Crispy and sticky on the outside, soft and buttery on the inside, and with a slightly nutty flavour, roasted Jerusalem artichokes are a delicious alternative to roast potatoes and other similar sides.
We first tried Jerusalem artichokes when we got them delivered as part of a weekly veg box, then decided to grow our own in the garden. You can prepare them in a few different ways, but nothing beats the simplicity of roasting in the oven.
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What are Jerusalem artichokes?
The Jerusalem artichoke – also known by names such as sunchoke or sunroot – is a root vegetable first cultivated in the Americas. Technically a species of sunflower (Helianthus tuberosus), the plants can grow up to several metres tall and are prized for their edible tubers beneath the ground.
Despite their similar names, Jerusalem artichokes are very different to globe artichokes (also known as French artichokes or green artichokes). These come from a different plant and are valued for their edible flower head, with the 'heart' often removed and cooked.
What do they taste like?
Jerusalem artichokes have a sweet and nutty flavour with a texture similar to very soft potato when cooked. They can be cooked in a variety of ways (as well as eaten raw), but my favourite method is to simply roast with a little oil, salt, and pepper.
Roasting them brings out the natural sugars, giving them a crispy and almost sticky quality.
Where do they grow?
This plant is better suited to cooler climates, and we've grown them ourselves at home in Sheffield, UK. I can tell you from experience that the plants grow very tall (3-4 metres), so it's best to put them in a part of the garden with a bit of a wind shield if possible!
We started digging them up around October/November, and had a pretty good yield from about 12 plants (the roots pictured below came from about two plants). 🌱
How to prepare the artichokes
Since Jerusalem artichokes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, it helps to prepare them properly before cooking:
- Remove any of the long, thin roots.
- Soak in water briefly to loosen any dirt.
- Scrub thoroughly to remove excess dirt or grit.
- Cut into similar-sized pieces (this helps them to cook evenly).
How to roast Jerusalem artichokes
Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
Cut the artichokes into similar bite-sized pieces, i.e. larger ones into quarters and smaller ones left whole. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil in a large oven dish and add the artichokes.
Season well with salt and pepper, drizzle over a little more oil, then shake to coat everything.
Roast in the oven for around 30-40 minutes or until golden and crispy, shaking now and then during cooking.
Remove from the oven and serve.
For extra flavour, squeeze over a little lemon juice before serving. Roasted artichokes are a delicious side to include along with mains such as grilled king oyster mushrooms, teriyaki tofu steaks, or vegan haggis.
You could also add them to a salad for a simple starter or light lunch.
You can peel the artichokes to remove the outer layer, but the knobbly surface makes this quite difficult. I usually don't bother and just scrub them thoroughly instead.
Yes, they are a naturally gluten-free ingredient.
Once cooked, the roasted artichokes should keep well in the fridge for up to four days.
You can store the cooked artichokes in the freezer for up to six months.
Variations and tips
- Garlic and rosemary: For added flavour, try roasting the artichokes along with a few garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs.
- Spices: Alternatively, you could sprinkle with ground spices such as cumin and smoked paprika.
- Tofu bacon: You could also combine this recipe with my recipe for vegan pancetta and roast everything in the same dish.
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More vegan recipe ideas
If you liked this recipe, you may also enjoy:
Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes (Sunchokes)
- 1.5 lb (700 g) Jerusalem artichokes
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
- Clean the artichokes thoroughly to remove any dirt. If you have time, it can help to soak them in water first. Cut the artichokes into similar bite-sized pieces, i.e. larger ones into quarters and smaller ones left whole.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil in a large oven dish and add the artichokes. Season well with salt and pepper, drizzle over a little more oil, then shake to coat everything.
- Roast in the oven for around 30-40 minutes or until golden and crispy, shaking now and then during cooking.
- Remove from the oven and serve. For extra flavour, squeeze over a little lemon juice before serving.
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