Paleo Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

The inspiration for this recipe came out of the November issue of Parents magazine.  Mysteriously, I have been getting this magazine by mail for almost a year now. I guess this would be an opportunity for the person who started this subscription for me to fess up. 🙂  They certainly came in handy when I was making a baby shower book for my friend Katie, but maybe I should start reading them for more than just recipe ideas.

I had never cooked with parsnips before this recipe.  They are paler in color than a carrot, but actually have a sweeter taste when you cook them.  They pair so nicely with the tangy dressing in this recipe.  To make it Paleo, I simply eliminated the apple cider from the dressing.  To add a little sweetness back in, I used a little dried basil.  The combination is delicious.

I bumped up the temperature from the original recipe because I found that the first time I made it, I had to cook the vegetables much longer and they were still undercooked.  Cooking at 425 degrees is perfect.  It is important to cook the carrots and parsnips in at least half of the dressing.  The moisture helps steam the vegetables as they roast.  The liquid should fully evaporate by the end of the cooking process.  I reserved half the liquid because I didn’t want them to get soggy.  By reducing the extra dressing slightly on the stove, you can then drizzle it on to the veggies when you serve them if you’d like.

I also decided to add chopped walnuts to the recipe.  By toasting the walnuts in the last five minutes that the vegetables cook, it creates more textural contrast and brings out the nutty flavor.  I got this idea from watching Iron Chef America on Food Network.  Chef Simon used walnuts with a vinaigrette, and the judges gave him a lot of positive comments about the flavor and texture.  The combination in this recipe is also delightful, but certainly not mandatory if you want to leave them out.


  • 4-5 parsnips (usually the contents of one bag), peeled and cut into sticks
  • 4-5 large carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 2 tbs organic olive oil
  • 2 tbs apple-cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs raw honey
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)


  • 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and line a roasting pan with tin foil
  • 2. Peel carrots and parsnips, and cut them into sticks
  • 3. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple-cider vinegar, mustard, honey, thyme, basil, salt and pepper
  • 4. Add carrots and parsnips and toss to coat
  • 5. Transfer vegetables and about half of the “dressing” to the roasting pan; spread in an even layer
  • 6. Roast, uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring once or twice during roasting
  • 7. Meanwhile, pour excess dressing in small nonstick pan
  • 8. On medium-low heat, reduce and thicken dressing, stirring frequently
  • 9. Optional: Place chopped walnuts on parchment paper-covered roasting pan
  • 10. Place on top rack of oven in last 5 minutes of roasting the carrots/parsnips
  • 11. Serve carrots and parsnips with a drizzle of extra dressing and a sprinkling of walnuts for crunch
  • 12. Enjoy!