Parsnip and Carrot Gratin

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Parsnip and Carrot Gratin

A vegetable gratin is my absolute top winter side dish. There are so many root vegetables to combine for a rich treat during cold weather. A gratin is, as my mother used to say, a very “forgiving” dish and it’s hard to go wrong making one.

This parsnip and carrot gratin was adapted from a carrot and cheddar gratin featured in a recent issue of “Fine Cooking”, one of my favorite food and cooking magazines.

First, I wanted to cut the size of their recipe down to serve only two-three people. I took their suggestion of substituting parsnips for half of the carrots. Next, I played with the cooking times and some of the proportions of the other ingredients. After some thought, I sliced the parsnips into thinner pieces than the carrots, since I imagined that they would take longer to become tender than would the carrots.

I served this with some grilled chicken, but, as always, a vegetable gratin makes a nice vegetarian entrée.

TIP: The gratin can be assembled earlier in the day, refrigerated and then baked just before serving. You might add 5 minutes to the cooking time if it is going straight from the fridge to the oven.


Parsnip and Carrot Gratin
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
A rich gratin of parsnips and carrots, topped with cheddar, fresh herbs and panko bread crumbs.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaved parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ¾ cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ¾ pound parsnips, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch discs (about 2 large parsnips)
  • ¾ pound carrots, peeled and sliced into ½-inch discs (about 3 large carrots)
  • ½ cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter a medium-sized gratin dish, or any shallow-sided baking dish.
  3. Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet, add the onion and cook over medium heat until onions are golden-brown, about 10 minutes.
  4. Using a small bowl, combine the melted butter, parsley and thyme. Add the panko. Mix well. Set aside.
  5. Whisk the cream, mustard, salt and pepper into the onions. Add the parsnips and carrots. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until vegetables are just beginning to feel tender to a fork.
  6. Pour into buttered gratin dish. Top with cheddar, then panko-herb mixture.
  7. Bake until vegetables are tender and crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes.


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21 Responses to Parsnip and Carrot Gratin

  1. sallybr February 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    I am also a huge fan of Fine Cooking magazine, I think I remember which recipe you are talking about, it called my attention when I browsed one of the issues I’ve got hanging around the house 😉

    Loved the photo… warm and inviting!

    • Liz February 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

      Thanks, Sally – my husband decided last night it is his favorite of all the gratins I make during the cold months here.

      • sallybr February 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

        Now, THAT’s some endorsement! 🙂 I better get to this recipe sooner rather than later….

        • Liz February 26, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

          I don’t think you will be disappointed – let me know?

  2. Jayne February 26, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    This sounds great! its nice to see a different way to prepare parsnips, I never think to make a gratin with vegetables, thanks for the idea!

    • Liz February 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

      I hope you try it, Jayne – I’m using less cream and more milk next time.

  3. The Wimpy Vegetarian February 26, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    I love Fine Cooking magazine too!! And love gratins. They do indeed make a great vegetarian entree since I can just add some grains or legumes to it. It’s such a wonderful meal in the fall and winter.

    • Liz February 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

      Susan, you were the one who taught me about “Fine Cooking” – thanks!

  4. Deb February 26, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    My Mom adores parsnips and would often add them to soups and stews. She doesn’t cook anymore and would love a dish of the fabulous gratin!

    • Liz February 26, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

      I came to love parsnips late in life – they always seem “fussed” at the check-lout lane, wondering about the correct code 😉

  5. Lynda - TasteFood February 27, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    I love gratins and root vegetables – this is perfect.

    • Liz February 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      Would like to pair this with one of your super braises.

  6. Beth (OMG! Yummy) February 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Well I must admit, it’s possible I’ve never made one! I love the idea of carrots and parsnips as well as the color. I will give it a try!

    • Liz February 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      That was like me and frittatas until brunch here last weekend.

  7. Lisa February 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Liz this photo is gorgeous! I love the light. This looks like a great recipe and a fun way to get veggies on the table.

    • Liz February 28, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      Thanks, Lisa – not exactly on my diet but will work with 2% milk as well. Love root veggies.

  8. Kim March 1, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    Wonderful way to serve winter vegetables. 🙂 I’d like to make a version of this for next Wednesday’s dinner.


    • Liz March 2, 2013 at 7:55 am #

      Nice way to get folks to eat their veggies 😉

  9. Oui, Chef March 5, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    I live for forgiving dishes. Thanks for another great one, Liz!

    • Liz March 5, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      You are the gratin master, chef Steve…

  10. Karen October 4, 2022 at 10:07 am #

    Hi Liz,
    Getting ready for Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. I have made the Fine Cooking recipe before, and it calls for simmering the carrots in the milk first. This step is time consuming/messy and I’ve always had a problem with the milk curdling. Seems you don’t precook – is that correct? Looking forward to trying it with carrots and parsnips. Thanks!

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