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Air Fryer Parsnips

$2.44 Recipe/$0.61 Serving

Air fryer parsnips are the perfect side dish or healthy simple snack. A great alternative to regular French fries, air fryer parsnip fries are packed with flavor and are ready in about 20 minutes. Cooking parsnips in the air fryer makes them unexpectedly delicious, as the outside gets slightly crispy and caramelized while the inside gets tender and slightly sweet.

Air fryer basket filled with roasted parsnips.

Why you will love this recipe

Simple ingredients – you don’t need many ingredients to make these air fryer parsnips and you can even change the flavors based on what you are craving.

Easy to make – The hardest part of making parsnips in the air fryer is cutting the parsnips down into fries. The rest is quick and easy and requires minimal hands-on time.

Great alternative to French fries – especially with the seasoning, these parsnip fries are as close as you can get to French fries without the potatoes. If you are trying to increase your vegetable intake or reduce your carbs, these air fryer parsnip fries are a great option!

Ingredients to make parsnips in air fryer.
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Ingredients

Parsnips – parsnips when roasted have a nutty, slightly sweet, slight licorice flavor and look like white/beige carrots. Parsnips are typically the sweetest in the winter but are typically grown from fall to spring. They can be found in most grocery stores year-round now.  

Olive oil (or avocado oil) – this helps to coat the parsnips and helps the spices to stick to the outside.

Spices: Smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt – these help to add a smoky, savory flavor to the parsnips which make them extra enjoyable. The savory spices perfectly compliment the natural sweetness of the parsnips.  

How to make air fryer parsnips

Start by peeling and cutting the parsnips into fries. Typically, I can get 8-12 fries from one parsnip (depending on the size and thickness). Check out the steps below on how to cut a parsnip into fries for more details.

Steps on how to cut a parsnip into fries.

Put the peeled and cut parsnips in a large bowl. Drizzle the parsnips with oil and add the spices. Stir well.

Parsnip fries in a bowl with seasoning before and after stirring.

Once the parsnips are coated in the spice blend, put them in the air fryer basket. It is ok if they overlap a bit, as you will shake the basket a few times while roasting.

Parsnips in air fryer basket before cooking.

Turn the air fryer on 390F for 13-16 minutes (depending on how thick your fries are).

After 8 minutes, pause the air fryer and shake the basket well. Resume cooking, pausing again 1-2 times to shake the basket again.

Parsnips in air fryer basket after cooking about 8 minutes

Around 13 minutes of cooking time, keep a close eye on the parsnips. If you cut thin fries, they are likely done, if you cut thicker fries, they may need the entire 16 minutes.

Roasted parsnips in air fryer basket after cooking.

Once done cooking, eat immediately, as the air fryer parsnips do start to get soft the longer they sit out.

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Top tips

  • Try to cut the parsnips into pieces that are similar thickness so they will all be done cooking at the same time.
  • Depending on your specific air fryer and how thick or thin you cut the parsnip fries, they can be done anywhere between 13 minutes and 16 minutes of cooking at 390F.
  • To ensure the spices stick and the parsnips get that caramelized coating, I recommend using olive oil or avocado oil vs. spraying the parsnips with oil. This helps ensure they are well coated when cooking.
  • Use whatever spices you love! This recipe is very versatile, and you can change the spices to go with different cuisines!
  • I do not recommend doubling this recipe and cooking it all at once. If you need to cook more than 1 pound of parsnips at a time, I recommend using the oven instead since you will need to cook the parsnips in batches. If you want to use the air fryer to cook in batches, know that the second batch won’t take as long as the first since the air fryer is already hot.

How to serve parsnip fries

Depending on the spices you use, air fryer parsnips can go with so many meals. Anywhere you would normally serve French fries, parsnip fries in the air fryer would be a great alternative. Some great options include:

Shredded Cajun chicken lettuce wraps

Black bean burgers

Sweet potato lentil burgers

10 Minute Ranch Chicken or 10 Minute Taco chicken

Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken

Cajun Salmon and Veggies

Buffalo Grilled Shrimp

Dark plate filled with air fryer parsnips and a silver bowl filled with ketchup.

