What would the Holidays be without mashed potatoes? “Not much!” according to my mom. These vegan mashed potatoes are made extra rich and creamy by including cashews.

There is nothing more scrumptious than a cozy bowl of mashed potato. This cream-free recipe leaves nothing behind-it’s perfectly seasoned, silky, and satisfying.

Vegan Mashed Potatoes served in a bowl

Check out my garlic Brussels sprouts and these Hasselback sweet potatoes with maple syrup glaze for other warming sides.

I do not know how you do Holiday meal preparation in your home, but in our house, we were responsible for different tasks. Peeling the potatoes was usually my job, and mashing them was Kaija’s job. Though sometimes we would switch. There was such an excitement associated with this task as it was one of the last things we did before a Holiday meal. Mom did not want old tasting potatoes; they had to be fresh, right off the stove.

I come from a long line of potato lovers. My grandfather had to have potatoes every day. He said that if dinner did not include potatoes, it did not count. So, when we visited and were out and about, my grandfather would make potatoes for us. However, that was the only thing he knew how to make, so we would have to fix the rest ourselves:) Great memories.

Why you’ll love this mashed potato recipe

  • Creaminess without dairy: Plant-based mashed potatoes can be just as creamy and luscious as traditional ones without dairy. Ingredients like cashews, almond milk, or plant-based margarine create a velvety texture.
  • Versatility of potatoes: Potatoes, especially varieties like Yukon Gold, offer a versatile canvas for flavor. They can absorb and complement various plant-based ingredients, making each bite a delicious experience.
  • Nutrient-rich cashews: Using cashews in plant-based mashed potatoes adds nutrients, including healthy fats, protein, and vitamins. Cashews contribute to the creamy texture and provide a subtle nutty flavor.
  • Healthier option: Plant-based mashed potatoes often contain less saturated fat than traditional versions, promoting heart health. The inclusion of whole, plant-based ingredients adds nutritional value to the dish.
  • Creative flavor additions: Plant-based mashed potatoes provide a fantastic base for experimenting with different flavors. Whether you add herbs, garlic, or other plant-based ingredients, the possibilities for customization are endless.
  • Comfort food remade: Enjoy the classic comfort of mashed potatoes without compromising flavor or texture. 

Ingredients and substitution notes 

  • Potatoes: I recommend using organic Yukon Gold potatoes for a buttery and creamy texture. Their thin skin also means less peeling, making preparation easier.
  • Cashews: These nuts are crucial in adding creaminess to the mashed potatoes. Ensure they are soaked before blending to achieve a smooth and velvety consistency. This ingredient brings a nutty undertone to the dish.
  • Vegan margarine: This adds richness and a buttery flavor to the mashed potatoes. 

Recipe variations and add-ins

  • Roasted garlic infusion: Roast a whole head of garlic until soft and mix the cloves into the mashed potatoes. This is such a simple way to take your mashed potatoes to a new level of creamy and rich.
  • Truffle oil elegance: Drizzle truffle oil into the mashed potatoes for a touch of luxury and earthy aroma. Top with a sprinkle of chopped chives!
  • Smoked paprika and chives: Incorporate a pinch of smoked paprika for a subtle smokiness.
  • Caramelized onion bliss: Sauté thinly sliced onions until golden brown and caramelized. Fold them into the mashed potatoes for a sweet and savory twist.

Top tips to make the best vegan mashed potatoes

  • Adjust the consistency: If the mashed potatoes are too thick, you can adjust the consistency by adding a small amount of plant-based milk, such as cashew cream, almond or soy milk, until you achieve your desired thickness. 
  • Choose the right kind of potatoes: Go for starchy potatoes like Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes. Their high starch content contributes to a fluffy and creamy texture.
  • Soak cashews for easy creaminess: This is especially necessary if you don’t have a high-speed blender. If using cashews, soak them for a few hours or overnight. This softens them, making them easier to blend into a smooth and creamy consistency.
  • Vegan margarine or olive oil: Incorporate vegan margarine or high-quality olive oil for richness. These plant-based fats enhance the flavor and mimic the buttery notes traditionally found in mashed potatoes.
  • Season generously: Adding enough seasoning is so important when it comes to mashed potatoes. Taste as you go!
  • Mix thoroughly: Mash the potatoes with a handheld potato masher.
  • Warm ingredients: Use warm ingredients to maintain the temperature of the mashed potatoes. Warm cashew cream and margarine prevent the dish from cooling down too quickly.
  • Adjust consistency: If the mashed potatoes are too thick, add more plant-based milk gradually until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Add flavor boosters: Enhance the flavor with fresh herbs, like chives or parsley, or add roasted garlic for a savory hit.
  • Serve immediately: Mashed potatoes are best served fresh and warm. If preparing in advance, reheat gently on the stovetop, adding a bit of plant-based milk to restore creaminess.

Make ahead of instructions and storage

Make-ahead instructions:

Peel and chop the potatoes ahead of time. Store them in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator to prevent browning.

Storage instructions:

Store leftover mashed potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Place refrigerated mashed potatoes in a saucepan over medium-low heat to reheat them. Add a splash of plant-based milk and stir frequently until heated through.

Serving suggestions 

Spoon a generous portion onto your plate, creating a well in the center to hold a pool of vegan gravy

Consider incorporating these mashed potatoes into your Holiday menu. Check out my Thanksgiving recipe round-ups for more ideas on what to serve! 

Mashed potatoes also shine as an accompaniment to a classic vegan roast turkey dinner. Picture a plate adorned with slices of succulent roast vegetables, a plant-based roast, and a spoonful of creamy mashed potatoes. 

Serve these mashed potatoes as a delightful side dish to vegan sausages or mushroom burgers

Watch My Vegan Mashed Potato Recipe Video

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Vegan Mashed Potatoes

Amazing Vegan Mashed Potatoes

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  • Author: Chef Ani
  • Yield: 56 Servings 1x
  • Category: Holiday


  • 3 pounds potatoes (Organic Yukon Gold is my favorite)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 3 tablespoons vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
  • salt to taste


Peel and quarter potatoes. Place in a medium sauce pan, add water to barely cover potatoes. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Lower temperature to a simmer. Let cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Drain potato water into a container. Set aside.
Add vegan margarine to the potatoes. Stir to coat potatoes with margarine. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes.

Measure 1 1/2 cups potato water into a blender. Add 1/4 cup cashews. Blend on high until smooth (2 min.) Add to potatoes a little at a time while stirring, making sure you do not add too much liquid. When the mashed potatoes reach the right consistency salt to taste.


If you need more liquid use leftover potato water.

It can be served with all the staples, here are some of my other favorite vegan holiday recipes: