Try a different approach to fries and give our air fryer parsnip fries a whirl. Crispy outside, soft inside, and a delicious sweet, nutty flavour, air fryer parsnip fries are fantastic and a healthier side dish option.
Why You’ll Love This Side Dish
My kids love potato fries. Who doesn’t? However, not something you can have every day. They’re a moreish side dish that gets devoured before the main!
Since I bought the air fryer, I have been trying vegetables that can be a healthier substitute for potato fries.
Sweet potato fries were the first healthy fries option I tried. I used to make them in the oven, but in the air fryer, they are better. Sweeter flavours and crispier texture. However, sometimes I do miss that starchy comfort that potato fries deliver.
I then tried Air Fryer Eggplant. Oh, they were delicious too—however, completely different in texture and mouthfeel to potato chips or fries. I love eggplant chips but not quite the substitute for potato fries.
Finally, I got to parsnips, and that’s where I found a winner for healthy fries.
Crispy on the outside but soft and starchy on the inside. Air fryer parsnip fries are slightly sweeter with nutty flavours. They are healthier than potato fries as they have less carbs but more fibre.
I love the texture and flavours of air fryer parsnip fries. To me, they are the closest substitute for potato fries. Oh, and while you have the air fryer out, you can also try my Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers, Air Fryer Cauliflower and Roasted Chickpeas and Air Fryer Potatoes.
Try our air fryer parsnip fries with grilled fish, steak, barbeque chicken or as a roast dinner side dish.
What Are Parsnips?
Parsnip is a root vegetable that is closely related to the carrot. It has a long taproot with cream coloured skin and flesh and a leafy green top. They even look a bit like a carrot but just white!
Although readily available all year round now, parsnips are sweeter in winter. They have a sweet earthy flavour and are incredibly versatile in the kitchen.
Best Way To Cook Parsnips
Parsnips can be like the forgotten vegetable. You see it at the greengrocer and think, oh yes, you need to try it someday, but then you don’t always think of a recipe that includes parsnips.
Parsnips can be used in many different ways. One of the best ways to cook parsnips is to roast them. Roasting brings out the sweetness with the crispy bits on the edge. You can also mash parsnips, throw them in soups, make crispy parsnip ribbons for our baby corn salad and of course, make healthy parsnip fries!
Tips For Air Fryer Parsnip Fries
- Try not to overfill the air fryer basket to give it room to fry properly. Do give the air fryer basket a shake to make sure the hot air can circulate well during the frying process.
- Choose smaller parsnips vs larger ones. Larger parsnips are not as sweet and have a woody core.
You can adjust seasoning according to your taste.
- Slice parsnip fries according to the thickness you like. I like stringy fries.
Flavour/Texture: Parsnips deliver a sweet, nutty flavour as a vegetable. Mixed with maple syrup, paprika and garlic powder, you get an aromatic, smokey and earthy kind of fries. They are crisp but not too oily in texture.
Together with the tangy red pepper mayo, it is a great healthy fries side dish to have at any gathering.
Ease: This air fryer parsnip fries side dish falls into the beginner air fryer recipes category. There is not a lot of technical cooking involved. As for the red pepper mayo, I put everything in the food processor to blitz. A quick side dish to make.
Time: The cooking time of parsnip fries may vary, depending on the size and efficiency of your air fryer. You may need to complete in batches. Otherwise, this air fryer side dish can be done in 30 minutes.
These are the ingredients you need in Air Fryer Parsnip Fries.
Parsnip: Fresh parsnips are firm to hold and do not have soft spots. I prefer to choose small to medium-sized parsnips as larger parsnips tend to have a woody core.
Maple syrup: To enhance the earthy sweetness of parsnips, I added a little maple syrup to the seasoning.
Paprika: I really like the subtle heat and smoky earthiness paprika adds to dishes. It goes well with parsnip to bring out the sweet woody flavours.
Garlic powder: Garlic powder is dried garlic, finely ground. I use it when I want to add the garlic taste and punch to a dish but do not want fresh garlic’s actual texture. It is a great seasoning to add to dry rubs, salts and marinades.
Marinated red peppers: You can, of course, roast your own peppers for the mayo, but I just used pre-marinated peppers in a jar. Full of flavour and takes a good 30 minutes off the recipe.
Mayonnaise: Use a good quality mayonnaise to create a creamy mixture with the roasted peppers.
Variations and Substitutions
Bake in the oven: If you don’t have an air fryer, bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, flipping halfway.
Cooking oil spray: If you don’t have cooking oil spray, just add 1 tablespoon of neutral tasting oil like vegetable or avocado oil when seasoning the parsnip fries.
