Do Parsnips Cook Faster Than Carrots?

This question has been asked on Quora, and the answer is no, parsnips do not cook faster than carrots. In fact, carrots typically cook faster than parsnips. This is because carrots have a higher water content than parsnips, which means they will cook through more quickly.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when cooking parsnips and carrots together:

  • Cut the parsnips into smaller pieces than the carrots. This will help them cook more evenly.
  • Start the parsnips cooking a few minutes before the carrots. This will give them a head start and help them cook through at the same time as the carrots.
  • Use a steamer or boil the vegetables in a small amount of water. This will help them cook more evenly and prevent them from becoming mushy.

Carrot and Parsnip Mash Recipe

If you’re looking for a delicious way to cook parsnips and carrots, try making a carrot and parsnip mash. This recipe is simple to make and is a great side dish for any meal.


  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 medium parsnips
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper


  1. Wash and peel the carrots and parsnips. Cut evenly into 1/2 inch slices.
  2. Place the carrots in a steamer, add water to the pan base. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the parsnips to the carrots in the steamer. Simmer for a further 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Drain the vegetables. Return them to the pot.
  5. Add the butter and cream and mash the vegetables together.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve warm and garnish with butter and parsley if desired.

Tips for Making Carrot and Parsnip Mash

  • For a smoother mash, you can use a food processor or blender to puree the vegetables.
  • If you don’t have cream, you can use milk or even water.
  • You can also add other flavors to your mash, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, or ginger.
  • This mash can be made ahead of time and reheated when you’re ready to serve it.


Parsnips and carrots are a delicious and versatile vegetable combination. They can be enjoyed in many different ways, and they are a great addition to any meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the nutritional benefits of parsnips and carrots?

Parsnips and carrots are both high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also a good source of antioxidants.

What are some other ways to cook parsnips and carrots?

Parsnips and carrots can be roasted, sauteed, or added to soups and stews. They can also be used to make chips or fries.

What are some other recipes that use parsnips and carrots?

Parsnips and carrots can be used in a variety of recipes, such as soups, stews, salads, and casseroles. They can also be used to make desserts, such as cakes and pies.

Additional Resources


This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.

Directions for Making Carrot and Parsnip Mash

Carrots are harder than parsnips and take longer to cook. You have a few options to ensure your parsnips don’t get mushy while you’re waiting for your carrots to tenderize.

  • The carrots and parsnips can be boiled together in the same pot for the same amount of time after being chopped into smaller pieces.
  • Alternatively, you could add the parsnips last and give the carrots a head start. Carrots require an additional 10 minutes of cooking if they are to be steamed, but a 7-minute head start is ideal for boiling.
  • Alternatively, you could follow my mother’s recipe, which calls for cooking the carrots and parsnips in two different saucepans and combining them only when they are soft, drained, and ready to mashing.

which take longer to cook carrots or parsnips

Option 1 is challenging for me because I can never determine the proper size for each vegetable.

Option 2 usually works best for me because I prefer not to clean too many saucepans and I give my carrots a little head start on the parsnips.

In order to avoid burning my fingers when I add parsnips to simmering water, I also prefer to steam the vegetables.

which take longer to cook carrots or parsnips

Thus, after steaming the carrots for ten minutes or so, add the parsnips.

After about 20 more minutes of steaming, they should both be fork-tender.

which take longer to cook carrots or parsnips

Drain the vegetables and return them to the bottom pan.

Mash them together using a potato masher.

There are those who prefer to puree them in a food processor or blender, but most people prefer to leave some texture in the mash. I prefer to manually mix the two cooked vegetables because of this.

which take longer to cook carrots or parsnips

Mash together a bit more after adding the cream and butter.

which take longer to cook carrots or parsnips

Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

which take longer to cook carrots or parsnips

Spoon onto a platter and top with a generous dollop of butter.

If you’d like, feel free to garnish with some parsley and a little green. You’ll have green, white, and orange, the colors of the Irish flag.

When it came to garnishing this dish for its photo shoot, I stuck to a nice piece of melting butter because I never saw fancy parsley on my carrot and parsnip mash growing up.

In Ireland, these vegetable combinations are typically served with mashed potatoes.

Ingredients for Carrot and Parsnip Mash

Heres a quick list of what youll need. The printable recipe at the bottom of this post contains the precise amounts in both US and Metric versions.

  • carrots
  • parsnips
  • butter
  • cream
  • salt and pepper to season.

The traditional Irish parsnip and carrot mash contains no fancy onion or garlic seasonings. All you need is the two vegetables, butter, cream, salt, and pepper.

For this recipe, I use white pepper because that’s what my mother always used. I only discovered black pepper when I came to America. I therefore only use white pepper, and to be honest, I dislike black specks in the middle of this mash that has a light orange color.

I don’t season the vegetables while they cook. As the veggies cook, you could experiment by tossing in a sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme. Be sure to remove it before mashing them together.

To add a little extra flavor to the mash, add a small pinch of freshly ground nutmeg.

This recipe is gluten-free but not dairy-free because I use cream and butter. Use a vegan cream and butter substitute to make it vegan.

which take longer to cook carrots or parsnips

Honey Glazed Roasted Carrots & Parsnips | The Perfect Side For Christmas Dinner!


Which takes longer to boil carrots or parsnips?

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots, cover partially, and simmer 5 minutes. Add parsnips, and cover partially. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.

Which root vegetables take the longest to roast?

Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots and turnips take the longest, followed by hard squash and cruciferous vegetables like butternut squash, cauliflower and broccoli. Tender items like cherry tomatoes or zucchini come next, then cooking greens, which have the shortest roasting time.

What takes longer to boil carrots or turnips?

Turnips take longer than carrots to cook; allow 10-15 minutes when boiling, slightly more when steaming. Turnips absorb fat easily so fried turnips will be high in calories.

Can you cook carrots & parsnips in advance?

Make in advance: Clean and cut the carrots and parsnips in advance, then season and roast right before serving. These oven roasted veggies pair well with anything! Make it a weeknight side dish when paired with a protein like grilled chicken thighs and creamy mashed potatoes.

What are the health benefits of parsnips?

Parsnips are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, as well as other important micronutrients. Also high in antioxidants including vitamin C and polyacetylenes that may prevent oxidative stress and chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Parsnips are high in fiber, which can support regularity, improve your digestive health, regulate blood sugar levels, and enhance heart health. Parsnips are low in calories but contain a good amount of water and fiber, both of which may benefit weight loss. Parsnips are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which may enhance your immune function and optimize health.

What is the difference between carrots and parsnips?

Parsnips are typically a creamy color. Whereas carrots are sweet, parsnips have a subtle unique spice flavor to them similar to nutmeg and cinnamon. When you combine the two vegetables and roast them in the oven, you have a superb subtle blend of sweet and spicy. This entire dish is done in only four simple steps.

How do you cook roasted carrots & parsnips?

Colorful & crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, these roasted carrots & parsnips pair perfectly with so many entrèes! Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel carrots and parsnips and cut into approximately 2″ pieces. Cut the thicker pieces in half lengthwise. Toss all ingredients together and spread onto a large baking sheet.

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