Parsnip puree is rich, creamy and flavorful with roasted garlic, butter and minced rosemary. Enjoy this vegetable puree as a delicious alternative to mashed potatoes for holidays, special occasions or weeknight meals.

A bowl of creamy mashed parsnips garnished with herbs, accompanied by fresh ingredients and cutlery on the side.
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The original recipe for this puree included white beans and resulted in a much thicker consistency. The result was a mix between a starchy mash and refried beans. It was odd, but somehow it worked.

When I recently re-made it, however, I wanted create a more traditional parsnip puree. One that can truly be swapped out for mashed potatoes without anyone batting an eyelid and I think this combination achieved that.

This recipe shows you how to turn an ordinary and often overlooked root vegetable into a sophisticated addition to your holiday turkey or steak but it’s also worthy of a weeknight dinner. It’s rich in buttery garlic flavor with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency that won’t make you think twice about not having potatoes on your plate.

The minced rosemary adds a delicate herbaceous flavor without overpowering the naturally sweet and slightly spicy flavor of the mashed parsnips. There are also a few simple ingredient swaps and additions to allow you to easily adapt this vegetable puree to suit your personal preferences.

If you love parsnips and are wondering what other recipes you can make with this root vegetable, this cinnamon brown sugar roasted parsnips and grapes is sophisticated and unexpected while these rosemary garlic parsnip fries and more casual and fun.

A spoonful of creamy parsnip puree with herbs, with a bigger bowl in the background.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Like other veggie purees, this puree of parsnips is a creative and delicious way to add more nutrition into your family’s diet, especially if you have picky eaters at home!
  • It makes a delicious alternative to mashed potatoes if you feel like something a bit different. It’ll instantly give your meal a touch of sophistication – perfect for the holidays, special occasions, or when you want to impress dinner guests.
  • You can make this recipe a day or two in advance since it stores well in the fridge and freezer. Reheat it on the stovetop or microwave as an easy addition to your main meal.
Fresh ingredients for cooking parsnips, herbs, garlic, butter, milk, salt, and pepper on a kitchen countertop.

Ingredients to Make Parsnip Puree

  • Parsnips – Peel and cut into half inch pieces. While the centers of parsnips are typically quite woody, I haven’t cored my parsnips for this recipe since they are boiled until fork-tender.
  • Roasted garlic – Follow this easy air fryer roasted garlic recipe if you’ve never roasted garlic at home before.
  • Rosemary – Mince a sprig of fresh rosemary. You will need extra rosemary as garnish. Other herbs can be substituted, see below.
  • Butter – Preferably unsalted. Light olive oil is another option.
  • Whole milk – You can also use half and half.
  • Salt and black pepper – Add a generous pinch of salt to the water that you cook the parsnips in, similar to how you salt pasta water. Additional salt and pepper is added at the end for seasoning.

How To Make Creamy Parsnip Puree

Place the parsnips in a large pot covered with water and with a generous pinch of salt. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, remove the lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the parsnips to cook for 15-20 minutes or until fork-tender and easily pierced with a knife.

Reserve one cup of the parsnip cooking liquid and drain the parsnips.

Return the cooked parsnips to the pot and add the garlic, rosemary, butter and milk. Mash the ingredients until creamy and smooth. Add a small amount of the reserved liquid to the mixture as needed to get a creamy consistency.

Season the mashed parsnip mixture with salt and pepper, and adjust as needed. Garnish the parsnip puree with rosemary and an extra pat of butter, if desired. Serve with your choice of protein or additional vegetables and enjoy!

My Pro Tips

Recipe Tips

  • Use a potato masher for mashing the cooked parsnips and the other ingredients into a smooth and creamy consistency or use a food processor for added convenience.
  • It’s important to cut the parsnips into half inch pieces to ensure that they become soft enough to mash. Try to cut all pieces to an equal size so that they cook at the same rate.
  • If your puree is too thick, add in a small amount of milk, broth, or reserved cooking liquid and mix until you reach the desired consistency. If the puree is too runny, puree some cooked or canned white beans and mix that into the runny puree in small amounts until you achieve the desired consistency. Other possible thickeners could also include cornstarch, yogurt or cottage cheese.
  • When selecting parsnips for this parsnip puree, choose smaller ones as they tend to be more flavorful and tender. Make sure that the parsnips are firm to the touch without wrinkles when purchasing at your local grocery store or farmers market.


