Ariadne's New England Parsnip-Apple-Onion Bake

Buttery smooth parsnips, delicately sweetened with apples, caramelized onions, and nutmeg, with lemon and pepper seasoning, make a delicious complement to poultry or spiced fish entrees. Casserole can be prepared up to one day in advance, just cover and refrigerate before baking. Leftovers are great reheated in the morning as a side to eggs with biscuits and sausage gravy.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
1 9-inch pie


  • 4 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 ½ cups water

  • ½ pound parsnips, peeled cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

  • ½ bay leaf

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • ¾ cup butter, at room temperature, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg, or to taste

  • ¼ teaspoon powdered lemon rind

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 lemon wedge

  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced


  1. Combine broth, water, parsnips, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover partially, and cook until parsnips are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Coat a 9-inch glass pie plate with 1 tablespoon butter.

  3. Add 1/2 cup butter, nutmeg, and lemon rind to the bowl with the parsnips. Use an electric mixer to beat until mixed thoroughly but still slightly chunky. Transfer mixture to the prepared pie plate.

  4. Melt remaining butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Spread onion evenly over parsnip mixture.

  5. Place apple slices in a bowl and add a squeeze of lemon juice; toss to coat. Spread apple slices evenly over onion. Season with additional lemon juice, nutmeg, and pepper.

  6. Bake in the preheated oven until heated through and top is beginning to crisp, about 25 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

You can use a Macintosh apple in place of the Granny Smith apple, if you prefer.

You can use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.

You can add 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan or Cheddar cheese as a last-minute topping before serving warm. Or, add 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger before baking for a candied parsnips version.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

211 Calories
18g Fat
13g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 211
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 11g 57%
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 211mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 20mg 98%
Calcium 37mg 3%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 197mg 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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