If you’re looking for the perfect herbs to pair with carrots and parsnips, you’ve come to the right place.
Parsnips are a root vegetable that have a flavor reminiscent of carrots and celery mixed together—they’re like if carrots had a cooler, older sibling.
Carrots’ sweetness is a perfect complement to parsnips’ earthiness, making them highly versatile for both savory and sweet dishes.
So what herbs pair best with carrots and parsnips?
When you’re looking for herbs to pair with carrots and parsnips, it helps to think about these characteristics.
- Do you want to bring out the sweetness?
- Give them a stronger flavor while using the same amount of herbs?
- Make them more savory?
Herbs that work well with carrots and parsnips include rosemary, thyme, sage, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Which one you choose depends on your goal.
Rosemary and thyme will bring out their natural sweetness while adding a very strong herb flavor.
If you love either rosemary or thyme, this can make a great combination!
Sage makes them more savory; if you want to use the vegetables in place of meat in a vegetarian recipe, this could be an option for you.
Nutmeg and cinnamon add sweetness with an aromatic quality that’s reminiscent of baking.
Read on to find out more!
What Herbs Go with Carrots and Parsnips (17 Options)
Carrots and parsnips are both rooted vegetables that can be used in many different recipes, including soups, stews, roasts, and salads.
Some of the best herbs to use with carrots and parsnips are:
Dill is the most common herb that people think of when they think about pairing something with carrots.
It’s got bright, citrusy notes that can really bring out the best in a carrot-based dish.
Cilantro is another herb that goes beautifully with carrots and parsnips.
If you’ve never tried it before, you might be hesitant—but don’t let its polarizing reputation sway you!
It’s got a beautiful citrusy flavor, with some floral notes as well.
You might think mint is only good for mojitos and gum.
But it can really add a lift to your favorite carrot or parsnip dish.
We recommend pairing it with soy sauce, fish sauce, or sesame oil in any dish you’d be inclined to dip in ranch dressing.
It’s especially great on raw carrot sticks!
Parsley, on the other hand, is almost always used in savory dishes.
It’s extremely versatile, since it goes well with pretty much any spice or flavor profile you might want to add to your dish—though it pairs especially well with carrots and parsnips due to their similar earthy flavors.
Basil is well-known for its distinct smell, which has notes of anise, mint, and clove.
This herb is the perfect pairing for carrot and parsnip dishes because it brings out the sweetness of both vegetables while adding a hint of spice that adds depth to your meal.
You can’t go wrong with basil!
This herb’s flavor is similar to that of fennel seeds and aniseed, but it has an earthier, more bitter edge.
It’s a common ingredient in rye bread, which gives you an idea of how well it pairs with the roots’ slight sweetness and earthiness—it’s perfect for when you want to temper their sweetness with something a little more biting.
Sage has a strong earthy flavor that’s similar to oregano but not as pungent.
It’s great in sauces or pesto and its woodsy taste helps bring out the herbal flavor in your other ingredients so they’ll really pop on your plate.
Rosemary is a hearty herb that pairs particularly well with roasted carrots and parsnips.
Try preparing both together in a cast iron skillet with some rosemary sprigs and olive oil.
This dish is perfect as a side next to your Thanksgiving turkey!
Thyme goes great with mashed carrots and parsnips, but also makes for an excellent flavor combo when added to baked goods like muffins.
Try adding thyme, butter, and brown sugar for a fun twist on carrot cake!
If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding honey instead of—or in addition to—the brown sugar.
Marjoram has a light, floral flavor that works perfectly with the balance of sweet and savory in carrots and parsnips.
Try adding some to your next batch of roasted vegetables!
One of the most popular herbs in French cooking, tarragon has a flavor profile that’s mildly sweet and peppery at the same time.
Its natural affinity for chicken makes it a great choice in recipes that feature both carrots and parsnips, as well as chicken.
Chives are another great herb that pairs exceptionally well with parsnips and carrots.
Their mild onion flavor adds an extra dose of savoriness without being overpowering—it’s like they know exactly how much to contribute to the dish without taking over completely!
Oregano is more than just the herb in your marinara sauce—it’s also an amazing pairing for roasted carrots and parsnips!
The slight bitterness of oregano pairs beautifully with the sweetness of these root vegetables, making it worthy of starring in any dish.
If you want to really wow your guests at your next dinner party, try serving this roasted carrot and parsnip dish with an oregano oil drizzle on top!
Chervil is an ancient herb similar in appearance to parsley but with a mild licorice flavor.
It is ideal for soups, sauces, and salads, as well as in fish dishes.
Try chopping chervil and sprinkling it on baked carrots or parsnips for an extra boost of flavor and color!
15. Lemon balm
This herb smells like lemon and mint mixed together, which is hardly surprising because it’s actually part of both families (it’s related to mint, oregano, basil, rosemary, and lemon verbena).
Lemon balm goes well with sweet carrots and earthy parsnips. Try it in a stir fry or roasted vegetable side dish!
Fennel has a strong licorice flavor, which many people associate with root vegetables like carrots and parsnips because of its slight sweetness.
To use fennel in your cooking, cut off the fronds at the top of the plant (and save them for later) then slice off the bottom bulb.
Slice it lengthwise and remove the core (which can be tough), then slice or chop the fennel into strips or cubes.
You can also shred it by slicing it thinly lengthwise—this is great for adding to salads or soups.
The fronds can be used as a garnish in any dish, or chopped up and added just before serving.
17. Aniseed or star anise
Aniseed has a licorice-like flavor that pairs well with the sweet notes in carrots and the more complex flavors of parsnips.
We love using it in soups, stews, and teas.
Star anise is actually the dried fruit of the evergreen tree Illicium verum, which grows in Southeast Asia, but it has a very similar flavor profile to aniseed.
Star anise can be used interchangeably with aniseed in most recipes; we recommend using it when you’re adding liquid to your dish as it tends to have a stronger taste than aniseed when it comes into contact with water.
What Herbs Go with Carrots and Parsnips (17 Options)
- Lemon balm
- Aniseed or star anise
- Pick your favorite herbs from this list to use in your meal.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Be ready to munch in no time!