These vegan mashed potatoes are perfectly creamy and fluffy with a few easy pantry tricks! A perfect plant-based version of this popular side dish.
Fluffy, dreamy vegan mashed potatoes are…deceptively difficult to achieve. Here at A Couple Cooks, we have hundreds of vegan recipes. So vegan mashed potatoes? Piece of cake. After all, french fries are vegan: just olive oil and salt, and they taste like a dream. But turns out, perfectly creamy mashed potatoes are pretty darn hard without the help of cream, butter and cheese. But don’t worry: we’ve managed to master them for you! These vegan mashed potatoes are light, fluffy, and satisfying and at the same time 100% plant based. Here’s how to make them!
First off: choose Yukon gold potatoes.
The choice of potato matters here. Why? It all comes down to the texture. Here you should use Yukon gold potatoes, also labeled as yellow potatoes in the grocery store. Here’s why you should choose Yukon gold for vegan mashed potatoes:
- Russet potatoes can taste quite bland and flat. These potatoes have a texture that can be a little mealy, and the flavor is overall a little bland. If you go 100% Russet potatoes for vegan mashed potatoes, the flavor falls flat because there’s no dairy to carry the flavor.
- Yukon gold (yellow) potatoes are more buttery and rich. Sure, they don’t taste like that unseasoned. But the yellow flesh of a Yukon gold potato is more robust and the buttery flavor helps to compensate for the lack of dairy.
Use a mix of olive oil and coconut oil.
Alex and I try not to use vegan butter in our recipes if at all possible. Some brands can be quite processed and it’s not as pure of a “whole food” in our minds. (We did find it was absolutely essential for buttery Vegan Biscuits and Gravy…a consolation that was ok with us!)
This recipe we tinkered around with using only olive oil, but the flavor was still a little flat. The solution? Add a little coconut oil to the olive! Coconut oil adds a creaminess and a light sweetness that is lacking with just olive oil. We use both often in our pantry, so it was a winning combination.
Skip the non-dairy milk for vegan mashed potatoes.
In vegan baking you rely on non-dairy milk as a go to, like almond, oat, or soy. But in vegan mashed potatoes? Not necessary! In testing this recipe, we found that non-dairy milk does little for the texture of potatoes. Since it’s pretty watery, it’s not adding any richness.
All you need in this recipe is the olive oil and coconut oil. But one note: you’ll save out a bit of the potato cooking water when you drain the potatoes. You can add little bits of this starchy water to the potatoes if you’re not getting the correct texture. But beware! If you add too much, the potatoes become weirdly waterlogged. So proceed with caution. We didn’t need the potato water, but it depends on your potatoes and the exact cook time you use.
Try them in Shepherd’s Pie!
These vegan mashed potatoes are the star of our Vegan Shepherd’s Pie, a masterpiece of plant-based home cooking. While this recipe takes over 1 hour to prepare, it’s absolutely worth it once you taste the final product. It’s great for weekends, days off, or dinner parties. The savory filling features a thick gravy and a plethora of veggies, all held together with these vegan mashed potatoes. We highly recommend it!
Ways to serve vegan mashed potatoes
Of course, these spuds also work as a lovely whole food plant based (WFPB) side dish to go with just about anything. Here are a few ways to serve them:
- With gravy: Top with our Best Vegan Gravy or Vegan Mushroom Gravy. (Perfect for Thanksgiving!)
- With “meatballs”: Vegan Meatballs & Gravy would be fantastic with a side of this mash. (And if you do eat a little dairy…try our Best Vegetarian Meatloaf.)
- Load ’em up: Top with chives, Vegan Sour Cream, and Mushroom Bacon. Yes, please!
This vegan mashed potatoes recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.Print
These vegan mashed potatoes are perfectly creamy and fluffy with a few easy pantry tricks! A perfect plant-based version of this famous side dish.
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (yellow potatoes)*
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- Thinly chopped chives, for garnish
- Black pepper, for garnish
- Kosher salt
- Peel and roughly chop the potatoes into 2-inch chunks. (Optionally, you can skip peeling if you like skin-on mashed potatoes like we do!)
- Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of cold water. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes (pierce a piece of potato with a fork to assess doneness). Drain and reserve a bit of the potato cooking water.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the whole garlic cloves and simmer for about 3 minutes until fragrant. Discard the garlic.
- Return the potatoes to the pot. Add the garlic-infused oil, coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and plenty of fresh ground pepper. Mash until the desired texture is reached. (If you find the potatoes are too dry, you can add a small drizzle of the starchy potato water. Just be careful not to add too much or the texture will become waterlogged.)
*Important: make sure to get Yukon gold, sometimes labeled as “yellow potatoes”. They have just the right creamy texture and buttery flavor that you won’t get out of a Russet.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Vegan
Keywords: Vegan Mashed Potatoes
More plant based side dish recipes
There are so many different ways to make side dishes starring only plants! Here are some of our favorite vegetable side dishes:
- Roasted Carrots The best way to make this healthy vegetable taste AMAZING! Bake them until tender with lemon wedges and fresh thyme.
- Best Ever Sauteed Mushrooms THE perfect sauteed mushrooms recipe: super savory with lemon and fresh herbs.
- Perfect Roasted Eggplant Baking until the eggplant is tender makes for unreal flavor. Serve it as a side dish, or toss with pasta!
- Roasted Asparagus with Lemon The easiest side dish! Bake it in the oven for about 10 minutes with garlic, olive oil, and lemon slices.
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.