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Lactose-free mashed potatoes? (No butter, milk, etc.)

Hi all. My mom is completely lactose intolerant–the various pills and potions don't help her at all, and she hasn't had any mashed potatoes, well, nothing other than smushed boiled potatos, in quite a long time. I was wondering if anyone had any recipes that would work for her... Would water or margerine be an adequate substitute in recipes that call for milk and/or water?


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  1. How about chicken stock/broth combined with some olive oil and/or margarine. And be sure to use Yukon Gold potatoes, so you get the yellow colour and a sweet, almost buttery flavour.

    2 Replies
    1. re: FlavoursGal

      I second this...and if you have it, just a bit of saffron.

      1. re: FlavoursGal

        You may want to be careful around Margarine. I know most margarine contains Whey, and most people who are lactose intolerant (like myself) can't even have that. :(

      2. Use lactose-free sour cream. You can get it at many grocery stores. It is one milk product that doesn't get a strange sweetness when it is lactose-free (unlike the Lactaid milk). Then add some of this and margarine to taste.

        Also, why not add some roasted garlic to add a little flavor? I find the marg. & Sour cream add texture.

        1. I'm in a similar position (about the cooking) right now, and in researching posible alternatives, I've read that margarine may contain trace amounts of lactose. While it shouldn't be an issue, you still might want to take this into consideration since it sounds like your mother is extremely intolerant.

          In any case, other than the already mentioned alternatives, what about soy milk or silken tofu to add to the texture? Neither has much of a flavour of their own, and if you punch up the flavour of the potatoes with something like roasted garlic, you may never notice the addition of soy products.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ali

            If you can find Mother's brand margarine, that's what you should use. It's pareve, which means it has to be 100% dairy free. It is increasingly difficult to find dairy-free margarine, but I believe Fleischman's sticks used to fit the bill. If your supermarket refrigerator case has a kosher section, that's where you'd find it.

          2. swansons has a recipe for 'skinny mashed potatoes' made with their chicken broth. i made it a while back, and the potatoes were surprisingly smooth and really delicious.

            recipe is here:


            1. I love heating olive oil with rosemary and garlic and drizzling it onto my mashed potatoes. The olive oil infused with herbs and garlic makes me forget all about the cream.

              1 Reply
              1. re: csw

                Yeah... SO uses no milk... just olive oil...


              2. One of my friends makes a "butter" out of roasted garlic and olive oil for her husband who is sensitive to butter. I don't know the proportions: I'd think - 3 heads of roasted garlic, squeezed out and blended with 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil. Store in fridge.

                1. Mash with olive oil and a rich homemade tomato sauce.

                  1 Reply
                  1. I second the olive oil suggestion. Robuchon's recipe calls for 1 cup EVOO to 1 kg (2.2 lbs) potatoes. I tend to use less oil and often incorporate another flavour: celery root (cooked and puréed with the potatoes), parsley jus, garlic, herbs, etc. Especially good with fish dishes.

                    Another great Robuchon idea: goose or duck fat, specifically 150 g (5-6 oz.) to 1 kg potatoes. Leave the spuds peeled, pierce the skin with a fork and bake 50 minutes in a 210C (410F) oven. Peel, mash coarsely. Incorporate most of the fat and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and a pinch of curry powder. Cut a clove of garlic in two and rub the bottom of an ovenproof baking dish with the cut sides. Spread the potatoes over the bottom in a thin layer. Melt the remaining fat and drizzle over the top. Run under the broiler until golden. Serve immediately.

                    1. I made some mashed potatoes with roated garlic and mayonnaise. No even noticed that lack of butter/cream. It was very good!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ctl98

                        yes to the mayonaise the garlic and maybe a little chicken broth, the mayonaise addds a wonderful fluffiness. You won't miss the butter at all.

                      2. smash the potatoes-use olive oil preferably-sautee garlic and shallots and onions and top the potatoes with this (also you can sautee some greens along with this) nice, healthy and festive-

                        1. If you don't have a problem with (semi) raw eggs, partly mash the potatoes and then add a raw egg and continue mashing to desired consistency. The heat will partially cook the egg and the yolk adds a terrific richness.

                          1. I cook every day for someone who is cows milk dairy allergic.

                            I usually make mashers with some of the tater cooking water (use yukon gold as someone else said) and some good olive oil or Mother's margerine. Almost all other margerines do contain some type of lactose.

                            Not that I advocate this on a regular basis, but a hit of liquid nondairy coffee creamer ups the creaminess factor.

                            My partner can tolerate goat and sheep products, so often a little soft goat cheese or yogurt goes in.

                            1. Earth Balance Buttery Spread is very good and absolutely dairy-free. I have heard that Fleischman's unsalted margarine (but not the salted) is also dairy-free. But chicken broth and olive oil would also do the trick. Roasted garlic mashed potatoes are so good, and would mask the lack of milk.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Dumkling

                                If I recall correctly, there's one type of Fleishman's that is dairy-free (and it may come only in unsalted), but not all the unsalted Fleishman's is dairy-free.

                                I would recommend Earth Balance instead, because it's non-hydrogenated. The taste isn't bad but isn't the best thing ever either... maybe use a mix of that and olive oil, as suggested above.

                                I've had good luck with just soy or almond milk, and margarine or olive oil. I'll third the recommendation for using Yukon Golds.

                              2. some lactose intolerant can handle yogurt. so try a full fat greek yogurt or labneh (middle eastern yogurt that has been strained down to a cream cheese consistency) and maybe some plain soy milk for moisture. Or try Smart Balance olive oil "butter" - it may be lactose free.

                                1. Thanks everyone! I look forward to surprising her at dinner this week! :)

                                  1. I agree with the chicken stock and olive oil combination, along with some roasted garlic. The mayonnaise idea is interesting, too.