Vegan Mashed Potatoes

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The best Vegan Mashed Potatoes are made with just 3 simple ingredients (plus salt and pepper). They are so easy, wholesome, and delicious, and they are perfect for any holiday table and all year round.

A plate of vegan mashed potatoes.


 

Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or Monday night, mashed potatoes bring warmth and comfort to your plate in the best possible way. They are delicious with gravies and other sauces and they might be my favorite thing on the table.

Mashed potatoes of all kinds are easy to make, too. If you can boil water, you can make mashed potatoes! And if you avoid traditional dairy products like milk and butter, you can absolutely still enjoy this plant-powered recipe. In fact, these are so good that it’s quite possibly no one would ever suspect they are vegan.

Top them with your favorite vegan mushroom gravy, vegan butter, or vegan sour cream. Fresh herbs might be nice too!

Recipe ingredients

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Potatoes: For the fluffiest, smoothest, and most flavorful mashed potatoes, choose high-starch potatoes like Russet, Idaho, or Yukon gold potatoes.  Waxy potatoes (such as new, red, or white varieties) require more mashing to become creamy which could result in a gluey, pasty texture.
  • Olive oil before milk: Always add the olive oil first so the fat coats the potato starch molecules. Then, add the hot almond milk to make them creamy. If you mix up the order, you could end up with gluey spuds. 
  • Almond milk: Any non-dairy milk or dairy-free milk alternative, such as cashew milk, coconut milk, oat milk, or soy milk will do, as long as it is unflavored and unsweetened.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, add potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt. Add cold water to cover potatoes by 1 inch.
Cubed potatoes in a pot.
  1. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and partially cover the pot. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, stirring once or twice, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well, tossing in a colander to remove excess cooking water.
Cubed potatoes draining in a strainer.
  1. Wipe pot dry. Return potatoes to pot. Using a potato masher, mash to a smooth, fluffy, and uniform consistency. Using a rubber spatula, fold in olive oil until just incorporated.
Mixing vegan mashed potatoes.
  1. Slowly stir in almond milk. Add more almond milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to adjust the consistency as desired.
A pot of vegan mashed potatoes.
  1. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I like 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.)
A pot of vegan mashed potatoes.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups of Vegan Mashed Potatoes, enough for 12 (1-cup) servings.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
  • Make ahead: Peel and cube the raw potatoes up to 24 hours in advance. Cover with water and chill in the refrigerator.
  • Freezer: Freeze up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer-safe zip-top bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stovetop in a large saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated.
  • Fresh herbs: Use the extra fresh herbs to make an herb butter to mix into your mashed potatoes, or simply garnish the spuds with a sprinkle of fresh chopped chives for extra flavors.
  • Assisted mixing: If you don’t want to mash your potatoes by hand, add them to the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer.
  • Classic Mashed Potatoes: My favorite mashed potatoes are made with just potatoes, milk, and butter (plus salt and pepper). Peel and cut the potatoes a day in advance, then boil and mash when it’s time to go.
  • Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes: This freezer-defying recipe uses cream cheese and egg whites for more staying power in the cold, and it’s part of my complete Make Ahead Thanksgiving menu.
  • Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes: To use your crock pot instead of the stove, add the peeled, cubed potatoes and 1 ½ cups milk to the bottom of a crockpot. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt, cover, and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, stirring every hour or so. Mash to a smooth consistency and stir in ½ cup (1 stick) butter until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes: Add the peeled, cubed potatoes to the bottom of a pressure cooker. Add cold water to cover and 1 teaspoon salt. Close the lid, set the valve to seal, and cook on manual pressure for 8 minutes. Turn off the instant pot and quick-release the pressure. Drain potatoes well, return to pot, and mash well. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Toast garlic in a skillet (or roast whole head of garlic in the oven), peel, mince, and add to your mashed potatoes. You’ll need about 2 bulbs (40 cloves garlic) for every 5 pounds of potatoes.
  • Cauliflower mash: For a low carb, highly satisfying side dish, try Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (without a potato in sight).
  • Boursin Mashed Potatoes: Soft-skinned small red potatoes mixed with fresh herbs and a block of Boursin cheese. You don’t even have to peel the potatoes!
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes: These mashers are flavored with fresh thyme and a touch of brown sugar. Or try Sweet Potato Casserole with a delicious marshmallow topping.
  • Small batch: Making mashed potatoes for your next date night in? Try my scaled-down Mashed Potatoes for Two recipe.
  • Irish twist: Colcannon is a delicious version of mashed potatoes with cooked kale or cabbage stirred in. You’ll love that extra texture and color!
  • Loaded Mashed Potatoes: Top your mashed potatoes with plenty of shredded cheddar cheese, crispy cooked bacon, and thinly sliced scallions.
  • Potatoes on top: Delicious mashed potatoes are critical for the best possible Shepherd’s Pie.
  • Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes: Plan your next full or partial vegan Thanksgiving menu with delicious, mouth-watering Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes. These plant-powered classics taste as good as, or even better than, their traditional versions, and they are guaranteed to disappear no matter who is at the table.
Vegan mashed potatoes with vegan mushroom gravy.
Vegan Mashed Potatoes served with Vegan Mushroom Gravy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make chunky, rustic-style mashed potatoes?

