Roasted Parsnip Fries with Spicy Orange Mayonnaise

If you’ve never had roasted parsnip fries you are in for a decadent fall treat. The natural sweetness in these root vegetables is increased to roasty-toasty perfection. Add a zesty orangy mayo and you’ll be gobbling down these fries before you can share with anyone! (Skip to recipe)
Roasted Parsnip Fries with Spicy Orange Mayonnaise
This weekend was parsnip digging time in our garden.

There wasn’t much left to harvest.

Out came the last of the potatoes – the Yukon Golds, the Russian Purples, and the German Banana Potatoes.

Out came the parsnips and the Hamburg Rooted Parsley.

Out came the last strawy stems of beans and herbs, and the stumpy stems of kale the foraging deer had stripped bare (those pesky robbers already got to my carrots and beets).

The garden can now be put to bed.

Sections of it are already covered in its blanket of dead leaves. They’ve been gathered off the lawn and spread over the sleeping garden to quietly break down and yield their rich load of minerals and healthy bacteria when we till them into the soil next spring.

When we started digging at the stubborn, deeply-rooted parsnips, we were surprised at how big they’d grown!

oven roasted parsnips with spicy orange mayonnaiseWe had some willing garden harvest helpers. It was a two-man job.

oven roasted parsnip fries with spicy orange mayonnaiseTonight I roasted up some of those parsnips, and stirred up a tangy dipping sauce to go with them.

It was a wonderful reward for yesterday’s work.

Like a pan full of roasted fall.

Warm, chewy and crunchy. Soft, toasty and golden.

You really must try roasting parsnips. Their flavour is sweet, earthy and sublime – totally transformed when roasted to crispy-at-the-edges addictive perfection.

And that sauce – oh my – spicy, tangy, and so simple to stir together!

oven roasted parsnips with spicy orange mayonnaise(I just hope your teenager doesn’t come in and eat half the pan while you are trying to photograph them so you have to go outside to the tub full of parsnips in the garage, get another bowlful of them, have to peel them, slice them and roast another whole batch again so you have enough for supper – just sayin’ – since those dirty fingernails in the photo above gave him away.)

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: I always keep a can of frozen unsweetened orange juice in my freezer. I pop the lid back on, slip a plastic sandwich baggie over the top and put an elastic band around it. It never freezes totally solid, and I love scooping out a spoonful to add to dishes whenever I need a hit of concentrated citrus flavour and don’t want to squeeze or zest an orange. It’s a handy trick and wonderful secret flavour booster for many veggies, meats, or salad dressings.

If you are making this for young children, or wish for a milder version, use 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or substitute it with ½ teaspoon regular sweet paprika.)

oven roasted parsnips with spicy orange mayonnaise

Roasted Parsnip Fries with Spicy Orange Mayonnaise

  • 2 lbs (1 kg) parsnips (about 6 cups when cut into sticks)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

For the sauce:

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) mayonnaise – regular, light, or egg-free
  • 3 tablespoons frozen unsweetened orange juice concentrate
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Peel and trim the parsnips. Cut them into french-fry-sized strips.

Place them on a large cookie sheet. You can line the pan with parchment paper or tin foil for ease of clean up. (My well-seasoned ceramic pan cleans up pretty easily with just a soak in warm water.) Ideally, the pan should be large enough that the parsnip fries can be spread in a single layer.

Drizzle the fries with the olive oil and plop on the orange juice concentrate – it will thaw as you toss it. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

Using two spatulas, toss the parsnip fries until they are evenly coated with the oil and seasonings.

oven roasted parsnip fries with spicy orange mayonnaise

Roast in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, turning the fries with a spatula every 10 to 15 minutes, until they are brown and crispy at some of the edges. Parsnip fries will not get as crispy all over as potato fries, but will still be moist in spots, and subtly sweet.

roasted parsnip fries with spicy orange mayonnaise

While the parsnips are roasting, stir together the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a small bowl.

Serves 4 – if all the fries make it to the table!

Guten Appetit!


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20 Responses to Roasted Parsnip Fries with Spicy Orange Mayonnaise


    Oh man those look good, and orange dipping sauce! It doesn’t get much better than that.

    • Margaret says:

      Thanks! I’m afraid I’m addicted to them too, now. I think our washtub full of parsnips won’t last long if we keep gobbling them up like we did this batch of fries!

  2. Tammy says:

    You are indeed a culinary genius!! These were terrific!

