Easy Parsnip Purée – Creamy + Rich

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If you’re looking for a rich and creamy side with incredible flavor, you must try this Parsnip Purée. This Parsnip Purée recipe has 5 simple ingredients, is silky smooth, gluten-free, and is the perfect side dish for braised meats and rich dishes. This is also an elegant alternative to mashed potatoes.

A bowl of creamy parsnip purée

While we love mashed potatoes, sometimes we want to elevate our side dish with something that has a more pronounced flavor. That’s when we reach for parsnip purée. Not only is it easier to make, but parsnips are also naturally sweeter than potatoes, so you need fewer ingredients to make them taste delicious and silky smooth! This recipe is also naturally gluten-free, making it a winner for large dinner parties!

Ingredients for Parsnip Purée

The portions are for 1 pound of parsnips or 24 ounces of parsnip purée after it is done. If you are doubling the recipe then double the portions. All of these ingredients are easy to find at your grocery store.

  • Parsnips – Get just over 1 pound for this recipe. After trimming them and removing the skin you want 1 pound leftover. So buy 1.2 to 1.3 pounds.
  • Garlic – Use one clove of garlic for every pound of parsnips you are cooking.
  • Cream – We use whole milk for a nice balance of texture and creamy flavor. Heavy cream adds a buttery rich flavor and a very thick purée.
  • Butter – We opt for unsalted butter so we can add the salt in after the fact.
  • Kosher Salt – We use Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Not all kosher salt portions are the same because they weigh differently.
  • Optional – There are many variations of parsnip purée but the easiest is to add fresh herbs (we love thyme), a small turn of good olive oil, or freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
ingredients for parsnip purée on platter

Preparation

  1. Parsnips can come in all sizes. Pro tip when buying is to be sure you get even sized parsnips so that they can cook evenly.
  2. Remove the head where the stalks were growing. We also remove the tips. Then peel off the skin.
  3. Cut the parsnips into even sized pieces, we like to quarter them.
  4. Peel the garlic clove.

How To Make Parsnip Purée

  1. In a large sauce pan place the prepared parsnips and the garlic clove. Fill with water until the parsnips are covered. They will float so we like to add a little extra water.
  2. Place the sauce pan on the stovetop over high heat and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce to a simmer. When the parsnips are soft when you poke with a fork remove the sauce pan and pour into a colander to strain the liquid.
  3. In a blender add the milk, the butter, and salt. Pour in the parsnips and the garlic. Cover and then blend or purée until combined and smooth.
  4. Place in a bowl and then top with fresh thyme. Serve warm with your favorite recipes.

Note: If using an immersion blender versus a normal blender then place the parsnips and garlic back into the saucepan after straining. Then add butter, milk, and salt. Then purée with the hand immersion blender.

Expert Tip

You do NOT want to over purée your parsnip purée. It will get gummy from being too integrated. So be sure to pay attention to the texture with short quick bursts on the blender.

Parsnip puree in a serving bowl

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What do parsnips taste like

Parsnips have a texture similar to carrots but with a more pronounced licorice flavor and lemon aroma on the nose. They are also naturally sweeter. They are great when roasted or softened and turned into a purée to bring out the flavors and mellow out the texture.

Parsnip purée versus mashed potatoes

While both have a similar consistency, parsnips have a brighter flavor and are sweeter than potatoes. The added flavor complements the meat dish with an added flavor dimension.

Smoked Beef Short Ribs

What Pairs Well With Parsnip Purée

Anytime we do a rich stew or braise we make sure we have a side of parsnip purée ready. The purée really soaks in the juices from the meat making it extra delicious! Here are a few of our favorites or explore all of our side recipes.


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Mary (a certified sommelier and recipe developer) and Sean (backyard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fire + Wine, and have been creating content for the IACP nominated website Vindulge since 2009. They live in Oregon on a farm just outside Portland.

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5 from 1 vote

Easy Parsnip Purée Recipe

This easy parsnip purée recipe is creamy and packed with flavor with butter, milk, and kosher salt. This is a great dish to serve with braised meats.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Equipment

  • 1 Blender

Ingredients 

  • 1 ¼ pounds parsnips
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, (Plus 2 tablespoons for the boiling water)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, optional

Instructions 

  • Combine: In a large saucepan place the prepared parsnips and the garlic clove. Fill with water until the parsnips are covered and add two tablespoons of kosher salt. The parsnips will float so we like to add a little extra water.
  • Boil: Place the saucepan on the stovetop over high heat and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce to a simmer. When the parsnips are soft (fork tender) remove the saucepan and pour into a colander to strain the liquid.
  • Blend: In a blender add the milk, the butter, and salt. Pour in the parsnips and the garlic. Cover and then blend or purée until combined and smooth.
  • Serve: Place in a bowl and then top with fresh thyme. Serve warm with your favorite recipes.

Nutrition

Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 318mg | Potassium: 585mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 416IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Additional Info

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 228
Keyword: mashed parsnips, parsnip mash, parsnip puree
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About Mary


I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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