A Trio of Techniques to Cook Root Vegetables + Tasty Recipes

Root veggies cooked the right way have so much great flavor. Our techniques and recipes will have you cooking them like a pro.

Updated January 12, 2024
Roasted root vegetables

We love root vegetables as a tasty side, especially during the winter when other farm-fresh veggies aren't available. And while many people have a love 'em or hate 'em relationship with root veggies, we think that when you cook them the right way, they're absolutely delicious. 

That's why we're offering tips and recipes for how to cook root vegetables. Because if you're in the dislike camp (or you just don't love them as much as you could), we're here to change your mind. When cooked the right way, root vegetables are absolutely delicious.

How to Roast Root Vegetables

roasted root veggies

Roasting root vegetables brings out deep, warm, satisfying flavors. When you roast root veggies with some oil and herbs, you'll wind up with a deeply caramelized main dish or side dish. You can roast root vegetables by themselves, in conjunction with other root veggies, or alongside a roast, chicken, or turkey.

To roast root veggies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking tray or two (depending on how many veggies you use) with parchment.
  2. Cut any combo of root veggies into the same-sized pieces. We like leaving peels on for flavor, but you can peel them if you want.
  3. Toss them with oil or your favorite melted fat (we're fans of duck fat at our house), salt, pepper, and seasonings (rosemary and thyme are particularly delish with root veggies).  Use just enough oil so all pieces are lightly coated.
  4. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Make sure the pieces don't overlap and there's a little space between each veggie piece. 
  5. Roast until the veggies start to brown and are tender. This will take anywhere from about 20 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces you cut. 
Need to Know

If you eat the part that grows underground, it's a root veggie. This includes potatoes, sweet potatoes, celeriac, beets, onions, turnips, parsnips, carrots, radishes, and more. 

Roast Chicken With Carrots, Turnips, and Potatoes

chicken and veggies

This delicious recipe yields a chicken with a dark, crispy crust as well as flavorful root vegetables.


  • 1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds, giblets removed
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh sage
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • ¼ pound turnips, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ pound baby carrots
  • ½ pound fingerling potatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. 
  3. Season the bird inside and out with salt and pepper.
  4. Place onion, crushed garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, and lemon in the chicken's cavity.
  5. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan, breast side up.
  6. Roast the chicken for 60 minutes.
  7. While chicken roasts, toss turnips, carrots, and potatoes with olive oil. Season with a little kosher salt and black pepper.
  8. When the chicken reaches 165°F the breast, remove it from the oven. Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and set it aside on a cutting board, tented with foil. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes while the vegetables cook.
  9. Remove all but two tablespoons of drippings from the roasting pan.
  10. Add the root vegetables, stirring to toss with the drippings from the chicken.
  11. Return to the oven and cook for 30 minutes, stirring once during cooking.
  12. Remove the vegetables from oven and place them in a bowl. Mix with the minced garlic.
  13. Serve the vegetables alongside the chicken.

Related: How to Make Oven-Roasted Cauliflower

Roast Beets With Balsamic Glaze

roasted beets

I used to think I was super iffy about beets (okay — I hated them). But to be fair to beets, I was being served poorly cooked canned beets. These beets are not that. They are fresh beets with gorgeous color and deep, earthy flavor that's a revelation to anyone who has only ever had them boiled or canned. 


  • 12 beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Zest from ½ orange


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Toss the beets with olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place in a single layer on the baking sheets.
  4. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, turning twice during cooking, until the beets are tender.
  5. While the beets roast, heat the balsamic vinegar, sugar, and orange zest in a small pan.
  6. Simmer over medium-high heat until it reduces to a syrup consistency.
  7. Pour over the warm beets and serve.

How to Purée Root Vegetables

sweet potato puree

When you cook and purée a root vegetable, it becomes velvety, creamy, and delicious. Since root veggies are starchy, they're the ingredient vessel for purées. Don't believe me? If you love mashed potatoes like I do, you've pretty much eaten one of the tastiest root veggie purées around. Root veggie purées also make great soups and sauces. 

