These mashed potatoes without butter or oil use roasted garlic to deliver loads of flavor. To add even more flavor, vegan buttermilk can be used which makes the potatoes tangy and extra flavorful. The recipe is oil-free, whole food plant-based, and uses simple ingredients.
For a richer mashed potato recipe without butter, I have a mashed potato with coconut milk and roasted garlic with rosemary recipe. Coconut milk adds fat to the potatoes to replace the butter. The version I created this time is a mashed potato recipe without butter which is low-fat and relies on the creamy roasted garlic and the optional buttermilk to deliver flavor.
Use one head of garlic to add loads of flavor to these mashed potatoes. It may seem like a lot, but roasted garlic becomes more sweet, nutty, and rich tasting. The bite you’d expect from raw garlic is mellowed out by roasting the garlic until it becomes creamy and spreadable. For more information check out my post on how to roast garlic without oil.
Garlic - The roasted garlic adds a rich nutty flavor bomb to these potatoes. The roasting is time-consuming but hands-off. It can also be roasted in advance, then stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Potatoes - Use either Yukon Gold, Russet potatoes, or a mix between the two. Russets will give your mashed potatoes without butter a softer fluffier texture and will absorb more liquid than Yukon Gold. The yellow potatoes will give a denser naturally buttery texture, and don’t absorb as much liquid as Russets. Waxier potatoes like red potatoes are not a good substitute.
Dairy-free milk - Any plant-based milk will work unless you are making vegan buttermilk to add to the plant-based mashed potatoes. If that’s the case, then high-protein milk will need to be used, like soy milk. Almond milk has lower protein than soy milk but does produce thinner vegan buttermilk. Please make sure the milk is unsweetened and plain for this recipe.
Nutritional yeast - This is a deactivated yeast that gives a nutty, cheesy-like flavor. It’s used in vegan meals to sometimes add a cheesy savory flavor. Although it's yeast, it cannot be substituted with baker’s yeast (which is used as a leavening agent in baking bread).
Salt - I salt the potatoes while they’re cooking to season them from the inside out, then add a little more if needed once mashed.
- Salt the water that the potatoes cook in, this seasons the potatoes from the inside out.
- Peel or don’t peel your potatoes, it’s your choice.
- For smoother mashed potatoes without butter, use a potato ricer.
- Don’t over-mix, just stir the potatoes until they have absorbed the milk.
- Don’t overcook the potatoes, cooking time for the potatoes depends on the size of the chunks you cut.
- Use unsweetened plain non-dairy milk.
Prepare the roasted garlic for your no-butter mashed potatoes ahead of time by roasting it when you already have something else in the oven. Once the garlic has cooled enough to handle, remove the roasted garlic from its papery shell. Then store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days, or it can also be frozen. Thaw before adding it to the cooked potatoes.
How to make vegan buttermilk
Using buttermilk in place of the dairy-free milk in this plant-based mashed potato recipe is optional to add a slightly tangy bright flavor. If you’re making vegan buttermilk from scratch, not all dairy-free milk works well. Soy milk works the best; but almond milk also works, though almond milk will be a little thinner and takes longer to curdle.
The ratio is 1 cup of milk to 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. I use white distilled vinegar to make buttermilk for mashed potatoes since it doesn’t add any other flavors to the potatoes.
For simplicity, I just use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar for 1 cup of dairy-free milk, then if I need more milk I add it to the potatoes without making any more buttermilk. Russets will absorb more liquid than Yukon Gold, so you may need more milk. It also depends on how thick or creamy you like mashed potatoes.
To make vegan buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of non-dairy milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then give it a stir.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Either cut the bulb of garlic in half or slice off the very top to expose the top of each clove of garlic. Then, with garlic cloves facing up, wrap them in aluminum foil.
Roast for 45-60 minutes, depending on how large the bulb is. Check at 45 minutes (especially for small bulbs), the cloves should be golden and very soft and gooey. Here’s a more in-depth post on how to roast garlic without oil.
Step 2: Meanwhile, wash and scrub the dirt off the potatoes, peel them if you prefer, then cube the potatoes to be about 1 inch thick.
Add the cubed potatoes to a pot, cover with cold water to where there’s about an inch above the potatoes, and salt the water (roughly ½ tablespoon of salt).
