Garlicky Mashed Cauliflower and Parsnips

Garlicky Mashed Cauliflower and Parsnips

This time of year is madness. Everyone is trying to get a million things done. Presents in need of wrapping seem to grow exponentially. Last-minute holiday cards need to be signed and mailed. Packages need to be shipped.  And don’t even get me started on the lines at the post office. *shudder*

To make matters worse, I am constantly surrounded by sugary treats and heavy meals. I don’t know about you, by my body is rebelling. Even looking at another holiday cookie makes me feel a little ill. I think it’s time to get back to the basics and get some more veggies into my diet, snap!

In planning my holiday menu, I’ve been looking for ways to “lighten up” some traditional favorites.  There is nothing wrong with mashed potatoes, but I’ve recently discovered this mock version that I love even more than the original. Plus, it only involves 4 ingredients and can be made in under 15 minutes. Yes, please!

Garlicky Mashed Cauliflower and Parsnips
So what’s in it, you ask?  Pureed cauliflower and parsnips combined with a little garlic and olive oil.  Yum! It’s the perfect (lighter) side to your holiday meal and goes fabulous with my gluten-free and vegan mushroom gravy.  Enjoy!


Garlicky Mashed Cauliflower and Parsnips
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 4
  • 4 cups chopped cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups chopped peeled parsnips
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly-ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and parnsips and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve about ¼ cup of the cooking liquid, drain well, and then transfer the cauliflower, parnsips, and minced garlic to a food processor. Add oil and a little water, 1 tablespoon at a time (as needed), and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


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  1. says

    I’ve been debating doing the cauliflower mash this Christmas but I’m pretty sure Kevin, my boyfriend, would be really, really upset. I just may make a little batch for myself.
    It’s funny (or sad, I haven’t decided) now that we live across the country and both of us work from home, we really haven’t been tempted by ANY holiday treats or anything. We’ve both been feeling great, having awesome meals, and looking forward to Christmas Day turkey and a couple of homemade desserts. Not only that, but I did all of my shopping online so I didn’t have to wrap a thing! As much as I miss my family and would give anything to go back home, not feeling pressured around this time of the year has been a really, really nice change.

    • says

      It’s definitely about the flavor since cauliflower is pretty bland on its own. I really loved this version with garlic and a little salt and pepper. If you try it, let me know what you think!

    • says

      Yes, sorry the directions were unclear. I added my garlic raw, but you could also saute it in a little oil if you didn’t want a strong garlic flavor. Or, you could add whole garlic cloves to the pot of water to cook with the cauliflower and parsnips and then chop in the food processor. Hope that helps!

  2. says

    Thanks, Sonnet! I saw parsnips at the grocery store and I was wondering what to do with them. This sounds fab!

    If you were open to it, I would really love to learn more about your philosophy on sugar cravings. Any chance you might write a post about it for those of us who can’t attend?

    • says

      Hey Becky,

      I actually do have a post about sugar cravings planned for Jan, but it won’t be as intensive as the material I cover in the workshop. At some point I’d love to offer an online workshop that people can virtually attend so it isn’t limited by location. Hope you have a wonderful holiday!


  3. says

    I have to say, I haven’t eaten parsnips since I left home and they were no longer force fed to me. It’s the one vegetable I just don’t like. Although, having said that, recently my friend converted me into an eggplant lover from a serious eggplant skeptic…so I think I will try out this recipe and hopefully I will become a parsnip convert!!! Ps. Powdered potatoes!!! Eeeek!!!! Haha.

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