You’ll love the hearty flavors in this creamy vegan garlic mashed potatoes recipe. If you’re after dairy-free mashed potatoes, this one delivers with only five ingredients! Be sure to serve them with some vegan gravy over the top.
It’s officially the time of year when we break out sweaters and jeans and mashed potatoes. I don’t know why, but mashed potatoes are really only a thing in the fall and winter. That’s why one of my big goals when I went vegan was to find a way to make my mashed potatoes vegan. Priorities…right?
But we love serving easy mashed potatoes as a side dish, especially in the colder months. That’s why I’m sharing this recipe with you. I know you’re going to love it!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using red potatoes with the skin on creates a down-home texture in this mashed potato recipe, making it heartier and reminiscent of old-fashioned potatoes dishes
- Pouring hot, freshly cooked potatoes over garlic makes it tender and gives it a more mild flavor
- Adding vegan butter gives these potatoes that buttery flavor we all love so much.
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Potatoes — It’s true that russets or golds have a higher starch content and thus make creamier mashed potatoes. However, I grew up using red potatoes, and their texture is excellent. You’ll need 5 to 6 potatoes.
- Garlic — This is an optional ingredient, but I like to add 2 to 3 cloves of garlic to the potatoes to infuse some mild garlicky flavor.
- Butter or Olive oil — You can use either vegan butter or olive oil. I’ve used both, and they’re great. However, I do love the buttery flavor that comes from using vegan butter.
- Plant-based milk — Three things to note here: 1) make sure you use plain, not vanilla-flavored milk, and 2) Use unsweetened milk, and 3) I find soy milk has the most neutral flavor, whereas almond milk has a mild nutty flavor to it.
- Salt — We’ll add a little bit of salt to the potatoes. People can add more salt to their servings if they so choose.
How to Choose Red Potatoes
Look for red potatoes that are firm and smooth. Smaller potatoes work best for this recipe as they create a creamy texture that makes them perfect for mashed potatoes. Red potatoes have thinner skin which is why they work best for skin-on potatoes. They cook quickly, so keep an eye on them so they don’t get too mushy.
How to Make Vegan Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Wondering how to make mashed potatoes without milk? It may seem complicated, but it’s not! Here are the steps:
- Place the chopped potatoes in a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender.
- Sprinkle chopped garlic over the potatoes and remove the pot from heat.
- Transfer drained potatoes into a large bowl. Mash in the vegan butter and plant-based milk until you achieve a creamy consistency.
- Stir in the salt.
- Serve warm.
Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions.
Step One: Prepare the Potatoes
Rinse off the potatoes and chop them into small cubes. I leave the skins on, but that’s because I’m going for a homestyle type of mashed potatoes with some texture.
Place chopped potatoes in a pot with water and bring them to a boil. Continue boiling until the potatoes are tender. Insert a fork into the potatoes to test them.
Quick Fix Tip
To make ahead of a big meal, chop the potatoes a day before and store them in water. Then when you’re ready to cook them, pour the water and potatoes into the pot to cook them.
Step Two: Add Garlic
Peel 2 to 3 cloves of garlic and chop them. Once the potatoes are done, sprinkle the top with garlic and then remove from heat. This will soften the garlic and create a more mellow flavor.
Step Three: Mashing Potatoes
Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the vegan butter and plant-based milk as you mash the potatoes until you achieve the desired consistency.
See my notes below for making creamy mashed potatoes.
Finally, stir in the salt. Add more or less based on your taste preferences. Remember, you can always add more salt, but it’s not easy to take salt out of a dish!
Serve vegan garlic potatoes warm, with an extra pat (or two) of vegan butter to make them look even more enticing than they already are. You’ll also want a simple, easy Vegan Gravy Recipe because there’s nothing like vegan garlic mashed potatoes with gravy!
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
If you prefer creamy mashed potatoes, here are some tips for you:
- Peel the potatoes — I like the texture and nutrition added from the potato peel, but for the creamiest potatoes possible, you can peel the potatoes
- Keep Your Ingredients Hot — Be ready to whip the potatoes while they’re hot. And when you add the plant-based milk, be sure to heat it up for a minute or so first.
- Use a Mixer — You can mash potatoes by hand with a potato masher, but to get a super whipped consistency, a mixer is the best way to go!
Can you make mashed potatoes with almond milk?
You can make mashed potatoes with almond milk. Be sure to buy plain (non-vanilla), unsweetened almond milk and then substitute it 1:1 for milk in the recipe.
Are potatoes vegan?
Potatoes are plants, making them an excellent plant-based food to eat as part of a vegan diet.
What is a good substitute for butter in mashed potatoes?
You can use either olive oil, vegan butter, or any dairy-free margarine in your mashed potatoes and achieve that delicious buttery flavor you’re used to.
- Let the potato flavor shine through by using a hand masher and leaving some of the potato chunks.
- Chop smaller potato cubes to speed up the cooking time
- Sprinkle the top of dairy-free mashed potatoes with chives
- To reduce sodium, use a low-sodium substitute like Mrs. Dash instead of salt.
- Make your mashed potatoes creamier by adding 1/4 cup of vegan sour cream or plain vegan yogurt.
More Vegan Potato Recipes
Vegan Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 5 red potatoes, not peeled*, washed and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter (or olive oil)
- ¾ cup plant-based milk, plain, not vanilla flavored
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place the chopped potatoes in a large pot and fill it with water, so that you have about 1 to 2 inches of water above the potatoes. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender. Sprinkle the chopped garlic over the top and remove it from heat and allow the water to cool so the water isn't too hot for the next step.
- Pour the potatoes into a strainer over the sink (be careful of emerging steam). Place the cooked and drained potatoes in a large bowl. Add the vegan butter (or olive oil and use a fork or potato masher to mash it. Add the plant-based milk and continue to mash and stir.
- Add the salt and stir it, so it's mixed throughout.
- Sometimes I'll add an extra pat of butter on the top before serving. Serve warm.
- Store mashed potatoes in a sealed container. They will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. They can be frozen in proper containers for up to 2 months.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2016 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.