What dips go well with air fryer parsnips

Homeemade Ketchup (low FODMAP friendly)

Dairy Free Ranch Dressing

Chimichurri Sauce

Chipotle Mayo

Spicy Tahini Sauce

Lime Tahini Dressing or Cilantro Lime Tahini Dressing

Lemon Herb Tahini Sauce

Other spices to use

Air fryer parsnips are incredibly versatile and you can easily change the spices you use to change the overall flavor. Here are some other great options:

Taco seasoning – Omit the smoked paprika and add 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning.

Cajun Seasoning – omit the smoked paprika and add 2 teaspoons of cajun seasoning.

Italian Seasoning – Omit the smoked paprika and add 2 teaspoons of italian seasoning.

Ranch Seasoning – omit the smoked paprika and add 2 teaspoons dried chives, ¾ teaspoon dried parsley and ½ teaspoon dried dill.

Salt + Fresh Rosemary + Honey (or Maple Syrup) – omit the smoked paprika and add 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped and 1-2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup. The honey will caramelize when the parsnips are cooking, making them even sweeter.

Common questions

How to cut a parsnip into fries

  • Start by peeling the parsnips.
  • Then cut the top and the bottom off the parsnips (at the root and the tip).
  • Where the parsnip starts to get larger, cut the parsnip in half (so there is a top and a bottom piece).
  • Cut the bottom thinner piece in half lengthwise, then cut those halves in half again. You will have 4 pieces from the bottom.
  • Cut the top thicker piece in half lengthwise, then cut those halves into 3-4 pieces each. You will get 6-8 fries from the top of the parsnip.
Steps on how to cut a parsnip into fries.

When are parsnips the best

Parsnips are grown between fall and spring but are the sweetest in the winter (they are also the most affordable in the winter).

You can now find parsnips in most grocery stores year-round. Sometimes they are sold in 1 pound bags but often they are sold individually.

Are parsnips the same as carrots

Parsnips look very similar to carrots. Instead of the orange hue, parsnips have a beige or light brown exterior and white flesh. You will want to peel away the skin before using the parsnips.

Parsnips have a different flavor than carrots as well. They both have a level of sweetness, especially when roasted but parsnips also have a slight licorice flavor and have slight nuttiness when roasting.

Can you make parsnips in the oven?

Yes, you can also roast parsnips in the oven instead of in the air fryer. If you are making a large batch of parsnips, it might be best to use the oven since you will need cook them in batches in the air fryer.

To cook parsnip fries in the oven, follow all the same instructions on how to cut a parsnip and coating the parsnips with oil and spices.

Add the parsnips to a preheated oven 450F for 25 minutes. Turning them with about 10 minutes left of cooking.

Check out all my tips and tricks on how to make the perfect roasted parsnips in the oven.

Hand holding a parsnip fry over a plate full of fries.

Can you double the recipe

If you want to double the recipe, I recommend cooking them in the oven instead of the air fryer as that will be a better use of your time.

If you only have an air fryer or don’t want to heat up your kitchen with the oven, you can certainly double the recipe, however you will want to cook them in batches to ensure the air fryer basket is not overcrowded.

You need room for the air to circulate over the parsnips so they get crispy and caramelized on the outside. Overcrowding the air fryer basket will cause them to steam instead of crisp.

Storing leftovers

Fridge: Store leftover air fryer roasted parsnips in the fridge for up to 3 days. The parsnips cooked in the air fryer are best immediately but can be reheated in the air fryer to get some of the crispy texture on the outside again after refrigerating.

Freezer: I do not recommend freezing parsnips cooked in the air fryer as the texture will be soggy when defrosted.

How to reheat

Air fryer: Reheat parsnips in the air fryer at 375F for 3-5 minutes to heat them through and crisp up the exterior.

Oven: Reheat in a 425F oven for 10 minutes to heat them through and start to crisp up the exterior.

Substitutions

  • Parsnips: You can also make carrots in the air fryer if you don’t have parsnips. Check out all my tips on how to make the perfect air fryer carrots!
  • Olive oil or avocado oil – the oil helps the spices to stick to the outside of the parsnips. You can also use melted coconut oil, melted ghee or melted butter. If you want to reduce the fat in the recipe, you can spray with olive oil or avocado oil but may not get the same adhesion of spices to the parsnips.
  • Spices: See the other seasoning ideas above for substitution ideas.  
Air fryer parsnips in the air fryer basket, blue napkin on the side.

