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How to Cut, Peel, Use and Store Parsnips

Many recipes will call for "1 cup of chopped parsnip" or "1/2 cup of grated parsnip" or even "1 cup of mashed parsnip" but it is not always easy to figure out actually how many parsnips are in a cup. In order to help make cooking easier we did some experiments to help tell you exactly how many parsnips you need to buy.

To answer How many parsnips in a cup we went to the grocery store to check out the vegetable selection. Since large or over-sized parsnips tend to have a bitter, woody core, we focused our attention on the other sizes. We found that there were about 4 medium parsnips in 1 pound, or 5 to 6 small parsnips. We decided to use 1 medium parsnip that weighed about 4 ounces (113 grams) for our unit of measure.

After purchasing some medium parsnips for our testing samples, we headed home to the kitchen. It took about 1.5 chopped parsnips to hit the 1 cup mark, but a full 2 parsnips when grated. In order to mash parsnips for a recipe they need to be cooked first which reduces the quantity yielded from each one. So for a recipe calling for 1 cup mashed, you need to start with 4 medium parsnips.

Next time your recipe calls for a cup of chopped, mashed or grated parsnips you'll feel confident knowing how many you need. You can also use our conversion tool below for any custom measurements you need. If you peel a lot of parsnips by hand you should definitely look into getting a good vegetable peeler to greatly speed up the process. I feel comfortable recommending the OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler since I use it all the time at home!

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Custom Conversions for Parsnip

One Parsnip Equals

  • There is ¼ Cup (59 mls) of Cooked and Mashed Parsnip in a Parsnip
  • There is ½ Cup (118 mls) of Grated Parsnip in a Parsnip
  • There is ⅔ Cup (158 mls) of Chopped Parsnip in a Parsnip
I need:


You need 4.1 Parsnips

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How Much Is In a Pound of Parsnip?

Parsnips come in all shapes and sizes, but for our estimates we ended up with about 4 medium parsnips per pound, or 5 or 6 smaller ones. Each parsnip weighs about 4 ounces (113 grams).

How Many Cups of Cubes are in a Chopped Parsnip?

If you cube a parsnip you will end up with about ⅔ of a cup or 160 mls. The finer you cube them, the less quantity you will get. So, a dice or a mince will result in more like a half cup.

This means for each pound (450 grams) of parsnips you buy, you can expect about 3 cups of cubes.

How Many Cups of Slices are in a Parsnip?

The amount of cups you will get from each parsnip really depends on how thick the slices are, but usually you can expect about ½ to ⅔ cup per parsnip - about 120 to 160 milliliters.

So to be on the safe side, it’s usually best to have 2 parsnips on hand for each cup of slices you want, or about half a pound (225 g).

How Many Cups are in a Grated or Shredded Parsnip?

Parsnips are often grated and added in recipes. You can get about half a cup (118 milliliters) of shredded parsnips out of each one. So if you want a full cup, you will need about a pound of parsnips.

How Many Cups of Puree are in a Mashed Parsnip?

If you cook and mash a parsnip you are looking at about ¼ cup (59 mls) coming out of it. So if you need a cup of mashed or pureed parsnips you will need to buy 4 of them.

That also comes out to about 4 tablespoons of puree per parsnip, or 1 cup of puree per pound / 450 grams.

How to Cut Parsnips

First, wash your parsnips under cold running water. Using a cutting board and sharp paring knife, cut off both ends of the vegetable.

Check out the parsnips you plan to cut. The skin on larger and older parsnips tend to be tougher and should be skinned.

Also, the center core of these types of parsnips tend to have a woodier texture which can be cut away without losing any of the flavorful fleshy part.

It's quick - use a paring knife, cut the parsnip lengthwise, then cut out the core, leaving the flesh intact.

Smaller parsnips can be used whole, including the skin and core.

Pay attention to the recommended cut size of the ingredients in a recipe, it makes a difference. It affects not only how long they cook, but also the general texture and taste of the final dish.

A larger piece takes more time to cook than a smaller one. The amount of doneness changes the mouthfeel and texture of the food. If you cook a smaller piece for the time specified for a larger piece, you will probably be disappointed when you end up with a mushy, fall apart vegetable.

The flesh of peeled or cut raw parsnips will oxidize and turn brownish on contact with the air, the same way as potatoes and apples. This darkening does not affect how parsnips taste, but they don't look as appetizing. To avoid discoloration, either cook them right away, put them in cool water with a bit of lemon juice, or sprinkle them with lemon juice until needed.

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Can parsnips be cut ahead of time?

