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This healthy mashed potatoes recipe is the ULTIMATE comfort food! Russet potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, and fresh herbs come together to make creamy, rich, dairy-free, vegan mashed potatoes that are the perfect side dish any time of the year!
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 classic side dish for various roasted veggies, soups, and salads.
But what I don’t love about mashed potatoes is all the butter, cream, and fat that’s typically added to the dish.
The good news is – you can make creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes healthier and taste just as good as the classic recipe!
These easy healthy mashed potatoes will satisfy your entire family, and all of your guests at your holiday table. They are light in calories since they’re made with a few healthy swaps, but are loaded with flavor!
This dish is also super simple. With only 5 ingredients and less than 30 minutes, you can make a vegan-friendly mashed potatoes dish that will please a crowd! This really is the best healthy mashed potato recipe ever – you won’t miss traditional mashed potatoes after trying this dish. I guarantee it!
👩🏽🍳 Why You’ll Love Healthy Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy And Delicious: You won’t even be able to tell that this vegan mashed potato dish is healthy for you! They are super creamy and rich while still being low in fat and calories!
- Vitamins And Minerals: Potatoes get a bad rap because they’re super starchy, but they actually have quite a few health benefits! They’re 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 low calorie 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 potato dish provides you with 7 grams of fiber. Fiber is important for healthy digestion, blood sugar, and heart health.
- Kid-Friendly: This recipe is usually a hit with kids of all ages. Little kids will like how easy it is to eat, older kids will like the flavors! The only way your child won’t like this vegan mashed potatoes recipe is if they just plain don’t like mashed potatoes. It’s a great way to sneak in some extra veggies into their diet too!
Latest Recipe Video!
It only takes a few simple ingredients that you can find easily at the grocery store to make these delicious, healthy creamy mashed potatoes.
- Whole Garlic Cloves: You can use fresh garlic cloves that you mince on your own, or minced garlic from the store. If you’re a garlic lover, feel free to use more.
- Russet Potatoes: This is my favorite potato to use for just the right texture for my healthy homemade mashed potatoes.
- Cauliflower Florets: Be sure to choose the freshest florets you can find. Or, use a frozen variety and thaw in a colander before using.
- Plant-Based Milk: Unsweetened almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk will all work with this easy recipe. Coconut milk is another option.
- Vegan Butter Or Olive Oil: Using dairy-free butter or oil keeps the recipe vegan.
- Salt And Black Pepper: These essential simple seasonings balance out the flavors of the other ingredients. Feel free to add additional salt and pepper to taste once your potatoes are done!
- Chives & Fresh Herbs (optional): I love adding chives for fresh flavor and bright color. Parsley, fresh thyme, and rosemary all add herbaceous flavor to these healthier mashed potatoes too!
- Vegan Yogurt Or Sour Cream: Either of these ingredients will help to give these potatoes their creamy texture.
🍲 Ingredient Substitutions
- Garlic Powder: While I always prefer fresh garlic cloves, especially when adding them to such a simple dish, you can substitute the powder if you need to.
- Pepper: Feel free to use white pepper instead of black pepper if you want to keep these potatoes all white.
- Potatoes: Instead of russet, use another variety that works well for mashing, like Yukon Gold potatoes or red potatoes. You can also leave the skins on and make smashed potatoes if you prefer.
- Milk: If you’re not vegan, you can use whole milk, low fat milk, or skim milk instead of the plant-based variety. You can also opt for heavy cream or cream cheese if you want super creamy potatoes.
- Sour Cream: For non-vegans, you can substitute plain Greek yogurt for the yogurt or sour cream.
- Oil: Use any neutrally flavored oil like avocado oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil to make these healthy mashed potatoes without butter.
- Broth: For extra flavor, you can boil the potatoes in vegetable broth instead of water (or chicken broth / chicken stock if you don’t need this recipe to be vegetarian).
🔪 How To Make Healthy Mashed Potatoes
Here’s how to make this easy mashed potatoes recipe. For more detailed instructions and nutrition information, see the recipe card below.
Boil Potatoes And Cauliflower: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and place potatoes, garlic, and cauliflower in 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 cooked potatoes, cauliflower, and garlic to a large bowl.
Mash The Mixture: To the bowl, add the salt & pepper and mash until smooth.
Garnish And Serve: Top these low fat mashed potatoes with chives and fresh herbs before serving.
