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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Healthy Mashed Potatoes (Vegan Friendly)

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This Healthy Mashed Potatoes Recipe is the ULTIMATE comfort food! Russet potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, and fresh herbs come together for a creamy, rich, dairy-free, vegan mashed potatoes that is the perfect side dish any time of the year!

healthy mashed potatoes in a blue bowl against a blue and green cloth

Mashed potatoes are one of those side dishes that just about everyone loves, thanks to all that fluffy, starchy, goodness. They are great as part of a holiday meal spread, delicious all by themselves, or as a side dish for various roasted veggies or soups/salads.

What I don’t love about mashed potatoes is all the butter and fat that’s typically added to the dish!

I wanted to make an easy, vegan mashed potatoes dish that the entire family would enjoy!  These healthy mashed potatoes are light in calories since they’re made with a few secret swaps, but they are loaded with flavor.

This dish is also super simple. With only 5 ingredients and less than 30 minutes, you can make a mashed potatoes vegan friendly dish that will please a crowd! You won’t miss traditional mashed potatoes after trying this recipe, I guarantee it!

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Recipe Ingredients & Notes

healthy mashed potatoes ingredients

How Do You Make Healthy Mashed Potatoes?

Mashed potatoes can be an indulgent side dish, especially when cooked restaurant style! I’ll let you into a secret – they use A LOT of butter, cream and salt! These vegan mashed potatoes are a lightened up version, but without scrimping on taste.  These are the simple swaps to make these easy mashed potatoes healthier:

  1. Substitute cauliflower for some of the potatoes to lower carbs.
  2. Unsweetened plant based milk instead of cream
  3. Less butter overall
  4. Use fresh herbs to add flavor

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes, garlic, and cauliflower to the pot (make sure there’s enough water to cover the veggies). Cover and simmer/cook until the veggies are tender – about 15-20 minutes. Drain water, and transfer the potatoes, cauliflower, and garlic to a large bowl. 

cauliflower and potatoes in a large bowl

Step 2: To the bowl, add the salt & pepper and mash until smooth.

potato masher creaming up the potatoes in a large bowl

Step 3: Top with chives and herbs before serving.

vegan mashed potatoes in a blue bowl against a blue and green cloth

What Makes These Potatoes Healthy?

  • Vitamins and Minerals: Potatoes get a bad rap because they’re super starchy, but they are actually packed with Vitamins C, B6, Potassium and Magnesium. Cauliflower has tons of Vitamin C, K, B6, and Folate – in addition to inflammation fighting antioxidants!
  • Low Calorie: You can enjoy a large helping of these easy mashed potatoes, and they are only 146 calories! That’s almost 100 calories less than the same amount of traditional mashed potatoes!
  • High in Fiber: Each serving of this healthy mashed potatoes dish provides you with 7 grams of fiber. Fiber is important for healthy digestion, blood sugar, and heart health.

Will Kids Enjoy These Healthy Mashed Potatoes?

The only way your child won’t like this mashed potatoes vegan recipe is if they just plain don’t like mashed potatoes. Most kids will choose mashed potatoes over any other dish on their plates. It makes sense – they are so creamy and go with everything!

healthy mashed potatoes in a blue bowl against a blue and green cloth

 Recipe FAQs

Can You Freeze Mashed Potatoes?

Yes! This recipe freezes really well. To freeze, let the mashed potatoes cool completely. Then transfer to an airtight container. It will keep in the freezer for 1-2 months. It will also keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

How Smooth Do I Need To Mash This Dish?

The texture is one of those things that is unique to everyone. We prefer to use a handheld potato masher, so there are still a few yummy chunks. However, you could use a food processor or even a blender if you want to be super smooth and pureed. If you choose to use a food processor or a blender, make sure these garlic mashed potatoes have cooled before blending them so the mixture doesn’t expand/explode while blending!

Does This Recipe Really Taste Like Mashed Potatoes?

The great thing about cauliflower is that it takes on the flavor of anything it’s paired with. And because it has the same texture and color as potatoes after it’s cooked, these healthy mashed potatoes taste very much like traditional mashed potatoes! Give it a try, I think you love it! 

