Secrets of a Home Cook would never mess with beloved mashed potatoes. But, what if they got a mini makeover with more flavor and less fat and calories? Adding parsnips and celery root (both veggies that cook just like potatoes and mash like them too) yield a complex and flavorful combo. In keeping with tradition, it wouldn’t be a proper potato, parsnip, celery root mash without butter but there is a secret ingredient: yogurt for a rich and tangy finish.

About potatoes: If you’ve ever found yourself perplexed at the vast potato selection in the grocery store, you are not alone. So many choices and they basically all look the same but are they? Russet potatoes, the big ones, cook the fluffiest and are the best choice when adding other ingredients like parsnips and celery root. Yukon Gold, smaller and denser with a golden hue and a richer flavor are great on their own.

About parsnips: Shaped like a carrot but pale and creamy in color, making them just perfect boiled and mashed with potatoes. The sweet, earthy flavor brightens up the neutral flavor of the potato too.

About celery root: Also known as celeriac, it’s the root of the celery stalk that’s often misunderstood. Not the prettiest root vegetable all craggy and covered in dirt, but once it’s peeled and diced, it looks a lot like a potato with a mild celery flavor.

Potato, Parsnip Celery Root Mash

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 6-8


  • 2 ½ lbs. Idaho potatoes
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 celery root
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 5 ounce container plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cooking liquid (or more if necessary)
  • Coarse salt for finishing (optional)


  1. Fill a large pot with cold water. Peel, trim and chop potatoes and vegetables so they are uniform in size, about 2-inch pieces. Add potatoes and veggies to cold water as they are chopped. Add salt. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered 15 minutes until everything is fork tender.
  2. Drain in a colander reserving 2 cups of cooking liquid. Place back into the pot along with 6 tablespoons butter, yogurt and one cup of cooking liquid. Using a potato masher mix it all together adding more liquid if necessary. Serve with remaining butter (cut up) and coarse salt.