Move over mashed potatoes! This Parsnip Puree is velvety smooth and creamy, and will become your new favorite side dish.  It’s a delicious naturally gluten-free side dish that’s perfect with anything you’re serving!

Parsnip puree in a white bowl with serving spoon digging in

I’ve loved parsnips since the first time I tried them many years ago. They have a sweet, earthy flavor that intensifies when they’re roasted in dishes like my spatchcock roast chicken, and they add tons of flavor to my autumn vegetable soup.

I have no idea what took me so long to try them mashed, but last year I finally got around to making Parsnip Puree and it was an instant hit.

The first time I made it, I decided to let my family think that it was their favorite yukon gold mashed potatoes. The first taste took them by surprise in a very good way, and my oldest son said they were the best “mashed potatoes” he’d ever had.

 I finally told them that it was parsnip mash, and of course they didn’t care. They only cared that it was absolutely delicious, and I’ve made it weekly ever since. 🙂

Parsnip mash in a bowl with a pat of butter and thyme leaves

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This parsnip puree is silky smooth and creamy with the sweet, woody flavors of parsnip, garlic and fresh thyme.
  • Parsnips are the main ingredient, and the rest may be customized with what you have on hand.
  • It’s an easy gluten-free side dish that’s great served with any type of protein!

Recipe ingredients

The glory of this parsnip puree recipe is that parsnips are the main ingredient, and the rest can be customized depending on what you have on hand.

I use a combination of butter and half and half for creamy richness and flavor, but you may adjust the quantities or use your favorite ingredients to suit your tastes as outlined below.

Parsnip puree recipe ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Parsnips. If you’ve never had parsnips before, you’re in for a treat. They’re similar to carrots but they have a sweet, woody flavor and they’re a bit starchier. The flavor intensifies when they’re cooked, and makes this side dish so special. If you’re counting carbohydrates, parsnips are a lower carb option than potatoes as they contain 12 grams per half cup serving compared to 20 grams.
  • Garlic. Fresh garlic adds a nice savory flavor, but it may be omitted or substituted with a bit of garlic powder.
  • Butter. I love the flavor that butter adds, and I found that just a few tablespoons did the trick to add richness without masking the flavor of the parsnips.
  • Half and half. The half and half can be substituted with heavy cream, whatever type of milk that you have on hand or a combination of both.
  • Thyme. Feel free to jazz up this dish with your favorite fresh herbs, chives or scallions.

How to make this recipe

Parsnip puree may sound fancy, but it’s super easy to make and it will wow your family or guests. You can even prep the parsnips in advance so you can get this dish going even sooner.

The word “purée” means to make something smooth and creamy, which means the parsnips take more than a potato masher to give them the proper consistency.

I love using my immersion blender for this task as it does a great job and it’s very easy to clean.

Pro tip: If you don’t have an immersion blender, puree the parsnips in a food processor or blender until smooth. 

How to make parsnip puree
  1. Place the parsnips and garlic in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover by 1″. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Remove the lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the parsnips are fork tender.
  2. Drain well in a colander.
  3. Place the parsnips back in the pot and add the softened butter and half and half. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth.
  4. Add the salt, pepper and fresh thyme, and stir well to combine. 
Parsnip puree in a white bowl with butter and thyme leaves on top

Recipe FAQs

Are parsnips low in carbohydrates?

Parsnips are considered a starchy vegetable as one cup contains 24 grams of carbohydrates.

Do parsnips taste like potatoes?

Parsnips do not taste like potatoes. They have a lot more flavor, which can be described as sweet and woody or earthy.

What goes well with parsnip?

Parsnips may be used anywhere you use carrots. They pair well with roasted meats, all root vegetables and winter squash and a wide variety of herbs. Use them in soup, stew, roasted vegetables and so much more!

Serving suggestions

This parsnip mash may be served with anything that’s great with mashed potatoes!

Recipe tips

  • Pro tip: If you don’t have an immersion blender, puree the parsnip mash in a food processor or blender until smooth. 
  • The half and half may be substituted with whole milk or heavy cream, or a combination of both.  Add more or less butter to suit your taste!
  • Customize this recipe by using your favorite fresh herbs, chives or scallions.
  • Store leftovers in an air tight container for up to 3 days and reheat in the microwave until warm and stir.
Parsnip puree in a serving bowl with butter melting on top

More side dish recipes you’ll love:

If you’ve tried this recipe I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and star rating below, and don’t forget to snap a photo and tag @flavorthemoments on Instagram! 

Parsnip puree in a white bowl with serving spoon digging in

Creamy Parsnip Puree Recipe

Parsnip Puree recipe is creamy, flavorful and will become your new favorite side dish!  It's lower carb than mashed potatoes, naturally gluten-free and is great with anything you're serving!
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Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. parsnips peeled and cut into 1" chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup half and half room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or your favorite herbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt if using regular table salt, reduce the amount of salt to 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Place the parsnips and garlic in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover by 1". Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Remove the lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the parsnips are fork tender.
    3 lbs. parsnips, 3 cloves garlic
  • Drain the parsnips well in a colander.
  • Place the parsnips back in the pot and add the softened butter and half and half. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth. If you don't have one, puree in a blender or food processor.
    1/2 cup half and half, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Add the salt, pepper and fresh thyme, and stir well to combine. Serve and enjoy!
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Notes

  • Pro tip: If you don’t have an immersion blender, puree the parsnip mash in a food processor or blender until smooth. 
  • The half and half may be substituted with whole milk or heavy cream, or a combination of both.  Add more or less butter to suit your taste!
  • Customize this recipe by using your favorite fresh herbs, chives or scallions.
  • Store leftovers in an air tight container for up to 3 days and reheat in the microwave until warm and stir.

Nutrition

Calories: 200kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 315mg, Potassium: 670mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 270IU, Vitamin C: 31mg, Calcium: 85mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

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