If you're looking for how to make mashed potatoes without butter that are still creamy and great-tasting, then this recipe is for you! The best part is that you'll only need 3 simple ingredients!
There is nothing more satisfying than serving a comforting, warming dish with fluffy mashed potatoes. It is a quintessential winter warmer and many people’s absolute favorite food.
This airy and pillowy mashed potato dish is made without butter and with a little bit of olive oil. The olive oil gives it a velvety texture and a really delicious earthy flavor. It’s an easy recipe to follow and put together. There are various ways to use your mashed potatoes which I’ll touch on later.
Having a lower-fat version of this recipe to add to your recipe repertoire is a valuable addition. Similar to our Baked Potatoes recipe, it can be whipped up with minimal ingredients. We hope you enjoy whipping this one up.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Great as a side dish or part of easy weeknight dinners or the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Bring it along for a potluck supper!
- Butter free and so, instantly dairy-free and vegan.
- Naturally gluten-free.
Butter substitutes for mashed potatoes
Using olive oil as the substitution for butter in mashed potatoes has a couple of benefits. While still high in calories, olive oil is considered much healthier than butter.
Butter is made up of a lot of saturated fat, whereas olive oil contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Substituting butter for olive oil in this recipe will still deliver a wonderfully rich, and creamy texture that will be incredibly satisfying.
Using olive oil for mashed potatoes is our best way to get potatoes that tickle the taste buds while amping up the healthy element of this side dish.
Ingredients & Substitution Notes
- Potatoes: use Yukon gold or russet potatoes that are high in starch.
- Olive oil: extra virgin is our personal preference but use whatever is your favorite.
See recipe card for quantities.
Making delicious mashed potatoes is not only about the ingredients you choose but also the equipment you use to mash the potatoes with.
For best results (light and fluffy), we recommend using a potato ricer. Your second-best option is a food mill followed by a hand masher.
It’s important to note that mashing too vigorously will lead to more starch being broken down, resulting in a gummy consistency.
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer will result in a denser texture (if used, make sure to use it on the lowest speed), and we don’t recommend using a food processor.
How to make mashed potatoes without butter
Preparing these mashed potatoes is pretty quick and easy and requires minimal equipment.
STEP 1: Peel the skin off your potatoes.
STEP 2: Cut the potatoes into equally sized chunks for an even cook.
STEP 3: Place the potato chunks into a large pot and cover them with enough cold water.
STEP 4: Simmer the potatoes in their water on medium-high heat until fork tender.
STEP 5: Drain the cooked potatoes and reserve a little of the starchy water.
STEP 6: Fill a potato ricer with the hot potatoes.
STEP 7: Pass the potatoes through the ricer and back into the pot. Alternatively, you could use a potato masher (see top tips below)
STEP 8: Stir in the olive oil in place of the butter. Taste and adjust salt. Thin out the mashed potatoes by adding some of the reserved water.
- Salt the water: this can make a difference to the taste of this healthy mashed potato recipe.
- Mashing equipment: for best results (light and fluffy), we recommend a potato ricer. Your second best option is a food mill followed by a hand masher.
- Mashing technique: Please note that mashing too vigorously will lead to more starch being broken down, resulting in a gummy consistency. This is why we recommend using a potato ricer as a gentle mashing method. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer will result in a denser texture (if used, make sure to use it on the lowest speed), and we don’t recommend using a food processor.
- Cold Water: Start cooking potatoes in cold water rather than boiling water for a more even cook.
- Drain well after cooking to ensure all water is gone and avoid watery texture.
- Dairy-free/ Vegan: this recipe is both
- Low-fat: instead of olive oil, use veggie broth or unsweetened almond milk. This will result in a slightly different taste.
- Texture: Mash the potatoes to your desired texture, depending on how chunky or smooth your like them.
- Garlic cloves: add them while cooking the potatoes for subtle garlic flavors. Discard before mashing the potatoes.
- Sour cream or cream cheese if you’re happy to include dairy products
- Cheese: Such as cheddar, parmesan, or nutritional yeast for a savory tone
- Spicy: a pinch of red or black pepper or chili flakes for extra flavor
- Dairy-free milk: Choose a milk alternative that's not naturally sweet such as almond.
- Fresh herbs
- Lemon juice
What to serve with mashed potatoes
- Try these mashed potatoes alongside our Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash or Vegetarian Wellington.
- As the perfect side to a Bean Stew or with Vegetarian Chili
- Veggie meat alternative such as our TVP Mealtballs
- Or topped with Mushroom Ragout
- You can peel and chop them ahead of time. Then leave them soaked in cold water for up to 12 hours. This will stop them from changing color.
- To store: Store any leftover mashed potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- To reheat: Reheat in the microwave or on low heat on the stove. You might need to add a splash of water or veggie broth. Stir constantly.
A gentle mashing method will result in this airy and creamy consistency that we're looking for in mashed potatoes. We recommend using a potato ricer followed by a food mill followed by a potato masher.
Yukon gold and russet are great starchy potatoes for an excellent result.
Yes, simply use less water (2 cups) and cook on high for 8 minutes.
More side dishes
Mashed Potatoes (No Butter)
- 2 pounds potatoes
- water *amount needed depends on the size of your pot, potatoes should be covered in water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Peel your potatoes then rinse them with cold water.
- Once peeled, cut the potatoes into 4 equally sized pieces.
- Fill a large pot with cold water.
- Add the quartered potatoes and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and let simmer until potatoes are fork-tender (around 15 minutes).
- Drain the potatoes over a large bowl or similar to reserve the cooking water.
- Fill a potato ricer with cooked potatoes, hold it over an empty pot (the same that was used for cooking them) and squeeze the handles of the ricer until potatoes are squeezed through (see step-by-step photos or video)
- Alternatively you could use a regular potato masher.
- Add olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
- Taste and add more salt if needed (you'll probably want to add another ½-1 tsp) or other preferred seasonings.
- Thin the mashed potatoes to desired consistency with the reserved cooking water, adding ⅛ cup at a time. Stir with a wooden spoon every time you added some water.
- Mashing equipment: Please note that mashing too vigorously will lead to more starch being broken down, resulting in a gummy consistency. For best results (light and fluffy), we recommend a potato ricer. Your second best option is a food mill followed by a hand masher.
- Instant Pot Method: Use less water (~2 cups) and cook on high for 8 minutes. Then follow the steps from above.
- Cooking Water: Add only ⅛ cup at a time! All in all, you'll probably want to add about 1 cup of cooking water but that depends on personal preference and the mashing method.
- Meal Prep Option: You can peel and chop them ahead of time. Then leave them soaked in cold water for up to 12 hours. This will stop them from changing color.
- Serving Size: 4 potatoes (as used above) will be enough for 4-6 people as a small side dish.