Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Parsnip Pancakes with Caramelized Onions & Sour Cream

Scott Phillips

Servings: four.

These pancakes are perfect partners for a simple roast like pork, lamb, or chicken. The onions can be cooked ahead and reheated just before serving; the parsnips can also be parcooked, grated, and combined with the chopped leek a few hours ahead. 


  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, thinly sliced (to yield about 2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. small to medium parsnips (about 6  medium), peeled (if very thick, halve them lengthwise)
  • 1 medium leek, white part only, finely chopped (to yield about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • Sour cream for garnish

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 320
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 170
  • Fat (g): 19
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11
  • Cholesterol (mg): 70
  • Sodium (mg): 620
  • Carbohydrates (g): 34
  • Fiber (g): 6
  • Protein (g): 5


  • In a medium skillet, heat 1 Tbs. each of the olive oil and butter over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and golden, 20 to 25 minutes; reduce the heat if they brown too quickly. Season with salt to taste and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts salted water to a boil. Add the parsnips (cut them in half if they don’t fit in the pan) and cook for 3 minutes. Drain, run under cold water to cool them quickly, and drain again very well. Grate the parsnips in a food processor fitted with a medium grating disk. In a medium bowl, combine the parsnips,  leek, and egg. Stir in the flour, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper.
  • In a 10-to 12-inch heavy skillet, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil and 1 Tbs. butter over medium-high heat until the foam subsides. Shape the parsnip mixture into four equal balls. Put them in the skillet and press on each with a flat spatula to make a cake about 3-1/2 inches wide. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until browned on one side, 4 to 6  minutes. Turn the cakes over and brown the other side, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip to recrisp the first side, about 30 seconds. Drain briefly on paper towels and then serve while hot, garnished with a large dollop of sour cream and the caramelized onions.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • User avater
    hanseata | 01/27/2019

    Very nice recipe! I used a 1/4-cup scoop to portion the pancake mixture directly into the skillet. Much easier than trying to shape it into balls first (and less messy). Also, smaller pancakes are easier to flip and, also, are crispier.

  • bellish | 01/21/2012

    love.love.love these! Made them with a roast, instead of typical potatoes. The pungent, almost peppery flavor of the parsnips is beautifully balanced by the sweet, caramelized onions. I added a little balsamic vinegar at the end of their caramelizing and reduced for a few minutes which added a deeper layer of sweetness to the onions. I think that a little fresh goat cheese instead of the sour cream would also be nice.oh... also, I didn't have any leeks so I used scallions instead.And I have to eat gluten free so just substituted rice flour for the wheat flour. Perfect!

  • MarkAndIngrid | 12/31/2011

    These are "eyes-roll-back-in-the-head" good. Not kidding! We too have made this recipe several times. It's a favorite at our house.

  • Claudine | 08/30/2009

    I LOVE this recipe. I have made it several times. My kids love this too!

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 50%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial