If there’s one agreed-upon truth about Thanksgiving dinner, it’s that the REAL star of the show always has been (and always will be) the side dishes. And if we’re really being honest, we’re all just here for the mashed potatoes.
Mashed potatoes are the perfect classic Thanksgiving dish – they’re familiar, comforting, simple and decadent. And with a few simple tweaks, they can be made undetectably vegan, which not only gives them mass appeal (they’re naturally gluten-free, too!) but makes them the kind of dish that you can use to silence your skeptical uncle who insists on poking fun at all of the “rabbit food” that you’ll be subjected to during the holidays.
I chose Yukon Gold potatoes for this recipe because they are exceptionally creamy, and also have a lovely golden hue. Once soft, they’re put through a potato ricer, which I consider an indispensable tool for making superior mashed potatoes. I use this exact one and recommend it highly! If you really don’t want to buy a ricer, you can definitely still use a classic masher – just know that your spuds won’t turn out quite as fluffy and creamy as they would with a ricer. And whatever you do, don’t subject your potatoes to an electric mixer, or worse, a blender/food processor – all will make your potatoes very gummy, and no one likes a gummy potato.
As for your milk here, you want to choose a plant based milk that is both unsweetened and pretty neutral in taste. My favorites for this recipe are cashew milk and oat milk. You can definitely use soy too, but it has an inherent slight sweetness that some might be able to detect in the final product.
As for plant butter, my favorite is Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter, which is blessedly now widely available (Trader Joe’s has it for an excellent price, and I’ve heard it’s recently hit Walmart shelves, too!). It is slightly more expensive than other plant butters but is well worth the extra few bucks. Stock up on a few for all of your Thanksgiving needs (psst…it freezes well, too!).
- 3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½” pieces
- 1 ¼ cup unsweetened cashew milk (or unsweetened oat milk)
- 8 Tbsp vegan butter (such as Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter), cut into cubes
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with well-salted cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 13-15 minutes.
- While potatoes are cooking, place cashew milk in a small saucepan and heat over medium low until warmed through.
- Drain the potatoes well and let cool slightly. Process in batches through a potato ricer back into large pot. Add in the butter, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Mixing constantly, gradually add in warmed milk. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve immediately.