What to Sub for Milk in Mashed Potatoes (Top 8 Free, Vegan too!)
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When I found out my son couldn’t have dairy, I figured we’d never have mashed potatoes ever again. Thank goodness I was wrong! These Dairy-Free Garlic Parsley Mashed Potatoes are the creamy side dish you’ve been missing thanks to a few simple substitutions (also gluten free!). This side dish recipe is great for those with a dairy allergy, lactose intolerance or those who are vegan.
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ALL HAIL MASHED POTATOES
You sometimes need mashed potatoes in your life. It’s just inseparable from certain main dishes. You just need that creamy side to hold poops of gravy, or your favorite pan sauce.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, I thought I’d better share our favorite way to make dairy-free mashed potatoes. My sister, who has no allergies and doesn’t eat a dairy-free diet, says she prefers my mashed potatoes to hers. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too! This really is a delicious and easy potato side dish you’ll come back to over and over.
Dairy free mashed potatoes bring me back to my childhood to Sunday dinners. They’re warm and comforting. Add in some extra flavor from chicken bouillon, garlic and parsley and they’re fabulous! You can still have the best mashed potatoes even without regular milk or butter. Let me show you how!
WHAT IS THE BEST MILK SUBSTITUTE FOR DAIRY-FREE MASHED POTATOES?
When you’re new to plant-based milk it can seem overwhelming. There are so many kinds of milk alternative: oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, rice milk and even with those non-dairy milk there are the unsweetened options and many have a “vanilla” option as well. I find the excellent substitute to be *RICE MILK*. I know it’s more thin than the rest of the other milks, but the rest all have a heavy after taste and will flavor the mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes need to taste like potatoes and not have hints of nuts in my opinion. Plus, rice milk isn’t a top allergen, whereas many people have nut allergies. Rice milk is great for a vegan diet as well.
WHAT IS THE BEST BUTTER SUBSTITUTE FOR MASHED POTATOES?
I use rice milk as a liquid to help the potatoes mash, but then I like to put a scoop of butter (let your heart be your guide for how much) to add that classic “dairy” taste. There are many brands of vegan butter on the market, and I think they all do a pretty good job when it comes to imitating a buttery flavor. I use Earth Balance, but feel free to use whatever brand you need (note they also have a soy free version too, if that’s needed.)
WHAT REPLACES HEAVY CREAM?
Many regular mashed potato recipes like to add extra fats for a creamy texture like: heavy cream, Greek yogurt, or cream cheese to their mashed potatoes. I add olive oil. It adds good flavor, gives it some extra fat, and helps make up for the thinner rice milk. I find the combo of rice milk + olive oil + a little vegan butter does the trick! If you prefer another oil, like avocado oil, you could use that too. (See recipe below for full amounts)
WHAT ABOUT EXTRA FLAVOR IN THE MASHED POTATOES?
Obviously with this recipe, I like to add parsley and garlic. Those can totally be omitted if you want a more classic taste, or you can even add in other dried or fresh herbs that you like better. But, either way, I do recommend adding a teaspoon of powdered chicken broth also known as chicken bouillon or broth base. It really amps up the flavor. If you can’t do chicken and need these to be vegan mashed potatoes, then you can use a powdered vegetable broth. We like the brand Orrington Farms for all of our bouillon needs.
WHAT POTATOES DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR THIS DAIRY-FREE MASHED POTATO RECIPE?
I love me good ol’ russet potatoes. I’m from Idaho, so you can trust me on this one. Some people like yukon gold potatoes, and while very yummy in other preparations, I think they are too starchy for this potatoes recipe.
WHAT TOOLS DO YOU NEED?
There’s many ways to create that desired consistency with it’s fluffy texture and I’m not a purist. I don’t think you should have to go out and buy a food mill or a potato ricer. Yes, some chefs will claim it makes superior results, but I’ve been eating mashed potatoes on the regular my whole life and think it’s a total preference thing. Some people like them impeccably creamy and some like some chunks leftover for texture. You do you. I like to boil mine over medium-high heat, drain off that starchy water, add my additional ingredients and blend with an electric mixer until it’s reached my desired smooth texture. You can even do it sans electricity with a hand mixer or potato masher–it’s your food, make it and enjoy it the way you want. No one is in your kitchen judging you.