Yes. However, the flesh of cut raw parsnips will darken on contact with the air. To prevent their color from changing, either cook them right away, put them in water with a bit of lemon juice added or sprinkle them with lemon juice until you are ready to use the parsnips.

How to dice parsnips

Prepare the parsnips for dicing by washing, then peel and core if necessary.

Slice the parsnips lengthwise into strips. Then cut across the strips into the size cubes you need.

When diced parsnips, and many other vegetables, are called for in a recipe, it is generally referring to a cube shaped piece of a certain size. A dice cut creates uniform squares that help facilitate even cooking and give the final dish a polished look.

You may see the instructions clarified to "large dice", "medium dice", or "small dice" - if no size is mentioned, most people just cut the food into medium diced cubes. There are several other specialty dice cuts, but with these 3 the basic cook will do just fine. In addition, the exact sizes of these cuts vary some from cook to cook, depending on their preferences. So, if you're not sure, here's a good starting point:

A large diced cube is often 3/4 x 3/4 x 3/4". These are often called out with large root vegetables that will be cooked for a long time or something like watermelon.

The most often used medium dice will be a cube with all sides about 1/2". This size is used in chucky stews, home fries, tomatoes in some spaghetti sauces, or just when in doubt!

A small dice cut is referring to a 1/4" sided cube. You will often see this spoon-friendly size cut called out in soup recipes.

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How to slice parsnips

Once you have gotten the raw parsnips ready to use, slice them across, not down, the length into the size pieces you need using a paring knife.

Slicing is a general term that means to cut across the grain into thin, normally between 1/16" and 3/8" thick, uniform pieces. Slices usually aren't squared off unless you are doing a special preparation.

For instance, when you cut a parsnip, the pieces will be the same thickness, but the diameter of the round slices will be different as you near the bottom of the wedge shape.

If the parsnips have been cored, you will make "rainbow" arched slices. If the vegetable is still whole, you will make round slices.

Almost every fruit or vegetable can be sliced, as well as other ingredients like meat, cheese and bread.

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How to chop parsnips

Begin by washing your parsnips under cold running water to remove any leftover dirt. Using a sharp paring knife, cut off both ends of the vegetable. Then check out the parsnips you plan to chop to see if peeling or coring is needed.

Once you have the parsnips ready, cut them into quarters, these strips will run down its length. Then cut across the strips into the size pieces you need.

When a recipe calls for a chopped parsnip, it’s normally referring to a more casual cut where the pieces are similar in size but not as uniform and the shape is not as important. This type of cut is perfect for food that will be eventually pureed.

How to grate parsnip

Get your parsnips ready as usual by first washing them under cold running water. Using a cutting board and sharp paring knife, cut off both ends of the vegetable.

Decide if you want to peel the skin or leave it on. Larger and older parsnips tend to be tougher and should be skinned.

Also, if the center core might have a woodier texture it can be cut away without losing any of the flavorful fleshy part. Just use a paring knife, cut the parsnip lengthwise, then cut out the core.

Smaller parsnips can be used whole, including the skin and core.

With medium firmness, press the parsnip against the side of the grater as you move the vegetable down over the sharp edges. Be sure to keep your fingers out of the way of the grate, you can easily cut yourself!

Another grating option may be a standing mixer or food processor. Some brands have grating attachments that you could use.

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Can you juice parsnips?

Yes, like carrots, both cooked and raw parsnips can be juiced. Juiced parsnips taste like carrots but with a hint of nutty, earthy flavors.

To juice parsnips, first clean the vegetables with plain water, scrubbing them with a vegetable brush or scrubber to remove any dirt.

If the parsnips are large or older, you may want to peel them first and possibly remove the core if it has a woody texture. You are now ready to juice them.

You can make vegetable juice with either an electric or a manual juicer, whatever you have available. However, many manual juicers are really made for squeezing citrus juice out of fruit, not grinding or crushing root vegetables such as parsnips. In addition, many sturdy manual juicers seem to cost as much or more than a reliable electric juicer.

How to Store Parsnips

Whole raw parsnips are best if wrapped in damp paper towels then placed in perforated plastic bags and stored in the vegetable crisper in the refrigerator. Do not wash before storing. Do not store in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Parsnips stored with this method should last 2 to 3 weeks.

Another ideal storage location is a cool dark root cellar but sometimes a basement or garage can also do the trick. The parsnips should keep nicely for 4 to 6 months.

Don't store them alongside fruits that release ethylene gas, such as apples, bananas, or pears as these will give the parsnips a bitter taste and over-ripen them.

Sometimes raw parsnips are sold with their green leaves still attached. If so, cut off the leafy portion and discard before you store them. If left on the parsnips, the greens will drain moisture out of the roots, causing them to lose flavor and crispness.

