This easy vegan mashed potato recipe is made with roasted garlic for amazing flavor. These potatoes are creamy and rich, with no fancy tools or ingredients required!
Make this recipe for any holiday gathering, special occasion or whenever you want a childhood favorite. This is truly a crowd-pleasing recipe, and no one will know it’s vegan because of how smooth and tasty it is!
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Ingredients for Vegan Mashed Potatoes
This recipe uses a few delicious vegan alternatives to dairy that result in creamy, luxurious mashed potatoes.
- Potatoes: Any type of potato should work for this recipe but for the creamiest potatoes, select a yellow potato like Yukon Gold. Regular russet potatoes or white potatoes are also great. Red potatoes are the least starchy and make thinner mashed potatoes but are great if you want to keep the peels on.
- Roasted garlic: Use as much or as little garlic as you like for this recipe, but I use a full head/ bulb of garlic which is about ¼ cup. The flavor roasted garlic adds to mashed potatoes can’t be replicated with anything else; it’s sweeter and more mild compared to raw garlic, which means you can use more!
- Nutritional yeast: This is the ultimate way to add cheesy, dairy flavor to any vegan recipe. Nutritional yeast is a yellow-colored flaky seasoning that cannot be replaced with any other type of yeast (it is not the same as baking or brewers’ yeast). Leave it out if you don’t have any (or don’t like it) but it adds a uniquely delicious flavor that isn’t replicated with any other ingredient.
- Salt: Potatoes are delicious but have a very mild flavor, so use salt to make them taste amazing! Adjust the salt to your liking, but to make vegan mashed potatoes taste just as good as non-vegan ones, don’t shy away from seasoning your potatoes.
- Vegan butter: I’m not sure if you can make truly rich, creamy and irresistible potatoes without some butter. Any type of vegan butter (or margarine) will work for this recipe so select whichever you prefer.
- Vegan cream: Most traditional non-vegan mashed potatoes are made with some type of milk or cream, often heavy cream. There are plenty of non-dairy cream options available these days, so use what you like. Canned coconut milk also works; it doesn’t make the potatoes quite as delicious compared to a vegan cream alternative, but it’s usually an easier ingredient to find. If you want lighter mashed potatoes, plant-based milk could work, but won’t be nearly as creamy and delicious.
How to Make Vegan Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Vegan mashed potatoes are simple to make but they do require some time and patience.
Step 1: Roast Garlic
To start this recipe, roast a full head of garlic. Garlic roasts well in an oven preheated to 350 °F, so turn on your oven before you do anything else.
Cut the top off a garlic head, making sure all the garlic cloves inside are visible. Place the garlic onto a piece of tin foil and drizzle some olive oil onto the garlic along with a generous pinch of salt.
Wrap the garlic in tin foil (I place it onto a baking pan too) and roast for 40-50 minutes. When cooked, the garlic cloves should be dark brown in color, very soft (can mash with a fork) and easy to press out of the garlic skin.
I like to make large batches of roasted garlic then freeze them in 1-2 tablespoon portions so I always have some on hand. If this is an option for you, I highly recommend doing it as it saves lots of time, effort and electricity (from running your oven).
Step 2: Prep and Cook Potatoes
While your garlic roasts, prep and cook some potatoes.
For smooth and delicious mashed potatoes, peel your potatoes first. Occasionally (if using red potatoes) I keep the peel on, but typically, mashed potatoes are best peeled.
Once peeled and washed, cut the potatoes into even-sized pieces. The smaller you cut the potatoes, the faster they’ll cook.
Add your cut potato to a very large pot, then cover with cool or room temperature water. Season this water generously with salt, using about 2 teaspoons or a full tablespoon of salt.
Place the pot on your stove over high heat and bring the potatoes to a boil. Once boiling, keep the heat high and boil until the potatoes are very soft. It should take 8-10 minutes but can take up to 20 minutes if you cut the potatoes into very large pieces.
Cook your potatoes without a lid on the pot as they tend to overboil and make a mess. Keep an eye on the potatoes as they cook to prevent this from happening. Turn down the heat to medium-high or even medium if they overboil. The larger your pot, the easier it is to cook.
Your potatoes are done when they’re soft enough to mash easily with a fork. Once cooked, carefully strain away the cooking water.
Step 3: Mash Potatoes
When your roasted garlic and potatoes are ready, it’s time to mash! Carefully press out all the garlic cloves into your potatoes along with the other ingredients (nutritional yeast, salt, vegan butter and non-dairy cream).
Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until they’re smooth and creamy.
I’ve seen lots of recipes that suggest using a ricer tool for making fluffy mashed potatoes. You can do this if you like, but a regular potato masher works just fine for making creamy potatoes. If you want fluffier potatoes, give a ricer a try (but for me, the tool isn’t worth it).
Potato mashers with a grid pattern are much more efficient compared to the ones that are simply a squiggly line of metal (which, in my opinion, don’t work at all).
Taste the potatoes once mashed and adjust any seasoning to your liking. If you like, add black pepper and/or chopped chives for even more flavor.
How to Serve these Vegan Mashed Potatoes
Most people want mashed potatoes for a holiday gathering like Thanksgiving, Christmas or during roast dinners any time of year.
They are great to eat as-is or topped with your favorite vegan gravy.
If you’re making a full holiday or roast dinner, check out these other delicious vegan recipes to serve with your mashed potatoes:
- Vegan turkey
- Vegan ham
- Seitan roast
- Lentil loaf
- Roasted lemon garlic green beans
- Maple balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts
- Cauliflower gratin
- Roast beetroot and pumpkin salad
- Spinach salad with maple balsamic dressing
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I typically reheat mashed potatoes in the microwave, but you can also reheat them in a pot on the stove, over low heat, stirring regularly until warmed through.
Vegan Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic
To Roast Garlic
- 1 head garlic
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- pinch of salt
Step 1: Roast Garlic
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F.
- Cut the top off a whole head of garlic (discard the top).1 head garlic
- Place the garlic head onto a piece of tin foil and top with olive oil and some salt (a large pinch of salt).½ tablespoon olive oil, pinch of salt
- Wrap tightly in foil, then place onto a baking tray/ baking dish and into your preheated oven.
- Roast the garlic for 40 minutes.
Step 2: Prep and Cook Potatoes
- While the garlic roasts, wash your potatoes well, then peel and dice them.3 ½ pounds potatoes
- Place the diced potatoes into a large pot and cover with cool water. Add salt to season the water.2 teaspoons salt
- Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, cook on medium-high or high heat until the potatoes are very soft (can mash easily with a fork). This takes 8-10 minutes, depending on how large your potatoes are diced (can take up to 20 minutes with large pieces of potato).
- When cooked, drain away the water.
Step 3: Mash Potatoes
- Carefully press garlic cloves from the head of your roasted garlic and add to the cooked and drained potatoes. Then add the remaining ingredients.1 head garlic, 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, ½ - 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons vegan butter, ½ cup vegan cream
- Mash until smooth and creamy.
- Serve hot. Optional to top with chopped chives and/or black pepper.
**Any store-bought vegan cream alternative should work. Canned coconut milk also works. Accuracy of nutrition information cannot be guaranteed (certain ingredients may not have all nutrients listed in the database); amounts may vary (and will vary depending on brands of ingredients used); all nutrition fact values rounded to the nearest whole number.
More Vegan Side Dish Recipes
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a long-time vegan with a Masters of Science in Food and Nutrition.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes.