Creamy, dreamy, dairy-free mashed potatoes? It’s true! It’s possible! It’s easy! Every bit as delicious as the indulgent version mom made for you growing up, but lightened up and won’t leave you feeling weighed down afterwards.
The Secrets to Creamy, Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes
Before you get your mashed potato party started, it’s important to keep in mind that the type of spud you use matters greatly.
Don’t expect to make miracles with any old potato here. There are only two I recommend for mashing. Both are great so feel free to experiment and see which you prefer in terms of taste and texture. Heck, you could even get real crazy and combine the two!
- Russet Potatoes: White-fleshed, starchy and fluffy, these are my personal favourite mashing potato. When I think of classic, home-style, mashed potatoes, I think of Russets.
- Yukon Golds: Yellow-fleshed, a little waxy, not quite as starchy as Russets, but more buttery and flavourful (in a potatoey kinda way). Be warned though, if you intend to use a hand mixer to whip the potatoes (see below), DON’T overdo it. For whatever reason unbeknown to me, these spuds can turn into a gluey-like substance when excessively mashed. And NEVER, EVER, try to mash them in a food processor or with a hand blender!
How to Cook the Potatoes
Regardless of which potato you choose (Russet or Yukon Golds), I recommend cooking them whole with the skin on. Yes, it will take a bit more time for them to soften to the point that you can mash them. However, your patience will be rewarded because the skin adds flavour and will help trap all of the precious starch within the potato.
If you cut and peel your potatoes before cooking, they’ll cook quicker, but you will lose most of the starch and some of the flavour when you drain them. This will result in a less flavourful and creamy finished product.
Potato Ricer, Masher or Hand Mixer?
Ahhh, the age-old debate! Which tool is best to get the mashed potatoes job done right. If you ask me, it’s a combination of potato ricer and hand mixer. The ricer will help get out any lumps and the hand mixer will introduce air into the mashed potatoes, resulting in a light, fluffy and delicious finished product.
I actually don’t own a potato ricer, so I use a masher and hand mixer.
Is Ghee Dairy-Free?
This recipe calls for ghee (or grass-fed butter) for added flavour. Obviously, if using butter, the mashed potatoes will no longer be dairy-free.
Ghee, on the other hand, is virtually dairy-free in that around 99.9% of dairy solids have been removed and almost pure dairy fat is what remains.
For those who have a dairy allergy, ghee should be avoided.
If you would like these mashed potatoes to be entirely dairy-free, simply substitute your favourite extra virgin olive oil instead.
You’ll need to reintroduce some liquid back into the potatoes as you mash them. Otherwise, they’ll be very dry. Instead of the more common milk or cream, I like to use a flavourful chicken stock. For best flavour, use one that’s homemade.
For an additional hint of flavour, I like to infuse the stock by steeping it with a couple sprigs of fresh thyme. This way, the potatoes get some herby flavour, without overpowering them. Not that fresh thyme in the potatoes would be a bad thing. That’s just another recipe.
Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes
- 2.5 pounds Russet potatoes unpeeled and left whole (or substitute Yukon Golds)
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter or ghee
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus extra for serving
- Fill a large stock pot with water and add the potatoes and 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Cover partially with a lid and bring to a boil over. Cook the potatoes until you can easily pierce their centers with a fork, around 30 minutes. Drain the water and let the potatoes cool slightly. Peel the skin and return back to the pot.
- In a small saucepan, combine the chicken stock, thyme and butter. Set over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly to emulsify the butter, around 5 minutes.
- Add the hot stock and olive oil to the potatoes and mash with a potato masher until smooth. For a creamier finished product, you can first pass the potatoes through a potato ricer and/or use a hand mixer to beat the potatoes until fluffy.
- Taste the potatoes for seasoning and adjust with salt as desired. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with more olive oil. Serve immediately or cover and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.