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Browned parsnips layered with tomatoes, cheese and cream and baked in a rich, sweet sauce. This is a cheap, easy-to-make and delicious old-fashioned vegetarian main. Serve with just a salad and bread to sop up the juices, or with cooked grains and greens.


  • Oil for frying, e.g. sunflower
  • 25g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 350-400g parsnips, peeled & thinly sliced into rounds
  • 250g tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • 75g Gruyère, emmental or Cheddar, grated
  • 125ml double cream
  • Small handful dried breadcrumbs
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/Gas 4.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and a knob of butter in a frying pan.
  3. Sprinkle in the sugar and lay the parsnips over the top.
  4. If you can’t fit them all in at the same time, divide the parsnips and sugar in half and fry in two batches.
  5. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, until starting to caramelise.
  6. Grease a casserole or baking dish with butter.
  7. Layer the parsnips, tomatoes and cheese, seasoning each layer.
  8. Finish with a layer of cheese. Pour over the cream.
  9. Top with the breadcrumbs, dot with the rest of the butter.
  10. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden and the parsnips are tender.

Cooks notes

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