Recipe Variations

There are so many ways you can change up these garlic mashed potatoes! Here are some of our favorite mix-ins:

  • Chives or Green Onions
  • Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder or Crushed Red Pepper
  • Jalapeños or Chipotle Peppers with Adobo Sauce
  • Garlic powder and/or onion powder or even curry powder
  • Fresh herbs, like thyme, rosemary or parsley
  • Roasted garlic
  • Your favorite vegan shredded cheese (to make cheesy mashed potatoes, I recommend adding 1/2 cup cheese to the recipe before mashing it)
  • To make this vegetarian (but not vegan): use low fat milk or buttermilk, shredded cheese of your choice, and regular butter
  • Add in some chopped, sautéed baby spinach or mashed butternut squash to the mashed potatoes to sneak some extra veggies in!
  • You can make this same recipe with sweet potatoes instead!

Top Tips For Making Healthy Mashed Potatoes

  • You want to use starchy potatoes to get the right texture for this recipe. I used russet, but yukon gold would also work great.
  • Be sure not to overcook the potatoes and cauliflower. If you do, they will break down, and will be harder to drain. Keep an eye on it as it’s boiling and test the veggies to see when they are tender. 
  • If you want to get rid of all the water even after draining, you can return the potatoes to the pot and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add any extra mix-ins that you want. If you prefer this not to be a mashed potatoes vegan recipe, you could always use the vegetarian substitutions outlined above.
  • I like leaving the skin on the potatoes before cooking them. It adds more fiber, and still tastes great! Just make sure to give the potatoes a good scrub before boiling them to get them super clean.
  • If you don’t have a potato masher, you can use a fork or a blender/immersion blender.
  • Use more or less milk, depending on the consistency you’re looking for.
  • If you don’t have vegan butter, you can use olive oil instead.
healthy mashed potatoes in a blue bowl against a blue and green cloth

Check Out These Additional Side Dish Recipes!

If you have tried these Healthy Mashed Potatoes or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

vegan mashed potatoes in a blue bowl against a blue and green cloth
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Healthy Mashed Potatoes (Vegan Friendly)

This Healthy Mashed Potatoes Recipe is the ULTIMATE comfort food! Russet potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, and fresh herbs come together for a creamy, rich, dairy-free, vegan mashed potatoes that is the perfect side dish any time of the year!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 143kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium-sized russet potato about 12 oz.
  • 5 cups cauliflower florets about 1 large head
  • 2-3 Tbsp unsweetened plant milk of your choice almond, soy, or coconut milk would all work
  • 1 Tbsp vegan butter or olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Chopped chives optional
  • Fresh herbs – thyme, rosemary, parsley optional
  • Vegan Yogurt or Sour Cream 1 Tbsp per serving, optional

Instructions

  • Cut your potatoes into 1 inch cubes, and cut your cauliflower into florets.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add the potatoes, garlic and cauliflower to the pot (make sure there’s enough water to cover the veggies). Cover and simmer/cook until the veggies are tender – about 15-20 minutes.
  • Drain water, and transfer the potatoes, cauliflower and garlic to a large bowl.
  • To the bowl, add the milk, butter, salt & pepper and mash until smooth. Top with chives and herbs before serving.

Video

Notes

Recipe Variations
There are so many ways you can change up these garlic mashed potatoes! Here are some of our favorite mix-ins:
  • Chives or Green Onions
  • Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder or Crushed Red Pepper
  • Jalapeños or Chipotle Peppers with Adobo Sauce
  • Garlic powder and/or onion powder or even curry powder
  • Fresh herbs, like thyme, rosemary or parsley
  • Roasted garlic
  • Your favorite vegan shredded cheese (to make cheesy mashed potatoes, I recommend adding 1/2 cup cheese to the recipe before mashing it)
  • To make this vegetarian (but not vegan): use low fat milk or buttermilk, shredded cheese of your choice, and regular butter
  • Add in some chopped, sautéed baby spinach or mashed butternut squash to the mashed potatoes to sneak some extra veggies in!
  • You can make this same recipe with sweet potatoes instead!
Top Tips For Making Healthy Mashed Potatoes
  • You want to use starchy potatoes to get the right texture for this recipe. I used russet, but yukon gold would also work great.
  • Be sure not to overcook the potatoes and cauliflower. If you do, they will break down, and will be harder to drain. Keep an eye on it as it’s boiling and test the veggies to see when they are tender. 
  • If you want to get rid of all the water even after draining, you can return the potatoes to the pot and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add any extra mix-ins that you want. If you prefer this not to be a mashed potatoes vegan recipe, you could always use the vegetarian substitutions outlined above.
  • I like leaving the skin on the potatoes before cooking them. It adds more fiber, and still tastes great! Just make sure to give the potatoes a good scrub before boiling them to get them super clean.
  • If you don’t have a potato masher, you can use a fork or a blender/immersion blender.
  • Use more or less milk, depending on the consistency you’re looking for.
  • If you don’t have vegan butter, you can use olive oil instead.