In general, after just blanching or after fully cooking, these parsnips can be frozen in airtight containers for about 10 months.

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How to store chopped parsnips

Fresh chopped parsnips can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days, but it is best to use them as soon as possible. You can either wrap them in moist paper towels and put in a perforated plastic bag or store in a container of cold water that is loosely covered. Do not use an airtight container.

How long will parsnips keep in the fridge

Place the unpeeled vegetables in perforated plastic bags in the crisper portion of the fridge. They will remain fresh for 2 to 3 weeks.

If the parsnips are cooked they will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

Can you freeze parsnip mash?

Fully cooked parsnip mash or puree may be frozen in airtight freezer containers for up to 10 months.

Instead of dumping all of your pureed parsnips into 1 big bag to freeze, it’s handy if you just put the amount of mashed parsnip you will need when the time comes to defrost and use it into separate bags.That way it’s quick to get out of the freezer exactly what you need when you need it!

How to Cook Parsnips

Like other root vegetables, parsnips are delicious when prepared in numerous ways. Most people really enjoy them roasted in a hot oven for 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the cuts. This allows the parsnips' sugar to caramelize. Consider mixing these with other root vegetables and cooking them on a baking sheet all at once.

Another common way to cook parsnips is to mix them with potatoes. This can be done with potato salads, au gratin type casseroles or even just mashed up together. It seems to add more depth to a plain potato dish.

Like many other vegetables, parsnips can be added to stews, pureed into hearty porridge or included in brothier soups.

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How to blanch parsnips

After washing and peeling the parsnips, cut them into 1 inch pieces and place into a pot of boiling water. Once the water returns to a boil, cook the parsnips for 2-3 minutes longer then remove from the water. Now you are ready to serve them.

If planning to freeze for later use, put them in a bowl of cold or ice water. Once the temperature has dropped, place them into airtight containers and right into the freezer.

Like just about all vegetables, it is important to blanch them before putting them into the freezer. It will help them last longer by slowing down the process that diminishes the flavor and texture. The loss of color is less noticeable with parsnips.

Can you mash parsnips?

Mashing parsnips is similar to making mashed potatoes. The key to either is cooking the vegetables until they are soft and tender.

To begin, wash the parsnips. Then peel and core the large ones if needed.

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It's helpful to cut the parsnips into 1-inch pieces using a paring knife. This will help them all cook in about the same amount of time.

Place the pieces in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until very tender when pierced with a fork or almost falling apart. Once done, drain off the water.

For more rustic mashed parsnips, you can just use a potato masher. For smoother or pureed parsnips, use something like a food processor or standing mixer.

Now you have mashed parsnips, ready for whatever dish you plan to make.

How to puree parsnips

Prepare the parsnips by washing, peeling and coring if needed. Remove both ends with a paring knife. Now you're ready to go.

It's helpful to cut the parsnips into 1-inch pieces using a paring knife. This will help them all cook in about the same amount of time.

Place the pieces in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until very tender when pierced with a fork or almost falling apart. Once done, drain off the liquid - now you are ready to puree them.

Most people find it easier to puree parsnips, and other vegetables, in a food processor or blender.

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Can you cook parsnips from frozen?

Yes, it helps to soften them up first.

For instance, to make baked parsnips, just put them in the oven for about 15 minutes to soften them up. Remove from the oven and proceed with the recipe you planned to make.

How to roast turnips and parsnips

Cut the cleaned and peeled turnips and parsnips into similar medium size pieces. After coating them with an oil or butter, sprinkle them with your preferred spices, then spread them out in a single layer on a shallow baking sheet.

Place in a hot oven, (400°F to 425°F range) and roast for about 45 to 50 minutes, turning over with a spatula a couple of times. Roast the turnips and parsnips until they are very tender and browned on the outside.

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What to serve with parsnip puree

Pureed parsnips go well with a wide variety of foods, in fact, just about anything that you would serve potatoes with. When plated, the puree is often put on the dish first and then the roast, chicken, fish fillet, pork chops, or crispy vegetables are placed on top. Your imagination is your only limiting factor!

What is a good substitute for parsnips?

One of the most common substitutes for parsnips is turnips, another root vegetable and easy to find in your local store.

Celery roots, swwet potatoes, and carrots are also good options.

Some folks select salsify, a Mediterranean culinary plant that's a bit harder to find. Some have described it as oyster-ish and others as artichoke-ish tasting, both distinctive flavors that not everyone enjoys.

Parsley roots are similar to parsnips but a little sweeter. Unfortunately this one is even tougher to find.

