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Roasted Parsnip Puree with Caramelized Onions

This roasted parsnip puree is mixed with caramelized onions. It’s sweet from the onions with just a little bit of that distinct parsnip flavor.

This was a weird thing to get in my head and obsess about making but, it happened.

Somewhere, I saw parsnips and then couldn’t shake the idea of making them into a puree. I tried to ignore it because honestly, you can only make a lump of parsnips look so pretty, you know?

But, those parsnips were persistent little buggers and got the best of me.

To be honest, I’m not even a huge parsnip fan.

Even roasted, I think they kind of have a weird taste. Just very, parsnippy. Right?

If you combine them with grapes though and a sweet hummus dressing, they’re oddly irresistible.

Parsnip fries also hide their pungent flavor quite a bit.

Roasted parsnip and caramelized onion puree

So, I was determined to make them my bitch.

Excuse the language. Ok, not really. I have a total potty mouth, let’s just be real.

I would find a way to take that parsnippityness out of them and make them taste good, damnit.

Roasted parsnip

First order of business was to cut around that core.

Despite their albino carrot appearance, their core is kind of woody and not the best for pureeing purposes. So I chop, chop, chopped around it.

Second order of business was adding something sweet to tame that parsnip flavor.

Caramelized onions

Tell me there’s something better than the smell of onions caramelizing themselves in a bath of butter and olive oil.

What’s that? You’ve got nothing? Yeah, me neither.

Wanting to face plant into the pan is totally normal.

And then just because I thought it would mellow the parsnips out a little more, I added beans.

Roasted parsnip and caramelized onion puree ingredients

So this is really part puree, part hummus (of the Italian variety), part dip.

Regardless, it came out delicious.

Roasted parsnip puree

We ate it with tofu and broccoli and channeled our true inner hippie for the night, but this would’ve been really awesome with a pork tenderloin, roasted chicken or steak.

I just happened to have none of the above on hand.

The caramelized onions add such sweetness to the whole thing it’s almost hard to detect the actual parsnip.

It’s there, just much more subtle than the usual loud distinct flavor.

Roasted parsnip and caramelized onion puree

I happen to like them much better this way.

More recipes like this to try:

Creamy Coconut Garlic Butternut Squash Puree
Vanilla Carrot Parsnip Puree
Mashed Rutabaga with Garlic Herb Butter
Garlic Mashed Yuca

Roasted Parsnip and Caramelized Onion Puree

This roasted parsnip puree is mixed with caramelized onions. It’s sweet from the onions with just a little bit of that distinct parsnip flavor.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 6 large parsnips peeled, trimmed,core cut out and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 large yellow onion sliced
  • 1/2 15 ounce can of cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Line and grease a baking sheet.
  • Combine chopped parsnips with 3 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt & pepper in a large bowl. Toss to coat.
  • Spread parsnips out onto baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, heat a saute pan over medium heat and add remaining butter and olive oil.
  • Add sliced onion and saute, stirring frequently until dark and caramelized, about 20 minutes.
  • Once parsnips and onions are cooked, combine in a food processor with beans.
  • Process until almost smooth.
  • Pour in remaining ingredients and process until creamy.
  • Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1SERVING | Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 364mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 15g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Cuisine American
Course Side Dishes
Keyword roasted parsnip and caramelized onion puree, roasted parsnip puree

How do you feel about parsnips? Love or hate?

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

Recipe Rating

21 Gourmet mashed potatoes that are sure to impress | Makeup and Health

Monday 3rd of November 2014

[…] Tell the potatoes to hit the road, and make this roasted parsnip and caramelized onion puree. […]


Friday 13th of April 2012

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!

Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers

Monday 9th of January 2012

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!

Running to the Kitchen

Monday 9th of January 2012

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.


Monday 9th of January 2012

Very creative. Parsnip Hummus. The caramelized onion really got me, delish. I love them.

Kerry @ Totes My Oats

Sunday 8th of January 2012

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