Orange-Braised Carrots & Parsnips

3 Comments 21 November 2012

My boss got the new Ina Garten cookbook in recently and I had the chance the pore over it briefly with her. As in saying, “Yes!” A lot. Then I took the chance to buy it right after. I just love Garten’s recipes and approach to cooking. While, yeah, some of her recipes are a little on the expensive side to make, sometimes I like treating the fam to a special something. But, I do think she offers a lot of simple yet still incredibly yummy and inexpensive options. This recipe is one of the latter and it’s getting made again for our Thanksgiving feast this week. Rock on, Ina, as per usual!

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Parsnips were another new thing for the sis blogging partner and I. They are exactly as they seemed – the paler, slightly less flavorful cousins of the carrot. I can just imagine Parsnip always had it a little harder next to the tasty satisfaction of its yummier cousin, Carrot. Poor, poor Parsnip.

Fortunately we’re here for you, Parsnip!

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You’re going to need to sacrifice about three large navel oranges or an equivalent number of smaller ones to get this stuff. We actually ended up not needing it all; there was some liquid left in the pan. But. You yourself might need it all, we just can’t be sure what shenanigans will go down in your own kitchen. Just be prepared in case you might need the second half cup called for.

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The particularly wonderful thing about this recipe is you kind of do the set it and forget it type of thing. Place all the ingredients called for in a heavy pan like a Dutch oven, cover and place in the oven. Let it cook undisturbed for an hour and a half. I know, that sounds like a long time for ‘ole Parsnip and Carrot, but it was perfect on our end and Parsnip is actually a bit harder in raw form than Carrot. Parsnip’s no slouch!

If you don’t have a Dutch oven, just use your fave roasting pan or baking dish and cover it tightly with foil before baking.

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Carrot and Parsnip are a little tricksy. When you unveil the results it doesn’t look as if they’ve done much in the way of cooking, but our bunch was perfectly braised and just right in texture. Not too soft, not too firm. The flavors are subtle until you either take some of the pan juices left over, and the shallots, and spoon them over the veggies, or take that leftover orange juice and sprinkle a little on, possibly a little more salt and pepper.

Orange-Braised Carrots & Parsnips 2

Obviously these are perfect for Thanksgiving, but you probably have all your plans in place for that now if you’re in the U.S. and celebrating. Of course, we think you can make these just about any time if the weather’s not too hot. It’s so easy, it tastes really damn fine and it’s inexpensive to make. In other words – just perfect.

Orange-Braised Carrots & Parsnips

from Barefoot Contessa, Foolproof Recipes You Can Trust by Ina Garten

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours    Level: Easy    Serves: 6

  • 1 pound carrots
  • 1 pound parsnips
  • 1/3 cup small-diced shallots (1 large)
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1¼ cups freshly squeezed orange juice, divided (3 oranges)
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • fresh parsley for serving, optional

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Trim and scrub or peel the carrots and parsnips. If the parsnips are thick, slice them in half or quarters lengthwise so they are about the same width as the carrots.

Place the carrots and parsnips in a pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, that’s large enough for the vegetables to lie flat. Add the shallots, orange zest, ¾ cup of the orange juice, the olive oil, thyme, red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper.

Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover tightly with a lid or heavy-duty foil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 1½ hours, until the carrots and parsnips are very tender. Discard the thyme bundle. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of orange juice and the parsley and season to taste. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.


As said above, you can probably do these, if you don’t have a dutch oven, in a baking dish covered tightly with aluminum foil.

You may or may not want to use all the orange juice. We chose not to add in the second half cup because there were lots of good juices left with ours to spoon back over the veggies.

Though the directions say to place them in a single layer, ours were stacked about two deep and they cooked fine and tasted wonderful. I’d say the parsnips were a little less flavored but I enjoyed them a lot anyway.

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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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3 Comments so far

  1. jmc says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, it looks delicious. In the last year or so, I discovered the parsnip — never ate it as a kid and it’s not regularly stocked in my closest grocery store. But the newer, more expensive store that opened in my neighborhood has an amazing produce dept that has me trying new things, and I’ve found that I love roasted parsnips and carrots 🙂

  2. Silly Apron says:

    I love this recipe in fact it’s my favorite carrot dish. I tried it without parsnip once and it’s not as good. I also tried it recently with rainbow carrots, so beautiful!

    • KMont says:

      Your rainbow carrots were so pretty! I can never find those in our area. I agree the parsnips are an important part.

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