Vegan Mashed Potatoes

By Jessica Hylton -

These Vegan Mashed Potatoes are creamy, dreamy, and the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table. Super creamy, buttery, and garlicky – everything you love about mashed potatoes, but dairy-free! 

Overhead shot of mashed potatoes in bowl with gold spoon

You’d think that vegan mashed potatoes would be a relatively straightforward recipe with very little variation or debate, but think again! People have strong opinions about mashed potatoes, especially when they’re made sans dairy. Vegan butter or olive oil? What kind of plant-based milk is best? Garlic or nah? This vegan mashed potato recipe is my personal fave because it’s got that luxurious, creamy mashed potato texture we all swoon over, and it gets a boost of flavor from minced garlic.

Through trial-and-error, I’ve discovered that there are some key differences between regular mashed potatoes and vegan mashed potatoes, particularly when it comes to the type of potatoes you use to make them. Hold tight and I’ll share more about that in a minute!

Overhead shot of mashed potato ingredients with labels

Notes on Ingredients

Please note that this is important information on the ingredients and instructions and the FULL recipe with amounts and details can be found DOWN BELOW (scroll to it) in the recipe card.

  • Yukon gold potatoes – I recommend peeling the potatoes for the creamiest results, although you can do skin-on if you prefer!
  • Vegan butter – I’ve made this recipe with olive oil instead, and I have to say, I really prefer butter for that authentic mashed potato flavor.
  • Coconut milk – I’ve tried a lot of non-dairy milks in mashed potatoes, but I like coconut milk the best because it adds so much creaminess.
  • Garlic – Garlic is also key here. The coconut milk does add a touch of coconut flavor to the potatoes, and the garlic masks that.
  • Sea salt – You’ll need some to season the potatoes, and you’ll also need salt for the water you boil the potatoes in.

What Kind of Potatoes Should I Use?

As promised, let’s talk about potatoes. (Said no one ever!) Your classic, traditional, serve-‘em-at-Thanksgiving mashed potatoes are typically made with Russet potatoes. They have a high starch content, which yields a nice, fluffy texture in a mashed potato. But this fluffiness comes at a price: Russet potatoes also have a tendency to be dry.

That’s why you need to use Yukon gold potatoes. They’re buttery and they’re creamy, even if they’re not as starchy as Russets. In short, Yukon gold potatoes make mashed potatoes that taste good even without a boatload of added dairy. Of course – use the potatoes you have access to – but this is my suggestion and preference!

How to Make Vegan Mashed Potatoes

Ready to roll up your sleeves and make some Vegan Mashed Potatoes? Let’s get to it!

Overhead shot of cooked potatoes in glass bowl

Boil the potatoes. Bring a pot of heavily salted water or vegetable broth to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil for about 20 minutes, or until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large mixing bowl.

Overhead shot of potatoes after mashing

Mash the potatoes. Use a potato masher to break up the potatoes a bit. No need to mash them completely quite yet!

Add the butter and coconut milk. Place the butter and coconut milk in a small bowl and microwave them for about 45 seconds, or until they’ve melted. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the potatoes.

Mashed potatoes being mashed with potato masher

Finish the mashed potatoes. Add the minced garlic and sea salt, then mash the potatoes until they’re smooth and creamy. (Or a little bit lumpy if you like your mashed potatoes chunky!) Season to taste with black pepper and serve with a pat of butter on the top, if desired.

Overhead shot of mashed potatoes in bowl topped with pats of butter and herbs

Tips for Success

Mashed potatoes seem simple enough on the surface, but there are a few mistakes you’ll need to avoid:

  • Don’t overwork the potatoes. This will ruin their texture and instead of fluffy and creamy, you’ll get strangely gummy. No one wants that!
  • Don’t skimp on the salt. For real, you need to add plenty of salt to the pot of water before you add your potatoes because it infuses them with flavor. You can’t make up for this by adding more salt to the finished potatoes.
  • Don’t use refrigerated coconut milk. You want the rich, creamy canned stuff for maximum mashed potato deliciousness.

