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Root Vegetable Mash

Change it up with this yummy root vegetable mash. Same creamy, fluffiness as mashed potatoes, but made with your favorite root veggies. Beautiful colors and extra nutrition. Under 30 minutes.

I like this vegetable mash on the chunkier side, but you can certainly puree it if you prefer.

serving bowl with root vegetable mash

Why make this recipe?

  1. Root vegetable mash is similar to mashed potatoes in taste and texture, but with interesting new notes with the mild sweetness of carrots, celeriac and parsnips.
  2. The recipe is great for kids with its hidden extra veggies and nutrition. Skip the green bits if that turns them off.
  3. It’s a lovely twist on mashed potatoes especially for Fall and Thanksgiving. I love the colors

Ingredient notes – tailored to your taste

yellow and sweet potato, milk, butter, turnip, butter, spinach, carrots, salt

I’ve made several variations of this root vegetable recipe. The simplest ones are potato and carrot or a carrot and parsnip mash.

Use variations and substitutes to your liking, what you have on hand or diet preferences.

  • Root vegetables: Use two or more – white potatoes (I like Yukon/yellow potatoes best), sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga (swede), celery root (celeriac).  Not a root vegetable, but you can also try pumpkin or butternut squash.
  • Lower calorie version: Reduce the butter and eliminate the cream or milk (or replace it with low fat Greek yogurt or broth)
  • Dairy-free version: Substitute the butter with olive oil and the cream with broth.
  • Add ins:
    • Try adding grated parmesan cheese or caramelized onions
    • I also like to add fresh chopped baby spinach for extra color and nutrition.
    • Sprinkle the finished dish with fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano, chives or parsley.

Tips

  1. Prep: Cut vegetables roughly the same size for even cooking. The exception is carrots which take longer to cook so cut them smaller.
  2. Measurements: There is really no need to stress about amounts. Once you boil and drain the vegetables, you can just add the butter and milk  – a little at a time  – until you get the consistency you like.
  3. Method:
    • Dry out the cooked vegetable mash before adding cream and butter. This will prevent them from become gluey.
    • Mash with a potato masher, fork or electric mixer (not a food processor)

Step by step instructions

cubed root vegetables on cutting board
Cut up root vegetables into roughly equal pieces.
root vegetables in pot with water
Add enough water to cover vegetables and boil in salted water until very tender 15-20 minutes.
cooked root vegetables in colander draining
Drain and return to the pot.
cooked root vegetables and chopped spinach in pot
Shake the pot over medium or medium-low heat to dry vegetables for 1 minute. Add chopped spinach (if using), butter, milk and salt to taste
root vegetable mash in pot
Mash with a fork to your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings.
bowl of root veggie mash on wood table
Serve immediately, sprinkled with herbs if you like or keep warm until needed (see recipe notes).

Recipe FAQ

How do I prevent the vegetable mash from becoming gummy?

Make sure you dry out the veggies on the stove in the cooking pot after you drain them (see recipe). Mash with a potato masher, fork or electric [handheld] mixer – not a food processor or immersion blender. And don’t over beat the vegetables if using an electric mixer.

Is root vegetable mash healthy?

Healthline gives a good breakdown of nutritional information:
Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C and vitamin A and a good source of several antioxidants.
Turnips are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.
Carrots are loaded with vitamins A and K as well as beta-carotene (an important antioxidant).
Celeriac/celery root has a good dose dose of vitamin C and phosphorus and an excellent source of vitamin K (80% of daily value in one cup).
Potatoes pack a good punch of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese.

Can I freeze root vegetable mash?

Yes, it freezes well for several months. Reheat in the oven, covered, in an oven-safe dish at 350F/175C for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Or in the microwave on high for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

How much do I need per serving?

Figure about 1/2 – 3/4 cup (125-250g) root vegetable mash per person. You will need about 1 pound (0.45kg) root vegetables to make 2 cups mash or 3-4 servings.

