I’m pretty sure I can say with confidence that everyone looks forward to mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving.
I mean, it’s a whole thing: if you have Thanksgiving, you have this iconic side dish. Smashed spuds are everyone’s favorite side, whether they admit it or not.
It’s one of those dishes that you give yourself an extra large heaping scoop, then look at your plate a little forlornly because it doesn’t look like quite enough. So you dive in for another.
It’s that dish.
The standard recipe has lots of tasty, fatty flavor components, like butter and cream.
But if you’re the kind of person who avoids those ingredients for whatever reason, making it can be… challenging.
So, I’ve tried many variations of a vegan version of this classic side dish. Some were okay (I mean, really, they’re carbs mixed with some kind of fat – they can’t be that bad). Some were pretty good.
But none have been as creamy as these.
I did something pretty crazy here to achieve that super creamy, melt-in-your-mouth taste that the traditional recipe has. I’ve tried all sorts of non-dairy milks and was never super impressed with the result. But this time, I succeeded. Two words:
Roasted garlic and crispy shallots! Love!
Even if you have no intention of ever making this non-dairy version, you must put roasted garlic and crispy shallots on your mashers next time.
These vegan mashed potatoes use cashew cream for the ultimate creamy texture. With roasted garlic and crispy shallots, they can’t be beat.
For the Cashew Cream:
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup cashews
For the Mashed Potatoes:
For the Cashew Cream:
- Boil 1 cup of water. Combine with the cashews in a large bowl, and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Add the cashews and their soaking water in a blender along with the roasted garlic cloves. Blend until smooth, 1-3 minutes depending on your blender. It’s best to let the blender stop and cool down every minute or so.
For the Mashed Potatoes:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. If preferred, peel the potatoes, or leave the skins on. Chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Carefully drop the potatoes in the boiling water, and boil for about 20 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.
- While the potatoes boil, place the garlic cloves in a heavy, dry skillet. Cook on medium-high heat, turning every now and then, for about 15 minutes, until they have brown spots on all sides. Let cool, then remove the skins and trim the ends.
- Peel the shallot and mince finely. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet and add the shallots. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the heat.
- When the potatoes are done cooking, drain. Add to the bowl of your stand mixer and fit with the whisk attachment. Alternatively, add to a large wide bowl and use a potato masher.
- Add the cashew cream with roasted garlic, the margarine, and the salt. Beat for about 5 minutes for slightly lumpy potatoes, and up to 10 minutes for smooth potatoes.
- Serve topped with the crispy shallots, and enjoy!
*If your skillet is large, you may need to use more olive oil. You want plenty in there for the shallots to cook in, otherwise they may burn instead of brown.
Keywords: mashed potatoes, vegan, Thanksgiving, side dish, cashew cream
How to Whip ‘Em Up
To make these super creamy, I used my KitchenAid mixer to whip them. It is by far the easiest way to make them nice and fluffy.
If all you have is a potato masher, that’ll work too, but will take a little more time. You’ll also have nice toned arms afterward!
The masher is also a great option if you prefer a chunkier side dish – I do really enjoy biting into perfectly al dente chunks scattered amongst the creamy base.
How do you like your pulverized spuds? Creamy or chunky? Skins or no skins? Do you have any special ingredients for making your own non-dairy substitute of this fall-favorite dish? Comment below, and rate my recipe!
Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on November 21st, 2015. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone. Last updated: November 12, 2018 at 10:40 am.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now being merged into Foodal).