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Vegan Creamy Mashed Parsnips {easy, 3 ingredients}

Easy, vegan creamy mashed parsnips that are actually pureed in the food processor. Made with 3 ingredients (plus salt & pepper to taste).

overhead shot of vegan creamy parsnip mash in a glass bowl atop a colorful napkin

Your New Favorite Side Dish: 3-Ingredient Mashed Parsnips

Yesterday I advocated for greater consideration of the modest parsnip, along with the promise of a follow-up of recipes and more (parsnippets?). So here goes nothing.

I recognize this may not be the most popular post, especially in a month that’s included chocolate truffles and chocolate pots de crème. It’s also doubtful that anyone will ever stumble across this entry in a Google quest (“If only I could find the perfect parsnips recipe…”). Regardless, I stand by my conviction that parsnips are highly agreeable, and in the case of the recipe I offer today, at times downright delectable.

So to quote Julie Andrews, let’s start at the very beginning—it’s a very good place to start.

What are Parsnips?

Parsnips are winter root vegetables. They look just like carrots, only tannish-white. They also tend towards chunkiness (shorter, squatter, wider than carrots).

It should be no surprise that they are, in fact, related to carrots: both are members of the umbelliferae family whose other members include fennel, celery, parsley, chervil and celeriac.

2 large parsnips on a cutting board
What is the Flavor and Texture of Parsnips?

Parsnips have a sweet, somewhat nutty, delicate taste and a mild celery-like fragrance. The texture is starchy, similar to potatoes, but far lighter. Fresh ones have a buttery-soft consistency when cooked, but beware: old parsnips are fibrous and bitter. You can tell if a parsnip is in its youthful prime from its firmness; it should be crisp, smooth and sturdy (i.e., avoid limber parsnips). Also, the whiter ones are, in general, the most tender.

Are Parsnips Nutritious?

 Yes, parsnips are very nutitious (do not let their pale color fool you).is pretty impressive, too.

Parsnips have about 130 calories for a whole large, 9-inch specimen and contain no saturated fat or cholesterol. Parsnips boast a substantial amount of fiber, too, as well as significant amounts of folic acid, calcium, and potassium, vitamin C (1/2 cup has 20% of a day’s supply) and small amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3, iron, and zinc.

Before I sink deeper into lecture mode (“Buehler…Buehler…”), let’s get on to the cooking. Up for today, it’s creamy, mashed parsnips. Technically, “mashed,” because you blitz them in a food processor until light and creamy. They are so good!

How to Make Vegan Creamy Mashed Parsnips

Here’s how to make this dish. First, peel the parsnips, just as you would carrots or potatoes. Cut the parsnips into chunks and boil in a large pot of water.

cut parsnips cooking in a saucepan of water

You want to cook the parsnips until they are extremely tender; they are harder than potatoes, so boiling them until they are almost falling apart ensure that the mash will be creamy, not lumpy (even though lumpy is still very taste).

All that’s left? Whiz away in a food processor. Doing this with potatoes leads to gummy results, but not so with parsnips. They become light and and fluffy, and need no milk and barely any fat.

You can sprinkle with chives, as I’ve done, but this creamy “mash” is perfect without them, too. Happy (parsnip) eating, everyone!

More Parsnips Recipes to Try:

  1. Lemony Roasted Parsnip Hummus (no beans, no tahini)
  2. Roasted Carrot Parsnip Hash {Vegan, Paleo}
  3. Parsnip Chickpea Flour Pizza Crust {grain-free, vegan, 3 ingredients}
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overhead shot of vegan creamy parsnip mash in a glass bowl atop a colorful napkin

Vegan Creamy Mashed Parsnips {3 ingredients, easy}

  • Author: Camilla
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Easy, vegan creamy mashed parsnips that are actually pureed in the food processor. Made with 3 ingredients (plus salt & pepper to taste).


  • 1 and 1/2 pounds parsnips
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or oil of choice)
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • fine sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: minced fresh chives


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and trim the parsnips. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Add the parsnips to water and boil for 15 to 20 minutes until very tender. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water.
  4. Place parsnips in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Add the olive oil and nutmeg; puree until smooth, adding a bit of reserved water, if needed, until very creamy. Season generously, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve, sprinkling with chives if desired, and eat!
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: mashed vegan parsnips, 3 ingredients, egg-free, dairy-free, vegan, easy, food processor, Thanksgiving, vegan side dish, parsnips



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Sunday 15th of February 2009

I also found this by googling parsnips: "easy parsnips" to be exact! Cannot wait to make these!


Monday 18th of August 2008

Hey, I just surfed on in, after googling "rustic parsnips," so don't underestimate the parsnip's quiet but devoted following! :D


Sunday 2nd of March 2008

Hi Marianne,

Ooh, secekl pears are so good; that sweet-savory combination sounds delicious. We had seckel pears all the time last winter, but they have not come to light at the local grocery store this season. Boo hoo!


Sunday 2nd of March 2008

Thanks so much, Catharine and Marianne!


Sunday 2nd of March 2008

I agree with Catherine, these are perfect. I added about 3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary and a little bit of roasted garlic puree I had in the refrigerator. Incredible!

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