    • Margaret says:

      Aww, thanks, Tammy! So glad you liked them. It’s kind of fun to feel like you’re indulging in fries, but are really getting your serving of veggies in.

  3. Count me in. I love parsnips any way and any day. Lately I am addicted to roasting them with leeks. I will definitely try this. You deserve a medal for putting that massive garden to bed. Do you have a root cellar underground?

    • Margaret says:

      Parsnips are such an underrated vegetable, aren’t they? I love their sweet earthiness! Getting our garden in is a bit like Russian roulette – we try to wait late enough into the season so that the veggies stay cool in the garage. Dig them too early and they get wilty in storage, but wait too long and we’re digging them out with frozen fingers when the snow is already falling. I wish I had a root cellar. . .

  4. Never made parsnip fries before, think I have been missing out on something seriously delicious though. Great recipe and I am loving the sound of an orange mayo – definitely something I need to try!

    • Margaret says:

      They are definitely worth a try – we can’t get enough of them! I hope you like them as much as we do. Greetings to you from the chilly north!

  5. Irma Diesner says:

    Looks great, and I shall try the parsnip fries soon. Love parsnip in my stew.
    Also great taste.

    • Margaret says:

      Mmmm, sounds good. I’m craving a bowl of stew right now! Winter has arrived here and that would warm us up. I’ll have to try them in stew – I always put turnips in, but parsnips would be even better!

  6. Sarah says:

    I live in Mallorca and the supermarkets are full of white boniato (sweet potato) at the moment and they make lovely fries too… never tried orange mayo though – great shout!

  7. Sarah says:

    (oh and I am a coeliac too, diagnosed age 16, and life has been fine for 20 years, helps keep me slim :o) )

    • Margaret says:

      Ohhh, you are living the dream for all us Canadians already in the grip of winter up here! How wonderful to live in such a beautiful place – and with all that lovely fresh produce. We mostly get the orange sweet potatoes here – they do make great fries, too, but they are mainly associated with festive holiday dishes for the coming season.

      Great that you’ve lived so well with celiac – it really opens up a whole new world of wonderful foods to eat, rather than thinking about what not to eat, doesn’t it? And the bonus is the natural weight control (if you don’t indulge in the bought processed gluten-free substitutes for real food!) Enjoy your sunshine and warmth on your beautiful island!

  8. Sina says:

    We had these today – illuminating 😉
    Parsnips (Pastinaken) are famous in Germany mostly as a vegetable for baby food. I tried to sneak them in the menu here and there, it never really worked out and most of my family kept rejecting them… But not today!
    And orange mayonnaise?! Great idea! I didn’t exactly know what you mean by “frozen orange juice concentrate” – is this home-made or store-bought? Anyway, I used juice and zest of a fresh orange and it worked fine. Maybe I’ll try the orange flavour on some yoghurt- or sour cream-dip next time. Thanks for the inspiration!
    All the best, Sina

    • Margaret says:

      How great that you got your family to eat parsnips! Yay! (We mothers have to be smart, and tricky!) It’s always wonderful, too, when we get another vegetable we can add for variety to our menus.
      As for frozen orange juice concentrate, it is easy to find in the frozen food section of all grocery stores here in Canada and North America. It is just pure orange juice that has been cooked down until it is like a thick syrup, then it is frozen in cardboard cans. To use it you mix it with three parts water to one part concentrate to make orange juice for drinking, that tastes almost like fresh juice. I think your idea of using orange juice plus the zest is perfect – the zest will add enough flavour to be like the concentrate! Great idea!
      Happy parsnip eating!

      • Sina says:

        Wow, thanks, Margaret, for the detailed explanation of orange-juice-concentrate. I don’t think there’s something similar here in Germany… But the flavaour with the zest was wonderful orang-y, slightly-slightly bitter, so that was a great substitute.
        Parsnips will appear again in our menue for sure 🙂
        Best – Sina

  9. Baby Kato says:

    Wow, were these tasty little treasure good. The parsnips were perfect, tender, crispy and sweet. Didn’t even notice that they weren’t fried. The mayo was amazing, a perfect pairing with the fries. Citrusy and spicy with a nice lingering heat. We couldn’t stop eating them. Thank you so much for sharing another winner.

    • Margaret says:

      Thank YOU for your lovely comment – made my day. I’m really glad you liked the parsnip fries. It makes all my time in the kitchen and my endless playing around with food so worth it to know that even a few people enjoy the recipes. Wishing you lots of fun in the kitchen!

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