The best vegan mashed potatoes aren't made with the usual ingredients you expect, like vegan butter and non-dairy milk. There's another ingredient that makes vegan mashed potatoes taste even more like classic mashed potatoes made with dairy. Spoiler alert: It's yogurt! These healthy mashed potatoes are low-fat and full of flavor! Also, get my top tips for making perfect mashed potatoes every time.
New and Improved Vegan Mashed Potatoes
Friends, you won't believe healthy mashed potatoes can taste this good. With only 3 ingredients (plus salt and pepper) you'll have the most amazing, creamy, fluffy, and rich-tasting vegan mashed potatoes.
Thanks to plain non-dairy yogurt, no one will ever guess these mashed potatoes are dairy-free!
This recipe was actually a happy accident. Around Thanksgiving I was making mashed potatoes when I spotted a jar of my homemade cashew yogurt in the fridge.
So instead of reaching for vegan butter and soy or almond milk like I normally would, I added a few dollops of yogurt while mashing the potatoes. The result? The best damn mashed potatoes I've ever eaten!
They tasted like SO much more than the sum of their parts, as if they were loaded with rich sour cream and/or cheese. Yet they're oil-free and low-fat!
After my happy accident I did some googling and realized yogurt mashed potatoes is actually a thing. It was news to me! But I'm so glad I experimented.
I suppose this method may not be for everyone (it helps if you're actually a fan of tangy sour cream and yogurt). But even if you're skeptical, the flavor and creaminess the yogurt lends to mashed potatoes is SO worth a try.
For basic vegan mashed potatoes you only need 3 ingredients plus salt. Or have fun with additions like chives, vegan cheese, roasted garlic, and other toppings!
- potatoes - I like to use a combination of Yukon gold and russet potatoes. More on this below.
- plain vegan yogurt (store-bought or homemade) - I've tested the recipe with both cashew yogurt and soy yogurt. I prefer homemade vegan yogurt simply because it's creamier, without the gums and other thickeners found in commercial yogurts. I have 3 yogurt recipes you can try:
- garlic powder - or 2 cloves of garlic.
- salt and pepper
Tip: If using store-bought dairy-free yogurt, check the ingredients to MAKE SURE it's 100% unflavored and unsweetened. If using a brand other than the two mentioned above it's a good idea to taste the yogurt first to make sure there's no sweetness.
Optional additions and toppings:
- fresh chives or parsley
- vegan parm
- vegan bacon bits
- crumbled almond queso fresco or homemade vegan feta
What potato is best for mashing?
Our favorite potatoes for mashing are russets and gold or yellow.
Yukon golds have a nice buttery flavor and creamy texture, while russet potatoes have that nostalgic, purely potato flavor that I find irresistible! They're also wonderfully fluffy.
You can make excellent mashed potatoes with either one, but I usually prefer a blend, half Yukon gold and half russet potatoes.
Should I peel the potatoes?
Be sure to wash the potatoes well, and always peel russets. For smooth mashed potatoes you'll also want to peel the thin-skinned gold potatoes. If you like texture in your mashed potatoes it's fine to leave some of the skin on gold potatoes.
How To Cook Potatoes for Mashing
There are several ways you can cook potatoes for mashing, including:
- boiling - classic method and our second choice
- Instant Pot - our go-to way to make mashed potatoes
- steaming - least flavorful
Boiling is easy and doesn't require special equipment. For the best flavor it's important to generously salt the cooking water. This is the method I've included in the recipe below.
As you can see in the photos, I often cook the potatoes in the Instant Pot. It's very easy, produces consistently soft and creamy potatoes, and uses less water.
Tip! Use broth instead of water if using the Instant Pot method. The seasoning seeps into the potatoes and really improves the overall flavor of the mashed potatoes.
My blogger friend Rosa at This Healthy Kitchen has a great post that will teach you the simple method for No-Drain Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes.
Steaming takes longer and doesn't produce consistent results. Also, with steaming you can't infuse salt into the potatoes. So for these reasons, steaming is our least favorite method.
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftover vegan mashed potatoes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat briefly in the microwave or on the stovetop, and add a splash of unsweetened/unflavored milk or spoonful of yogurt during reheating to return the mashed potatoes to their original creamy texture.
Mashed potatoes also freeze well. Store in an air tight container in your freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as described above.
What to Serve With Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a must during the holiday season. For Thanksgiving or Christmas, serve them with:
- classic seitan roast
- vegan turkey roast
- gluten-free chickpea meatloaf
- Beyond Meat meatloaf with stuffing
And don't forget these classic sides:
- mushroom gravy
- vegan cornbread dressing
- cranberry sauce or apple cranberry sauce
- and this mind-blowing vegan corn pudding!
- For even cooking, cut the potatoes into similarly sized pieces.
- Salt the cooking water. Or if cooking in an Instant Pot, use a salty vegetable broth. As mentioned above, infusing the potatoes with salt is crucial to the flavor of the finished dish.
- Don't undercook the potatoes. Test the consistency of several pieces of potato by sliding a knife into the center. It should slide in very easily. They're not done until they're ALL done.
- Immediately after draining the cooked potatoes, return them to the pot. You want the potatoes to still be hot while mashing.
- Use a basic potato masher. Overworking mashed potatoes can make them gummy and dense. No need for electric mixers!
- Taste as you add seasonings. Add salt and other additions in small amounts. You can always add more salt and yogurt, but you can't take it away!
Healthy tip: Sneak in a veggie by using a combination of cauliflower and potatoes.
I hope you enjoy these creamy vegan mashed potatoes as much as we do. If you try the recipe be sure to comment below and let us know!
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Vegan Mashed Potatoes (No Butter or Milk!)
- 3 pounds potatoes, a combination of Yukon golds and russets
- fine sea salt
- ⅓ to ⅔ cup plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt, room temperature - Such as cashew, soy or almond yogurt. See Notes.
- up to ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- black pepper, to taste
- Wash and peel the potatoes, or partially peel the golds if you prefer some texture in mashed potatoes. Cut into similarly sized 1-inch thick pieces. Place potatoes in a large stock pot, and add enough water so the potatoes are covered by about 1 inch. Stir 2 teaspoons salt into the water. *Alternatively, cook the potatoes in broth in an Instant Pot as described in this no-drain mashed potatoes recipe (link opens in a new tab).3 pounds potatoes, a combination of Yukon golds and russets
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer the potatoes for about 12 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center slides in easily. Test several pieces to make sure the potatoes are done. Drain the potatoes in a colander, and immediately return to the warm pot.
- With a potato masher, give the potatoes a brief initial mash, just until they're chunky. Add about ⅓ cup plain yogurt, ¾ teaspoon salt, and a scant ½ teaspoon garlic powder to the pot. Mash again to fully incorporate the ingredients.fine sea salt, ⅓ to ⅔ cup plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt, room temperature, up to ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Taste and season with black pepper and additional yogurt, salt, and garlic as desired. The amount of yogurt needed depends on the consistency of the yogurt, how tangy it is, and your personal preference.
- Serve warm with chopped chives or mushroom gravy.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.