I'm looking at some recipes for roasted root vegetables and there appears to be a split between those that par boil then roast for ~30 minutes versus those that just roast for ~45 minutes

Excluding potatoes - where there appears to be a consensus that par boiling is necessary, what are the pros and cons of each approach? and is it more important for particular types of root veg?

4 Answers 4


Parboil if you like your moist (boiled) veg to have a bit of color and chewiness.

No parboil if you like veg flavor concentrated and texture to be more leathery.

  • 1
    So I decided not to par boil - carrots - and found the result quite good. Certainly a little chewier than a steamed or boiled carrot, but in a good way Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 19:52

I think this depends on how big the pieces are, and of course which ingredients. Some veg cook faster than others.

If you are using 1 inch or smaller pieces, you may not need to parboil, but if you are using larger pieces you may wish to par boil for longer as the pieces get bigger.

This lets you cook the interior without burning the exterior when you roast.

Of course if you add things like squash or broccoli to the veg roast, add those last and they don't need par boiling.

  • How your oven retains moisture, how much steam some other ingredients in the dish give off, and how oil etc will interfere with moisture, will also influence the result... Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 16:30
  • Yes, that's about knowing your tools. Every stove and oven is different.
    – Escoce
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 17:13

Parboil potatoes, carrots, turnips and celeriac and the like because they are very dense. Don't parboil onions or other less dense roots.


Parboil is faster and useful if you can't vary the heat of your oven e.g roasting a bird. However I find cooking root veg whole at a lower heat for longer keeps root veg moist inside. Carrots and parsnips at 160 Cecius/140 fan for 1.5 hours.

I tend to cook my carrots Vichy style. Put single layer in pan with butter, a wee but of sugar and maybe some star anise which is lovely. Once they are soft you can fish out and pan fry briefly for a crispy coating. The real bonus is that adding a little stock to the carrot cooking juice and reducing gives you a magnificent sauce with the added bonus of carrot vitamins and minerals which may be lost to the water when parboiling.

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