Spring Parsnip Noodles with Ramps, Baby Kale and Ham

I know what you’re thinking: she used real spaghetti in this picture and is calling...

Spring Parsnip Noodles with Ramps, Baby Kale and Ham

I know what you’re thinking: she used real spaghetti in this picture and is calling it parsnip noodles.

Well, I’m here to tell you that these are actually parsnip noodles. The key to such perfect spirals? Find the largest parsnip possible and once you do, peel it and spiralize it, adding a lot of pressure to get even noodles.

This recipe is actually inspired by my Garlic Sweet Potato Noodles with Pancetta and Baby Spinach which has apparently been making it onto many of your dining tables this past week. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I’ve made some slight adjustments for a similar idea, but a whole new scrumptious flavor.

Spring Parsnip Noodles with Ramps, Baby Kale and Ham

Last Saturday, Lu and I were roaming around Jersey City on our bikes and stopped at a farmer’s market that we didn’t know had already opened. I can’t tell you how giddy I get when the farmer’s markets open up in our neighborhood.

Then, I spotted them. The most monstrous parsnips. They measured 2.75 inches in diameter! I know I’m geeking out right now, but spiralizing small vegetables, as you may already know, is difficult. Therefore, when I spot a large version of a typically small vegetable, I get excited.

I obviously bought a bunch (including a few giant carrots) and didn’t do anything with them until the end of the week. I had leftover ham from some cookbook recipe testing and a bunch of ramps that I ordered on a whim on FreshDirect. Since “the weekend = no cooking,” I decided to clean out the fridge and make this pasta dish.

Spring Parsnip Noodles with Ramps, Baby Kale and Ham

Oh, and the baby kale – I asked Lu to pick me up kale one night on his way home from work and that’s “all he could find.” But that’s alright because a) I love him and b) baby kale is cute and more manageable.

That’s a long story on how I arrived at this recipe, but I’m glad it happened the way it did.

Parsnip noodles have a very distinct taste, unlike zucchini noodles (which I find are plain, making them ideal for turning into big, luscious bowls of pasta!). That beign said, if you don’t like parsnips, you may want to give this dish a try.

Spring Parsnip Noodles with Ramps, Baby Kale and Ham

By spiralizing a parsnip, the taste isn’t as strong, but it’s still distinct. The warmth of the ham and the onion-garlic taste of the spring ramps gives the parsnips a luxurious, buttery taste (without the butter, of course!)

Why the kale? Not only did I want to use it before it expired, but because I like to get in my greens any way I can and the kale here is strong enough to soak up the flavors of the other ingredients and offer a savory taste and silky texture to the bowl of noodles.

I finished the pasta off with a couple teaspoons of parmesan, but if you’re Paleo or dairy averse, skip it. But, if you can keep it, keep it. The cheese is the total cherry on top in this situation and adds more depth to the meal.

Spring Parsnip Noodles with Ramps, Baby Kale and Ham

Based on the success of this pasta, I can’t wait to pick up more veggies this weekend at my local farmer’s market here in the JC. You know, this JC.

How do you feel about parsnips?


Parsnip Noodles with Ramps, Baby Kale and Ham

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 1


  • 1 bunch ramps about 6-8 stalks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup diced ham
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup baby kale
  • 1 large parsnip peeled, Blade C
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp grated parmesan cheese


  • Take your ramps and slice off the reddish stems and leaves. Chop off the root ends, leaving the white parts of the stem and white bulbs. Peel off the outer layer of skin and then roughly chop them, in about 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once oil heats, add in the ramps and ham. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until ramps begin to soften. Add in the kale, red pepper flakes, parsnip noodles and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and cover, letting cook 4-7 minutes or until parsnip noodles wilt and cook through.
  • When done, pour into a bowl and top with cheese.

Spring Parsnip Noodles with Ramps, Baby Kale and Ham

Spring Parsnip Noodles with Ramps, Baby Kale and Ham

Spring Parsnip Noodles with Ramps, Baby Kale and Ham


with love, Ali

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  • What are ramps, please?
    • Ramps are a wild scallion-like onion (some people plant them also) that are extremely potent in flavors of garlic & strong onion. Around here where i live (WV) they actually have ramp festivals & because people are eating them all day long for 2 days in different ways they will smell like ramps for the next week - it comes out their pores. Eew. But that is only if eaten in excessive quantities. Having some raw or in a recipe adds wondrous flavor & wont make your pores stink.. I promise. If you search where they grow you may be able to simply go somewhere near your home & pick some wild ramps.. Unless it's a large city of course. They are all over around here.
  • I don't recall seeing ramps in my grocery store. What would be a good substitute if I can't find them - scallions?
    • Just use onions and garlic, but you can find ramps at the farmer's market, as they are a seasonal spring veg!
  • I'd love to see the veggies before they are cooked - raw and then being spiralized. I think it would give a better start-to-finish picture to those new to spiralizing. Thanks!
  • WOW, this looks great! Can't wait to try it! I read the ramp description above, but not sure about them...I was at the farmer's mkt yesterday and have seen something that looks akin to a giant green onion...are those ramps?
    • Not sure what you saw, I'd just ask your farmer! Here's a picture a ramp: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ramps.jpg
  • This was sooo delicious!! I just used green onions instead of ramps and also substituted prosciutto for ham. I also added some mushrooms & garlic. My husband said this was his favorite spiralized recipe so far. Thank you very much for all of your wonderful recipes. We love them!!
  • When the parsnips are cooking, do they give off a lot of water, like zucchini???