This is the creamiest, smoothest, fluffiest, most perfectly flavorful potato dish ever! They're my Best Vegan Mashed Potatoes, and they're made with vegan cashew cream, garlic, and chives for a totally classic side dish. You can make them in advance and I share how to keep them fluffy and creamy. Serve this comfort food as a holiday staple or a weeknight side and enjoy every delicious bite!
The holidays are coming, which means that you're likely planning menus and grocery store trips. Mashed potatoes are a staple on most holiday tables. Now that November is here and Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away I'm sharing one of my most-requested comfort food recipes: the Best Vegan Mashed Potatoes. Make them on the stovetop in just 25 minutes and they come out fluffy, creamy, and full of buttery, garlicky flavor. Oh my goodness, I can't even talk about them without craving a batch!
How to Get the Best Flavor in Mashed Potatoes
These mashed potatoes are seasoned to perfection. To achieve flavorful mashed potatoes without having them taste too salty, you want to salt the water that you cook them in. This infuses the potatoes with flavor so that they won't taste bland.
Once the potatoes are cooked in salty water, rich vegan butter, homemade vegan cashew cream, fresh garlic, salt and a touch of pepper add even more flavor. For the vegan, soy-free butter I typically use Earth Balance brand. It melts and cooks perfectly!
I like to garnish the mashed potatoes with fresh chives which pair wonderfully with the vegan cashew cream. Garlic, cream and chives are such a classic flavor combination for mashed potatoes. Together, these ingredients create the perfect balance of flavors without anything being too overpowering. Every spoonful is mashed potato perfection!
How to get fluffy and creamy mashed potatoes
One of my simple secrets to light and fluffy mashed potatoes: a potato ricer. I put the cooked potatoes through a potato ricer in batches after they cook. This doesn't take long at all since the potatoes will be so soft. I rice them directly back into the warm Dutch oven before adding in the remaining ingredients: vegan cashew cream, vegan butter, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Use a wooden spoon to give everything a good stir until it becomes light and fluffy. If you do not own one, you can still make this recipe and use a potato masher. It will work just fine. But the ricer makes them extra smooth, light and fluffy.
Another secret to avoid dry and dense mashed potatoes is to reserve the water the potatoes cook in. The starches from the potato get released into the cooking water and make the water amazing for adding creaminess back into the mashed potatoes. So, before you drain the mashed potatoes, be sure to save ½ cup of the cooking water. You will add this back in once the potatoes are drained and riced. If you plan to make this dish in advance then you should reserve an extra ½ cup of the cooking water. I use this when I reheat the mashed potatoes just before serving. You will want to taste the mashed potatoes after adding the extra half cup to make sure the flavors are still just right.
For best results, I recommend reheating the mashed potatoes on the stovetop with the reserved extra half cup of cooking water. You can also use a neutral tasting non-dairy creamer when reheating the mashed potatoes (such as unflavored, unsweetened oat creamer or cashew creamer). Unsweetened almond milk will also work in a pinch.
Vegan Cashew Cream
I use my homemade Vegan Cashew Cream to give these mashed potatoes their perfectly creamy and fluffy texture. I typically leave out the lemon and apple cider vinegar when I make them for this recipe. Vegan cashew cream stays nice and thick and creamy in this dish which keeps the mashed potatoes so smooth, fluffy and light.
Vegan Cashew Cream is actually a really simple recipe that I almost always have on hand. I make it at least once a week year-round. I sometimes even make a double batch and keep extras in my refrigerator. It comes in handy all the time to make everything a little creamier/better.
It has a cashew/water base for creaminess with a pinch of salt. You really won't believe it's dairy-free! I would suggest making your cashew cream ahead of time so it has time to thicken up overnight before using in this recipe. It is also important to soak your cashews in water in advance of making the cashew cream. Learn more about How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews in this post.
Raw cashews offer plant-based protein and are also incredibly nutrient dense. Cashews are an excellent source of copper and a good source of magnesium, manganese, vitamin K, phosphorous and zinc. I buy them in bulk since I use them so often in recipes.
This recipe is vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, and gluten-free. It's wonderful for serving a crowd with varied food allergies or sensitivities. Everyone agrees it's a classic mashed potato experience and they wouldn't even guess it's totally vegan!
If you'd like an even faster, more hands-off mashed potato recipe, try my Instant Pot Vegan Mashed Potatoes! This is a nut-free recipe with only 5 ingredients that's another really great option for holidays or weeknights.
More Thanksgiving Recipes
You can find all my vegan and gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes here.
Here are some of my top vegan and gluten-free Thanksgiving recipe picks:
Favorite Thanksgiving Appetizers
Favorite Thanksgiving Sides
Favorite Thanksgiving Desserts
These are the fluffiest, creamiest, Best Vegan Mashed Potatoes! Make them on the stovetop in 25 minutes and they're absolutely perfect.
- 10 cups filtered water for boiling the potatoes - before draining the potatoes, reserve 2 cups of this cooking water at the end of the boiling process
- 1-inch pieces pounds Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, peeled, chopped into
- 1 tablespoon fine salt (for boiling the potatoes)
- 1 teaspoon salt (for seasoning the potatoes after cooking and draining)
- vegan, soy-free butter
- ⅔ cup homemade vegan cashew cream (Learn more about How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews in this post)
- 1 head roasted.garlic OR 1-2 large raw peeled garlic clove, pressed through a garlic press (not minced)*
- ground black pepper to taste (I usually do ½ teaspoon black pepper)
- caramelized onions (next level amazing!)
- fresh thyme sprigs
- diced fresh chives
- diced fresh Italian parsley leaves (large stems removed)
- a pat or two of vegan, soy-free butter
- Fill a 5.5 quart dutch oven or large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add salt and chopped potatoes. Return the water to a rolling boil and boil for 10 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.
- Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water and drain the potatoes in a colander. Set aside.
- Working in batches, put the drained potatoes through a potato ricer and directly back into the dry dutch oven once "riced." Alternatively, you can mash the potatoes in the dry dutch oven with a potato masher. The potato ricer just makes them smoother, creamier and fluffier. The potato masher method will yield chunkier mashed potatoes.
- Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup of the reserved cooking water, vegan butter, vegan cashew cream, minced garlic and pepper to taste. Stir all ingredients together well with a wooden spoon. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
- If you want your potatoes creamier, add in more of the reserved potato water.
- Serve with 1-2 pats of vegan, soy-free butter as garnish and a sprinkle of diced chives. You can also garnish with freshly ground black pepper if desired.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week. Reheat mashed potatoes on the stovetop with ½-1 cup of reserved cooking water. This helps to rehydrate the mashed potatoes.
I have made this recipe with both Yukon gold and russet potatoes and both work great. The Yukon gold have a slight yellow color and are creamier in my opinion. The russet potatoes yield a whiter mashed potato dish and they may take a bit longer to cook. Overall, I prefer the Yukon Gold potatoes.
For raw garlic: I love garlic and typically add a second large raw garlic cloves. If you are not a garlic lover, go with one clove to start. I find the raw garlic flavor mellows out once mixed into the mashed potatoes as the heat of the potatoes start to "cook" the garlic. The flavor will also mellow out if you make the mashed potatoes in advance. If you are making these potatoes just before serving then you can briefly saute the pressed garlic in olive oil before adding to the mashed potatoes. This will help the flavor mellow out.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 10
- Category: Side
- Method: Stovetop
Keywords: vegan mashed potatoes