Mashed Parsnips with Crispy Pancetta

Completely tender parsnips are the key to a good mash here; trim away any fibrous cores from the parsnip roots. A wintry combination of sweet maple, brown butter, and salty pancetta make these creamy parsnips ultra-comforting. (Guarnaschelli advises crisping some extra pancetta for snacking, or you may have none left when it comes time to top the parsnips.)

Mashed Parsnips with Crispy Pancetta
Photo: Charissa Fay
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 3 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 4 ounces pancetta, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

  • 1 cup heavy cream, warmed


  1. Place parsnips in a large saucepan, and add water to cover. Add salt, and bring to a boil over high. Cook until parsnips are tender and almost falling apart, about 20 minutes. Drain well, and return parsnips to saucepan.

  2. Cook pancetta in a single layer in a medium skillet over medium until crispy, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. When cool enough to handle, crumble pancetta.

  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium, and cook until butter begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in brown sugar and maple syrup. Add butter mixture and warm cream to parsnips, and mash with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached. Transfer to a serving bowl, and top with crumbled pancetta.

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