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Parsnip Purée

Bowl of beige pure on light pink tablecloth.
Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne, Prop Styling by Gerri K. Williams

This is about as easy as a side dish gets. Parsnips are really delicious and so underappreciated. My friend Julianna Margulies served us a simple parsnip purée that I became obsessed with. It’s the essence of parsnip-ness with just a little butter. So good with any fish, meat, or poultry. —Ina Garten

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What you’ll need


4 servings

lb. parsnips, scrubbed, sliced ¾" thick

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper


Tbsp. unsalted butter, diced


  1. Step 1

    Place 1½ lb. parsnips, scrubbed, sliced ¾" thick, in a medium pot, add 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, and add enough water to cover the parsnips. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then uncover, lower the heat, and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until the parsnips are very soft when tested with a small knife. Don’t drain the pot!

    Step 2

    With a slotted spoon or small strainer, transfer the parsnips to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse to chop the parsnips. Pour the cooking liquid into a glass measuring cup and pour ½ cup down the feed tube. Purée the parsnips, adding more cooking liquid (about 1 cup total) through the feed tube until the parsnips are creamy and almost smooth but still have some texture. Add 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, diced, and ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper and purée until combined. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

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Recipe excerpted from ‘Go-To Dinners: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook,’ by Ina Garten. To be published October 25, 2022 by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of The Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

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  • i can NOT believe this is an Ina recipe! i shouldve known the recipe's simplicity actually lending any flavor was too good to be true. THIS WAS AWFUL! i even created an account here just to comment. ZERO flavor. i even sauteed some garlic anď shallots, nothing. added some cream, nothing. added SALTED butter, the good kind from Ireland, nothing. it tasted like glue. i once followed a dough recipe of Martha Stewart's that came out bland and never followered her again and now Ina is in that same category. I shoulda chose a chef of colors parsnip recipe, this recipe here is the epitome of bland white folks food...and im white!!! lol. Ugh, never again. And i dont believe ANY of these other reviews. Trust me, find your parsnip recipe elsewhere. RUN!!!

    • dillon

    • Central Maryland

    • 11/26/2022

  • Made it. Quite easy and surprisingly tasty.

    • Anonymous

    • Birmingham, AL

    • 11/20/2022

  • Fine recipe. Because it is such a refreshingly light vegetal taste, it really cries to be served with a subtle protein. We paired it with sautéed scallops, a Chardonnay and juxtaposed to Ina Garten’s roasted ratatouille. A feast! I will try it at the Thanksgiving table but am afraid that it may not stand up to the other sides or the main course. A definite keeper but best where it can complement a lighter protein.

    • Androidcgv

    • Great Barrington, MA

    • 11/14/2022

  • This is a home run! Great alterative to mashed potatoes.

    • Anonymous

    • Rancho Mirage, CA

    • 11/12/2022

  • So easy to make and so silky, refreshing and light. Made as directed. Absolute perfection. Reheated leftovers the next night. Worked well. Many Thanks, Ina and Bon Appetit

    • Lynn

    • Brooklyn NY

    • 11/2/2022

  • Very delicious and much lighter than mashed potatoes. So quick to make too.

    • Jo

    • NY, NY

    • 10/27/2022

  • Try Pear and Parsnip Puree, even better!

    • Peg Judd

    • Chicago IL

    • 10/26/2022