Parsnip Fries with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Baked parsnip fries with roasted red pepper pesto. a nice and crispy snack or a yummy appetizer for guests coming over. Vegan + Gluten Free.

I am begging you. If you only make one thing from this blog, ever, make these fries. I promise you, you won’t regret. I am not usually full of confidence when it comes to my recipes, more often than not I doubt myself that the recipes I post here won’t please others or won’t work out when you try them at home. Self doubt, such a silly habit. But – BUT – there is no doubt in my mind that you will like these fries. I am even betting that if you don’t usually like parsnips, you will still enjoy these fries.

I actually couldn’t believe how good they turned out, after I was finished taking photos I just stood over the table eating them, no chair, nothing, just inhaling them into my mouth. Not the classiest of moments for me, but I really couldn’t care less. After I ate the entire batch (again, don’t care) I had to make more because there were none left for the dinner party they were originally made for. And later that night, again – more inhaling. Classy folks over here.

I had seen recipes for baked potato fries using cornstarch, and was skeptical that it actually worked. I didn’t have any cornstarch in the house, so I used arrowroot powder instead. I am sure the two are interchangeable for this recipe, so use whatever you have. The fries get so incredibly crispy with so little oil you won’t believe it. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, go ahead and make them yourself. I highly recommend making the pesto too, it takes no time to whiz up and together they are match made in heaven.

Ya. You’re welcome.


In full holiday swing this weekend, prepping for Christmas dinner, and it feels like I do way more snacking than actually eating a full meal – tasting bits and bobs of things I am making in advance for tomorrow night. So although there is nothing really holiday-esk about this recipe, it makes for a nice and crispy snack during a break from baking, or a yummy appetizer for guests coming over. Best served warm out the oven.



3 medium sized parsnips
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Pinch Cayenne pepper
Sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1 tablespoon olive oil


1 large roasted red pepper (home made or store bought)
3 sundried tomatoes (preferably in oil)
1 medium garlic clove
Juice of half a lemon
Handful (about 6) walnuts
Handful fresh basil leaves
Olive oil (about 1 tablespoon)
Salt and Pepper


Preheat the oven to 450 F / 230 C

Wash the parsnips and remove any gnarly bits on the outside, keep the skins on and pat dry with a kitchen towel

Slice the parsnips into thick fry-like matchsticks, trying to keep them all the same size so they cook evenly. Its tricky with parsnips since they are much wider at the top than at the bottom but do the best you can, and the smaller ones will just get that much crispier in the oven!

Place the parsnip fries in a bowl and sprinkle with paprika, cayenne and arrowroot. Season to taste – if you like hot, add more spice. If it looks like they need more arrowroot, add more, you want them to be well coated. Toss everything together and give a good sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Arrange on an unlined, non-stick baking sheet, leaving space between each and drizzle with a touch of olive oil

Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 15 minutes. They are ready when all sides are nice and brown and the tips are starting to get crispy. Keep checking them and flipping over (if needed) until they are done.

To make the pesto, place all the ingredients in a food processor, adding more oil if you need, until everything is well combined. That’s it.

Serve with fries and enjoy!

Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!


  • Reply
    Emma Galloway
    December 23, 2012 at 11:47 am

    These sounds AMAZING. Totally something I’ll be trying when it’s winter time here in Australia. Thanks for the inspiration xx

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      December 23, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Oh wow! Thank you Emma! I hope you do! I am so honored with your comment – I follow My Darling Lemon Thyme and am planning on making your spiced nuts tomorrow :) Thank YOU for all your inspiration & Happy Holidays! xo

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    December 24, 2012 at 3:55 am

    I make parsnip fries too! With cornstarch! Yours are great & love the dip!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      December 24, 2012 at 8:02 am

      Thanks Averie! I feel a little behind the times with this whole magic of cornstarch/arrowroot thing – but better late than never I guess ;) Happy Holidays x

  • Reply
    December 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    looks so goood! i have never had parsnip before but i will take your word for it. If i come across parsnip in my grocery store- i will certainly try these. Loved the pesto recipe. thanks for the idea about cornstach, never done that way!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      December 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      I hope you do find parsnips some where near you – they are more of a winter veg and usually found hanging around the potato area in the grocery stores! Good luck and thank you!

  • Reply
    Tony Bailey
    December 27, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Hi Jodi – Just discovered your blog from your Foodgawker pics. Great stuff! Love the recipe and the photography…looking forward to following!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      December 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Tony! Nice to have you here :)

  • Reply
    Tasty Thoughts
    March 4, 2013 at 1:55 am

    I was looking for parsnip recipes and these were simply amazing!!

    • Reply
      Jodi Kay
      March 4, 2013 at 8:49 am

      Oh great! So happy you liked them! x

  • Reply
    April 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Greetings from Holland from another expat (from the US). This looks soooo good and right up our alley. Definitely going to have a go this weekend. So glad I found your blog and look forward to learning about your expat experiences. :)

  • Reply
    May 3, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Carole’s Chatter is collecting links using parsnip and/or pumpkin today. This is a nice one. I do hope you pop over and link in. This is the link . Cheers

  • Reply
    May 4, 2013 at 1:27 am

    Jodi, this is yummy. thanks for popping over and linking it in. Cheers

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