Carrot, Parsnip and Potato Colcannon

In anticipation of Thanksgiving, I was playing around with colcannon, thinking it would be nice to make this year’s mashed potatoes with a twist. Colcannon is an Irish dish that traditionally pairs mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale. I decided to broaden the range of combinations, choosing different vegetables to mix with the potatoes, and used carrots and parsnips to great effect.

Carrots and parsnips, whose flavors are quite similar, outweigh the potatoes in this sweet, light version. Scallions are traditional in colcannon, but I wanted something with a bit more substance, so I used leeks instead. I cooked them until soft in a little olive oil and stirred them into the purée with warm milk and butter. The resulting mashed potatoes are beautiful, delicious and healthful, too. Because parsnips can be fibrous, I recommend straining the purée or putting it through a food mill.


  • 10 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, quartered and cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into 3-inch lengths
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, to taste
  • ¾ cup milk
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or chervil, optional
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

      209 calories; 8 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 31 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams dietary fiber; 9 grams sugars; 3 grams protein; 15 milligrams cholesterol; 87 milligrams sodium

    • Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.

6 servings


  1. Place potatoes, carrots and parsnips in a saucepan and cover by an inch with water. Add salt to taste, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cover partly. Simmer until tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain, return to pot and cover pot tightly. Leave to steam in covered pot for 5 minutes. Peel potatoes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet and add leek. Cook, stirring often, until it begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste and continue to cook, stirring, until very tender, 3 to 5 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Mash vegetables with a potato masher or in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, or put through a food mill. Combine butter and milk and heat until butter melts. Gradually add to purée, stirring or beating on low speed. Stir in leeks and mix until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Put through the fine or medium blade of a food mill, or press through a medium-mesh strainer. Garnish if desired with dill or chervil. Serve hot.
  • You can make this a day ahead and reheat it in a medium-low oven or in a double boiler. Place a pat of butter on top so it doesn’t dry out.

45 minutes

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