Step 3: Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for around 10-14 minutes or until you can poke a piece of potato with a fork and the potato falls off easily. Check at 10 minutes.
Step 4: While the potatoes are cooking, if you want to add buttermilk, mix the milk and vinegar together to make buttermilk. Let it sit while the potatoes cook.
Step 5: When the potatoes are cooked, turn off the burner on the stove, drain the potatoes, add them back to the warm pot, put the lid on, and steam for about 5 minutes on the warm burner (turned off but still warm). This will get rid of more moisture.
Step 6: When ready to mash, squeeze the roasted garlic right into the potatoes, add the nutritional yeast, add ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste), and mash into the potatoes. A paring knife also works well to remove the garlic cloves from the papery skin.
Add 1 cup of milk (or buttermilk) and mash into the potatoes. It’s best to add less, then add more milk if you need it versus adding too much at one time.
Depending on the type of potatoes used and your desired consistency you may need to add more milk. If you need more milk, I wouldn’t make any more buttermilk, just add the desired amount of milk to the potatoes.
Taste for seasoning, and adjust if needed. Then garnish with chives, parsley, or pepper.
- Serve as a side
- Top them with mushroom gravy
- Use instead of rice for bowl meals
- Top lentil shepherd’s pie with them
- I’ve been serving leftover no-butter mashed potatoes with BBQ tempeh, green beans, and corn
Store leftovers in an air-tight container for about 5 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave until warmed through, stopping to stir during reheating. They can also be warmed in a pot on the stove, stirring occasionally to heat through. They'll dry out using the stove so you may need to add more dairy-free milk.
More Holiday Recipes
- Vegan sausage balls
- Sweet and Spicy Walnuts and Cashews
- Vegan Cranberry Sauce
- Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- Maple Mustard Oil-Free Brussels sprouts
- Cornbread with Coconut Milk
- Rosemary Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Coconut Milk
- Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce
I hope you enjoy this recipe for vegan mashed potatoes without vegan butter! If you like the recipe, feel free to rate it and leave a comment.
These mashed potatoes without butter or oil use roasted garlic to deliver loads of flavor. To add even more flavor, vegan buttermilk can be used which makes the potatoes tangy and extra flavorful.
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 ½ pounds (1133 g) Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, 1-inch cubes
- 1 ¼ cups unsweetened plain dairy-free milk
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar, optional if you’re making vegan buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Fresh chives
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Either cut the bulb of garlic in half or slice off the very top to expose the top of each clove of garlic. Then, with garlic cloves facing up, wrap them in aluminum foil. Roast for 45-60 minutes, depending on how large the bulb is. Check at 45 minutes (especially for small bulbs), the cloves should be golden, soft, and spreadable.
- Meanwhile, wash and scrub the dirt off the potatoes, peel them if you prefer, then cube the potatoes to be about 1 inch thick.
- Add the cubed potatoes to a pot, cover with cold water to where there’s about an inch of water above the potatoes, and salt the water (roughly ½ tablespoon of salt).
- Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for around 10-14 minutes or until you can poke a piece of potato with a fork and the potato falls off easily. Check at 10 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, if you’re adding vegan buttermilk, mix together the milk and vinegar together to make buttermilk. For simplicity, I just mix 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of vinegar together, if I need more milk for the potatoes, I add it without making buttermilk. Let it sit while the potatoes cook.
- When the potatoes are done, turn off the burner, drain them, and add them back to the warm pot, put the lid on, and steam for about 5 minutes on the warm burner (but turned off).
- Add the roasted garlic, nutritional yeast, ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste), and mash into the potatoes.
- Start with 1 cup of milk and mash it into the potatoes. Depending on the potatoes and your desired consistency you may need to add more milk. If you need more milk, no need to make more buttermilk, just add what you need.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Then garnish with chives, parsley, or pepper.
With salting the water, most of the salt will go down the drain it’s not all going to end up in your potatoes, but it does season them from the inside out vs just being on the top.
Roasting the garlic can be done in advance and stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or frozen for longer storage. If frozen, thaw completely before adding to the potatoes.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: sides
- Method: stovetop, oven
- Cuisine: american
Keywords: mashed potatoes without butter, plant based mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes without dairy