9 Best Parsnip Substitutes

Parsnip is a root vegetable that is similar to carrots. They are one of those vegetables that people either absolutely love or hate.

If you’ve never tried parsnips, this vegetable is a great introduction to the root family.

But if you don’t have any parsnips on hand or if you don’t like parsnips or just want to try something new this winter season then here are some of our favorite parsnip substitutes for you to try out.

They have a sweet flavor and can be used in many dishes, including soups, stews, roasted vegetables, salads, and more.

What is Parsnip?

Parsnip is an edible root vegetable. It looks like a white carrot and has the same shape, sometimes it even has the color of a carrot.

Parsnips are related to carrots but they lack sweetness. The parsnip has nutty flavor notes that make it go well with heavy meats like beef or lamb.

Parsnips are primarily grown to be eaten. They are very versatile and can be cooked in many different ways.

They taste delicious when roasted, boiled, or fried! You can even use them to make soups and stews.

9 Best Parsnip Substitutes

1. Carrot


Carrots are a great substitute for parsnips.

They have a very similar taste and can be used in many of the same dishes. You can use it in any dish that calls for parsnips!

Carrots are very versatile. You can boil them, roast them, steam them or even use them in salads!

If you don’t enjoy the distinct flavor of a parsnip, try the carrot. Carrot has a milder and sweeter flavor than parsnip, making it a better option.

Use white carrots instead of orange if you want your dish to resemble the real thing.

2. Turnip

Turnips are very similar to parsnips, but they have a slightly different flavor. Both root vegetables can be substituted for each other in almost all dishes.

If you substitute parsnips with turnip, the taste will be less sweet. You may also flavor it with honey to make it more to your liking.

You can roast them, boil them or steam them and add seasonings of your choice.

Turnips also taste delicious when fried.

Turnips that are still growing, like the smaller ones, have a more mild flavor than turnips that are fully mature.

3. Parsley Root

Parsley is a great substitute for parsnips in dishes that call for them. It has a very similar flavor and can be used in the same dishes.

It is often considered an herb, but both its leaves and herbs are edible! Parsley root is often overlooked, but it’s definitely worth trying.

When cooked, parsley root becomes quite soft. It makes a delicious addition to soups or stews.

Adding parsley leaves to your dish will give it a nice green color. Parsley goes well with many different types of food and has a slightly peppery flavor.

You can also roast it or fry it. Parsley root is a great choice if you’re looking for a substitution that has a more subtle flavor.

4. Celery Root

Celery Substitutes

Celery root is a great substitution for parsnips in many different dishes.

It has a milder flavor than parsnips and can be used in soups, stews, roasted vegetables, salads, and more!  You can also use it in mashed dishes!

Celery root looks similar to parsnips but has a more mild flavor. You may need to cook it a little longer since celeriac is more difficult to cook than parsnips.

5. Salsify

Salsify is a root vegetable that tastes and looks similar to parsnips.

It looks almost like tree branches and the inside of it is creamy white flesh. Because it has a subtle flavor of oysters, it is also known as an oyster plant.

You can use this in any dish that calls for parsnips! It tastes very sweet and delicious.

It’s often used as an alternative ingredient to carrots since it’s similar in taste and texture.

6. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a delicious alternative to parsnips.

They have a sweeter flavor than your typical root vegetables, so they can be used in dishes that call for sweet ingredients like honey or maple syrup.

Sweet potato is also greatly roasted, boiled, or fried! You can even make sweet potato fries.

Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, and beta-carotene. They are also low in calories!

7. Arracacha

Arracacha is native to South America. It is a root vegetable that is very similar to parsnips. It has white flesh and a slightly sweet flavor.

Arracacha is also known as an arracacha, achu or chupin.

You can use this in any dish that calls for parsnips! It tastes very sweet and delicious

Be careful when boiling these root vegetables since they’ll absorb the water you boil them in.

8. Potato

You can’t go wrong with a potato. It’s a classic root vegetable that is often used as a substitution for parsnips.

Potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and B vitamins. They are also low in calories.

Potatoes come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes. They can be boiled, roasted, mashed, or even made into french fries.

When used as a parsnip substitute, I recommend sprinkling in some more seasoning.

9. Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is another root vegetable that looks like tree branches. It has a mild flavor and tastes good when roasted, fried, or boiled!

Some people call it cabbage turnip since its tuber resembles cabbages. Kohlrabi matures as it gets older, becoming more robust and less sugary. You can then use Kohlrabi as a parsnip substitute in any dish you desire.

Kohlrabi can be served raw, fried, baked, or boiled. It can be used in soup, stews, or as filling in dumplings, pastries, etc.

It is a great substitute for people who don’t like the taste of parsnips or want to try something new.

What Does Parsnip Taste Like?

Parsnips have a distinct flavor. It has a bit of an earthy flavor. They are crunchy have a nice sweetness as well, but never as sweet as carrots.

You can add them to salads or soups for a nice delicious change of taste!

Parsnip doesn’t have a very strong flavor of its own. It goes very well with many ingredients, especially root vegetables like carrots or beets.

Parsnips can also be combined with potatoes to make a delicious mash.

Do I Need to Peel the Parsnip?

Some people prefer to peel the parsnip before using it in a recipe, but there is really no need to do so. The skin of the parsnip is edible and contains many nutrients.

Small parsnips do not require peeling, as long as they are scrubbed clean. The peeling of older parsnips should be done thinly with a peeler or sharp knife.

Can I Eat Raw Parsnip?

Yes, you can eat raw parsnip. In fact, many people enjoy the crunchy texture and slightly sweet flavor of raw parsnip.

In some recipes, such as when parsnip is roasted with other root vegetables, it is better when the vegetable has been cooked before eating.

In raw form, raw parsnip can add a bitter taste to a dish that makes it unsuitable for use in main courses or side dishes.

However, there are times when you can eat parsnip raw. For example, when it is used as a garnish on a salad or soup, the raw parsnip will not be noticeable.

Is Parsnip Same as Radish?

Parsnip and radish are two different vegetables.

Radishes are a type of root vegetable that is related to the cabbage family.

Parsnips, on the other hand, are a type of starchy vegetable that is related to the carrot family.

The main difference between these two vegetables is their taste. Radishes have a spicy, peppery taste that is quite different from the sweet, mild taste of parsnips.

In terms of their nutritional value, both vegetables are a good source of vitamin C, although parsnips contain more vitamins and minerals than radishes.

Do Parsnips and Carrots Taste the Same?

The taste of parsnips and carrots is quite different. Carrots are a sweet, orange vegetable that is related to parsnip. However, while parsnips have a sweet flavor, they are not as sweet as carrots.

Parsnips and carrots also have different textures. Parsnips are crunchier than carrots, and they have a more starchy texture.

Final Words

I hope this list has helped you find parsnip substitutes to enjoy with your favorite dishes. Have you tried any of these?

If there are any others that I’ve missed, let us know in the comments below.

And don’t forget to share these substitutes so your friends and family can enjoy them too.

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

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