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Parsnip Gratin

Cheesy, comforting, delicious parsnip gratin makes for a great side dish to share with others.

Parsnip Gratin - a cheesy, comforting, delicious side dish

If a parsnip could talk, it would speak words of wisdom and read Robert Frost poems.

It would teach you about the past so that you could understand the present and you’d silently absorb everything the little root had to say. Don’t be surprised if parsnip smokes a pipe and wears loafers as parsnips enjoy simple comforts.

Personifying the parsnip may be new to you but given its calm, oaky, knowing voice, you’ll beckon parsnip to continue its intoxicating fables.

Parsnip gratin is a confident, sophisticated dish with warm, earthy, herby flavor and an un-expecting ease. It does its own thing. Parsnips have a naturally nutty, somewhat cinnamon flavor, which is not for everyone as it is certainly different from the neutral potato.

Out of a successful pinning session, I found a recipe for Parsnip Gratin with Gruyere and Thyme from Feasting at Home. I was instantly intrigued and was excited to finally make it, although I did make some modifications to the recipe.

Parsnip Gratin

I used aged white cheddar cheese instead of gruyere only because gruyere skipped town the day I went to the grocery store. As opposed to using heavy cream, I blended up steamed cauliflower (cauliflower’s the new black in case you haven’t noticed) with 2% milk and an egg for extra nutrients and less fat. While I am absolutely sure heavy cream would be delicious in the parsnip gratin, I did not feel as though it was the dish was lacking it.

Parsnip Gratin - a cheesy, comforting, delicious side dish

Parsnip Gratin - a cheesy, comforting, delicious side dish

This dish encourages you to slow down and slip into the fuzziest socks you own and enjoy the process of connecting with real ingredients. It is happy to join you while the sun descends and won’t get bent out of shape if you share a bottle of wine and light hearted chatter with it over some calm tunes.

If you have not tried parsnips before, I would recommend starting with a simpler and less time intensive recipe before taking the plunge. If you’re a seasoned root eater, you’re welcome!

Parsnip Gratin - a cheesy, comforting, delicious side dish

Parsnip Gratin

Creamy parsnip gratin is an amazing unique take on potatoes au gratin for a tasty side dish.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
10 servings


  • 2.5 cups cauliflower, chopped and steamed
  • 2 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and very thinly sliced (1/8” thin or thinner)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 cups 2% milk, or whole milk, see note*
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour**
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 ounces aged white cheddar, shredded, or gruyere or other good quality cheese
  • ½ tablespoon butter for greasing a casserole dish


  • Steam half a head of cauliflower until soft when poked with a fork (about 5 to 8 minutes). Drain the cauliflower and set aside to cool.
  • Over medium heat, sauté the sliced onion in a couple teaspoons of oil until fragrant and beginning to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Once the cauliflower is cool, combine the steamed cauliflower, milk, flour, salt, nutmeg and thyme in a blender. Blend until combined
  • Crack the egg into the cauliflower/milk mixture and blend just enough to combine (this should make just over 3 cups worth of mixture).
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove the casserole dish from the oven, discard the foil.
  • Put the casserole dish back in the oven (uncovered) and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the dish to sit 10 minutes so before you serve.


Original recipe from Feasting at Home:
*or use full-fat canned coconut milk 
**Or brown rice flour or regular all-purpose flour


Serving: 1of 10 - Calories: 197kcal - Carbohydrates: 7g - Protein: 19g - Fat: 11g - Fiber: 1g - Sugar: 4g
Course: Lifestyle
Cuisine: American
Keyword: parsnip gratin, parsnips, potatoes au gratin
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 197kcal
Author: Julia
Recipe Rating

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Caren Johnson

Thursday 23rd of January 2014

I highly suggest cutting the milk portion in half. The dish was delicious but, it was swimming in sauce and my family thought it was to runny.

Stephie @ EYHO

Friday 1st of February 2013

WHOA. You did NOT find a way to swap out the cream in a gratin! Ugh you're so brilliant, I just love it. Almost as much as I love a good gratin. Maybe more. Ok, at least equal. ;-)


Thursday 31st of January 2013

I love parsnips and this looks fabulous! P.S. I love your mandolin!


Thursday 31st of January 2013

LOL @ cauliflower being the new black. Brussel sprouts are the new black in my kitchen...several days a week, seriously... The gratin looks and sounds delicious.


Thursday 31st of January 2013

Brussels are another great one! Very delicious and healthy habit to have! I made cauliflower soup tonight...looks like the cauliflower addiction is really sticking! :)

Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up

Thursday 31st of January 2013

You personified parsnips PERFECTLY, and now I want to hang out with one. I think i'll just make this gratin and hang out with it. :-)

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