Today’s recipe for Vegetable Mash is a creamy comforting alternative to mashed potatoes. It’s made using root vegetables, garlic and butter pureed until it has a creamy silky texture.

Mashed root veggie puree in a white bowl on a table with hydrangeas in a vase

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Why Make Creamy Vegetable Mash

I’ve long been a fan of alternatives to mashed potatoes. From my Creamy Mashed Cauliflower and Mashed Broccoli to my Parsnip and Carrot Mash. Add to that my love of using underappreciated veggies and that’s where this recipe for Creamy Vegetable Mash came from.

One of my goals here on Healthy Seasonal Recipes is to bring you inspiration for what to do with some of the underused root vegetables such as rutabaga, turnips, parsnips and celery root.

Besides roasting root vegetables, one of my favorite ways to prepare them is to mash them, or rather puree them. That is what I did here today, and the results are so good!

Why You Should Embrace Root Vegetables

Root Veggies are what’s called a storing crop. That means that they are less perishable and can be kept for longer periods of time. Meaning, after they are harvested they can be kept for weeks and even months without any loss of quality.

In cold climates where it is difficult to grow crops in the winter the best way to eat locally sourced food is by using storing crops and root vegetables.

Eating locally sourced food is important because in most cases the food doesn’t require as much energy (and carbon) to travel from field to plate. So choosing locally grown foods, and eating root veggies in the winter can help to reduce your carbon footprint.

Choosing locally grown food, and eating storing crops in the winter, also helps to support your local farm economy.

Root veggie puree with butter on top

Root Vegetables For This Recipe


Rutabaga is often confused with turnips and can be used interchangeably in most recipes. And you certainly can here too! Note, it does have a slightly sweeter taste though, and it is a little less watery for mashing. Look for a small one for this recipe, as you’ll only need two cups.


If you’re not familiar with parsnips, they look sort of like white carrots with a narrow pointy tip. They are incredibly sweet and taste like candy when they are roasted. Parsnips vary in size quite a bit, so look for two large or three small ones.

Sweet Potato

I used white sweet potato for this recipe for a couple reasons. One, so that the final root vegetable puree would be a nice light blond color like that of mashed potatoes. Two, because white sweet potatoes are dryer than those that are orange, which is better for the texture of the vegetable mash.

Celery Root

Celery Root is also known as celeriac and is related to celery. It has a rough craggy brown exterior and the inside is mottled white. It tastes like celery and has a texture similar to parsnips.

Note: I did also test this recipe using two large carrots instead of the celery root. We preferred the taste and color of the celery root better but if you can’t find celery root, carrots do pose another option.

How To Make Mashed Root Vegetables

Peel and Cut The Vegetables

I use a knife to peel the celery root because the skin is thick and rough and a vegetable peeler doesn’t work very well with it. Then I use a regular vegetable peeler to peel the parsnips, sweet potato and rutabaga. Cut the veggies into 1-inch chunks.

Keep the parsnips and sweet potato separated from the celery root and rutabaga because they cook at different rates.

Steam The Root Vegetables

a pot with steaming root vegetables
Step 1. Steam the celery root and rutabaga for 8 minutes. Add the sweet potato and parsnips on top and steam for 17 minutes.
  • Set up a large saucepan or pot with a inch or so of water and a steamer basket.
  • Add the Rutabaga and Celery Root first and let them steam. They cook at a slower rate than the parsnips and sweet potatoes, so they’ll need to steam for 8 minutes.
  • Add in the sweet potato and parsnips on top of the rutabaga and celery root and let them steam for 17 minutes.
check the veggies with a fork
2. Check to make sure the vegetables are fork tender.

You’ll know they are ready to be pureed when you test them with a fork. It should slide in and out easily of all four veggie types.

Cook The Garlic

Sizzle the garlic in the melted butter and olive oil until it is just starting to brown
3. Sizzle the garlic in the melted butter and olive oil until it is just starting to brown.
  • Melt the butter in a skillet and add in the oil.
  • Add in the garlic and let it cook just until it is just lightly browned. This only takes seconds, so don’t overcook it.
Add the chopped herbs to the garlic butter mixture
4. Add the chopped herbs and remove the skillet from the heat.