To purée root vegetables:

  1. Peel the vegetables and cut them into same-sized pieces.
  2. Use any cooking method to cook until tender.
  3. Put them in a bowl, blender, or food processor with butter, cream, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings.
  4. Use an immersion blender, food processor, or blender and process until smooth.

Rutabaga Purée

rutabaga puree

This purée has butter, onions, and cream, making it a rich side for meat or poultry.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 large 1-pound rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream (or more to adjust texture)
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and rutabaga. Allow to sit in contact with the pan until liquid evaporates, about four minutes, before stirring.
  3. Continue to cook the onion and rutabaga for about eight minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the vegetable stock and thyme. Cover and allow to simmer until the rutabaga is soft and mashable, about 25 minutes.
  5. Carefully pour all ingredients into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, adding cream gradually to adjust to desired consistency.
  6. Taste and season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper as needed.

Ginger Carrot Soup

carrot ginger soup

Fragrant with ginger, this carrot soup is a thinner version of a purée. It makes a wonderful starter or vegetarian main course.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 7 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 large strips of orange zest, no pith
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Add carrots and onion. Cook until the onions are soft, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add stock, ginger, and orange zest.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook until the carrots are soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Remove the strips of orange zest. Purée the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth.

How to Braise Root Vegetables

chicken and veggie braise

Braising is a method of slow cooking using a small amount of liquid. Braising yields tender, flavorful root vegetables, particularly when combined with herbs. You can braise vegetables alone or with a stew or meat dish.

To braise root vegetables:

  1. Cut root vegetables into roughly the same-sized pieces (peel can be on or off). You can also leave them whole as long as they're small and roughly the same size.
  2. In a large pot, heat some oil on medium-high until it shimmers. 
  3. Add the root vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until they brown, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add water, stock, or another liquid to come about halfway up on the vegetables. 
  5. Add salt, pepper, and other seasonings.
  6. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover.
  7. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 20 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the veggies.
  8. Remove the lid and return the heat to medium-high. Allow the liquid to reduce by half.

Braised Turnips and Radishes

braised turnips

While many people eat radishes raw in salads, braising them is a tasty alternative.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ pound each of radishes and turnips of about the same size, peeled
  • ½ cup vegetable stock or water (or more, if necessary)
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. Melt butter in the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add radishes and turnips. Cook, stirring occasionally until the outsides begin to brown a little, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add water or stock to come up to about halfway on the vegetables.
  4. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Lower heat to medium-low.
  5. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  6. Uncover and reduce the liquid to create a glaze for the vegetables.
  7. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Beef Stew With Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips

This hearty dish makes a great winter supper.


  • 4 slices bacon, cut into pieces
  • 4 pounds boneless chuck eye roast, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 package frozen pearl onions


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. In a large, ovenproof pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp.
  3. Remove the bacon from the fat with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
  4. Liberally season the beef with salt and pepper.
  5. Working in batches, brown the beef on all sides in the bacon fat. Remove from the fat with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  6. Add onion, parsnips, and carrots to the fat in the pan. Cook until the vegetables are well browned, stirring occasionally, for about eight minutes.
  7. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until it's fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  8. Add tomato paste to the vegetables and cook until it's browned, for about four minutes.
  9. Add the flour and cook until it's golden, three to four minutes.
  10. Stir in the red wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape all cooked bits of food off the bottom of the pan.
  11. Add the chicken broth, sweet potatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and pearl onions. Return the beef and bacon to the pan.
  12. Bring the stew to a simmer, stirring constantly.
  13. Cover tightly and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2½ hours, until the meat is tender.
  14. Skim the fat from the top of the stew and serve hot.

Local, Seasonal, and Affordable

Incorporating root vegetables into your meal rotation is a great way to use affordable local and seasonal ingredients. With the right cooking techniques, these veggies shine. We think you'll learn to love them as much as we do.

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A Trio of Techniques to Cook Root Vegetables + Tasty Recipes