cover image for recipe of parsnip croquettes

Everyone loves a croquette, right? These parsnip croquettes make a lovely crunchy treat, parsnips have a slightly earthier and sweeter taste than potatoes so they hold up really well with the coating.  If you don't have time to roast them as in the recipe, you can also boil them. And you can peel and roast them the day before if you like, mash them up and put them in the fridge, and then come back next day and make the croquettes, this way you get to do two small batches of cooking. Also you can use any leftover parsnips from a roast to make this, or you can mix half and half with leftover roast potatoes too, just adjust the quantities.

Ingredients

750g parsnips (or mix of parsnips and potatoes)

Oil of choice

100g soft cheese (use a vegan cheese if dairy free or make a little vegan bechamel)

Plain flour

1 egg or plant milk for the coating

Approx 125-150g breadcrumbs or panko crumbs.
salt and pepper

You can add flavours like garlic powder, paprika, nutritional yeast if you like


Equipment

Peeler and chopping board, child safe knife

Roasting tray

Food processor or potato masher or ricer (however you would mash potatoes)

Big mixing bowl

Wooden spoon

3 bowls - for flour, egg/milk, and breadcrumbs

A plate or tray to put the floured croquettes on before breading

Tray for baking them (and a liner if needed)

Instructions for children:

Put your oven on at 180 degrees.

Peel your parsnips. be careful with your fingers. This video will show you how to peel safely. Parsnips are similar to the carrots at the start of the video.

Wash your peeled parsnips and then, with an adult, cut them up until they are all about the same size, so the fat ends get cut up into halves or quarters to make them about the same size and the thin ends. This way they will all cook at the same time. You should end up with lots of pieces that are all about as big as the pieces in the picture below.

two images of parsnips - one being grated and one of chopped parsnips

Put the parsnips on a roasting tray. Dribble a spoon of oil on them and then use your hands to rub the oil all over all the parsnip pieces. You will then need to wash your hands! With grownups, put them in the oven and put the timer on for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, ask a grown up to check if they are cooked, if they are not totally soft and you can't put a fork through them, put them on for another 10-15 minutes.

image of roasted parsnips on a tray

When they have cooled down for a bit, put them in a big bowl and mash them. This might be with a potato masher, or you might use a food processor, or you could take a few out at a time and mash them with a fork on a chopping board and then put them back in the bowl. Whatever works in your kitchen with your equipment is fine.

You don't need them to be really smooth like a puree, you just want them to be like mash potatoes, a few little lumps is ok, but if there are loads of lumps they will fall apart.

Add in your cream cheese and any flavourings you are going to use, like cheese or garlic powder. Mash it through.

Now you need to leave it to cool down completely. When it is room temperature, put it in the fridge so it can get really cold. Never put warm foods in a fridge, because the warmth coming off them can make the fridge warmer inside and other foods might be spoiled.

Go off and do something else for a couple of hours!

When the mash is cold, get a bowl of flour, and a plate.

Put your oven back on at 200 degrees. Put some oil or a liner or greaseproof paper on your baking tray.


Scoop up bits of parsnip mash. Use your hands to roll little sausages of mash. You don't want them too big or they won't crisp up. The first picture the mash is too big and had to be split into two pieces. Try to make them about the same size as the ones in the bottom photos.

When you make each one the right size, roll them in a bit of flour and then put them on a plate.

grid of images of hands rolling mash into croquettes and coating in flour

When all of your mash sausages are made, clean up your surface and your hands.

Get a bowl and crack your egg into it and beat it with a fork. You might want to add a little bit of milk to it. Or you can just use a milk or plant milk.

Put your breadcrumbs into another bowl. If you want to add some flavour to them you can add sprinnkles of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder or paprika!

You can have a little bowl of water or a cloth nearby to wipe your hands when they get mucky if you like. If you rub a little bit of oil on your hands before you start, the mixture won't stick to your hands as much.

Dip each croquette sausage into the egg and roll it around. Then drop it into the breadcrumbs and roll it in there. Some people can use one hand to do the eggy bit and the other hand to do the crumby bit. But don't worry if you need to use your best hand for both things, it's really tricky to do different hands! Just wipe or rinse your messy hand every few croquettes with the bowl of water and cloth so you don't get too many breadcrumbs mixed in with the egg.

Here is a short video showing you how to put egg and breadcrumbs on your croquettes (they are using sliced vegetables). You can use a spoon or fork to turn the croquettes around in the filling if you like, but you shouldn't scoop them out of the egg with the spoon or you will spoon up too much egg and put it in the crumbs, or squash the croquette! This is a job where it is ok to get messy! As you get each one done, put it on your baking tray with spaces between them.

When they are all made, get a grown up to help you put them in the oven. Check them after 15 minutes. If they aren't crispy yet, give them five more minutes.

image of a tray of cooked parsnip croquettes
This version from BBC Good Food uses a bechamel sauce instead of cheese to cream the mash. It also fries the croquettes but you could mix and match the recipes. You can use this bechamel version to veganize it with substitutes if you are dairy free and don't have a favourite vegan cream cheese.

If you have an air fryer, this potato croquette recipe from Fork To Spoon has the right instructions.