Sweet and Spicy Roasted Root Vegetables 4.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post; food styling by Amanda Soto/The Washington Post

Nourish Oct 15, 2014

Roasting mellows and deepens a vegetable's flavors, caramelizes it outside and keeps it tender and moist inside. The method is tailor-made for hearty fall and winter vegetables: Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, winter squash and, as in this recipe, root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and parsnips.

Here, they are seasoned with an aromatic mix of warm, vibrant spices, plus a generous kick of cayenne pepper to contrast with the vegetables' inherent sweetness and a touch of honey to enhance it. The dish is practically effortless, but the flavor payoff is tremendous.

Serve as a main course, or with roast chicken, turkey or pork.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 medium parsnips, scrubbed well or peeled
  • 5 medium carrots, scrubbed well or peeled
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 10 ounces each)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together the cumin, coriander, ginger, salt, cinnamon, cayenne, honey and oil in a large mixing bowl.

Cut the parsnips in half from top to bottom, then cut each in half horizontally (to create a total of 20 quarters; you might need to further cut the thicker upper parts of the parsnips). Cut the carrots in the same way. Peel the sweet potatoes, then cut them into 1-inch pieces. Add the vegetables to the bowl and toss to coat evenly.

Spread the vegetables on the baking sheets in a single layer, drizzling over them any spice mixture left in the bowl. Roast for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are tender and browned in spots but not dried out. Serve warm.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick and Kara Elder.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.