Parsnip Puree

This parsnip puree is like the fluffiest mashed potatoes you can imagine. Thanks to the parsnips and roasted garlic, it's rich, nutty, and delicious.

parsnip puree recipe

This year, this parsnip puree is taking the place of the mashed potatoes at our Thanksgiving dinner. You might be thinking, “What?! That’s crazy!” You’re not alone. That’s what Jack thought too. He’s a big mashed potato purist. Last year’s cauliflower mashed potatoes were a stretch for him, so parsnip puree sans potatoes seemed pretty nuts. Well, good news! Both of us couldn’t stop eating the puree by the spoonful before it made it to the table. It’s rich and nutty, with an amazing light and fluffy texture. Mashed-potato-purist approved! Jack loved this recipe, and I think you will too.

Parsnip puree recipe ingredients

Parsnip Puree Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this parsnip puree recipe:

  • Parsnips! If you’ve never cooked with parsnips before, you’re in for a treat. They have a nutty, complex flavor that makes this puree really unique.
  • Cauliflower – Many parsnip puree recipes call for cream or butter, but blended cauliflower supplies the same creamy, luscious texture. It’s so much healthier, too!
  • Roasted garlic – It elevates the nutty flavor of the parsnips.
  • Lemon juice – For brightness.
  • Fresh rosemary – It adds earthy, cozy fall flavor.
  • Olive oil – It adds enough richness to make this decidedly healthy dish taste the right amount of unhealthy. Yum!

Just add salt and pepper to make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Cauliflower, parsnips, and roasted garlic

How to Make Parsnip Puree

Another reason that I love this recipe as compared to mashed potatoes is that it’s so darn easy! You make it in the blender, so there’s no mashing (or worrying that your potatoes will be gummy or lumpy) involved. If you can, use a high-speed blender to get a really light, airy texture.

When you’re ready to cook, roast the garlic until it’s brown and tender. While it cooks, boil the parsnips and cauliflower until they’re both fork-tender.

When all the veggies are ready, add them to the blender along with the olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, and blend until the parsnip puree is totally smooth. Before you eat, stir in the minced rosemary and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!

Parsnip puree recipe

Like all the best fall side dishes, this parsnip puree reheats perfectly. Just blend it, store it in the fridge, (give it a stir) and reheat it when you’re ready to serve! Make it up to two days in advance.

parsnip puree

More Favorite Fall Side Dishes

If you love this parsnip puree, try one of these fall side dish recipes next:

For more fall side dish recipes, check out this post!

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Parsnip Puree

rate this recipe:
4.96 from 42 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves 6 to 8 as a side
This parsnip puree has a delicious nutty flavor and light, fluffy texture. We love it as a healthy holiday side dish.


  • 5 medium parsnips (1 pound), peeled & chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium cauliflower (2 pounds), broken into pieces, including the cores
  • 5 cloves Roasted Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon minced rosemary
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Tip: roast the garlic in advance and store any extra cloves in the freezer.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and boil the parsnips and cauliflower for 10 to 12 minutes or until fork tender. Transfer to a blender.
  • Add the roasted garlic to the blender along with the olive oil, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Blend, using the blender baton to push down the contents, and blend to a smooth consistency. If necessary, add a bit of water or broth to get the blender moving, but do so sparingly so the puree doesn’t become too thin. Taste and add the additional ½ teaspoon of salt, if desired.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and stir in the rosemary while the mash is still warm. Add a drizzle of olive oil, more pepper, if desired, and serve hot.



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Mandy

    I love this recipe and have made it many times, but I want to serve it as part of something I’m making for a big group dinner, and there is one guest who is allergic to cauliflower. Is there a way to modify it? Can I double the parsnips and sub cream/milk? Any advise would be appreciated! Thanks!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Mandy, My best suggestion is to do what you said, double or triple the parsnips and add milk as you puree to reach a creamy consistency, though the parsnip flavor will be much more intense this way. You could also sub potatoes for the cauliflower and mash by hand instead of pureeing in the blender. Hope this helps!

  2. Cass

    5 stars
    Very tasty! I don’t like rosemary so subbed thyme, followed exactly otherwise.
    Note: made this twice now. First try was watery because I didn’t have enough parsnip or cauliflower on hand and added too much water.
    Happy accident, it was delicious as a sauce for butternut squash ravioli with some crispy sage!
    I’ll be making it both ways from now on 😊

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Oh love this! So glad you enjoyed it both ways!

