Mashed Parsnips and Pears

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Why is it we always serve plain old mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes year after year? We decided to experiment with various vegetables and fruits that pair well and would make delicious accompaniments to any holiday roast. Sweet parsnips and pears turned out to be an excellent, unexpected combination.




Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Recipe Courseside dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentfood processor

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and Texturebuttery, creamy, savory


  • 2 pounds small, thin parsnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the parsnips, cover, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender when tested with a small, sharp knife. Drain thoroughly.

  2. Place the cooked parsnips in the container of a food processor. Add the pears to the hot parsnips and whirl until chunky. Add the cream, butter, and salt and pepper to taste, and puree until almost smooth. The mixture can be slightly chunky, or you may prefer it smoother. Taste for seasoning.

  3. Serve hot or make ahead of time and place in a small casserole or ovenproof skillet, cover, and refrigerate until ready to cook. To reheat, place in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes, or until bubbling hot. Stir well before serving.

  4. Variation:

  5. Add 2 peeled, chopped apples to the puree instead of the pears.


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