Roasted carrots and parsnips lay atop a fluffy bed of herbed sorghum pilaf and dried figs.
Then drizzled with a simple, yet addictive tahini sauce, this vegetable side dish is perfect for Thanksgiving or any festive meal.

Thanksgiving. What the hell happened to November? Or October? Shit, I feel like it should still be September. I’m nowhere near ready for Thanksgiving, let alone the holiday season in general.

This past weekend Greg and I made a trip to Howells Tree Farm to pick out our Christmas tree, only to find we were a day and a couple hours late. Nearly everything was spoken for. We heard through the grapevine that the previous morning was a mad-dash for tree tagging, at 7am nonetheless. Who knew tree shopping was such a competition? I imagine it was comparable to Black Friday at Best Buy ten years ago. But who am I kidding, we’ll be in line next year at 6:30am, throwing elbows and setting screens for that perfect, quintessential Christmas tree. Because you know, decor.

We also made our way to Target and bought our weight in lights for the tree and the house. So although it’s seemingly snuck up on us, we’re slowly getting in the spirit.

In the name of holiday spirit, this roasted carrot and parsnip dish is the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving menu. It’s no secret that I love tahini (ehem here, and here), and this sauce is no exception. But I also adore any roasted vegetable, and once roasted, parsnips completely transform. Their earthy flavor milds while taking on a lovely bit of sweetness. They’re positively dreamy.

Just drizzled with the tahini sauce, these roasted root vegetables are delightful. But to add texture to the dish I like to serve them with an herbed sorghum pilaf. Here, I’m using pearled sorghum because it’s wonderfully chewy and easily takes on whatever flavors you throw at it.

First of all, I like to use pearled sorghum for moments when I need to get a dish together in under an hour because it cooks up in just 30 minutes. I cook the sorghum with warm spices in addition to briefly toasting it in the pan for an added punch of flavor. Dried figs, parsley, cilantro, and fresh lemon finish off this pilaf to create wonderfully nuanced dish.

I like to use NuLife Market’s Pearled Sorghum Grain because the texture is amazing. It’s chewy with just enough resistance which makes it great for everything from pilafs and salads to soups, veggie burgers, and 
savory cakes.

Roasted Root Vegetables & Sorghum Pilaf with Tahini Sauce | Zestful Kitchen

NuLife Market
 is my go-to brand for anything sorghum because each and every product they produce is whole-grain and certified gluten-free, which makes entertaining a breeze. Even better, and if you’re lazy like me, you can order a bag (or two, or three) online and have it shipped right to your door.

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Roasted Root Vegetables & Sorghum Pilaf with Tahini Sauce | Zestful Kitchen

Roasted Root Vegetables & Sorghum Pilaf with Tahini Sauce

  • Author: Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x


Roasted carrots and parsnips lay atop a fluffy bed of herbed sorghum and dried figs. Then drizzled with a simple, yet addictive tahini sauce, this vegetable side dish is perfect for Thanksgiving or any festive meal.



Sorghum Pilaf:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup dry pearled sorghum, such as NuLife Market
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup diced dried black mission figs
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips:

  • 1 pound multi-colored carrots, scrubbed halved crosswise, large ends halved lengthwise
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled, halved crosswise, large ends quartered lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

Tahini sauce:

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 23 tablespoons water


Sorghum Pilaf:

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium, add onions and cook until translucent, 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds; season with salt and pepper. Stir in cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, cook 30 seconds. Stir in sorghum and cook 1 minute. Add broth and bay leaf, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover, and cook until grains are tender, 20–25 minutes. Remove lid and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes until excess liquid has evaporated. Off heat stir in figs, parsley, cilantro, zest, and juice; season with salt and pepper.

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips:

Heat oven to 425°F. Toss carrots and parsnips with oil, honey, coriander, and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until fork-tender, 30–35 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Tahini sauce:

Whisk together tahini, lemon juice, honey, garlic, and coriander. Thin sauce to desired consistency with water; season with salt and pepper.

Arrange sorghum pilaf on a large platter, top with roasted carrots and parsnips, and drizzle with tahini sauce. Garnish with parsley.


If you don’t have sorghum on hand, farro, barley, quinoa, or millet are great substitutions.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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