Add-In Ideas

Mashed potatoes are like a blank slate—there are so many possibilities! 

  • Instead of fresh minced garlic, try adding roasted garlic instead. Because the flavor of garlic changes and mellows out when roasted, you can add a whole head and it will be amazing.
  • Fresh herbs are fabulous in vegan mashed potatoes. Rosemary pairs especially well with the garlic.
  • Add onion powder, sliced green onions or chives, vegan bacon, and your favorite plant-based cheddar for the mashed potato equivalent of a loaded baked potato.
  • Cut the carbs and use half potatoes, half cauliflower. (To really reduce the carbs, make my Vegan Mashed Cauliflower.)
Overhead shot of bowl of Vegan Mashed Potatoes, gravy boat, and garnishes

Serving Suggestions

Obviously, you can go with the classic pairing of vegan mashed potatoes and vegan gravy, but there are so many other things you can do with mashed potatoes:

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Store vegan mashed potatoes in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days. When you’re ready to eat them again, warm them in a saucepan set over low heat, adding coconut milk or broth to thin, if needed. You can also heat them in the microwave until they’re warmed through.

Can I Freeze These?

Yes, mashed potatoes can be frozen! Keep them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator, then warm them up using the instructions above.

Overhead shot of Vegan Mashed Potatoes in serving bowl with gold spoon and small bowls of garnishes

Enjoy friends! If you make this vegan mashed potato recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!

Overhead shot of Vegan Mashed Potatoes in bowl topped with two pats of butter and minced herbs

Vegan Mashed Potatoes

Buttery and creamy, without butter or cream! No plant-based Thanksgiving is complete without a bowl of vegan mashed potatoes.
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Ingredients
  • 1 lb 8 ounces 24 ounces yukon gold potatoes, cut in half & peeled
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
Instructions

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of salted water or vegetable broth to boil. Add potatoes, and boil for 20 minutes until fork tender (you can stick your fork into the potato and it slides right out).
  • Drain the potatoes completely through a strainer or sieve and then place into a bowl.
  • Using your potato masher, mash the potatoes for a few seconds until broken up.
  • In a small separate bowl, place the coconut milk and the vegan butter and microwave for 45 seconds until hot and melted together.
  • Add the coconut milk vegan butter mix hot to the mashed potatoes along with the minced garlic and sea salt and mashed all the ingredients together with the potato masher until incorporated and the mashed potatoes are smooth and creamy.
  • Serve with black pepper (optional) and an extra pat of butter. Enjoy!
NOTES

Tips for Success

Mashed potatoes seem simple enough on the surface, but there are a few mistakes you’ll need to avoid:
  • Don’t overwork the potatoes. This will ruin their texture and instead of fluffy and creamy, you’ll get strangely gummy. No one wants that!
  • Don’t skimp on the salt. For real, you need to add plenty of salt to the pot of water before you add your potatoes because it infuses them with flavor. You can’t make up for this by adding more salt to the finished potatoes.
  • Don’t use refrigerated coconut milk. You want the rich, creamy canned stuff for maximum mashed potato deliciousness.

Add-In Ideas

Mashed potatoes are like a blank slate—there are so many possibilities! 
  • Instead of fresh minced garlic, try adding roasted garlic instead. Because the flavor of garlic changes and mellows out when roasted, you can add a whole head and it will be amazing.
  • Fresh herbs are fabulous in vegan mashed potatoes. Rosemary pairs especially well with the garlic.
  • Add onion powder, sliced green onions or chives, vegan bacon, and your favorite plant-based cheddar for the mashed potato equivalent of a loaded baked potato.
  • Cut the carbs and use half potatoes, half cauliflower. (To really reduce the carbs, make my Vegan Mashed Cauliflower.)
 
 
  1. Store vegan mashed potatoes in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days. When you’re ready to eat them again, warm them in a pan set over low heat, adding coconut milk or broth to thin, if needed. You can also heat them in the microwave until they’re warmed through.
  2. To freeze, keep mashed potatoes in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator, then warm them up using the instructions above.

Nutrition

Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 946mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 401IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
by Jessica

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