  3. Louise

    4 stars
    Great recipe! Have just prepped a big bowl of it for Christmas dinner. Easy and healthy.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Robin

    5 stars
    Ok, this recipe made me a love n lemons fan. It is fantastic. I love mashed potatoes but don’t need the calories. This totally tastes decadent and sinful. Loooove it and ty!!!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Robin, I’m so glad you love it!

  5. Dina

    4 stars
    The flavor of parsnips was overloading to me, but the family liked it!

  6. Balsamfir

    5 stars
    This was amazing. I was looking for a lactose free recipe for pureed parsnips, but this was much more than lactose free. Somehow the lemon perked up the parsnips, and the cauliflower flavor disappeared, and the whole thing was so tasty, and healthy. A winner of a recipe and easy to make!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  7. Margie

    I love mashed potatoes but this is more flavorful, not to mention, far more nutritious. I was amazed at the smooth texture. I really didn’t believe that lowly parsnips and cauliflower would turn into this fluffy mash. It’s a winner!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Kim

    Do you have the nutritional breakdown for this recipe?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m sorry, we don’t post nutrition facts, you could plug the ingredients into a site like my fitness pal.

  9. Vivian Froese

    Absolutely delicious! I omitted the oil to make it oil free. My Vitamix blender did the job without adding and liquid. I am excited to grow my own parsnips this year and make this regularly!

  10. Tg

    5 stars
    OMGGG! I am so happy to have found this it’s sooooooooo good and so much healthier than mashed potatoes (I only love mashed potatoes if they are packed with butter and cream lol).. def going to be making this regularly!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  11. Curtis Jackson

    5 stars
    This is SO good.

    I changed 2 things:
    1) Instead of boiling the parsnips I braised them in a little roasted chicken stock. At the end of the braise I dumped parsnips, juices, and what little stock remained into the blender.
    2) Instead of boiling the cauliflower I roasted it in a 500F oven for 40 minutes; 20 minutes covered in foil to steam and 20 minutes uncovered.

    Because the veg were drier due to being roasted instead of boiled I had to add nearly a cup more roasted chicken stock to purée.

    It tastes so much richer and more decadent than it is. Love it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  12. Sara

    5 stars
    This tastes like something you would eat at a fine dining restaurant. I am literally so impressed. We will be making this again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  13. Regina

    5 stars
    So Delicious!! I made this nearly as-is but with a few tweaks so figured I’d mention here. I did boil the cauliflower and parsnips together and it worked well. My food processor was already out so I Puréed in there. I added a splash of half and half and a pat of butter to help it get creamy and add richness. Last night I had it in place of mashed potatoes with steak. Tonight I’m enjoying the leftovers with some aloo gobi.

  14. Cheryl from

    Hi, will this freeze? I cook for 1 but handy to do big batches and freeze portions. Thamks Cheryl Rae

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Cheryl, I haven’t tried freezing it, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work.

      • cheryl rae

        thanks Jeanine, I will give it a whirl and let you know. cheers Cheryl

  15. aramnoor shop

    5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe!

  16. Laura

    Can I make this oil free, and what would I use that is vegan as a substitute for the oil?

    • Heather

      Isn’t olive oil vegan?

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        Olive oil is vegan.

  17. Krista Parra

    5 stars
    Delicious! Made exactly as recipe is stated.

  18. Pam O

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and it is fabulous! I put a couple extra roasted garlic cloves in because they were small and it only made it better. Thanks so much for this recipe, I will definitely be making it again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

      • Pam O

        5 stars
        I also cooked the cauliflower and parsnips at the same time in a large pot. I saved a cup or so of the cooking water when I drained the vegetables to use in the mash as needed. The food processor did a great job of making it a smooth and creamy consistency. The fine minced rosemary was a wonderful addition! Thanks again 😋

  19. Susannah

    Just wondering why you boil the parsnips and cauliflower separately when they both need 12 minutes and are going to end up together.
    I think I’ll try steaming in my instant pot though

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Susannah, sometimes they’re not done at exactly the same time, even though the time is similar. I like to do them separately so I can check each. You could probably cook them all together and it would turn out the same.

  20. Gil

    5 stars
    A culinary epiphany !
    This mash is one of the most amazing dishes I’ve ever tasted.
    Served with your roasted beet with citrus salad.
    All prepared as noted except the mash topped with a drizzle of black truffle oil.
    Thank you <3

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Haha, I’m so glad you loved this one 🙂

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.