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Mashed Potato, Parsnip, and Parmesan Gratin

Featured in our 2017 Christmas Guide
Scott Phillips

Servings: 8 to 10

Parsnips contribute earthy sweetness to make-ahead mashed potatoes. The entire dish can be assembled up to 3 days ahead of time–or even earlier;see the Make-Ahead Tips, below. 


  • 4 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. parsnips, peeled, quartered lengthwise, cored and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 8 oz. crème fraîche
  • 4 oz. mascarpone
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg white, whipped until lightly foamy
  • 1 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 cup)

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 300
      Fat Calories (kcal): 120
      Fat (g): 13
      Saturated Fat (g): 8
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3.5
      Cholesterol (mg): 35
      Sodium (mg): 330
      Carbohydrates (g): 42
      Fiber (g): 5
      Protein (g): 6


  • Put the potatoes and parsnips in a 6- to 8-quart pot, cover by about 3 inches with cold water, add 1 Tbs. salt, bring to a boil, and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes after the water begins to boil. Drain the potatoes and parsnips, put them back into the pot with the butter, and coarsely mash with a potato masher. Fold in the crème fraîche, mascarpone, nutmeg, 2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. (If you prefer a smoother texture, whip with a hand mixer on medium high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.) Season to taste with salt and pepper and then fold in the egg white. Transfer to a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Remove the plastic, sprinkle with the cheese, and bake until the gratin is heated through and the top is golden, about 40 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Make Ahead Tips

The assembled gratin can be refrigerated for up to 3 days (minus the Parmigiano sprinkled on top). Let cool completely, wrap well in plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Take the gratin out of the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to bake it.

The assembled gratin can also be frozen for up to 3 weeks. the texture becomes a little grainy but nothing you’d notice once topped with gravy. Cool completely, wrap in well in plastic, and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before sprinkling with Parmigiano and baking.


Rate or Review


  • cozette | 12/14/2015

    Delicious! I love that most of the work can be done ahead of time.

  • Pichanina | 12/19/2014

    Great make ahead side dish. Loved the variety of cheeses. It has a creamy smooth texture that melts in your mouth. Family asks for it again and again.

  • user-3036433 | 12/12/2014

    We made this for Thanksgiving and it was a big hit. The parsnip flavor is mild but it's there and gives it a nice flavor. Next time I might try baking it in a bigger pan so that there is a higher ratio of crispy top vs creamy inside.

  • Midlotable | 12/04/2014

    I added a celeriac root and put the cooked roots through a food mill. I think it made it too fluffy. The taste was good otherwise. Next time I will hand mash for more texture.

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