Recipe: Caramelised Baby Parsnips

I didn’t discover my love for parsnips until just a few years ago. I don’t remember ever having them growing up and they certainly didn’t feature during our summery Christmas lunches in Australia. Instead of roast veg and sprouts, our trimmings were potato salads, mangoes, avocados, and fresh seafood (for the so-inclined).

Moving to the UK meant swapping cold lunches on hot days for hot dinners on cold days and so my love for parsnips was born.

They’re sweet and delicious and so simple to cook whether you’re serving them roasted or fried, herby or sweet.

These sweet, sticky parsnips, caramelised in orange juice and agave, are the perfect side for your festive feast.

Caramelised Baby Parsnips

Adapted from The Abel & Cole Veg Box Companion
Serves 2-4 as a side


Tablespoon olive oil
200g baby parsnips, halved lengthways
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to season
1 small chilli, finely chopped
1 sprig lemon thyme (plus extra for garnish)
1/2 a medium orange, juice and zest
½ tablespoon agave nectar


Heat olive oil in large pan over high heat. Add parsnips, ensuring they are evenly coated in oil. Cover pan and cook for 5-6 minutes until parsnips are softened. Stir occasionally to stop sticking.

Remove lid and add chilli, salt and pepper and continue cooking until parsnips golden. Add thyme, and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Reduce heat then add the orange juice, orange zest and agave nectar, stirring to cover parsnips evenly. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until sauce thickens to a sticky glaze. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and extra zest and serve immediately.


Check out my recipe for Neeps & Tatties for the perfect accompanying side dish!


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