I'm fully aware that vegan mashed potatoes are not a revelation. But! In my defense, it wasn't until recently that I realized just how little potatoes needed to be magical.
While my family is fairly traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving, we're pretty open to trying new things (cajun-spiced turkey being a popular one). So even though I love me some rich, creamy, butter-filled mashed potatoes I'm generally willing to change things up.
As we all know, I will (and do) eat pretty much anything. I do find myself cooking for various diet/lifestyles frequently though so I've gotten used to accommodating (and secretly love the challenge). Most of the time, I'm more than happy to make different versions because I love to cook and I want everyone to be happy and it just works. But because we already have roughly 590395 dishes to make on Thanksgiving it feels silly to make a million different versions of potatoes. Even if it is the most iconic food day of the year.
So vegan mashed potatoes it is! In the past I've just replaced the cream and butter with vegan alternatives and it's been fine. Better than fine, actually. GREAT. And it's almost impossible to tell the difference so they're a total crowd pleaser.
With these I wanted to try something a little different. Something that maybe tastes a little lighter? Something that doesn't require you to buy vegan alternatives, which is good seeing as how your fridge is probably already busting at the seams on Thanksgiving (or is that just me?). With these, you're using ingredients you probably already have on hand OR will definitely have on hand that day.
And listen, I'm not going to lie to you. These do not taste exactly like the mashed potatoes you are used to. They won't even look exactly the same. But that's okay. You're going to be fine. Butter and cream will still be waiting for you when you're done.
Obviously you'll need potatoes. I mean, DUH. And honestly you could just boil them with a bunch of salt, mash them up and hand them right to me. That's about as fancy of a mashed potato I need to be happy.
But we're not talking about me. MOVING ON.
Because we're leaving out butter and cream, I like to add flavor with herbs with this dish. I always have a bunch of herbs to use up from other recipes so I thought it would be easy to just grab a handful of whatever is around to play with some olive oil while the potatoes boil.
Garlic was there too. Obviously.
And then my little secret? I add a little bit of vegetable stock to the water as the potatoes cook. Technically optional, but totally worth the try. The stock infuses the potatoes with a really rich flavor that I love.
From there, it's easy! Drain the potatoes, mash them with the garlic and either stir in or top with the herb-infused olive oil. And then add more salt, because potatoes always seem to need more salt.
Mashed potatoes for everyone!
- 2 1/2 lbs russet potatoes
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 TB salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Handful of fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, etc.), roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and dice potatoes. You want the pieces to be pretty similar in size to ensure they all cook in the same amount of time. Add potatoes to pot, along with vegetable stock and cover with cold water. Add salt and bring pot to boil, then reduce the heat and cook until potatoes are completely tender (20-25 minutes).
- While potatoes are cooking, combine olive oil and garlic in a small pot or frying pan. Set over medium-low heat and let garlic and oil infuse. When garlic begins to sizzle remove from oil and set aside.
- Add herbs to the oil and let cook for 30 seconds. Turn off heat and set aside.
- When potatoes are cooked, drain and then dump back into pot and set over medium heat for a few seconds to get rid of any excess moisture. Turn off the heat, add reserved garlic and mash potatoes with a masher or electric beaters (be careful not to over mix!). Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in oil and herbs, or if you prefer, scoop potaotes into your serving bowl and then drizzle oil on top.
- Enjoy warm with or without gravy!