Orange-Scented Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

If you’re not yet convinced about the deliciousness of parsnips, the orange, thyme and other flavors in this roasted carrots and parsnips combo will turn you into a fan. Plus, this recipe is easy to pull together and loaded with health-boosting nutrition.

Roasted carrots and parsnips recipe

I’ve learned that parsnips are sweetest after a frost. But we’re in luck every month because parsnips, carrots and red onions are available year round. And the orange juice and zest in this recipe offer plenty of sweetness. Plus roasting brings out a vegetable’s natural sweetness. All these ways to add sweetness make this roasted carrots and parsnips recipe a winner.

All vegetables are health boosters. More vegetables equal better health! Some people call me a veggie pusher, and I guess I agree (I’m sure my kids do too!). Veggies are good for the prevention and management of prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, weight problems and some cancers. Go eat more veggies! Please.

preparing vegetables for roasted carrots

This dish is full of vitamins A and C, B vitamins and fiber. Onions – which are a relative of the lily – are studied for possible anti-cancer effects. The allium family of vegetables, which includes onions, garlic and chives, may help reduce the risk of stomach cancer, and perhaps other GI cancers like esophageal and colon cancers too.

Orange-Scented Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

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Course: Side Dish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 100kcal
Author: Jill Weisenberger MS, RDN, CDE, FAND


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, trimmed and cut on the diagonal in 2 - 3-inch pieces
  • 1 pound parsnips, trimmed and cut on the diagonal in 2 - 3-inch pieces
  • 1 large red onion cut in 12 wedges


  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Line one or two large baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  • Whisk together the oil, orange peel, orange juice, thyme, salt and pepper and toss with the carrots, parsnips and red onion.
  • Spread the dressed vegetables on the lined baking sheets, being careful not to crowd your pan. Cover the pan with a top layer of aluminum foil. Be sure you have a tight seal.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove the foil. Continue roasting uncovered for an additional 15 minutes. Test for doneness by piercing with a fork or a cake tester. Return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes after stirring, if the vegetables aren't tender enough.


I learned this technique of partially cooking a firm vegetable under a cover of aluminum foil from America's Test Kitchen. This keeps vegetables like carrots and Brussels sprouts from burning while trying to get them to cook through. I nearly always use this method when roasting carrots and use it with Brussels sprouts and cabbage wedges now and then.


Serving: 1/2 cup | Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.8g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 160mg | Fiber: 4g

Another way to get more veggies is to add them to recipes that you’re already making. This can be a time-saver, so you’re making and watching fewer recipes. Check out this Veggie-Packed Potato Salad and learn about the health benefits of resistant starch. And give Chunky Gazpacho a try. It’s an all-time favorite in my house, especially when the weather turns warm. It makes a big batch, so it’s perfect for several lunches or mid-afternoon snacks.

Cheers to a delicious veggie-packed day!

Jill Weisenberger

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a Nutrition, Culinary & Diabetes Expert, Wellcoach®-certified health and wellness coach, Freelance Writer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's also the author of four books, including a best-seller. She's a nationally-recognized media expert in high demand for print and online interviews, as well as corporate and one-on-one nutritional counseling. Jill's philosophy is that nutrition science should be understandable, realistic and oh so delicious.

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Like most of my patients and clients, I lead a busy life. You probably do too. Fortunately, you don’t need weeks, days or even hours to start living better and healthier. This blog offers timesaving strategies and bite-sized nutrition and health information. Come by often for tips and inspiration to healthy living – no matter how busy you are. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist offering credible, practical nutrition advice to keep busy people healthy. Yes indeed, we can be both busy and healthy.

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