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These dairy-free mashed potatoes are the perfect combination of fluffy, rich, and creamy. Use simple ingredients and a few dairy-free alternatives for the perfect side dish. It stands up as one of the best on the plate, even next to a Thanksgiving Turkey! 

Need another dairy-free side dish? Next, try ultra-creamy vegan baked mac and cheese or dairy-free green bean casserole.

dairy free mashed potatoes in a pot
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If dairy doesn’t agree with you, or if you follow a vegan diet, then this dairy-free mashed potatoes recipe is for you! The creamy texture and savory taste is perfection!

Mashed potatoes are a cornerstone of Thanksgiving recipes. They soak up all that gluten-free gravy and make the perfect pairing to go along with a cheesecloth turkey.

If I’m in charge of potatoes for the holiday meal, I’m bringing this dairy-free mashed potato recipe alongside my favorite Boursin mashed potatoes. You can never have too many mashed potatoes!

They feature two types of potatoes and the option to leave the skin on or take it off depending on your preference. It features basic dairy-free ingredients that are simple to find in grocery stores. I’m also sharing several variations or swaps to make it your own based on what you have available.

The perfect mashed potatoes is as subjective as it gets. It’s all down to preference. Even the best culinary masters debate over whether they’re best waxy or floury, or rustically mashed or riced. 

Why You’ll Love These Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes

  • The right combination of perfectly cooked potatoes, fat, herbs, salt, and pepper make the best mashed potatoes ever.
  • This recipe has the best ratio of potatoes and fat. With vegan cream cheese or canned coconut milk and vegan butter in this recipe, it’s filled with healthy fats that add flavor. 
  • It uses a combination of potatoes for the best texture.
  • This large batch recipe feeds a crowd and is easy to freeze. 
creamy dairy free mashed potatoes with pepper

Grab These Ingredients

Here are the simple ingredients for the best dairy free mashed potatoes. Skip down to the recipe card for exact measurements. 

  • Potatoes: we love to use a blend of russet potatoes and Yukon gold. Leave ours unpeeled for a more rustic feel, but you can peel them too! See the section below for more details.
  • Garlic: a few cloves add just the right amount of flavor.
  • Vegan butter: using quality vegan butter (we like Miyokos) will give you all the flavor, without the dairy. You could also use olive oil or coconut oil, but you’ll miss some of the butter flavor.
  • Dairy-free Milk: according to experts, don’t be heavy-handed on the milk. Add just enough (see expert tips below). You could use a mix of milk and cashew cream. We used unsweetened almond milk.
  • Salt and pepper: Use kosher salt for best results. Salt is a flavor enhancer and an absolute must in mashed potatoes.
  • Vegan cream cheese (optional): this adds tang and richness, but you can leave it out or use a dairy-free sour cream instead. 

If you want to add some flavor variations to these dairy-free mashed potatoes, skip down in this blog post for recipe variations, like adding fresh herbs.

mashing potatoes with a masher

Best Potatoes to Use for Mashed Potatoes

Many have a preference for buttery potatoes or starchy potatoes. However, I learned from The New York Times, and through trial and error, that a blend of potatoes gives you the best of both worlds.

Yukon gold: these buttery potatoes are gold and add a lush texture to the mashed potatoes you need, especially when substituting dairy in the recipe. They’re waxy potatoes and low in starch. Another potato with a similar texture profile are red potatoes.

Russet potatoes: these floury potatoes are high in starch.

Use a combination of starchy and buttery potatoes to yield the best results. If you have to choose, use all Yukon Gold.

How to Make Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes

Prep the potatoes: Start by washing and drying the potatoes. I like to keep the skin on, but if you prefer them without, you can peel them. Once they’re cleaned, cut the potatoes in cubes and place them in a large stock pot. Add water to the pot until the potatoes are submerged. 

peeled yukon gold potatoes on a cutting board

Boil the potatoes: Place the pot uncovered on the stove and turn to high heat to bring the potatoes to a boil. Once they’re boiling, reduce to medium heat and boil for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft enough to pierce with a fork.

peeled and diced yukon and russet potatoes in a pot of water

Mix and mash: Strain the potatoes and place them back in the same pot then add the rest of the ingredients. Mash potatoes using a hand mixer or potato masher if you like them more chunky.

two images of potatoes mashed with vegan cream cheese and almond milk on top and then dairy free mashed potatoes mixed together

