I had no idea that Carrot and Parsnip Mash was a popular Irish side dish until recently. Since discovering it, we have been loving the sweet and creamy mashed veggies as a paleo alternative to potatoes and I am so excited for you to try it too.

A white plate with mashed parsnips and carrots on it.

I actually stumbled upon the combination while trying to come up with a paleo-friendly side dish recipe. I wanted an alternative to Mashed Potatoes and I happened to have a bunch of parsnips and carrots on hand, and decided to mash them together. I loved the way it came out so I looked it up to see if anyone else had caught onto my brilliant idea. And silly me, it’s already a big deal in Ireland. According to some websites, it is known as Sunshine or Green White and Gold.

Mashed Carrots and Parsnips in a Gray Bowl.

When I made it the first time I used olive oil (instead of butter) and we liked it a lot. But then I had the idea of adding some orange to it. So I added in a zested and juiced orange, and OMG, I know it’s probably not authentic or anything like that, but WOW the flavor is so good. It is delicious with chicken and pork. And also delicious straight out of the food processor on a spoon!

Mashed Carrots and Parsnips in a Gray Bowl.

How to Make Carrot and Parsnip Mash

Steam the Carrots and Parsnips. I prefer to steam veggies over boiling them. This preserves more of the vitamins. And for mashed root vegetables, it helps to control the amount of liquid in the final mash.

Check For Doneness: The parsnips will get soft shortly before the carrots, but don’t worry, since they’re going to be mashed anyway, it doesn’t matter! To test if they’re tender, just use a fork to press into the carrots and parsnips. Some of my parsnip coins actually started to split a bit before the carrots were fully tender.

Transfer to The Food Processor: If you’re looking for a silky smooth mash, then you’ll want to opt for the food processor. So carefully transfer the cooked carrots and parsnips. If you plan to hand-mash. Empty the water out of your saucepan and then slide the cooked veggies into the pot.

Add the Seasoning: Add in olive oil, salt and pepper. If you have it, white pepper is nice in this combo. I love the way it tastes with parsnip. At this point add in the orange zest, orange juice and a pinch of nutmeg too. The traditional version of this dish would have butter and even a bit of cream instead of olive oil, but I wanted this to be dairy-free, so I didn’t do that.

Mash by hand or with a Food Processor: I prefered the texture when the carrots and parsnips were pureed in the food processor. They became silky smooth, and the two veggies blended very nicely. Mashing the carrots and parsnips by hand is the traditional way to enjoy the combination. Note that it is difficult to make the parsnips and carrots break down as a potato would. That is because they’re more fibrous. If you do mash by hand, and don’t love the texture, you can always pop it into the food processor and give it a whirl!

Mashed Carrots and Parsnips in a Gray Bowl.

More Vegetable Side Dishes You’ll Love

At Healthy Seasonal Recipes, we specialize in cooking with fresh veggies and creating weeknight meals. Sign up HERE to get more produce-forward dinner ideas for FREE! If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought! Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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Mashed Carrots and Parsnips in a Gray Bowl.

Mashed Carrots and Parsnips

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4.9 from 23 reviews


Mashed Carrots and Parsnips, a healthy paleo version of a traditional Irish side dish. This version is dairy-free and also has the addition of orange in it!



4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch long chunks (about 3 cups)

4 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper or white pepper

Pinch nutmeg

Freshly chopped dill and carrot tops for garnish, optional


  1. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket.
  2. Add carrots and parsnips to the steamer basket, cover and let steam until the vegetables are completely tender, about 18 minutes (test by pressing a fork into the parsnip and carrots- it should slide in and come out easily.)
  3. Remove the basket from the pan and slide the carrots and parsnips into a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment. Add in oil, orange zest and juice, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Process, scraping sides as necessary until it reaches a creamy texture. Serve hot sprinkled with dill and carrot top.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove-top
  • Cuisine: Irish


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 95
  • Fat: 5
  • Saturated Fat: 1
  • Carbohydrates: 13
  • Fiber: 4
  • Protein: 1