Seasoning variations: There are many different seasoning options you can add instead of paprika and garlic powder. Try these:
- fresh rosemary and sea salt
- dried oregano with onion powder
- chilli flakes, finely chopped parsley and salt
- turmeric and paprika
Vegan option: Air fryer parsnip fries are vegan, but the red pepper mayo is not. You can switch the dipping sauce to make this recipe vegan friendly.
Follow these instructions on how to make Air Fryer Parsnip Fries.
Peel and cut parsnip into fry shapes. I cut the parsnips in half and then into 4-6 long thin strips. I would estimate approximately 8-10cm length and 1.5cm-2cm width. However, it will depend on the size of your parsnip.
In a large mixing bowl, add cut parsnips with maple syrup, garlic powder, salt and paprika.
Mix well to make sure parsnip fries are well coated with seasoning.
Spray parsnip fries with cooking oil of choice.
If required, preheat the air fryer for 3 minutes at 200°C or 400°F. Depending on your air fryer, you may or may not need to preheat the air fryer. For me, it works better when preheated.
Place seasoned parsnip fries in an air fryer basket and fry for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
I normally check my air fryer cooking halfway through and give the basket a good shake so that the hot air can circulate through the fries properly.
How To Make Red Pepper Mayo
To make the red pepper mayo, place marinated roasted red peppers, mayonnaise, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
Serve air fryer parsnips chips with red pepper mayo on the side.
How to Serve
Here are some main dishes that will go well with Air Fryer Parsnip Fries.
Burgers and chips. How can we go wrong? These Irish pub burgers will go down a treat! For our keto/low-carb followers, you may like to try this blackened salmon recipe which can be baked in under 15 minutes.
If you love slow cooking and meat that is fork tender, these smoked beef short ribs will be what you’re after. Served up with the parsnip fries, it would be an awesome meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Parsnip stores well in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks. Keep dry, loosely wrap in a plastic bag and store in the vegetable crisper.
Parsnips can be frozen as well and used later. Peel and cut parsnips into desired shapes. Blanch for a couple of minutes and then drain well. Store in freezer bags for up to 3 months.
No, you don’t need to parboil parsnips before placing them into the air fryer. We are making parsnip fries, so the thin strips won’t take long to fry.
I usually peel parsnips before making air fryer parsnip fries, but you may not need to if you have small parsnips. Just make sure to wash well to remove any excess dirt.
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can easily make this recipe in the oven or deep fryer. So what’s the fuss with air fryers these days?
The main difference between an air fryer versus a deep fryer is the amount of oil used in the frying process.
To deep fry anything, you need enough hot oil to submerge your food into it. Deep frying will cook quickly as it fries all sides at the same time. It also removes the water content from the outer layer and traps the juices inside, leaving you a crispy crust and juicy middle.
However, the downside of deep frying is the amount of oil used and absorbed. Hence it is never considered a very healthy method to cook.
Air fryer on the other hand only requires a small amount of oil to fry. It uses extreme hot air to circulate the food item and fries the outer layer.
I must say, if you prefer the true taste of deep fried food, nothing beats deep frying. However, if you prefer less oil and a far healthier option, an air fryer is a great option.
So next time you are craving potato fries but prefer something healthier, give parsnips a whirl in the air fryer.
I love the unique sweet, nutty flavours of parsnip fries with the crispy bits from the air fryer. Amazing partner with my red pepper mayo as well. Delicious, easy and a great side dish to share.
More Budget Side Dishes
Air Fryer Parsnip Fries
Air Fryer Parsnip Fries
Red Pepper Mayo
- 2 red pepper, marinated
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- Peel and cut parsnip into thin strips.
- In a large mixing bowl, add parsnips with maple syrup, garlic powder, salt and paprika. Mix well to make sure parsnip chips are well coated with seasoning.
- Spray parsnip fries with cooking oil of choice.
- Preheat the air fryer for 3 minutes at 200°C or 400°F. Place in an air fryer basket and fry for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Place marinated red peppers, mayonnaise, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
- Serve air fryer parsnips chips with roasted pepper mayo on the side.
- If you don’t have an air fryer, bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, flipping halfway.
- Don’t overfill the air fryer basket to give it room to fry properly. Fry in two batches if required.
- Choose small-medium parsnips over larger ones.
- You can adjust seasoning according to your taste or try other combinations like:
– fresh rosemary and sea salt
– dried oregano with onion powder
– chilli flakes, finely chopped parsley and salt
– turmeric and paprika
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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