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Mashed Parsnips with Crispy Parsnips on top is a great side dish for family dinners, holidays and makes a wonderful alternative to mashed potatoes (without the nightshades or dairy!).
We love the comfort food texture of smashed parsnips — that have been doctored with just a few good things — and the texture of the crispy chips on top!
This recipe is Paleo, AIP, Whole30, Vegan, Low FODMAP, Gluten-free, VAD and a great basic real food recipe. It’s like eating mashed potatoes — but dairy-free, nightshade-free, and with the added enjoyment of parsnips as themselves!
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Mashed Parsnips with Crispy Parsnips ingredients
Other than the crispy chip topping, my favorite thing about this dish is that it’s dairy-free. While it’s always easy to throw a stick of butter, milk or cream into a pot of potatoes, it’s really healthy and freeing to make Mashed Parsnips with another fat source and broth! You’ll love how these parsnips taste with such simple healthful ingredients.
Creamy and delicious.
Sooo simple = lovely and good:
- broth or meat stock
- olive oil (or duck fat if preferred)
- sea salt (or Potassium Salt)
- dried ginger
How to serve Mashed Parsnips with Crispy Parsnips on top
Crispy parsnips set off the Mashed Parsnips, and you get to decide if you want to serve this smash:
- straight from the stove top, like mashed potatoes
- or from the oven, which allows you to keep the dish warm (and brown it a bit) before serving, more like a gratin.
— whichever helps your cooking process more. Both are delicious and similar.
What has more space in your kitchen, if it’s a holiday?: Oven or stove top?
How to make it
- Peel parsnips. For topping: Slice 1 cup of 1/4″ slices, and set aside. For mash: Cut remaining parsnips into bite-size chunks. Place in saucepan, and simmer until soft. Then strain.
- To saucepan with parsnips, add: broth, 1/4 cup olive oil, sea salt and ginger. Use electric beaters to purée smooth.
- For stove top prep and serving: Over low heat, stir and heat purée until piping hot.
- If oven-baking gratin: Scrape mash into greased baking dish. Bake in preheated oven until very hot through, about 25 minutes. For the last 10 minutes of baking, top with fried parsnip slices. (See next step.)
- While parsnip purée bakes or mash stays hot/warm on the stove top, fry or oven-roast parsnip slices (see more details in Recipe below).
- Serve Mashed Parsnips with Crispy Parsnips on top!
How to reheat leftovers
To reheat Mashed Parsnips with Crispy Parsnips in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Remove any crispy parsnips from the top, and set aside.
- Grease a fresh dish to prevent a lot of burnt edges, or cover the original dish. Baking time will depend on how much you’re reheating, but check the center for hotness after 15 minutes.
- In the final 5 to 10 minutes of baking, add the crispy parsnips back to the top, to reheat briefly without burning.
Leftovers of Mashed Parsnips keep in the fridge for 5 days.
Mashed Parsnips with Crispy Parsnips on top
- baking dish
- sheet pan or frying pan
- 1-½ to 2 lbs parsnips 3 to 4 medium-large size
- ½ cup broth or stock
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons olive oil divided
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried ginger
This recipe makes a small batch, 4 to 6 servings. Be sure to double the recipe for a larger crowd.
- Peel parsnips. Slice about 1 cup of 1/4" slices, roughly measured. Cut slices from smaller ends or middle of parsnips, keeping the bigger ends for chopping and boiling.
- Chop remaining parsnips into bite-size chunks. Place in saucepan, and cover with water. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain simmer, and cook parsnips until very soft, about 25 minutes. Drain water.
Fried or Roasted Crispy Parsnip Topping
- Choose to either fry or roast the Crispy Parsnip topping.Note: How crispy to get your parsnips -- If you plan to serve your smashed Parsnips straight from the pot (stove top prep only), make your Crispy Parsnips perfectly dark golden brown and crispy, ready to eat. If you plan to serve your Parsnip mash from the oven, like a gratin, so it's kept warm until you're ready to serve and browned around the edges, you can get your Crispy Parsnips a little lighter because they'll finish crisping up in the oven.To fry slices: Heat a small skillet, add the 2 Tablespoons oil or fat. Fry parsnip slices over medium low heat until golden brown on both sides: fry about 4 minutes on the first side and 3 on the second. If the pieces are tiny or thin, they'll burn more quickly. Watch them carefully, and remove each one when it's ready. They'll all need to be taken out continually at some point. Remove from the heat if they're browning too fast, to remove them in time.
- To oven roast: When boiling parsnips are close to being done, preheat oven to 375° F. Place raw parsnip slices on baking sheet. Pour remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil or melted fat over them. Flip each slice in the oil, so both sides are well coated. (Using your fingers to rub oil all over the slices is by far the fastest and best way to do this.) Place slices single file over surface of pan. (Again, super fast to do this with your fingers.) Bake until bottom sides are beginning to brown, about 10-15 minutes, but watch them closely, especially those on the outer edges or that are thinner, to prevent burning. (Set a timer because parsnips burn easily; don't forget to check on them.) When browned on the bottom, flip them, and roast again, so both sides are dark golden brown. Remove from the oven, and set aside until it's time to top the purée.
Mashed Parsnips continued...
- To boiled, drained parsnips: Add broth, ¼ cup olive oil, sea salt and ginger to pot. Use electric beaters to purée smooth, starting on lowest setting and increasing speed as they smash. This will take about 2 minutes, but the longer you beat on high speed, the creamier they'll look. This method may leave a few small chunks of parsnips. (If you want your mash completely smooth, you may wish to cool your cooked parsnips slightly, then purée recipe more smoothly in food processor or blender.) Place pot over low heat, and stir until piping hot.
- If ready to serve, scrape hot smashed parsnips into serving dish. Top with handfuls of crispy parsnips. Serve!
- If you need or want to bake your Mashed Parsnips to keep them hot or to serve piping hot from the oven: Use a spatula to scrape purée into greased small oven-safe baking dish. Bake in preheated oven until very hot through, about 25 minutes, if the mash has cooled, or only 15 minutes if it's hot from the stove top. For the last 5-10 minutes of baking, top with fried parsnip slices. Bake until the Crispy slices are done perfectly; don't allow them to burn.
- Remove from oven, and serve.
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More great Paleo and AIP side dish recipes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Onions
- Herb-Roasted Cauliflower
- Caramelized Roasted Delicata Squash Slices
- Lemon Roasted Green Beans (Re-intro for AIP)
- Fall and Winter Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash
These look appetizing and are surely lower in carbs than mashed potatoes. Just curious, how big a serving would this be? I’d like to try it, even though I bought a big bag of russet potatoes on sale.
Hi Dorothy, this recipe feeds 4 to 6 people, depending on portions. Unlike mashed potatoes, I think mashed parsnips are more satisfying, so you don’t want to eat the whole dish; they’re a little richer. A portion is about 1 cup if the recipe feeds 4.
That sounds good. Thanks and happy Thanksgiving!!
My pleasure, and happy Thanksgiving, Dorothy!! 🙂