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Mashed Potatoes Without Butter

These dairy free mashed potatoes are made without butter but are still incredibly creamy and have a delicious flavor! They are a wonderful addition to any dairy free dinner and are perfect for special occasions like Thanksgiving.

mashed potatoes without butter in a white bowl on a white marble counter

Mashed potatoes are a great side dish because they are very healthy, filling, and relatively low in calories. However, when you load them with cheese, butter, cream cheese, and more…. I think they lose some of their appeal.

To me, when you doing all of that you miss out on the delicate flavor mashed potatoes have that allows the rich main dish to shine.

Even early recipes for mashed potatoes didn’t call for all that… though it did call for milk and butter.

The following is an expert from The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse in 1747 which is the first known recipe for mashed potatoes.

Boil your Potatoes, peel them, and put them into a Sauce-pan, math them well: To two Pounds of Potatoes put a Pint of Milk, a little Salt, stir them well together, take care they don’t stick to the Bottom, then take a quarter of a Pound of Butter, stir in and serve it up.

These dairy free mashed potatoes are full of flavor but they still let the main dish shine. Since the garlic is boiled it has a subtle flavor that really enhances the side dish.

DO MASHED POTATOES CONTAIN DAIRY?

They don’t have to but mashed potato recipes almost always do. Most mashed potato recipes include milk, cream, butter and/or cheese.

CAN YOU MAKE MASHED POTATOES WITHOUT MILK?

Absolutely! What you really need isn’t milk but a liquid.

This liquid can be a dairy free milk, starchy water from boiling the potatoes, chicken stock, or vegetable stock.

WHAT CAN SUBSTITUTE FOR MILK IN MASHED POTATOES?

Milk is not necessary in mashed potatoes. All you need is a little liquid to make it not too dry.

There are many options. 

I honestly don’t believe using regular milk adds much flavor. 

Dairy free milk can be a nice substitute, especially if you like the flavor they add.

CAN I USE WATER INSTEAD OF MILK IN MASHED POTATOES?

Absolutely. I even recommend using the starchy water you boil the potatoes in. 

If you don’t want to, fresh water can be used as well.

HOW TO MAKE SOMETHING CREAMY WITHOUT DAIRY?

What you use really depends on what you are making. With dairy free mashed potatoes, any of these options work.

HOW TO MAKE MASHED POTATOES WITHOUT MILK?

Mashed potatoes can be made easily without milk or butter.

What you need is a liquid – which ever you prefer – so the potatoes aren’t dry.

Then, you need a fat to help make them creamy. Butter is usually used but fats like olive oil, animal fats, and even mayonnaise can be used.

My personal favorite is mayonnaise which is a surprisingly versatile ingredient.

DO YOU PEAL POTATOES BEFORE BOILING FOR MASHED POTATOES?

You can but you don’t have to. Potatoes that have clean skin can be washed and left on.

I like leaving the skins on but I choose which way to do it based on the preferences of whoever else will be eating it.

TYPES OF POTATOES

There are generally three types of potatoes: waxy, starchy, and those in between.  

WAXY

Waxy potatoes, such as Red Bliss and fingerlings, have a smooth skin and creamy, almost shiny flesh. 

Because waxy potatoes are relatively low in starch and high in moisture, they stay intact when they’re cooked.  

STARCHY AKA FLOURY

The most common example of starchy potato are russets aka Idaho potatoes.  

As you may have guessed by their name, they’re higher in starch and lower in moisture than waxy potatoes. They have matte-skinned and fall apart when boiled.

Starchy potatoes are ideal for adding creaminess to puréed soups or providing the airy, whipped texture to a mash. They are also good for roasting and frying.

IN-BETWEEN

These fall somewhere between the waxy and floury making them the “all-purpose” potatoes.  The most commonly known of them are Yukon Golds.

Because they hold their shape when boiled, grated, or fried and yield to mashing, they’re very versatile.

BEST FOR MASHED POTATOES

Since the waxy are most flavorful but the starchy are airiest, for the ideal mashed potatoes use half and half.  This is a tip I picked up from the New York Times.

However, if you could only choose one, choose the in between option like Yukon Gold. 

Or if where you live you don’t have any clear way to know what type of potato you have available, use whatever you have.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Believe it or not, it’s best to begin cooking potatoes in cold water. It doesn’t have to be chilled, just the cold side from the tap.

While this may sound counter intuitive, cold water helps the potatoes cook more evenly.

Also, if it’s better that way, why waste the gas and cooking time by boiling the water?

SECRETE INGREDIENT

My secret ingredient to perfectly creamy mashed potatoes is… mayonnaise!

Shocking right?

Mayonnaise is actually great in cakes, quick breads, and when used for grilling, frying, and roasting.

I use a little bit of it in here because I like letting the potatoes speak for themselves.  However, you can use up to half a cup if you want a more pronounced flavor.

So why mayonnaise?  Because it makes your mashed potatoes creamy, and as a bonus, it doesn’t harden up in the refrigerator, so you can make them ahead of time.

Even if you don’t like mayonnaise don’t worry, you don’t taste it at all when it’s just two tablespoons for 2 pounds of potatoes.

MAKE AHEAD OF TIME

Unlike typical mashed potatoes, these mashed potatoes can be made ahead of time.  Usually mashed potatoes get hard in the fridge due to all the butter but the mayonnaise keeps these just as creamy.

Simply make the day before (or even a few days before) and reheat when ready to serve.

HOW TO STORE

Place in an airtight container or leave in a bowl and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Yield: Serves 6

Mashed Potatoes Without Butter

mashed potatoes without butter in a white bowl on a white marble counter
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place potatoes and garlic in a large sauce pan. Cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook until tender - about 15 minutes.
  3. Drain water but reserve 1/2 cup of liquid. Add mayonnaise and mash the potatoes and garlic.
  4. Slowly mix in stock until you reach desired consistency. If you run out of stock and still have not reached your desired consistency, slowly mix in the remaining water. Salt to taste.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 107mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g

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