Mashed Parsnips and Potatoes with Chives and Parsley

Ah, parsnips. Do you like them? If you’ve never had a parsnip, you don’t know what you’re missing! They look like white carrots and are closely related to them. Sweet, like carrots, but with a nutty, buttery taste.

Lovely in soups and stews, delicious roasted, parsnips also mash up beautifully with potatoes, as we have done here. Mashed parsnips are perfect as a side to pork chops, roast chicken, or beef short ribs.

Parsnips on Simply Recipes

Mashed Parsnips and Potatoes with Chives and Parsley Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.

Sometimes parsnips can have a tough, fibrous core that no amount of cooking will tenderize. If you encounter this, cut the parsnips in quarters lengthwise and cut out the tough core.



  • 1 1/2 pounds parsnips
  • 1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chives
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1 Peel the parsnips. Cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch thick medallions. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks.

2 Place into a medium saucepan, cover with water, add two teaspoons of salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover and let cook for 10 minutes, until a fork can pierce easily. Drain and return the parsnips and potatoes to the warm pan. Cover and let steam in the heat of the pan for 10 minutes.

3 Using a potato masher, mash the parsnips and potatoes until nicely mashed. Don't over mash or they will be gluey. Add butter and salt (omit salt if using salted butter), and mash some more. Stir in the chopped parsley and chives. Add black pepper and more salt to taste.

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Parsnip latkes with horseradish and dill from Deb of Smitten Kitchen

Old Bay parsnip fries from Everyday Maven

Potato and parsnip gratin from Chef John of Food Wishes

Mashed Parsnips and Potatoes on Simply Recipes

Showing 4 of 15 Comments

  • Dawn

    Wow, this looks great. I never used to like parsnips, and father positively hated them. As my husband loves them, one day I tried a recipe very similar to yours – no potato and the parsnips are mashed with butter and a little heavy cream. Lots of black pepper and some nutmeg bring out the slight spicy sweetness of the parsnips. I plated the meal and put a tiny spoonful on my father’s plate. He was most indignant at the miniscule serving once he had tried it! We all enjoyed parsnips prepared this way.

    So I recommend to anyone who thinks they don’t like parsnips – try Elise’s recipe, and if you like nutmeg, consider adding some too!

  • Another parsnip recipe

    Here’s another great recipe for parsnips.

    Positively addicting.

  • Nate

    Whenever I’ve added parsnips to a soup, they have added an overpoweringly strong and spicy taste. Do they change flavor depending on how long since they were picked? Or are there different varieties that taste different? I’ve kind of disregarded them after having some bad experiences, but would be open to trying them again if I knew more.

  • Joshua Hampton

    I’m usually indifferent to parsnips, but since I love playing with mashed potatoes, this got me curious. Will definitely give this recipe a try.

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