Gluten-Free/ Vegetables/ Vegetarian & Vegan

Mashed Carrot and Parsnip Recipe

Rich, creamy and full of flavor, this mashed carrot and parsnip recipe is a simple to make seasonal side dish that's perfect for any occasion.
Mashed carrots and parsnips in a blue bowl with fresh herb garnish.

Last Updated on November 11, 2021 by Betty Davies

Get a some delicious veggies on your table with this tasty mashed carrot and parsnip recipe. Simple to make and seasoned with thyme, this creamy and rich root vegetable side dish is a true favorite!

A bowl fo carrot parsnip mash sprinkled with fresh parsley.

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Vegetable mash is one of my favorite veggie side dishes and when made with seasonal root vegetables and of course, butter and cream, it’s totally irresistible.

It comes together quickly and easily, and is a great side to accompany your favorite mains. It’s a great option for Thanksgiving or Christmas as it can easily be doubled if you are serving a crowd.

With natural sweetness from the carrots and parsnips, earthy fresh thyme and rich cream, this mashed carrot and parsnip recipe is a must make!

Be sure to try my Leek Potato Mash and Carrot and Rutabaga Mash too!

Why you will love this recipe!

  • Quick and easy: Just boil the veggies and then mash with the other ingredients for a tasty side.
  • Make ahead: This is a great option if you are making this for a larger feast as it’s easily reheated. Make a double batch to enjoy later in the week for part of an easy meal.
  • Dietary info: This carrot and parsnip mashed is gluten-free and vegetarian. and contains lots of vitamins and minerals. Read below to learn how to make this side vegan and dairy-free.
Carrot and parsnip mash in a blue bowl.

Ingredients

  • Carrots: I used baby carrots in this recipe so that I could skip peeling and chopping them, but regular will obviously work well too.
  • Parsnips: Trim the ends off of the parsnips, peel and cut into chunks.
  • Butter: Use salted butter, or add in some extra salt if needed after the veggies are mashed.
  • Cream: Cream adds a really rich and luxurious flavor. I used heavy cream (whipping cream) that is 35% fat.
  • Thyme: The earthiness of fresh thyme works so well with the slightly sweet flavors of the carrots and parsnips.

How to make carrot and parsnip mash

Be sure to scroll down for the full recipe!

  • Cook the carrots and parsnips til tender (photo 1).
  • Heat the cream, butter and seasonings (photo 2).
  • Add the vegetables and mash (photo 3).
Three step by step photos to show how to make the recipe.

Recipe Variations

This mashed carrot and parsnip recipe is pretty delish as it is, but you can easily adapt it to suit your tastes.

  • Make it vegan and dairy-free: Swap the cream for a plant-based milk like almond or soy and swap the butter for a dairy-free alternative, or use some olive oil instead.
  • Different herbs: I love thyme in this recipe, but other earthy fresh herbs like sage or rosemary will work well.
  • Make it sweeter: If you prefer more sweetness in your side dishes, try adding a pinch of nuteg or cinnamon in place of the savory herbs.
  • Make it healthier: To lower fat and calories, you can use the vegan substitutions above, or swap the cream for half and half or milk.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it keep?

Once made, let the root vegetable mash cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep well for 3 to 4 days and can be reheated on the stovetop on a medium heat. The veggies will absorb some moisture when it sits, so you can ad in a little milk or cream when you reheat it to loosen it back up.

This recipe is not suitable for freezing.

Do you need to peel the parsnips?

I’m all for cutting down on prep time, but I do think you should be peeling your veggies when you are making mash. The skin, even on younger parsnips, don’t break down when they are mashed so you don’t get a nice even texture. If you want to skip peeling them, they are safe to eat.

Can you over boil the veggies?

Over boiling the parsnips and carrots can result in a very soggy mash as they will absorb more water. Overcooked vegetables tend to have a bland flavor as well as lees nutrients. They should be fork tender so that they are easy to mash, but not falling apart and mushy.

Overhead close up shot of vegetable mash.

Serving Suggestions

This mashed carrot and parsnip recipe is quick and easy enough to serve up as part of a weeknight meal, but it’s also a great addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. Try it with:

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Salt the water that you cook the vegetables in to add flavor to them during cooking.
  • Start the vegetables in cold water and bring it up to a boil. If you add them to already boiling water, they won’t cook through evenly.
  • The parsnips and carrots should be fork tender when you drain them so that they mash easily.
  • I found that I didn’t need to add additional salt and pepper, but taste after mashing and season to taste if needed.
Mashed carrot and parsnip in a blue bowl garnished with fresh parsley.

More Carrot and Parsnip Recipes

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Mashed carrots and parsnips in a blue bowl with fresh herb garnish.

Mashed Carrot and Parsnip Recipe

Rich, creamy and full of flavor, this mashed carrot and parsnip recipe is a simple to make seasonal side dish that's perfect for any occasion.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 161kcal
Author: Betty Davies

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces carrots (340g)
  • 1 pound parsnips (454g)
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • cup heavy or whipping cream (35%) (80ml)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

Instructions

  • Fill a large pot with water and add a few pinches of salt.
  • Trim and peel the parsnips and cut into chunks. Do the same with the carrots if using regular not baby.
  • Add the chopped carrots and parsnips to the pot and place on a high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until they are fork tender (15 to 20 minutes).
  • Once cooked, drain and set to one side.
  • In the pot that you cooked the veggies, add the butter, cream and thyme. Heat on a low heat til the butter has melted.
  • Add the cooked veggies back to the pot and mash everything together.

Notes

  • Salt the water that you cook the vegetables in to add flavor to them during cooking.
  • Start the vegetables in cold water and bring it up to a boil. If you add them to already boiling water, they won’t cook through evenly.
  • The parsnips and carrots should be fork tender when you drain them so that they mash easily.
  • I found that I didn’t need to add additional salt and pepper, but taste after mashing and season to taste if needed.
  • Nutritional values are based on one of six servings and are an estimate only.

Nutrition

Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 85mg | Potassium: 490mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 9894IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg

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