Mashed Carrots and Parsnips
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.
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.
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!
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!
More Vegetable Side Dishes You’ll Love
- If you are new to parsnips, try this recipe for Simple Roasted Parsnips and then also this Instant Pot Cream of Cauliflower Soup made with parsnips in it.
- Another root veggie I like to make during the winter is turnips. Try Simple Roasted Turnips or Turnip Casserole.
- For carrot lovers try these Hot Moroccan Carrots or my Carrot and Radish Salad and this Maple Glazed Carrot Recipe.
- If you love this recipe, you’ll want to check out my Mashed Root Vegetable and Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes recipe too.
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. 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! ~KatiePrint
Mashed Carrots and Parsnips
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 3 cups 1x
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 ½ teaspoons orange zest and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper or white pepper
Freshly chopped dill and carrot tops for garnish, optional
- Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket.
- 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.)
- 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
Keywords: carrots,parsnips,paleo,dairy free,gluten free, sunshine,green white and gold
Lovely recipe. Do you think it would freeze well?
Absolutely! It freezes well and it is quite adaptable too.
I am not used to eating parsnips. I wanted to incorporate them in my meals but their flavour would stand out too much for my taste. Then, I found this recipe and I love it. I have made it several times already. I can taste the parsnips, but combined with the carrots and the orange it tastes fantastic.
I am so glad you tried it a few times and have liked it. I adore parsnips plain but I get that the flavor of them can be too strong. If you are game to try another one, my cream of cauliflower soup has parsnip in it. It adds a lovely sweetness to the soup without dominating the overall flavor. https://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/instant-pot-cream-of-cauliflower-soup/ You can make it in a slow cooker or instant pot. Thanks so much for coming back to leave your review here Cecilia. I appreciate it!
Thanks for the suggestion. I will try it for sure!
Can I boil the parsnip and carrot instead of streaming?
Yes! That should work well!
Hi Katie. I have question… I need to make this mashed carrot and parsnip for 12 people. What is your advice? What measurements x2 or x3?
I would make a three times batch to be safe. The serving size is 1/2 cup but if you are serving buffet style then you may want to account for folks taking a larger portion.
Can you make this in advance and reheat?
Yes absolutely. You can do so in the microwave (make sure to stir well to prevent hot spots) or in an ovenproof covered baking dish in the oven.
The orange ruined it. Too strong the zest, too sweet as carrots are already kind of sweet. Threw mine away. Just stick to carrots and parsnips.
Love the addition of the white pepper! I have mashed carrots and parsnips together for years but prefer it so much more pureed.
Another recipe…..My grandmother, who immigrated from Sweden, often made this delicious traditional Swedish dish for our dinner table:
……..Cooked gold potatoes, peeled
….cooked parsnips, peeled…equal proportion…..add warmed 1/2 &1/2, plus generous amount of butter….Mash..S&P to taste….”Rootmoos”…not sure of the spelling
Oh how interesting! I will have to check that out. Sounds really yummy!
I have made this combination at many Thanksgiving dinners but with butter. Looking forward to adding the orange and oil.
This is such a beautiful dish! Parsnip is one of my most favourite vegetables. Love that this recipe is so simple.
That’s great you love parsnips too! Hope you enjoy this recipe then!
I love how you have added orange zest and juice into this, we had this the other night and it was a hit with my family! Parsnips are so often an overlooked veggie but this is a great way to enjoy them 🙂
Thank you so much for coming back to rate and review Hope. I really appreciate it! So glad you all loved it!
I love the color of the dish you have been able to achieve. It is worth trying for my kids as it really looks so inviting
The color of this mash is positively glowing. When you make it, you’ll see! The carrot colors the whole mash and it really pops!
I love this veggie combo, and I used to feed it to my girls when they were little too so they love it as well! Thanks for the reminder of such a beautiful simple side dish for dinner!
Hi Renee! That’s great that you were feeding your kids this. How cool! I bet they are great foodies with a start like that!
Great recipe – this is so simple and packed with so many nutrients! I love the dill, nutmeg, and orange combo!
Hi Kathryn, I am so glad you like the flavor profile too. I made this again yesterday and added a bigger pinch of nutmeg this time. It really pops!
These are not two veggies that I would think to mash together, but I’m sure it is delicious!
It was a happy discovery that they were so good together. We had it again last night! It is our new favorite.