Maple and thyme roasted parsnips

Maple and Thyme Roast Parsnips

There is no doubt that roast parsnips are a must for a meat-eater’s or vegan’s Christmas Dinner. But this roast parsnip recipe is so simple and so delicious, you will want to eat them all year round.

Difficulty: Easy

Cook Time: 40 minutes in total

How I Came up With This Recipe  

It is November, and I am looking at the possibility of cooking my first ever Christmas dinner. I have never done a full Christmas dinner before, let alone a vegan or a vegetarian Christmas dinner, so I am feeling nervous. I start thinking about what I might want to cook and how to cook all the numerous sides. I decide that I want to create the perfect vegan festive side dish.

Roast parsnips with honey feature heavily in the traditional Christmas lunch. To make them vegan, I decide to replace it with delicious maple syrup. I do not consider myself as having a sweet tooth, but I love maple syrup!

Paired with thyme, the sweetness of the maple syrup goes beautifully with the parsnips. I have added a little salt, and most importantly, a light dusting of flour to make them ever so slightly crispy and very much the classic indulgent Christmas side, especially when paired with all the trimmings.


Recipe Substitutions

  • Swap one of your parsnips for carrots to make delicious maple and thyme roast parsnips and carrots. 
  • If you prefer a herb with a little more oomph, try rosemary on your roast parsnips instead of thyme. 
  • Omit thyme altogether and add some spicy cracked black pepper to compliment the sweetness of the maple syrup.

Why This Recipe Is Great

  • These maple and thyme roasted parsnips are perfect for a vegetarian or vegan Christmas lunch or a vegetarian Sunday roast dinner.
  • They are crispy and caramelised on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside.
  • They are a delicious vegan alternative to traditional honey roast parsnips.
  • They are simple and quick to prepare, taking just 40 minutes from start to finish. 
These maple and mustard roasted parsnips are perfect for a vegan Christmas Dinner or vegan roast dinner

Cook’s Tips

  • Make sure your oven is very hot before you put your parsnips in. This way, they will be slightly crispy on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside.
  • The oil you roast your parsnips in should be smoking, and so hot that the parsnips sizzle when you add them.
  • These parsnips are at their absolute best when fresh out of the oven, but are still absolutely delicious if made ahead.
  • They taste great with all the trimmings of a roast dinner or Christmas dinner.
  • Instead of peeling your parsnips, simply chop the ends, wash them and scrub away any dirt. It might sound counterintuitive, but it has a great texture. This knobbly texture holds the maple syrup, flour and thyme, ensuring you end up with crispy parsnips with a delicious maple syrup glaze.
  • Chop your parsnips lengthways, so they retain as much of their natural shape as possible.
Vegan Roast parsnips with maple syrup and thyme - perfect for vegan roast dinner


  • Roasting tray
  • Measuring spoons
  • Knife for chopping parsnips
  • Bowl for mixing
  • A knife or fork for pricking the parsnips

Cook Time

Prep: 10 minutes 

Cook: 30 minutes

Yield: Serves four as a side


  • 4 parsnips
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C / 392°F/ gas mark 6.
  2. Place roasting tin with oil in the oven.
  3. Chop parsnips in half lengthways.
  4. Prick the parsnips with a fork or knife.
  5. Place the parsnips in a bowl and spread maple syrup over them.
  6. Sprinkle flour over them.
  7. Mix parsnips with maple syrup and flour, ensuring that each parsnip is well covered with both.
  8. When your oven is very hot and the oil is smoking, gently add your parsnips to the baking tray. They should sizzle when added to the hot oil.
  9. Roast for 15 minutes.
  10. After 15 minutes, remove your baking tray with parsnips from the oven and turn them over to avoid burning.
  11. Sprinkle with most of the thyme.
  12. Roast your parsnips for another 15 minutes.
  13. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt and remaining thyme. serve. 


Enjoy these delicious maple and thyme roast parsnips with all the trimmings as part of a vegan Christmas dinner or  a vegan or vegetarian roast dinner. 

Maple and thyme roast parsnips

I love them with served with my quick and easy vegan haggis, some braised red cabbage and a dollop of lovely vegan bread sauce.  

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