Lemon roasted carrots and parsnips are salty and sweet and get all caramelized and delicious as they roast.
We top them with a honey lemon dressing to make a side dish easy enough for a weeknight meal but also fancy enough to be a side for your Easter (or Thanksgiving or Christmas) feast!
Filled in More Ways than Just with Food
I’ve been really craving the simple classic recipes of the past lately. It’s almost like a feeling of homesickness and nostalgia for childhood has started to grow inside of me. I don’t quite know what has triggered it or even what to do with it, but I’ve found myself looking back on life with a tenderness and fondness I haven’t ever had.
I was a living-with-one-foot-in-tomorrow-girl for most of my junior high and high school years. I think it was in part because I had two older sisters that were far enough apart from me in age that they were already off to college and I felt left behind. I know now that living that way isn’t the best idea, but I have to be mindful now of not looking back with the same feelings.
Being present, breathing in happiness right now instead of waiting for it or missing it from yesterday has become really important to me. Part of merging all of my worlds into one has been a bringing together of recipes we used to love but have gotten distracted with new, modern ideas. Roasted carrots and parsnips might seem old-school, but I bet you’ll be filled in more ways than just with food by making them.
Ingredients for Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
The ingredients are simple and few. Here is what you will need:
- Carrots: You can peel them if you want but it is not necessary.
- Parsnips: If the parsnips are really thick, cut them in half so they closely match the size of the carrots.
- Garlic: Keep the cloves whole and in the peel so they can roast with the veggies.
- Olive Oil: Helps the veggies caramelize to golden perfection.
- Kosher Salt: Enhances the flavors of the vegetables.
- White Wine Vinegar: If you don’t have it, red wine vinegar makes the best substitute or rice wine vinegar (not seasoned) will also work great.
- Lemon Zest: Adds a bright and fresh punch of flavor that pairs so well with root vegetables.
- Honey: Adds natural sweetness and thickens the dressing.
- Parsley: Fresh is preferred but if you have to use dried, use 1 teaspoon.
The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Do Parsnips Need to Be Parboiled Before Roasting?
Normally I would say no, but we like to parboil 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 cuts down on the roasting time and lets the caramelization happen perfectly.
Should I Peel Parsnips Before Roasting Them?
I usually don’t peel parsnips unless the skin seems extra thick. Really good quality carrots don’t need to be peeled either. Peeling both parsnips and carrots are mostly for aesthetics and won’t change the flavor either way.
Can I Prepare Carrots and Parsnips Ahead of Time?
If you are peeling or cutting your carrots and parsnips, then you can totally do that ahead of time. Store them in an airtight container until you are ready to roast. They can be prepped up to a day or two ahead of time.
You could also parboil the veggies up to a day ahead of time before roasting them.
Tips for Making the Best Roasted Root Vegetables
When it comes to roasting vegetables, it is important that you spread the vegetables out in a single layer and not touching each other much. You want the veggies to have room to roast and caramelize. When they are too close to each other then the vegetables will steam and not roast because air can’t circulate around them.
Make sure the vegetables are about the same size so that they can cook evenly. If some of the parsnips or carrots are really thick, cut them in half. Leaving them pretty large in size is good too because they will shrink some as they roast.
What to Eat with Roasted Carrots
This easy side dish goes will with just about any main course. Whether it is ham for Easter, turkey for Thanksgiving, or a prime rib for Christmas, these roasted root vegetables are a great option.
They are also perfect just for a simple weeknight meal like stroganoff, grilled chicken or pot roast. They really go well with everything!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
There are so many reasons to love this recipe, but here are just a few:
- Root vegetables are always available at the grocery store.
- It is easy to customize with difference seasonings. If you don’t love parsley, you could use thyme or rosemary.
- Roasting vegetables preserve the nutrients in them. Lots of nutrients can be lost when you boil or steam vegetables.
- You have a delicious and easy side dish ready in just about a half hour.
- Root vegetables are so versatile and go with most main dishes.
- This recipe is allergy friendly – gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian.
Storing, Reheating and Freezing Parsnips and Carrots
Storing: Keep roasted parsnips and carrots in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Reheating: We prefer to reheat carrots and parsnips in the microwave for 30 second intervals until warmed through. You can also reheat them in the oven at 300 degrees for around 10 minutes.
Freezing: These roasted root veggies freeze really well. Store them in an airtight container and they will keep for up to 2 months. Let them thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat according to the instructions above.
This roasted carrots and parsnips recipe will take you straight back to eating Sunday dinner at grandma’s house. It is comforting, familiar and so delicious. It’s a vegetable side dish that is quick and easy to make and the whole family will love.
Caramelized Carrots Video
More Healthy Side Dishes
Wash the carrots and parsnips. Head a large pot of water until boiling and add the veggies for no more than 4-5 minutes. Drain them well until they are dry.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees and place the veggies and garlic on a baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat.
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Place the baking sheet in the oven, turning every 10-15 minutes until golden, about 35-40 minutes.
In a bowl whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside.
2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar, 1 Lemon, 1 teaspoon Honey, 1 Tablespoon Parsley
When the veggies are done, remove from the oven and drizzle with dressing. Squish the garlic cloves out of their peels and serve with the vegetables. Serve immediately.