DO I NEED TO FOLLOW THIS RECIPE TO A T?
No. Even when a recipe calls for “5 potatoes” they can vary largely in size. And, depending on the texture you want (more stiff, versus more runny) you’ll want to adjust your liquid measurements (meaning the rice milk + olive oil). So, I start with about half of what is called for and blend. If it isn’t as creamy as I would like, I add more. It’s always easier to add more, than wish your mashed potatoes weren’t soupy. Blend and keep adding until you get your desired end result. That goes for my recipe, or any mashed potato recipe, because the author could have a different definition of “done”.
AN IMPORTANT TIP FOR MASHED POTATOES
Potatoes always take more salt than you think they’ll need. Once you’ve reached your desired consistency for the perfect mash, you’ll want to taste it before you set it on the table. Does it need more salt or pepper? More garlic? More vegan butter? All chefs have learned to taste and adjust–be sure you do too!
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER MASHED POTATOES
Once mine have cooled, I store mine in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. They will become more dense as they chill in the fridge, so if needed, you can add a little more rice milk when warming them up to get them back to a softer texture.
Show me other dairy-free potato dishes!
Let’s get some other crave-worthy carb recipes that are also milk-free. (Hint, everything on my site is milk-free, as my son has a milk allergy.) Here are some of our other favorite potato recipes:
- vegan scalloped potatoes
- dairy-free bacon breakfast potatoes
- dairy-free ranch bacon potato salad
- baked honey mustard chicken and potatoes
- dairy-free German potato salad
- potato and sausage soup
- dairy-free loaded baked potato soup
In fact, I have an entire DAIRY FREE THANKSGIVING MENU complete with sides, turkey and pies! If you have leftover mashed potatoes, you can make leftover mashed potato cakes by A Dash of Megnut
And, if you’d like an instant pot version, you can get it in my allergy-friendly cookbook.
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- 5 large russet potatoes (I typically find you want one potato per person)
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 Tablespoons plain rice milk*
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon (make sure it’s a safe brand!)**
- Wash and peel potatoes (I like to keep a little skin on for ease and for a more rustic looking dish). Cube and place in stock pot. Cover with water and add the salt. Bring to boil, and boil until fork tender. Typically 15ish minutes.
- Drain the potatoes, reserving 1 Tablespoon of the awesome starchy-leftover-water. Pour into a bowel. Add in the rest of the ingredients, and blend until smooth. A stand mixer or hand mixer will both work well. Add in the rice milk 1 Tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
- Serve warm.
*Any non-dairy milk should work, I just prefer rice because it’s nut free, and because I feel like it has the least after-taste to it, leaving only the taste of the delicious potatoes.
**If you need the dish to be vegan, be sure to swap out the chicken bullion for a vegetable one.
If you’re making this as part of a Thanksgiving meal, check out my complete Thanksgiving menu for food allergies.
For gluten and dairy free dinner ideas to go with these potatoes check out my cookbook: An Allergy Mom’s Lifesaving Instant Pot Cookbook.
*Our allergies, while severe and that get re-tested yearly, are such that we can go strictly by what’s on the label. I do not call companies to see what things are derived from, or call manufacturers to see about potential cross contact. If your allergies require you to do so, please do your own homework. I cannot assure you of any ingredient’s safety, only you can do that. I simply share what works for our family
**If you are going to feed this to someone with food allergies, and you yourself do not have food allergies, I HIGHLY recommend having them check every single brand and ingredient you are using, to ensure they’re OK with each part of the recipe. And, to make sure you’ve talked to them about how to avoid cross contamination in your kitchen.
Yield: 5Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 332Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 1717mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 7gSugar: 4gProtein: 8g