Mashed (Duchess) Potato Wells

Duchess potatoes are usually seasoned with egg yolk, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, then piped or hand-molded into various shapes and baked. Here we’ve omitted the egg to lighten the calories, and mixed in some parsnips and prepared horseradish to create an amazing tasting side dish. Fill each golden mound with butter or gravy, and enjoy!


After the potatoes have cooked and are drained, place a towel over the pot and cover with lid. This will help sbsorb all the excess moisture from the potatoes, leaving them light and fluffy. Be sure to mix in the melted butter first, as this will coat the potatoes, keeping them from getting mushy once the liquid is stirred in.

You can use any spoon or measuring cup to portion out the mashed potato mixture, but a spring-loaded ice cream scoop is the perfect tool for this job. It ensures each is the perfect portion size, keeps the mounds all uniform in shape, and with the release button, it all comes out at once. Also the back side of the scoop is perfect for making the depression.


Mashed (Duchess) Potato Wells

Marla Hingley
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 12


  • 4 lbs russet potatoes peeled & quartered
  • 2 parsnips peeled & cored
  • ½ cup melted butter* or margarine
  • ½ cup crème fraiche or sour cream optional
  • 1-2 Tbsp GF prepared horseradish to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp fresh dill optional


  • Prepare parsnips by quartering, then use a vegetable peeler to shave out the center woody core from each quarter. Chop into pieces and place in a pot of salted cold water along with the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the water, and place back in pot.
  • Lay a towel over the pot and cover with lid. This will absorb the excess steam from the potatoes.
  • Remove from heat and coarsely mash with a potato masher. Pour in the melted butter and continue to mash. Add the remaining ingredients, mashing until combined and smooth. If want a thinner consistency, stir in a bit of the potato water.
  • Use a spring-loaded ice cream scoop and form 12 mounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Spray the back of the scoop with a bit of oil,and use it to form a depression in each mound. Spray the tops of the wells with a bit more of oil and broil for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.


*for even more flavor try using brown butter.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
See also
Dressing with Rice & Toasted Almonds


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