Sweet Potato and Parsnip Mash

Now that it is officially fall, I feel the need to make everything autumn inspired. My goal this week was to make an autumn inspired vegetable tian and I found this absolutely stunning recipe for a fall inspired Sweet Potato and Parsnip Tian from Epicurious. When I went to make the tian, I realized that it would look a little silly since my sweet potatoes are nowhere near the same circumfrence as the parsnips I found, so I decided to take the flavor profile of the Epicurious recipe and turn it into a delicious autumn mashed potato! I hope you all enjoy this twist on the traditional mashed potato. IMG_6249

First I skinned the parsnips and the sweet potatoes, and sliced them into easy-to-boil pieces. Here, you can see that I sliced them thin for a tian, however, you certainly do not have to slice them into thin pieces. Bring about 4 cups of apple cider and 4 cups of chicken broth to a boil and add the parsnips and potatoes. Boil the vegetables until they are tender and easy to prick with a fork. The parsnips will likely take a little longer to become tender than the sweet potatoes. Reserve about two cups of the boiling liquid to add to the mash later.IMG_6257

Pour the vegetables into a strainer after saving two cups of boiling liquid. In a saucepan, add four tablespoons (or half a stick) of butter, four sprigs of thyme, and two garlic cloves and brown the butter over medium low heat. Once you have browned the butter, remove from heat and add only the butter (not the thyme or garlic) to the vegetables. Using a hand blender, I blended the vegetables into a puree, adding about half a cup of the boiling liquid until it was able to blend smoothly. I used roughly about a 1 and 1/2 cups.

*If you would like to make this recipe dairy free, substitute the butter for your favorite dairy free spread. I really like to use Earth Balance. Coconut oil is often a great substitute for butter, but for this particular recipe, I think coconut oil might add too much sweetness to an already sweet dish.

After blending the parsnips, potatoes, liquid, and butter together, be sure to taste your mash. You will want to add salt and pepper to taste. For me, I ended up adding about 3 teaspoons of salt. I wanted to balance out the sweetness. In the Epicurious post, they used Aleppo pepper, but since I couldn’t find any aleppo pepper, I used a little smoky cayenne pepper and some round nutmeg to round out the flavors. I didn’t want to make it too spicy, but I wanted just enough to give a little kick.


Be sure to taste your mash as you go, so that you can be sure to find the perfect balance of flavors. These flavors are perfect for an autumn dinner. Hopefully you will enjoy them just as much as we did!

IMG_6266To finish, give a light dusting of ground nutmeg for a little bit of a garnish and serve hot as a side. Enjoy! Be sure to share your photos of your creations on Instagram with the hashtag #MyDinnerDesigner , and as always, have fun with it!  Make the flavors your own and enjoy your autumn feast!

Sweet Potato and Parsnip Mash

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Print

If you've got a craving for a delicious autumnal spin on an old favorite, this sweet potato and parsnip mash with apple and nutmeg flavors will certainly hit the spot.


  • 5 sweet potatoes
  • 5 parsnips
  • 4 cups of apple cider
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • fresh thyme (about 4 sprigs)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled whole
  • -3 teaspoons of salt

  • 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • -2 cups of the boiling liquid, reserved



  1.  Bring apple cider and chicken broth to a boil. While brining the liquids to a boil, peel and chop the parsnips and sweet potatoes.
  2. Add potatoes and parsnips to the boiling liquid. Boil until they are tender and easy to prick with a fork. Reserve 2 cups of the boiling liquid.
  3. Drain potatoes and parsnips, return to pot off of the heat.
  4. Over medium heat, brown the butter with the thyme and garlic cloves in a small saucepan. Add only the butter to the vegetables. Add 1/2 cup of boiling liquid to the mixture at a time as you puree them. Continue to add the liquid until the mash is evenly blended.
  5. Add the salt, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Be sure to taste your mash and add seasonings until you’ve reached the balance you prefer.
  6. Serve mash while hot with a sprinkle of nutmeg for a garnish.


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