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Can You Eat Raw Parsnip? Yes, It’s Actually Good !

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Did you ever make a soup or any other food containing parsnip, and when peeling it, you asked yourself, is it good to be eaten raw?

This question came through my mind, but I didn’t try since I don’t like the raw parsnip smell.

So I decided to research the topic a bit, first to see if it somehow is poisonous since some vegetables can be poisonous when eaten raw, and second to check what people think about the taste and texture of raw parsnip.

And in this article, I will share what I’ve found with you.

raw parsnip

Can you eat raw parsnip?

Yes, raw parsnip is safe to eat. It can be used when making salads, and it is very nutritious.

It is, for sure, a good option if you are on a diet. It tastes a bit sweet nutty with licorice flavor.

Now I know why I haven’t tried it since the taste and smell of licorice are very off-putting for me.

But I have to admit that it is very useful when boiled and used for soups or other recipes.

Read Also: Best Celeriac Substitutes

Can you eat parsnip leaves?

Yes, parsnip leaves are edible, and they can be used in salads like celery leaves.

I noticed that some people have allergies to them, so if you are an allergic-type person, it would be better to avoid them since many things can substitute parsnip leaves in a salad.

Make sure you wash the leaves very well before using them since a lot of farmers will use pesticides or other things like that to protect their harvest.

parsnip leaves

Do parsnips need to be peeled?

Young small parsnip doesn’t need to be peeled necessarily; just make sure that you clean them thoroughly. But bigger, older ones are recommended to be peeled since the peel is thicker with a leathery texture and a lot more dirt or messy things on it.

I know peeling vegetables can be one of the most annoying things when cooking, but a good peeler or a sharp knife should help a lot.

What can you make with parsnip?

-Salad. As I said before, you can use raw parsnip for a salad. The best way is to cut thin parsnip slices using a peeler since it has quite a strong taste; you don’t want it in big chunks.

-Soup. You can boil parsnip in many types of soup. You can cut it into thin slices and boil in the soup, or you can peel a big parsnip, boil it in the soup and get it out when the soup is done. This way, you will get a good-tasting soup without the parsnip texture if you don’t like it.

-Creamy parsnip soup. This is a great healthy dish and very well suited for a diner if you want to incorporate more vegetables into your meals. 

You can combine it with other vegetables if you don’t want the full taste of parsnip, which can be too much sometimes.

Combining with peas, broccoli, potatoes, or cauliflower can be a good idea for a nice healthy creamy soup. But you can combine it with whatever you want and think it will work well for a soup cream.

-Fried Parsnip Chips. Everybody loves Fried Potato Chips, and by using parsnip instead of potatoes, you can get almost the same taste, with a very similar texture but a healthier version.

-Roasted parsnip. Roasted parsnip can be a great and healthy side dish. Also, you can combine it with other legumes as well; carrots, eggplants, and bell peppers are some great ideas.

-Dessert. There is even potential for making a good dessert with parsnip. Once I heard about parsnip & maple syrup cake, but honestly, I didn’t try it yet, but it could be interesting.

Read Also: Carrot Cake Without Carrots

How to buy fresh parsnip

If you plan to eat raw parsnip, the first step should be to make sure that you buy a good fresh parsnip.

You should go for small ones, a bigger parsnip can be more convenient, but usually, it will not taste as good as a small, younger parsnip. If you plan to eat it raw, I recommend peeling even younger ones since they can still have some pesticides on them even if you wash them carefully.

If somehow you can find ones that still have the greens attached, you should choose them since they are more likely to be fresh than those without the greens.


So we found out that you can safely eat raw parsnip. But there are many ways to cook the parsnip that will get you a much greater taste out of it.

If you still want to eat it raw, I suggest you eat it in combination with something else since the taste can be a bit too strong if eaten by itself.

Also make sure you choose a good fresh one from the store, this way you have fewer chances of being disappointed.


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