mashed parsnips

mashed parsnips |
I’ve been in a bit of a rut when it comes to root vegetables, which means I eat a lot of sweet potatoes. Nothing wrong with that, but why play the same note over and over again when you have so many others to choose from? I realized how monotone I’d been after eating at a local farm-to-table restaurant where one of the sides was mashed parsnips, and since then I was determined to add it to my repertoire.
If you aren’t familiar with parsnips, they look like a carrot whose pigment has faded. Though the parsnip doesn’t have the vibrant color of its relative, its flavor and fragrance is so much more interesting than the candy-sweet carrot.

This recipe is very simple, requiring only four ingredients. Once cooked, the parsnips are pureed in a food processor until creamy smooth, with little flecks of herb throughout. Mashed parsnips are a great substitute for standard mashed potatoes, and an elegant choice for a home-cooked Valentine’s Day dinner. If you’ve gotten bored with the same old starch, try mashed parsnips for a whole new groove.
mashed parsnips |

Mashed Parsnips
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Expand your root vegetable repertoire with this simple mashed parsnip side.
Recipe type: side dish
Serves: serves 4 to 6
  • 3 lbs./1.3 kg parsnips, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch slices
  • 2 oz./1/4 cup/56 g salted pastured butter, (I use Kerrygold), cut into ¼-inch cubes (see diary-free option in Notes section below)
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt (increase amount by ⅛ teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  1. Put prepped parsnips into a large 4-quart saucepan and cover with cold water.
  2. Bring water to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until parsnips are very tender and easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Drain parsnips in a colander in the sink. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Add half of the cooked parsnips to a food processor that has a bowl capacity of a least 9 cups, along with half the butter. Add the rest of the cooked parsnips and the rest of the butter, and sprinkle the salt and thyme over them.
  5. Process the parsnips until completely smooth, pausing occasionally and stirring them with a spatula to make sure everything gets evenly puréed.
  6. Scoop mashed parsnips into a large bowl and serve, or put in a glass container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
You can make a dairy-free and Autoimmune Paleo-compliant version of this recipe if you substitute an equal amount of coconut oil for the amount of butter called for in the ingredient list. If you do use coconut oil instead of butter, increase the amount of salt by ⅛ teaspoon to balance the flavor of using coconut oil, which is unsalted, instead of the salted butter.

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