Nutrition

Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.1g | Protein: 6.3g | Fat: 2.6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5.8mg | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 1048.2mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5.3g

Posted In…

Appetizers ·

Appetizers are the perfect complement to my favorite entrees and dinner party menus. You can also make a small batch for a snack, or turn them into a complete meal.

36 responses to “Healthy Mashed Potatoes (Vegan Friendly)”

  1. Mashed potatoes have to be one of my favourite sides and these sound delicious, I love that they’re healthy too!5 stars

    • Hi Rose! You can but then the consistency will be more like a puree vs. the slightly chunky consistency of mashed potatoes. So totally up to you based on what texture you prefer!

  2. I made these this morning as a prepare ahead dish for tomorrow. These are as good as mashed potatoes. . . maybe better. Thanks for this recipe.

  3. Dear Anjali, I have already try to cook your recipe and it taste good. Really like it. I also recommend your recipe (with your link) to my blog.

  4. Is this really 100 calories? The macros aren’t adding up to 100. They add up to almost 50 calories, so either the calories is wrong, the macros are wrong, or I’m wrong.

    • Hi Patrick, thanks for pointing that out! There was a typo with the serving size – this recipe makes 3 servings at ~110 calories each. If you make 5 servings (which was originally on the recipe), you’d end up with about 63 calories per serving. Hope that helps, thanks again!

  5. I enjoyed visiting your website. It is very professional, well laid out, with plenty of colorful pictures. I remember my mother’s mashed potatoes she made with milk and heaps of butter. Then we’d smother it with gravy made from the meatloaf drippings. decadent! Anyway, not as healthy as your mashed potatoes. Did you say you added yogurt? LOL. Take care and good fortune with your blog.

    • Thanks so much for the kind words Lewis! I’m so happy you enjoyed my site 🙂 Haha yes – your version of mashed potatoes definitely sounds more decadent than mine! But once in a while that kind of decadence is great 🙂 I’d love to know if you end up trying this recipe and how it turns out for you!

    • Thank you so much! It’s the perfect substitute for that dollop of sour cream – and tastes amazing on these potatoes 🙂

  6. Great take on the dish. As a alternative to manually mashing a ricer would be a good tool to break up the more fibrous cauliflower & garlic evenly with the potato. Also I assume that the potato should be peeled and cubed into pieces just smaller than the florets.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Jake! Great idea about using a ricer – I bet it would take less time than manually mashing as well! And yes, the potato should be cubed into pieces about the same size or a bit smaller than the florets. As for peeling the potato – that is totally up to you. To make it super creamy, peeling the potato is the way to go. But if you want it to be a little more rustic and if you want the added fiber, then leave the skins on. Hope that helps!

    • Love the idea of adding cottage cheese instead of the Greek Yogurt! What a fun way to change it up 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion Sarah!

  7. Love your secret ingredient. I made cauliflower mac n’ cheese when my parents were visiting and everyone said that this was one of their favorite versions of the classic dish. 🙂 I’m going to have to try this recipe out – it’s the perfect side!

    • Hehe thanks Parita! I have definitely made cauliflower mac & cheese before – it is delicious 🙂 Next time you make it, try substituting in pureed butternut squash instead of the cauliflower – it gives the mac & cheese a great sweetness (and it looks just like cheese!) I’m sure you will love this recipe!

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