Parsnip, nutmeg and cheddar bake

  • serves 6–8
  • Easy

A parsnip bake is a great addition to any Christmas dinner table; try this variation on our much-loved family recipe.

Parsnip, nutmeg and cheddar bake recipe

The short December days offer a gentle pause between the busy abundance of autumn and the late winter tidy-up. Aside from pulling on our wellies and venturing out into the muddy orchard to feed the animals, pick a few vegetables for dinner and bring in baskets of firewood, we hunker down inside by the crackling fire and twinkling Christmas tree. A parsnip bake is always present on our Christmas dinner table; this is a variation on our much-loved family recipe.




  • Unsalted butter 30g
  • Medium onion, peeled and finely chopped 1
  • Parsnips, peeled and diced into 1cm chunks 1kg
  • Whole milk 650ml
  • Freshly grated nutmeg 1 tsp
  • Mature Cheddar cheese, grated 150g
  • Breadcrumbs 2 tbsp
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped 1 tbsp


  • Step 1

    Melt the butter in a large pot over a low heat. Stir in the onion and cook gently for around five minutes until softened. Add the parsnips and milk to the pan, then turn up the heat to bring the mixture to a simmer. Leave to putter away gently for 15–20mins until the parsnip is soft.

  • Step 2

    Once the parsnip is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and pulse the mix to a smooth purée with a stick blender (or mash it for a more textured finish), adding a little extra milk to loosen if needed. Stir in the nutmeg and half of the Cheddar cheese, then spoon the mixture into a shallow ovenproof dish
    and smooth over the top. 

  • Step 3

    Scatter the remaining cheese over the parsnip, followed by the breadcrumbs and parsley, and pop in the oven at 180°C for around 30 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbling. This is best served in piping hot spoonfuls as a hearty accompaniment to roast chicken or the Christmas turkey.

The Seaonal Table

Kathy and Tom combine running their Somerset smallholding with full-time jobs, and also find time to write a blog called 
The Seasonal Table – a journal of slow food and slow living. 

Find out more about The Seasonal Table: