Vegan Creamy Mashed Potatoes

American, Easy, Lunch/Dinner, Vegan | April 5, 2017 | By

About 1 year after I graduated from college, while I was back at home living with my parents, my younger sister was asked by her doctor to give up all dairy. She had and has a range of serious health issues that had at that time been progressively getting worse. During that time, doctors were still trying to figure out what was triggering all of the increased inflammation in her body. Cutting dairy from the diet was one of many suggestions they gave. It just so happened that Thanksgiving was soon approaching, which also happens to be one of my sisters favorite holidays, primarily due to the fact that I force my family to indulge my “traditional Thanksgiving” fantasy, and enjoy a feast prepared by yours truly. Growing up, we would just eat Indian food on Thanksgiving just like any other day, although we did try to spend the day with our extended family which did still make the day special. Looking back, obviously that was the most important part of that day. As a young child, all I ever focused on was the fact that all of my friends would look forward to this holiday because of the food, and come back after the holiday with all of these amazing stories of feasts enjoyed by their respective families. As soon as I became even remotely comfortable in the kitchen, I began cooking the thanksgiving feast the way I always imagined it. I used to rarely cook any other day of the year, but somehow I felt it necessary to take responsibility for a 10+ course meal for one day out of the year. Most years I did have help luckily so it was not just me cooking everything. My sister who never cooks, ever, very much looked forward to the one day of the year when I would pretty much make both of our thanksgiving fantasies come true. 

Ever since that first Thanksgiving, mashed potatoes, corn and gravy have become one my sisters favorite guilty pleasures. When she was required to go dairy free, I was determined not to give up on our thanksgiving feast. It required a bit of research and ingenuity for some recipes, particularly the macaroni and cheese (recipe coming soon), but I was not about to adjust the menu just because of a little inconvenience. After all, my sister looked forward to this meal, ALL YEAR. I had to make sure that she would be able to enjoy everything she wanted to. To this day, since I don’t live at home with my parents anymore, whenever we get together, for one of those days she always requests me to “make a feast” which even though she mostly eats dairy now, we still always make it vegan. The number of courses has been greatly reduced for practicality purposes for a normal day. But it always includes, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, macaroni and “cheese”, some brand of vegan pre-made roast, and usually either a corn or butternut squash soup. 

Anyways, this mashed potato recipe, is super basic, and pretty much your standard everyday mashed potato recipe, we just sub in the vegan equivalents of dairy products. But when you are first looking for dairy free, or vegan recipes, especially when the decision has been thrust upon you by a doctor, it can be extremely overwhelming, and you may feel like you have to give up everything you ever loved. I am here to tell you that is NOT the case! If there was one thing in the 2 years my sister did not consume any dairy I refused to let her feel, it was that she cannot have something that she wants. I always managed to find a way around the no-dairy issue. 

It starts super simple, I like to use Yukon Gold Potatoes, I like the texture that they provide to the mashed potatoes more than your everyday russet. I find that russets tend to feel more grainy on the tongue when they are boiled which is a texture that I don’t like in my mashed potatoes. It takes a little bit longer to cook Yukon Gold than Russet but I think the extra couple minutes is worth it. 

All of the potatoes that I used were about this size. It’s better if you can find all your potatoes to be the same size for this recipe, it will make prepping them easier. I would consider this to be a medium-sized potato, something that I could fit nicely into my hand.

I do not like my mashed potatoes to have any peel (I had a traumatic experience with cafeteria food and potato peel when i was in High School, so the idea of potato peel is not appealing to me at all) If you like the peel, all the more power to you, it’s filled with vitamins, you don’t need to peel the potatoes for this recipe, just make sure you wash the potatoes well if you are planning to leave the peel on.

Do not cut the potato pieces too small, you do not want them to dissolve into the water. For the medium-sized potato I cut each potato in half, and then each half into 4 pieces. The most important thing is that each cut piece is similar in size so that it all cooks at the same rate. That is why it is easier if you start out with your potatoes a similar size. If that’s not possible, just make sure when you cut them, all the cut pieces are similar in size.

You should have a nice pile of potato pieces when you are done cutting them up. =)

Transfer all of your cut up potatoes into a pot of cold/room temperature water. 

Once all the potatoes are in the pot you can adjust the height of the water. You want the water to be about 1in above the potatoes. So either add more, or dump the extra. You want to make sure that they are all covered throughout the cooking process, but you don’t want too much excess water because that will just increase the cooking time for no reason since it will take longer for the water to boil if there is more of it. At this point add in the salt.

Put the pot of cold/room temperature water onto the stove at high heat, and bring to a boil. Once its boiling reduce the heat to medium/medium low. You want the water to be boiling gently, not too intensely. Once the water came to a boil it took my potatoes around 10 minutes to arrive at the correct texture. Every stove, pot and potato is different so you will have to check periodically.

You want the potato to not only allow a fork to pierce it, but you want it to also start to split where the fork pierces it. This is when you know the potatoes are ready for mashing.

Once the potatoes are ready, drain them, and put them back into the same hot pot. But do not put them back onto the heat whether it be from a gas or electric stove. 

Add the earth balance butter and mash with your potato masher. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE use a blender, or a stick blender or a food processor or anything even remotely along those lines. Those devices will most definitely create gummy potatoes. Nobody likes gummy potatoes. It will take just a minute, do it properly, use a potato masher and mash the potatoes while also mashing in the cold butter. It will melt from the heat of the potatoes. This is similar to the potato masher that I use:Laroma Potato Masher: Premium Quality, Stainless Steel Potato Ricer Press – Robust Construction, Made to Last – Easy to Clean – for Perfectly Mashed Potatoes with Minimum Effort & Pressure

Once you think you have mashed it pretty well, and the butter is mostly combined, add in the non-dairy milk and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. I like to use “Original Almond Milk” unflavored but not unsweetened. Real milk has a natural sweetness, the unsweetened milk substitutes do not sufficiently replace cows milk in recipes without that little bit of sweetness, at least that’s what I have found. Once you have added the milk and garlic powder mix it around with the masher until it is completely incorporated. 

And that’s it! You can garnish with fresh chopped chives, from your garden if you have it đŸ˜‰ 

Be sure to pair these vegan mashed potatoes with my vegan gravy recipe! =) I hope you enjoy them as much as me and my sister do! =) 

Let me know if you have any questions or if you give this recipe a try in the comments! I would love to hear from you! =) I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Be sure to subscribe so that you can be notified when I post new recipes! (link in the sidebar). Follow me on Instagram @saltyoversweet and find me on Facebook (the link is in the sidebar).

Vegan Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Serves 4
A vegan alternative to your standard everyday Mashed Potato recipe that does not disappoint!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 6 Medium Russet Potatoes
  2. 1 1/2 Tablespoons of table salt
  3. 1/2 Stick or 60g of Earth Balance Butter
  4. 1/2 Cup of any Non-Dairy Milk, I use Silk-Regular Almond Milk
  5. 1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  6. Chopped Chives for garnish (optional)
  1. Peel (optional) and chop up your potatoes into halves and then each half into 4 equal pieces. Make sure all of your chopped potatoes are similar in size for even cooking.
  2. Place all chopped pieces into a 3qt or larger pot filled with cold/room temperature water (the important thing is that the water is not warm/hot.
  3. Make sure the water is covering the potatoes by 1 inch. If there is too much water, pour some out.
  4. Add all of the salt to the water. And place pot onto a stovetop on high.
  5. Once the water has come to a boil, reduce heat to medium or medium/low so that the water is at a gentle boil.
  6. Cook until the potatoes become "fork tender" (see picture on blog post)
  7. Drain the potatoes and place back into hot pot but not onto hot stovetop.
  8. Add the half stick of earth balance butter, and mash the potatoes well.
  9. Once mashed, add the Non-Dairy Milk and the garlic powder and mix and mash in with your potato masher. If you like your mashed potatoes thinner add in more milk a little bit at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
  10. Thats it! Now you are ready to serve =)
  1. If you are not ready to eat this right away - To keep warm, keep the mashed potatoes covered in an oven safe vessel in a 200deg oven until you are ready to serve.
  2. If you use unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk the flavor may be altered since there will be no natural milk sweetness. (keep this in mind)
  3. This is just a base recipe, you can add and mix in any flavors that you would like.
  4. This recipe also heats up really nicely from the fridge, if they seem to have dried out a little, just add mix in a little bit more Non-Dairy Milk to bring it back to the ideal texture.
Salty Over Sweet



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