  • Flavoring: This parsnip puree is flavored with butter, roasted garlic, minced rosemary and salt and pepper. Feel free to add your own twist by experimenting with paprika, Dijon mustard, onion powder, flat-leaf parsley, chopped fresh chives, sage or thyme.
  • Creamy consistency: I’ve used whole milk in the mashed parsnip mixture to add creaminess. Use cream if you’d like a richer creamy flavor and consistency. Alternatively, non-dairy milks can also be used.
  • Cooking liquid: The reserved liquid from boiling the parsnips provides extra flavor to the mashed parsnip mixture. Low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth can be used instead. Make it extra nutritious with an added boost of collagen by using bone broth.
  • Vegan: Make this parsnip puree vegan by using dairy-free milk and vegan butter or olive oil instead of regular butter.
A plate of creamy parsnip puree garnished with herbs, accompanied by whole parsnips, garlic, and rosemary, arranged on a light surface.

How to store leftovers

Store leftover parsnip puree in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat over a low heat on the stovetop, adding a splash of liquid (milk, broth or water) to loosen the mixture, if needed.

The puree can also be frozen in an airtight container with extra headspace for expansion for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat as directed above.

Parsnip puree topped with caramelized onions on a white plate, garnished with fresh herbs.

What to serve it with

Serve this parsnip puree as part of a complete meal with stuffed flank steak pinwheels, this glazed turkey or our stuffed turkey roulade. It would also be perfect with a simple weeknight meal like these grilled ham steaks.

For a vegan or vegetarian meal, serve this parsnip puree with air fryer tofu. The creamy mash contrasts the crispy tofu cubes perfectly.

Parsnip puree can also be enjoyed as a dip with sweet caramelized onions mixed in and a sprinkle of crumbled feta or goat’s cheese, served with your favorite crackers, pita bread or sliced veggies instead of the typical side dish approach.

Plate of creamy mashed parsnips garnished with herbs, with garlic and rosemary in the background.

More Recipes Like This To Try

Vanilla carrot parsnip puree is another parsnip puree recipe close to my heart! It’s a sweeter tasting parsnip puree thanks to the natural sweetness in carrots, and the addition of maple syrup and almond milk. We love this recipe for Thanksgiving.

Keeping to the theme of mashed veggies, another delicious alternative to mashed potatoes includes this mouth-watering brown butter mashed cauliflower with caramelized onions. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to reduce their carbs.

This rosemary pumpkin hummus is a delicious dip for all the hummus lovers! Whip it up in a matter of 5 minutes and enjoy it as a nutritious snack or party appetizer.

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4.92 from 24 votes

Parsnip Puree

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Plate of creamy mashed parsnips garnished with herbs, with garlic and rosemary in the background.
This parsnip puree is an easy, creamy mashed alternative to potatoes for a side dish that goes well with any steak or chicken dinner.


  • 1 ½ pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into ½” pieces
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for serving
  • 1/3 cup whole milk or half and half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Place the parsnips in a large pot. Cover with water and add a generous pinch of salt. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove the lid and lower the heat to a simmer. Boil the parsnips for about 15-20 minutes until they’re fork tender and easily pierced with a knife.
  • Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid then drain the parsnips. Return them to the pot. Add the roasted garlic cloves, minced rosemary, butter and milk. Mash with a potato masher until creamy and smooth adding a bit of the reserved cooking water as needed to get a nice creamy consistency. This can also be done in a food processor if preferred.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with rosemary and an additional pat of butter, if desired, before serving.



Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 652mgPotassium: 692mgFiber: 8gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 216IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 98mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Wanted to try something different for game day and I’m so glad I came across this recipe! This was my first time trying parsnip as a dip. Easy, creamy, and very rich. The taste exceeded my expectations, it was absolutely delicious. I’m keeping this recipe!

  2. Roasting is to parsnips as caramelizing is to onions (and yes, yummy sweet caramelized onions would improve just about any savory dish). I thought I didn’t like parsnips until my British b-i-l roasted some for me one Thanksgiving. Mellows them right out. I think they eat more parsnips than we do on the other side of the pond. You did a good job of photographing the dish– mashes are indeed challenging to make pretty!

  3. I love your blog today, it’s funy! Oddly enough I only had a parsnip once and it came in a frozen bag with carrots and seasoning. I’ll have to give this a whirl! I’ve been wanting to make hummus and I just have been to lazy to! Now I have a good excuse. So you say the center is woody? I’ll remember that when I get some.

    Have a great week!

    1. Thanks! :) You can definitely roast the whole thing and eat it, it’s not woody to the point of being inedible. But if you’re going to puree it, it’s not a bad idea to cut it out.

  4. That dip sound great! I just found your blog and the first thing I read was how you’re weimaraner obsessed! So am I!!!

  5. My dad loves parsnips. I don’t think I know anyone else that does…and I can’t see one without thinking of him. Strange, but I’m definitely bookmarking this recipe to pass along :)

  6. LOL. Your inner hippy, huh? Cute. Never touched a parsnip. Looks like something I need to take a venture with. ;) Nom Nom