Expert Tips for the Best Mashed Potatoes

  1. Use a blend of potatoes for the best texture. We tested this recipe with russet only and then a mix of russet and yukon gold and the latter yielded a better texture.
  2. Avoid water logging the potatoes. This happens when too much water is introduced to the potatoes when boiling, resulting in soggy potatoes. If that happens follow these tips for how to thicken mashed potatoes.
    1. Cut the potatoes before boiling. Cut potatoes cook quickly and evenly compared to whole, unpeeled potatoes. Make sure to cut them into even sizes for even cooking.
    2. Boil them for the right amount of time. Remove them when the tip of a sharp knife goes all the way through the center. Definitely, before they become shaggy around the edges.
    3. Steam-dry them after you drain them. This is a tip I picked up from the New York Times via Gimme Some Oven. Shake them in the same pan over low heat to evaporate any extra moisture. 
  3. Don’t over-mash them. Over-beating mashed potatoes doesn’t mean smoother. The potato’s cell walls break down by repeated mashing, allowing the starch to pour out. AKA, over-beating the mashed potatoes, dairy-free or not, will give you dry, pasty potatoes.
    1. For a thicker, chunky mash, use the traditional potato masher. However, a flat-face masher is ideal for mashed potatoes. It has a grid pattern with crisp edges. It mimics the extrusion effect of a potato ricer and gives you the perfect mash in a shorter amount of time, so you don’t over-mash. 
  4. Use plenty of salt. Potatoes can absorb a remarkable amount of salt before they start to taste seasoned. Use a generous amount of salt in the boiling water and be heavy-handed while you’re seasoning them after they come out. Taste them throughout and add more salt as needed. 
a spoon scooping out dairy-free mashed potatoes

What Is the Best Non-Dairy Milk Substitute For Milk in Mashed Potatoes?

Any plant-based or dairy free milk is a great substitute for regular milk in mashed potatoes. For an even creamier mashed potato, use cashew cream, which is similar in consistency to heavy cream. For a richer option when you’re short on time, use full fat coconut milk. 

How Many Potatoes Should You Make Per Person for Mashed Potatoes?

  • Each person will eat about ½ a large russet potato.
  • If planning for 8 guests, you should use 4 large potatoes.
  • If you plan on serving 10 or more people, double this recipe.

Recipe Variations

  • Roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Roast a whole head of garlic and mix them into the mash.
  • Boil the potatoes in broth. Pour a carton or two of vegetable broth or chicken broth into the water with the mashed potatoes for a subtle flavor adjustment.
  • Add fresh herbs. We tested this recipe with a bit of fresh thyme and rosemary to complement all the poultry herbs in a Thanksgiving meal. Try finely chopped chives for a classic flavor combination.
  • Mix them with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer. Transfer the cooked potatoes to a stand mixer and beat with the paddle on low, adding a few pieces of vegan butter at a time, until smooth, then add the milk and dairy-free cream cheese with the machine running.

Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions

If you want to skip the step of making mashed potatoes on Turkey Day, you can make them up to 4 days in advance.  In fact, mashed potatoes are just as good, if not better reheated. When mashed potatoes chill, their starches firm up. When you gently reheat them, the starches relax into a mash with an even silkier texture.

Follow the recipe instructions to make the recipe all the way through. Allow them to cool completely then cover them with plastic wrap or transfer them to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Follow one of the methods below for reheating.

a pot of dairy free mashed potatoes

More Dairy-Free Side Dishes

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Best Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
This recipe is the best dairy free mashed potatoes you will try! Use two different kinds of potatoes, vegan cream cheese and vegan butter. Make ahead for an even easier Thanksgiving side dish!

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Servings: 5 servings


  • 2.5 lbs potatoes, mix of Yukon Gold and Russet (Note 1)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 Tablespoons vegan butter (we used Myokos) plus more for serving
  • 1/3 cup plant-based milk or cashew cream
  • 4 ounces vegan cream cheese (we used Kite Hill) optional
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for boiling
  • 1/4 cup Fresh cracked black pepper to taste plus more as needed


  • Cut the potatoes. You can peel the potatoes (my preference) or leave the skin on. If you’re keeping the skin on, wash and dry the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces.
  • Boil the potatoes. Transfer the cut potatoes to a large stockpot and cover them completely with cold water. Season them generously with salt (about 1 Tablespoon) and add the whole cloves of garlic. Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat. Continue to boil for 10-12 minutes. Start checking the potatoes at 10 minutes and remove them from the heat when they’re fork tender or when a knife inserted goes through without resistance.
  • Prepare the milk mixture. Melt the vegan butter in a small saucepan. Add the milk or cashew cream and stir until it’s warm. Set aside.
  • Mash the potatoes and garlic. Drain the potatoes and garlic cloves then transfer them back to the pot over low heat. Shake them and cook for another 1-2 minutes to dry them out. Use your preferred kind of potato masher (typical or fine masher) to mash the potatoes well with the butter.
  • Stir everything together. Add half of the butter vegan butter mixture and stir to combine then add the remaining half and the cream cheese and stir until the mashed potatoes is smooth and cream cheese is melted. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. See Note 2 for flavor and herb variations.
  • Serve. Serve warm with gluten-free gravy, or more vegan butter and chopped chives.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!


Note 1. Potatoes. Use a mix of buttery and starchy potatoes for best results. If you need to use just one, opt for Yukon gold.
Storage instructions: allow the potatoes to cool completely then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.


  • Large stock pot


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.9g | Protein: 5.6g | Fat: 12.7g | Cholesterol: 22.9mg | Sodium: 704.3mg | Fiber: 5.5g | Sugar: 3.5g | Vitamin A: 169IU | Vitamin C: 21.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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