Shortcut

  • buy pre-peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
  • buy peeled carrots

Make Ahead

To keep the mashed vegetables warm:

  • Make them an hour ahead and keep them in the pot on a warming ring, covered, on your stove (if you have one) for an hour.
  • Or put the bowl of mash, covered, over a pot of simmering water.

The vegetable mash will keep in the fridge for 2 days (3 if you stretch it). Warm in the microwave with a little extra milk, broth or cream or in the oven, covered, at 350F/175F for 20 minutes or until hot. Freezes well.

What to serve with mashed root vegetables

This mash makes a wonderful Thanksgiving or Fall side dish. It’s sensational with skillet chicken and vegetables, healthy meatloaf with mushroom gravy, sous vide short ribs (boneless beef), hamburger steak with onion gravy (sous vide or pan sear) and bone-in turkey breast with pear chutney.

And check out many of our other delicious Thanksgiving side dishes.

More comfort-food potato recipes

If you’re in the mood for traditional mashed potatoes, try our basic mashed potatoes. And if you have any leftovers, why not turn them into mashed potato pancakes – in this case, mashed root vegetable pancakes or transform the mash into delicious root vegetable knishes. You might also like our best instant pot potatoes and carrots.

serving bowl with root vegetable mash on wooden table

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Recipe

serving bowl with root vegetable mash
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4.88 from 16 votes

Root Vegetable Mash

Change it up a bit with this yummy root vegetable mash. Same creamy, fluffiness as mashed potatoes, but made with your favorite root veggies, including potatoes. Beautiful colors and extra nutrients.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian
Servings: 6
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds root vegetables, Note 1
  • 3 tablespoon butter (or 4 for extra richness)
  • 1/4 cup milk or cream (plus extra if needed)
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Optional add-ins or garnish

  • 2 green onions chopped adds great flavor
  • 2 – 3 cups roughly chopped baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs e.g. thyme, oregano, parsley, chives, dill

Instructions

  • CUT ROOT VEGETABLES into roughly the same size pieces – about 1 – 1 1/2 inches (2.5-3.8 cm). If using carrots, slice them thinner as they take longer to cook.
  • BOIL VEGETABLES: Place vegetables in a medium to large pot. Add enough cool water to cover veggies by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Add 2-3 tsp salt. Bring to boil. Lower to medium heat and gently boil for 15-18 minutes or until soft and easily pierced with a fork. Drain in a colander and return vegetables to pot.
  • MASH: On medium heat, shake cooked vegetables to dry them out for 1 minute. Add optional spinach, parmesan and/or green onions (if using) as well as butter and milk/cream. Mash vegetables with a potato masher or fork to get the consistency you like. I like them chunky, but if your prefer a smooth texture, you can use an electric hand mixer. Do not use a food processor or immersion blender to mash veggies. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Transfer to large bowl and serve with herb garnish if you like.

Notes

  1. Mixture of root vegetables – Use two or more – white potatoes (I like yellow or Yukon gold potatoes best), sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga (swede), celery root (celeriac). You can also use pumpkin or butternut squash which are not root vegetables, but good.
  2. Portions: Figure about 1/2 – 3/4 cup (125-250g) root vegetable mash per person. You will need about 1 pound (0.45kg) root vegetables to make 2 cups mash or 3-4 servings.
  3. Variations
    • Lower calorie version: Reduce the butter and eliminate the cream or milk (or replace it with low fat Greek yogurt or broth)
    • Dairy-free version: Substitute the butter with olive oil and the cream with broth.
  4. Make Ahead:
    • To keep the mashed vegetables warm:
      1. Make them an hour ahead and keep them in the pot on a warming ring, covered, on your stove (if you have one) for an hour.
      2. Or put the bowl of mash, covered, over a pot of simmering water.
    • Leftover root vegetables mash will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 2 days (3 if you stretch it). Warm in the microwave with a little extra milk, broth or cream or in the oven, covered, at 350F/175F for 20 minutes or until hot.
    • Freezes well for several months.Β 
Β 
Nutrition Values are estimates and include the optional spinach and green onions.Β 

Nutrition

Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 470mg | Potassium: 789mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1171IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1mg
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