Use a basic potato masher. A waffle-head masher will mash the potatoes into a smoother consistency if you like them somewhere in between.

How do I make super smooth, silky mashed potatoes?

Use a potato ricer (peeled potatoes) or food mill (unpeeled potatoes). These gadgets make the smallest, finest pieces of cooked potato, which fluff up beautifully.

Can you freeze mashed potatoes?

Because these olive oil mashed potatoes aren’t made with any dairy, you can freeze them without worry! Freeze up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer-safe zip-top bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stovetop in a large saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated.

How do you bake potatoes?

Bake potatoes faster by taking a microwave shortcut:
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Poke a few holes in each potato with a fork.
2. Microwave on HIGH power for 8 to 12 minutes, flipping potatoes halfway through the cooking time.
3. Remove the potatoes from the microwave and rub each all over with olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper.
4. Transfer potatoes to a preheated oven and bake directly on oven rack until tender when pierced with a small knife, about 20 minutes longer.

Are mashed potatoes gluten-free?

Most mashed potato recipes (including this vegan recipe) are naturally gluten-free.

More vegan favorites

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A serving dish filled with vegan mashed potatoes.

Vegan Mashed Potatoes

The best Vegan Mashed Potatoes are made with just 3 simple ingredients (plus salt and pepper). They are so easy, wholesome, and delicious, and they are perfect for any holiday table and all year round.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings (1 cup each)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 273
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, add potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt. Add cold water to cover potatoes by 1 inch.
  • Over medium-high heat, bring to boil and partially cover pot. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, stirring once or twice, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well, tossing in colander to remove excess cooking water.
  • Wipe pot dry. Return potatoes to pot. Using a potato masher, mash to a smooth, fluffy, and uniform consistency. Using a rubber spatula, fold in olive oil until just incorporated.
  • Slowly stir in almond milk. Add more almond milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to adjust the consistency as desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I like 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.)

Notes

  1. Potatoes: For the fluffiest, smoothest, and most flavorful mashed potatoes, choose high-starch potatoes like Russet, Idaho, or Yukon gold potatoes.  Waxy potatoes (such as new, red, or white varieties) require more mashing to become creamy which could result in a gluey, pasty texture.
  2. Olive oil before milk: Always add the olive oil first so the fat coats the potato starch molecules. Then, add the hot almond milk to make them creamy. If you mix up the order, you could end up with gluey spuds. 
  3. Almond milk: Any non-dairy milk or dairy-free milk alternative, such as cashew milk, coconut milk, oat milk, or soy milk will do, as long as it is unflavored and unsweetened.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups of vegan mashed potatoes, enough for 12 (1-cup) servings.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cupCalories: 273kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 4gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 50mgPotassium: 788mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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