The Creamiest Vegan Mashed Potatoes

I’m pretty sure I can say with confidence that everyone looks forward to mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving.

Vertical image of a bowl of mashed potatoes in a black bowl with white text and an orange background.

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.

Vertical image of a white bowl with whole spuds on a white towel.

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.

Vertical image of a metal bowl with chunks of potatoes and a wire whisk.

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.

Vertical image of mixing mashed spuds in a metal mixing bowl with a wire whisk.

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:

Cashew. Cream.

Vertical image of a bowl of mashed potatoes in a black bowl on a white towel with metal spoons and shallots and kitchen twine.

That stuff has been my jam lately. Not like the fruity jam, but you get it. I am using it all over the place and LOVING it, like in my fresh pesto recipe and homemade caramels. It’s so good.

Aside from the cashew cream, my recipe has some vegan margarine, salt, roasted garlic, and crispy shallots.

Roasted garlic and crispy shallots! Love!

Vertical close-up image of a black bowl of mashed potatoes with a shallot garnish on a wooden surface under a towel.

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.

Promise me…

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Horizontal image of a black dish with mashed potatoes, metal spoons, a shallot, and kitchen twine on a white towel on a wooden surface.

The Creamiest Vegan Mashed Potatoes


  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Description

These vegan mashed potatoes use cashew cream for the ultimate creamy texture. With roasted garlic and crispy shallots, they can’t be beat.


Ingredients

For the Cashew Cream:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cashews

For the Mashed Potatoes:

  • 2 1/2 pounds gold potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil*
  • 4 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

For the Cashew Cream:

  1. Boil 1 cup of water. Combine with the cashews in a large bowl, and let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve topped with the crispy shallots, and enjoy!

Notes

*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.

Horizontal image of a black dish with mashed potatoes, metal spoons, a shallot, and kitchen twine on a white towel on a wooden surface.

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.

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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).

Trust us, mashed potatoes can still be delicious even without milk or butter. This recipe for vegan mashed potatoes uses cashew cream for the ultimate creamy texture. With roasted garlic and crispy shallots, you definitely won't miss all the dairy. Read more now on Foodal. #vegan #mashedpotatoes #Thanksgiving #foodal

23 thoughts on “The Creamiest Vegan Mashed Potatoes

  1. I just discovered your site thanks to someone who shared this recipe on facebook… I can’t leave without telling you I’m completely spellbound by these photos and from now on I can’t think of anything else but potatoes. If it wasn’t 4:30AM, I’d rush to the store to buy cashews right away… I swear. How can I get asleep now? 🙂 I’m glad to find your page and can’t wait to explore more of your recipes. Thanks for sharing your ideas! Good luck and greetings from Czech Republic!

    • Sorry about that, Dobby. I use Earth Balance butter exclusively and a lot of the time just write “butter” down when developing recipes. I guess I forgot to clarify that it’s Earth Balance vegan butter in this one, so thanks for pointing that out. I’ve updated the recipe.

  2. Have you tried to freeze these? I’be done it with mashed potatoes with lots of cream and the fat is what keeps them creamy. Just curious if it would work!

  3. Amazing! Being vegan makes me so happy, I hope everyone jumps on! This recipe is delish! I’ve eaten almost all of the potatoes I made for 20 people. Sooo gooood! Mmmmm!!!! Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. This is so great! I’m so excited to make this, now I won’t have an upset stomach after eating mashed potatoes!!

    • Probably 1-2 days in advance, though you’ll have to reheat them before serving somehow. Oven or microwave would probably work. The crispy shallots will be best made right before serving.

  5. I made this recipe for Thanksgiving this year and the name of the recipe really holds true! These are the best mashed potatoes I’ve had, vegan or not. Thank you for sharing this recipe, this will be a staple on my vegan Thanksgiving table for years to come.

  6. I made this for Thanksgiving this year. I have always read to not use a mixer on your mashed potatoes, or they will turn gluey. This recipe looked great, so I thought I’d give it a try.

    That advice turned out to be correct. I could tell just in the first 30 seconds of whipping in my stand mixer, but it was too late. I ended up throwing most of it out, since no one else would eat it. I think this would be great using a ricer, food mill, or plain masher though.

  7. I made these today for Christmas and they were wonderful! I’ll definitely make this recipe for all our holidays from here on out. Pretty darn simple too. I skipped the shallot because I had to travel 35 minutes to our relative’s house and I knew they wouldn’t stay crispy. I followed everything else exactly though and they were so delicious and creamy!

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