Cottage pie with fiery parsnip mash

31 March 2023

Parsnips are at the heart of the winter crop, but have you ever thought of using them on top of a classic cottage pie?

Nutritional highlights

Parsnips are packed full of fibre – something that not many of us get enough of in our diet. It’s important for helping regulate healthy bowel function but may also play a part in improving heart health and regulating blood sugar levels.

>Read more on how to keep your gut happy and healthy

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Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes

For the base:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 600g lean beef mince
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2tbsp Worcestershire sauce

For the topping:

  • 500g parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 250g sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 30g butter
  • Nutmeg (grated)


Preheat the oven to 220 °C.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook until soften and then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. 

Increase the heat and add the mince, cooking until browned.

Then add the chopped tomatoes, carrots and Worcestershire sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.

While the base is simmering, add the parsnips and sweet potato to a pan of cold water and bring to the boil.

Cook for 10 minutes until softened before draining and adding the paprika, cayenne pepper and butter, mash thoroughly until light and fluffy.

In a heat proof dish, add the meat mixture and then top with the parsnip mash, coating evenly.

Top lightly with grated nutmeg and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden.

Healthy swaps

For a lower fat option, swap the beef mince for turkey mince or a meat-free alternative.