Vegan Mashed Potatoes: This Nutritionist’s Favorite Recipe

Vegan Mashed Potatoes: This Nutritionist’s Favorite Recipe

Vegan Mashed Potatoes: This Nutritionist’s Favorite Recipe

Fancy perfect vegan mashed potatoes? Registered Nutritionist Cynthia Sass shares her favorite recipe — and reveals why potatoes really are healthy.

Potatoes are the most commonly consumed vegetable in the United States, according to the USDA. Despite having an undeserved reputation as a powerhouse, these popular “potatoes” actually offer many essential nutrients and health benefits — especially in vegan mashed potatoes.

What Are the Health Benefits of Potatoes?

A medium-sized baked potato with its skin on provides about 4 grams of fiber, nearly 30 percent of your daily requirement for vitamin C, over 25 percent of potassium, and at least 10 percent of iron, magnesium, and a handful of B vitamins. Potatoes are also one of the best foods rich in antioxidants. And eating potatoes may help fight inflammation, lower cholesterol and protect against cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to a review in the Journal of Food and Agricultural Science.

A 2020 study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition found that even in people with type 2 diabetes, eating potatoes as part of a mixed dinner did not negatively affect blood sugar regulation. In the tightly controlled clinical trial, participants ate the same breakfast and lunch but were randomly assigned to one of four dinners. Three contained skinless white potatoes prepared three different ways (boiled, roasted, boiled, then chilled and reheated) or basmati rice. Participants repeated the experiment rotating through all four dinners, with nine-day breaks between each rotation.

In addition to taking blood samples both immediately after meals and every 30 minutes for two hours, participants wore continuous glucose meters overnight to track changes in blood glucose levels during sleep. The researchers found that there were no differences in glucose responses after eating potatoes. Additionally, participants’ overnight glycemic responses were more favorable after eating one of the potato side dishes compared to the rice. The researchers concluded that potatoes need not be avoided as part of a mixed dinner, even in people with type 2 diabetes.

How to make vegan mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes

Courtesy of Cynthia Sass

Of the many ways to enjoy potatoes, one of my favorites is mashed potatoes. When made vegan, this oh-so-satisfying comfort food dish can be highly nutritious and just as delicious as a traditional version. Here’s my favorite recipe and why it’s so good for you.

Instead of butter, I opted for extra virgin olive oil to give this vegan mashed potato a rich texture and smooth mouthfeel. A staple of the Mediterranean diet, this antioxidant-rich healthy fat has been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, according to the journal Endocrine, Metabolic, and Immune Disorders Drug Targets.

Garlic, another spicy ingredient that adds a savory umami flavor, has been found in research to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, regulate blood pressure and prevent hardening of the arteries, according to the Chinese Journal of Naturopathy.

The herbs found in both the vegetable broth and fresh chive garnish add additional antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, according to a 2019 study published in Journal of AOAC International.

Using the reserved cooking liquid adds flavor and traps some of the nutrients that are leached out during cooking, adding them back to the finished dish.

I chose golden potatoes for their velvety texture, buttery color, and tender skin. Potatoes are one of the vegetables you shouldn’t peel, as leaving the peel on increases the fiber content of the recipe. According to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciencesthe skin is an important source of health-protecting antioxidants.

Makes four half-cup servings


1 pound Petite Gold Potatoes with skin

1/4 cup organic low-sodium vegetable broth

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Fresh chopped chives


Quarter the potatoes, leave the skin on. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover them with cold water, about 1 inch. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover as it cooks, add half the salt and simmer over low heat. Simmer until potatoes are tender (when a fork or the tip of a pairing knife easily slides through the cubes), about 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, set aside 1 cup of the potato cooking liquid. Drain the potatoes, then return to the pot over low-medium heat for a few minutes to evaporate excess moisture. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, cover and set aside.

Add olive oil and garlic to the pot. Sauté the garlic over very low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and heat to warm. Pour the broth mixture over the potatoes. Add the remaining salt and black pepper and mash by hand until the potatoes are fairly smooth. Add the reserved cooking liquid one tablespoon at a time. Continue blending until you reach your desired consistency (hint: I use 1/4 cup). Place in a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped chives.

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