Add the herbs into the butter garlic mixture and immediately remove it from the heat.

Puree the Vegetables and Garlic Herb Butter

Set up your food processor with the steel blade attachment. If you want to mash this by hand you can try, but the results will be very different and not creamy like it comes out when it is pureed.

Two Batches

Note: I tried pureeing all of this in one batch and it was too difficult to achieve a smooth texture. Some of the rutabaga didn’t puree. Instead I found that if I split the veggies and garlic mixture into two batches, it was much easier for the mixture to puree into a cohesive smooth mash.

half the ingredients are in a food processor before pureeing
5. Transfer half the veggies, half the garlic butter mixture and half the cream to a food processor fitted with a steel blade attachment.
  • Transfer half of the steamed veggies to the food processor.
  • Pour half of the garlic butter, and herb mixture over the vegetables.
  • Add in half the heavy cream.
  • Puree it for several seconds until it looks pretty smooth.
scraping the sides of the food processor
6. Puree until smooth. Scrape the sides of the food processor and add salt and pepper. Puree and transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Open up the food processor, scrape down the sides and add in half the salt and pepper.
  • Puree again and then transfer it to a bowl or serving dish.
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Stir the two batches together and serve.
overhead of Creamy Garlic Herb MAshed Root Vegetables

How To Store Leftover Mashed Root Vegetables

Transfer leftovers to a resealable container. Once cool, seal shut and refrigerate up to 4 days.

Make Ahead and Reheating Instructions

This recipe reheats very nicely. To do so, prepare it completely and then transfer it to an oven proof container. You can refrigerate it for up to three days.

Microwave: Reheat it in the microwave, stirring once or twice until it is steaming hot.

Oven: Place the oven safe covered dish in a 350 degree oven and bake until the vegetable mash is steaming hot. You can also use foil if your dish doesn’t have a lid.

Variations To Try

Here are some other ways to improvise with this recipe

  • Instead of parsnips, use carrots, and use orange sweet potato for a bright orange version of the recipe
  • If you are not a fan of parsnips, use one medium yukon gold potato (peeled) instead of the parsnips.
  • Add in fresh chopped thyme.
  • Use fat-free Greek yogurt or non-fat milk instead of heavy cream to lighten it up a little
  • Garnish with chopped chives or green onion

More Root Vegetable Recipes

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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root veggie puree in a bowl with butter

Vegetable Mash

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Katie
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x


This Mashed Root Vegetable Puree with Garlic is ultra creamy and makes a great alternative to mashed potatoes. 



2 cups rutabaga chunks (about 1-inch pieces)

2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 sweet potato, preferably white, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 small celeriac (celery root), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 tablespoons butter or ghee

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or oregano

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper


1.     Steam The Vegetables: Bring an inch of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Add rutabaga, celeriac and cook, covered for 8 minutes. Add parsnips, sweet potato and steam until a fork inserted into the vegetables goes in and slides out easily, about 17 minutes. Transfer half of the vegetables to food processor fitted with steel blade attachment.


2.     Cook the Garlic: Melt butter in a small skillet. Add olive oil and garlic and cook, swirling until the garlic is just browned, about 20 seconds. Add thyme (or oregano) and remove from the heat.

3.     Puree the Vegetables: Pour half of the garlic oil mixture over the vegetables and add half of the cream, half the salt and pepper and puree. Scrape sides and continue pureeing until completely smooth. Transfer the vegetable mash to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining steamed vegetables, garlic oil and seasoning. Combine the two batches of pureed vegetables. Serve hot.


This recipe can be made up to three days ahead. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees or microwave until steaming hot. 

If you cannot find or don’t like celery root, you can substitute two large carrots. 

To make this recipe vegan, skip the butter and use 1/4 cup olive oil or hazelnut oil instead. Substitute your favorite nut milk, vegetable or cashew cream for the heavy cream. 

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup
  • Calories: 164
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 2 g