those sides that wows people and gets asked for over and over again.
I urge you to try it as the caramel is perfect with the parsnips.
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Roasted Parsnips with Salted Caramel
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 3 lb parsnips
- ¼ cup caramel sauce - see note 1
- 1 teaspoon sea salt crystals - see note 2
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- Heat oven to 390ºF/200ºC.
- Top and tail and peel the parsnips, then cut them in half across the middle. Cut the fat tops in half and then in half again and cut skinnier bottoms in half. (see bulk of post for in-depth pictures)
- Place the parsnips in a large pan and cover with boiling water. Cook for 5 minutes and then drain well and let them stand somewhere to steam dry for 5 minutes.
- Pour the oil into a large roasting tin and set it in the oven to get hot for 5 minutes whilst the parsnips steam dry.
- Remove your tin of oil from the oven and carefully add in your parsnips.
- Jiggly the pan a little so the parsnips are well coated with oil.
- Roast for 30 minutes, turning the parsnips halfway through until golden and crispy.
- Remove the parsnips from the tin and drain on kitchen paper.
- Arrange on your platter, drizzle over the caramel sauce, and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh rosemary.
- Serve immediately.
- Store bought caramel sauce is fine here, just make sure it is good caramel sauce and not the running cheap ice cream topping. If you want to try making your own try my salted caramel sauce recipe here. (You will not need to use the full teaspoon of salt suggested in this parsnip recipe as your caramel will already be salted. I would reduce the amount to ½ teaspoon)
- If your store bought caramel already has salt in it then reduce the amount of salt you add.
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