Looking to add a delicious and traditional side dish to your holiday feasts? Look no further than this Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips recipe. Not only has this recipe become a cherished favourite for our whole family during special occasions like Christmas dinner, but this easy side dish is perfect for regular roast dinners on ordinary Sundays. The natural sweetness of the vegetables, combined with the golden caramelization from roasting, creates the perfect side dish that beautifully complements roast chicken and other festive main courses. These sweet winter root vegetables add a burst of flavour and colour to your holiday table, making every bite a delightful celebration of the season.
- Perfect Sunday Roast Side Dish
- Ingredients and Variations
- Sep-By-Step Method
- Tips For Best Results
- Prepping Honey-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips Ahead of Time
- Recipe FAQs
- Storage and Leftovers
- What To Serve Roasted Root Vegetables With?
- Other Delicious Side Dishes For Christmas
- Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
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The holiday season is upon us, and as I start planning our meals, I cannot help but go back to a classic root veggie side dish that is always a hit with friends and family. These amazing Honey Roasted Parsnips and Carrots go well with almost any main dish you are likely to serve for your Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner, be it Glazed Christmas Ham, Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder, Vegetarian Wellington or good old Aromatic Roast Chicken.
Perfect Sunday Roast Side Dish
There are so many reasons to love this recipe. Besides being extremely versatile and suitable for any meat, fish or vegetarian centrepiece, Roasted Parsnips and Carrots With Honey is an easy side dish that even beginner cooks can make.
- simple ingredients that are available in most grocery stores.
- this root vegetable side dish is a good source of fiber.
- deliciously sweet without the addition of refined sugar. Oh, and the caramelisation on the roasted vegetables is to die for!
- no special equipment is needed: if you have a sharp knife, a large bowl and a baking tray, you are good to go!
Ingredients and Variations
- carrots: you will need about 3 large carrots to serve four people as a side dish.
- parsnips: and you will need 3 large parsnips.
- oil: we used vegetable oil, but you can use avocado oil, sunflower or even olive oil. We recommend against using extra virgin olive oil, as its smoking point is relatively low (between 170-180°C).
- honey: use runny honey, that is of drizzleable consistency. If you have set honey, heat it in a microwave for a few seconds to loosen it.
- fresh thyme: thyme leaves stripped, and stalks discarded. You may use dried thyme if you want.
- sea salt (or kosher salt) and black pepper.
Find the quantities and detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Replace honey with maple syrup for a vegan version of these roast vegetables.
- Substitute thyme with fresh rosemary!
- Add some chilli flakes to the honey mixture. A little chilli heat is a perfect addition to add to the sweet and nutty flavor of the root veggies.
- Add ½ teaspoon of garlic powder to the vegetables for a savoury twist.
- Skip thyme and simply scatter some fresh parsley on top to garnish.
Only two steps in this roasted parsnips and carrots recipe. Let’s get cooking!
Step 1: How Best To Cut Carrots And Parsnips For Roasting?
- Peel and Wash: Start by peeling the carrots and parsnips to remove the outer skin.
- Trim the Ends: Trim off the tops and bottoms of the carrots and parsnips.
- Decide on Shape: You can cut the carrots and parsnips into various shapes, depending on your preference . The most common options are circles or rounds, batons or sticks or diagonal slices. We prefer to cut the vegetables into long pieces so that the ends get maximum caramelisation.
- Ensure Uniformity: Regardless of the shape you choose, the key is to ensure uniformity in size. This ensures that the carrots and parsnips cook evenly, with no overcooked or undercooked pieces.
The timings below are provided for vegetable pieces that are cut into batons that are about 1 cm thick in diameter.
Step 2: Roasting
Place the carrots and parsnips in a large mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, mix the oil, ⅔ of the honey, finely chopped thyme leaves, salt and pepper.
Toss the vegetables with honey glaze, then spread them in a single layer on a prepared large baking sheet.
Roast the carrots and parsnips for 40-50 minutes (depending on the size of the pieces), mixing them halfway through. Your vegetables should be tender, but not mushy, golden brown all over and have crispy caramelised edges when cooked.
Drizzle the remaining honey all over and serve immediately.
Tips For Best Results
This is a very easy recipe to prepare but if it’s your first time making it, here are some tips that may help:
- Make sure to cut your vegetables into similar size pieces to ensure even cooking.
- Do not overcrowd the baking tray to avoid the vegetables stewing in their own steam instead of roasting. They should be spread into a single layer with a little bit of space in between. If you are doubling the recipe, divide carrots and parsnips between two trays. Plan ahead, as you will need a lot of oven space for this recipe!
- The vegetables will cool down quickly, so we recommend preheating the serving dish before you take them to the table.
Prepping Honey-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips Ahead of Time
Whether you are making these Honey Roasted Carrots and parsnips for a weeknight meal or a holiday dinner feast, it may be helpful to get some prep out of the way ahead of time.
- Peel and cut the vegetables ahead of time and store them in a container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
- If you will be extremely short on time on the day of serving them, a great way to save time is to part-roast the veggies for 30 minutes the day before. Cool them, store them in the fridge, then roast for another 15-20 minutes just before serving.
Do I Need To Peel Carrots and Parsnips?
There is no need to peel the carrots – you can get away with just a good scrub. Parsnips, however, have woody tough skin that is unpleasant to eat. We personally prefer to peel both.
Why Are My Honey Roasted Parsnips And Carrots Soggy?
The most likely reason is overcrowding the baking tray. Vegetables probably stewed in their own steam, rather than roasted.
Why Are My Honey Roasted Root Vegetables Hard?
They are most likely undercooked. Cooking time will depend on the size of the pieces you cut veggies in, so it’s easily rectifiable by cooking them for a little longer. Older vegetables, especially old parsnips, may be woody and hard too.
Should I Parboil Carrots and Parsnips Before Roasting?
There is no need at all to do so. As a matter of fact, parboiling the vegetables will make them less tasty and you won’t get as good of a caramelisation.
Storage and Leftovers
Cool any leftovers to room temperature, then store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven for 10 minutes.
If you wish you can freeze the root veggies for up to 6 months in a sealed container. Reheat from frozen for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, thaw the veggies in the fridge overnight before reheating.
What To Serve Roasted Root Vegetables With?
Roasted Parsnip and Carrots With Honey make a great side dish for your holiday meal, special occasion or simply weeknight dinner! We love them with Apricot and Herb Stuffed Leg of Lamb, Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder (recipe coming soon), Veggie Wellington or simply baked chicken breasts.
Other Delicious Side Dishes For Christmas
Turkey, roast potatoes and gravy (or red wine jus, perhaps?) can only be made better with some tasty vegetable side dishes, right? Here are our favourite delicious recipes that will make your Christmas plate extraordinary:
Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
- 500 g carrots peeled and cut into 1cm thick battons
- 500 g parsnips peeled and cut into 1cm thick battons
- 2 tablespoon odourless oil
- 3 tablespoon clear honey divided into 2 and 1 tbsp
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Place the carrots and parsnips in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix the oil, ⅔ of the honey, finely chopped thyme leaves, salt and pepper.
- Toss the vegetables with honey glaze, then spread them in a single layer on a prepared large baking sheet.
- Roast the carrots and parsnips for 40-50 minutes (depending on the size of the pieces), mixing them halfway through. Your vegetables should be tender, but not mushy, golden brown all over and have crispy caramelised edges when cooked.
- Drizzle the remaining honey all over and serve immediately.