If you love this recipe, you should try

Air Fryer Butternut Squash

Air Fryer Potato Cubes

Air Fryer Sweet Potato Wedges

Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes

Air Fryer Delicata Squash

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Air fryer parsnips in an air fryer basket after cooking.

Air Fryer Parsnips

$2.44 Recipe/$0.61 Serving
Air fryer parsnips are so easy to make and are the perfect side dish or healthy snack. Parsnip fries in the air fryer get crispy around the edges and are savory with just a hint of sweetness. These healthy parsnips are ready in about 20 minutes and are super versatile.
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer parsnip fries, air fryer parsnips, parnsips air fryer
Prep Time: 4 mins
Cook Time: 16 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Start by peeling the parsnips. Then cut them into fries. To do this you will want to cut the parsnip in half where it starts to thicken.
    Cut the bottom piece in half lenghtwise, then in half again, you will get 4 pieces out of the bottom.
    Cut the top piece in half lenghtwise, then in 3-4 fries per half. You will get 6-8 fries out of the top.
  • Add the parsnip fries to a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and the spices.
  • Stir well, ensuring all pieces are coated in olive oil and spices.
  • Put the parsnips in the air fryer basket. Cook at 390F for 13-16 minutes (depending on how thick your parsnips are).
  • After 8 minutes of cooking, pause the air fryer and shake the basket. Resume cooking. Pause the air fryer again 1-2 more times during the last 5-8 minutes.
  • Around the 13 minute mark of cooking, check the parsnips. They may be done (the ends are browning and crsipy) or they may need 2-3 more minutes.
  • Serve hot.

Notes

Top tips
  • Try to cut the parsnips into pieces that are similar thickness so they will all be done cooking at the same time.
  • Depending on your specific air fryer and how thick or thin you cut the parsnip fries, they can be done anywhere between 13 minutes and 16 minutes of cooking at 390F.
  • To ensure the spices stick and the parsnips get that caramelized coating, I recommend using olive oil or avocado oil vs. spraying the parsnips with oil. This helps ensure they are well coated when cooking.
  • Use whatever spices you love! This recipe is very versatile, and you can change the spices to go with different cuisines!
  • I do not recommend doubling this recipe and cooking it all at once. If you need to cook more than 1 pound of parsnips at a time, I recommend using the oven instead since you will need to cook the parsnips in batches. If you want to use the air fryer to cook in batches, know that the second batch won’t take as long as the first since the air fryer is already hot.
Other spices to use
  • Taco seasoning – Omit the smoked paprika and add 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning.
  • Cajun Seasoning – omit the smoked paprika and add 2 teaspoons of cajun seasoning.
  • Italian Seasoning – Omit the smoked paprika and add 2 teaspoons of italian seasoning.
  • Ranch Seasoning – omit the smoked paprika and add 2 teaspoons dried chives, ¾ teaspoon dried parsley and ½ teaspoon dried dill.
  • Salt + Fresh Rosemary + Honey (or Maple syrup) – omit the smoked paprika and add 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped and 1-2 tablespoons of honey. The honey will caramelize when the parsnips are cooking, making them even sweeter.
How to make parsnips in the oven
To cook parsnip fries in the oven, follow all the same instructions on how to cut a parsnip and coating the parsnips with oil and spices.
Add the parsnips to a preheated oven 450F for 25 minutes. Turning them with about 10 minutes left of cooking.
Storing leftovers
  • Fridge: Store leftover air fryer parsnips in the fridge for up to 3 days. The parsnips cooked in the air fryer are best immediately but can be reheated in the air fryer to get some of the crispy texture on the outside again after refrigerating.
  • Freezer: I do not recommend freezing parsnips cooked in the air fryer as the texture will be soggy when defrosted.
How to reheat
  • Air fryer: Reheat parsnips in the air fryer at 375F for 3-5 minutes to heat them through and crisp up the exterior.
  • Oven: Reheat in a 425F oven for 10 minutes to heat them through and start to crisp up the exterior.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
125
Fat
 
4
g
Carbohydrates
 
22
g
Fiber
 
6
g
Sugar
 
6
g
Protein
 
2
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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