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Parsnip Mashed Potatoes are an easy and rustic side dish perfect for cozy winter dinners. Sweet and nutty parsnips meet golden potatoes in this accidentally vegan recipe!

Parsnip mashed potatoes in a white bowl.

Parsnip Mashed Potatoes

I first fell in love with this Parsnip Mashed Potatoes recipe about 10 years ago when I found it in an issue of Martha Stewart Magazine. I made them for my then boyfriend (now husband) and he still frequently requests them. They have become a staple for holiday meals, we often serve them at Thanksgiving or Christmas. But they are easy enough to make as a side dish for any winter dinner.

Ingredients for parsnip mashed potatoes - Fresh Thyme, baby gold potatoes, parsnips, olive oil, salt and pepper,

What we love about mashed potatoes with Parsnips

  • Super easy and unfussy.
  • No peeling potatoes
  • A little bit different – not your average mashed potatoes!
  • Sweet and nutty from the parsnips
  • Totally vegan and gluten-free – meaning almost everyone at the table can eat them!

Plant Based Mashed Potatoes

These Parsnip Mashed Potatoes have no butter or cream, in fact, no dairy at all. They are totally plant based, getting their richness from olive oil. The fresh thyme and parsnips add tons of unique flavor and you won’t even miss the butter or cream.

Diced parsnips being cooked in a white dutch oven.

What are parsnips?

Parsnips are a root vegetable that look like a big white carrot. They do not really taste like carrots, though. I actually prefer the taste of parsnips, which is mellow, sweet, nutty, and earthy. Parsnips are in season in the winter, as farmers usually leave them in the ground until after the first frost, when they are the sweetest.

Olive oil and fresh thyme in a white Dutch oven

Can Parsnip Mashed Potatoes be made ahead of time?

Yes, you can make them 1-2 days ahead of time. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat in a pan on the stove over medium low heat, stirring until warm.

Parsnip Mashed Potatoes in a white Dutch oven

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Parsnip Mashed Potatoes

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Prep 15 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Servings 6 Servings


  • 5 Tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 2 parsnips peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about ¾ pound)
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby gold potatoes quartered
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper


  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add parsnips with 1/2 teaspoon salt, cook for for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt to the pot, cover with water. Bring to a boil., then reduce heat, and simmer until parsnips and potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Drain parsnips and potatoes. Return empty pot to medium-high heat, make sure any remaining water evaporates before adding oil. When pot is dry, add remaining 4 tablespoons oil and the thyme leaves. Be very careful adding thyme as it will sometimes pop when it hits the hot oil.
  • Cook until thyme starts to sizzle, about 1 minute. Add parsnips and potatoes, and mash with a potato masher or spoon until combined, but still chunky.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with more oil and garnish with more thyme leaves when serving.


Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 682mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Sides
Cuisine: American
Did you like this recipe?Please comment, rate and share! And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @foxandbriar AND #foxandbriar so I can see what you made!

Adapted from Martha Stewart Magazine

Hello! I’m Meghan.

I am so glad that you are here! I am the recipe developer, photographer, and writer here at my blog Fox and Briar. I am a passionate, self-taught home cook and believe that most things are better homemade and that good food doesn’t need to be complicated.

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