This silky smooth Celery Root and Parsnip Mash is a modern, and more flavorful, take on classic mashed potatoes. 

creamy parsnip and potato mash in a silver oval dish with a pad of butter, pepper, salt and tarragon sprinkled over top

What are parsnips?

Parsnips are a creamy white root vegetable (think white carrot), with a slightly sweet flavor. Starchy and sturdy, parsnips are great roasted, boiled, steamed, or sauteed. They’re also a great ingredient to bake with (like this delicious parsnip cake). 

Parsnips will last 2 weeks stored in the refrigerator (often longer). 

How to make parsnip mash

Making parsnip mash, or any root vegetable mash for that matter, is very similar to making mashed potatoes. 

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; season generously with salt (this lays the foundation for flavor). 
  2. Add the diced celery root, bring back to a boil and cook 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the diced potato and parsnip, bring back to a boil and cook vegetables until soft, 15–20 minutes. 
  4. Drain the root vegetables and pass through a ricer (or food mill) into now-empty pot. Alternatively, you can mash with a potato masher, but it won’t be as smooth. 
  5. Cook the mashed root vegetables over medium heat, stirring constantly, to cook off excess moisture—this creates a thick, silky mash. 
  6. Stir in butter until melted, then stir in milk to reach desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Be generous with the salt—root veggies need it!
  7. Finish the mash with fresh herbs (I like tarragon, but dill, parsley and chives would be great), flaky sea salt (for some texture), black pepper, and melted butter (or olive oil) for a bit of decadence.
creamy parsnip and potato mash in a silver oval dish with a pad of butter, pepper, salt and tarragon sprinkled over top

How to reheat parsnip mash

The best way to reheat this celery root and parsnip mash is in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir frequently and adjust consistency with additional milk as needed. 

If you’re looking for a quick reheat, warm up servings in the microwave for a minute or two on high.

What to serve parsnip mash with 

Variations: mix up the flavors!

  • Add a tablespoon or two of prepared horseradish. 
  • Skip the parsnips and make this celery root mash instead.
  • Add fresh thyme or rosemary 
  • Add a few teaspoons of Dijon mustard. 
  • Make a sweet version with parsnip, honey, and pear (think applesauce).
  • Add some tang by swapping the butter for sour cream.
  • Make this mash uber decadent by using heavy cream instead of milk.
  • Increase the liquid by at least a half of a cup and purée in a blender to create a thinner sauce-like parsnip purée.
  • Add in mashed roasted garlic for savoriness
creamy parsnip and potato mash in a silver oval dish with a pad of butter, pepper, salt and tarragon sprinkled over top

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creamy parsnip and potato mash in a silver oval dish with a pad of butter, pepper, salt and tarragon sprinkled over top

Creamy Celery Root & Parsnip Mash

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutea
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 ½ cups (8 servings) 1x
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A silky-smooth flavorful alternative to classic mashed potatoes made with celery root, parsnips, and creamy Yukon gold potatoes. 


  • 1 pound celery root, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (2 ½ cups)
  • 1 ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes  (3 ½ cups)
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (3 cups, about 3 medium parsnips)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for serving
  • ½ cup whole milk, warmed
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 24 tablespoons chopped herbs such as tarragon, dill and/or parsley 
  • Flaky sea salt


Bring a large pot of water to a boil; season generously with salt. Add celery root and cook, partially covered, 10 minutes. Add potatoes and parsnips and continue to cook, partially covered until vegetables are fork-tender, 15–20 minutes more.

Drain vegetables and pass through a ricer into now empty pot (or mash with a potato masher until smooth). Cook mashed vegetables over medium heat, stirring constantly, to remove extra moisture, 1–2 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and stir in butter until melted. Add milk and continue to cook, stirring frequently until silky and thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper; taste and adjust seasoning as needed. 

Transfer parsnip mash to a serving dish, sprinkle with herbs, flaky sea salt, and black pepper; drizzle with melted butter or olive oil (optional). 


Using a hand mixer: you can use a hand mixer to mash the vegetables. Mix on low speed until desired consistency is reached, being careful not to over-mix which will create a gluey mash. Don’t be tempted to use a food processor for mashing—the resulting consistency will be gluey.

Celery root: For an ultra-smooth mash, use cooking time as a guide but make sure to check the celery root, it should be very soft before draining and mashing.


  • Serving Size: generous ½ cup
  • Calories: 182
  • Sugar: 5.5g
  • Sodium: 216mg
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 17mg

Keywords: parsnip mash, parsnip puree, root vegetable mash, celery root mash

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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