💭 Expert Tips
- Use Starchy Potatoes: To get the right texture, be sure to use a type of potato that has plenty of starch. I used Russet, but other options are Red Bliss and Yukon Gold.
- Avoid Overcooking: If you overcook the potatoes and cauliflower, 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.
- Get Rid Of Excess Moisture: 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.
- Increase Nutrients: Leave the skin on for more fiber, and still tastes great! Just make sure to give the potatoes a good scrub before boiling them to get them super clean.
- Potato Masher Alternatives: If you don’t have a potato masher, you can use a fork, a blender, an immersion blender, a hand mixer or an electric mixer.
- Adjust Texture As Needed: 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 cauliflower mashed potatoes have cooled before blending them so the mixture doesn’t expand/explode while blending!
- Adjust Milk: Use more or less milk, depending on the consistency you’re looking for.
There are so many different ways you can change up these healthy garlic mashed potatoes! Here are some of our favorite mix-ins:
- Green Onions: I love the flavor that green onions give to these potatoes. Just mix them in at the end or sprinkle on top for a garnish.
- Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, or Crushed Red Pepper: If you love heat, try adding one of these to make some spicy potatoes.
- Jalapeños or Chipotle Peppers with Adobo Sauce: These will also give the potatoes a spicy kick. Plus, the adobo sauce with add a smoky flavor.
- Onion Powder Or Curry Powder: Add pleasantly pungent onion flavor or add earthy warmth with curry powder to these heart healthy mashed potatoes.
- Roasted Garlic: For an incredible punch of garlicky flavor, roast fresh garlic cloves before adding it to the potatoes.
- Vegan Shredded Cheese: To make cheesy mashed potatoes, I recommend adding 1/2 cup cheese to the recipe before mashing it.
- Vegetarian Version: Use low-fat milk or buttermilk, shredded cheese of your choice, and regular butter.
- Vegetables: Add some chopped, sautéed baby spinach or mashed butternut squash to these vegan healthy mashed potatoes to sneak even more extra veggies in!
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes: You can make this same recipe with sweet potatoes instead!
🍽 Serving Suggestions
These healthy vegan mashed potatoes are a delicious side dish to accompany any main dish (especially for your Thanksgiving dinner table), but you can serve them with a variety of meals too! Here are some other ways to serve these healthy potatoes:
- Breakfast: Serve light mashed potatoes with eggs, a silken tofu scramble, or a vegan frittata. Or repurpose them by making them into potato pancakes.
- Side Dish: These potatoes are a fabulous complement to many meals. Try them with Italian ratatouille, vegan Wellington, vegan moussaka, or vegan pot pie.
- Main Course: Use these potatoes as a base for proteins or veggies — you can top these fluffy potatoes with anything from Instant Pot vegetarian chili or vegan white bean chili to vegan chorizo or vegetarian black-eyed peas.
🙌 Dietary Adaptations
Low Carb Option: To make this dish low-carb, replace all of the potatoes with cauliflower florets.
- To Refrigerate: Once they’ve cooled to room temperature, store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
- To Freeze: Let the leftover mashed potatoes cool completely. Then transfer to a freezer-safe container. It will keep in the freezer for 1-2 months.
- To Reheat: Microwave potatoes in intervals, stirring periodically, until warmed.
It depends on how you make them! These mashed potatoes are made healthier by substituting cauliflower for some of the potatoes and swapping out dairy for vegan ingredients. However, if you’re using dairy and want to cut the calories in this potato side dish, you can use low-fat versions of milk, yogurt, or sour cream and swap out butter for heart-healthy olive oil.
One serving of most traditional mashed potato recipes can run you about 250-300 calories, depending on how its made. But these mashed potatoes are only about 150 calories per serving!
It depends on what diet you’re following! If you’re following a lower calorie or lower fat diet, these mashed potatoes can be a healthy part of it in moderation.
You can use olive oil, which has healthy fats, or vegan butter. Coconut oil and yogurt work well, too.
🍛 More Savory Recipes!
- Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
- Potato Salad Without Eggs
- Vegan Roasted Potatoes
- Miso Mushrooms
- Mushroom Fritters
- Mashed Potato Fritters
- Air Fried Sweet Potato Fries
Love this vegetarian side dish recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!
📋 Recipe Card
🎥 Watch How to Make It
Healthy Mashed Potatoes
- 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 and pepper to taste
- chopped chives optional
- fresh herbs – thyme, rosemary, parsley optional
- vegan yogurt, vegan butter, or sour cream 1 Tbsp per serving, optional
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.