What are Parsnips

A parsnip is an off-white, creamy colored root vegetable which is similar in shape to a carrot. They normally grow 5 to 10 inches in length. They have a distinct sweet taste with an earthy nutty flavor. Some folks say it's slightly spicy.

When shopping for parsnips, it's best to select ones that are small to medium in size. These are more tender and sweeter than larger ones. Try to avoid parsnips with tiny hairy threads down toward the tip. These veggies were not grown in the best environment, so the plant was trying to send out more shoots in an effort to find water.

Fun fact - Parsnips are native to the Mediterranean region. Before sugar cane became broadly accessible to Europeans, they made a sweetener out of parsnips.

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How to tell when parsnips are ready

The peak season for parsnips is fall and winter. The first frost of autumn will convert the parsnip’s starch to sugar and give it a sweet, hazelnut flavor. Ones that are harvested later in the season are sweeter, as the cold converts some of their starch into sugar.

Do parsnips cause gas?

After researching and reading information on both sides of the argument, I’ve concluded that your guess is as good as mine. It probably depends on each individual person’s physiological make-up which would cause 2 people to react differently to the exact same food.

Are parsnip cores poisonous?

Some people may be allergic to parsnips, just as other folks may be to other foods. However, parsnip cores are not poisonous to eat.

Oftentimes the negative comments about parsnip cores come from using vegetables not in their prime. As the growing season continues parsnips get older and overgrown, their cores take on a woody texture.

Many folks prefer to remove fibrous cores for a sweeter, smoother tasting parsnip dish.

If you do want to remove a woody core, slice the parsnip in half lengthwise and just cut it out with a paring knife.

Are parsnips low FODMAP?

In general, food is a common trigger of digestive problems. FODMAP is concerned with groups of sugars or carbs that often trigger digestive symptoms like stomach pain, gas and bloating.

A diet low in FODMAPs can be prescribed to help manage abdominal issues in sensitive people.

Even though parsnips are considered low FODMAP vegetables, it's always recommended to eat moderate serving sizes of any food. If you eat large portions or additional helpings of parsnips, it can still cause a high FODMAP problem.

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Can rabbits eat parsnip peelings?

Just like other root vegetables, rabbits can eat both the parsnips and the peelings. Since parsnips contain a higher amount of sugar and fat, they should only be given these in moderation.

Where do parsnips come from?

Did you know that parsnips are native to Europe and Asia and were used as a sweetener before the arrival of cane and beet sugars. During the Roman Empire, parsnips were so highly valued that the Emperor Tiberius accepted parsnips as part of the tribute paid by Germany. Think the carrot and parsnip look similar? No wonder, the two veggies are close relatives!

How to Store Parsnip

General How to Store Parsnip Info

To start with the freshest most flavorful parsnips possible, select ones that are firm, unblemished and less than 8 inches long.

Short Term Parsnip Storage

Before storing remove green tops if still attached, as they will draw nutrients from the parsnip.

Store unwashed parsnips in the crisper section of the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag; they will be good for 3 to 4 weeks.

Store cut raw parsnips in an airtight container so they do not dry out; cut parsnips have a tendency to turn slightly brown. They will hold their freshness for 4 or 5 days.

After cooking parsnips, they will only last in the refrigerator for a day or two.

Parsnip Long Term Storage

Trim and peel young parsnips and cut into narrow strips. Place in boiling water to blanch for 2 minutes, immediately cool in ice water. Dry and place in airtight plastic containers in the freezer; they will keep for 2 months.

You can freeze cooked parsnip purees.

Parsnip Side Notes

Parsnips look like a cream colored carrot but have a nutty, sweet flavor.

Parsnip Recipes

Creamy Sous Vide Parsnip Soup Recipe

Creamy Sous Vide Parsnip Soup Recipe image I made my creamy sous vide parsnip soup into a lighter version that still retains much of the creaminess of the original while using much less butter and cream. The soup will get smoother and smoother the more chicken stock you add, so you can tailor it to the texture you prefer. I love to serve it with some hearty whole grain bread you can use to sop up all the soup.

Sous Vide Butter Poached Root Vegetables Recipe

Sous Vide Butter Poached Root Vegetables Recipe image Using sous vide to butter poach root vegetables is an easy process that makes creating side dishes a breeze! Just toss some chopped vegetables into a sous vide bag with some butter, thyme, and cumin, then give them a quick cook at 183°F (83.9°C). Top them off with some coarse sea salt, lemon and oregano and you're all set!

Looking for Something a Little Different?

Full Recipe: Citrus Cured Salmon Sous Vide

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