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Oct 28, 2011 10:59 AM

Non-dairy mashed potatoes

What non-dairy ingredients can I add to mashed potatoes to make them thicker and creamier? Most of the family is lactose-intolerant, so we usually just add margarine and chicken broth, but the resulting mashed potatoes seem a little thin. (Also, Mom likes to use her hand mixer after we do the initial mashing with the potato masher...)

I've tried adding a neutral goat cheese in the past and that has helped a little, but I'm open to other suggestions. Butter and any kind of real milk, cream or cow's milk based cheese are not options.


P. S. This is my first post, and I did search recipes for ideas first.

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  1. I would use broth. I'm not being being flippant, but it the potatoes seem a little thin, I would use less broth. For example, I would use around 1/4C of broth for 8 baseball size potatoes.

    1. Try adding a bit of Hellman's mayo.

      2 Replies
      1. re: pikawicca

        hellman's and yellow mustard, plus a little tamari and lemon juice.


        mashed roasted garlic and mayo or EVOO

        btw, i am a convert to steaming veggies, including potatoes, instead of boiling them. Boiling is a waste of water and gas or electricity and time. It also drains away much of the nutrients. Easier, requiring only a little water, and much less energy, is: cube potatoes, place in single layer in 1 or 2 tiers of an aluminum 2 tiered chinese steamer w/ some water in bottom section. Bring to boil, cover potatoes. Steam 4-8 min til tender. Put in bowl and mash. etc.
        Hope you'll try it!

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          Or, put your cut up potatoes in the basket that comes with your pressure cooker, on top of the little V, and put just enough water in the cooker to NOT immerse the potatoes. Then pressure cook on the lowest pressure, until done. I agree that boiling potatoes isn't optimal.

          I seldom make potatoes in any form anymore, but when I do a mash that is how I do them. I leave the skins on as well.

      2. What kind of potatoes are you using? For mashed potatoes, I much prefer Yukon Gold over Russett because they have a creamier consistency to begin with. After cooking, I drain the potatoes reserving the cooking water, and add in cooking water as needed while mashing to get the desired consistency. Using broth will add some thickness, but if using the cooking water also, there is a definite risk of thinning them out with too much liquid over all. I would use the cooking water first (for a number of reasons, including that the you get a purer potato flavor with the cooking water; broth will add flavor). The mayo idea that pikawicca suggests has potential, too.

        Pure butter should not be a problem for lactose intolerant people - my father is highly lactose intolerant (lactase enzyme pills such as Lactaid do nothing for him) but he can eat butter. Look at the nutrition panel; if it says "0g" next to sugars (depending on the brand, it may say "total carb", that means there is no lactose in the product, lactose being a sugar. This works for many other kinds of dairy, too - lots of hard cheeses are actually lactose free. It's worth looking at the label to see if there are 0 grams of sugar. When we realized this, it opened up a whole new culinary world for my father.

        Good luck! Please let us know what worked for you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: asf78

          Wow, thanks for all of the input! I like the Yukon Gold idea (and do that at home) but I'm particularly looking for ideas for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house and russets may be the order of the day. I have used potato water too. (I even let it settle a bit and dump the top part because there's more potato "stuff" in the bottom.) Maybe we are putting in too much.

          And I guess we have issues other than lactose intolerance because butter does bother some of us (as we know from experience).

          The mayo idea is interesting. I would never have thought of that.


        2. Olive oil instead of margarine. Broth isn't going to add anything except broth flavor and liquid (that is, not creaminess), if you like that flavor make sure your potatoes are really dry (cooked, but not water-logged) so they can soak up more of it.

          5 Replies
          1. re: babette feasts

            I return my drained potatoes to the hot pot, over a low heat and cook off any additional water. A lot of steam will come of them for a few minutes. You have to watch them carefully and keep stirring them or they will scorch.

            Once they are dry, I mash them and add olive oil, salt and pepper and a small amount of broth until they reach the consistency that looks and tastes right.

            Don't remember where I picked up this technique of "drying" the potatoes but I have been doing it that way for years and it really helps with the problem of thin, watery mash.

            1. re: pamf

              Agreed. Shake the pan over the residual heat of an electric burner. Potatoes 'bloom.'

              I wonder if almond milk would add creaminess?

              1. re: sueatmo

                I recently had mashed potatoes made with almond milk at a friends home. They were pretty good!

                1. re: meatn3

                  I'd try it with MimicCreme, which is also nut-based, but simulating cream rather than milk. I've made mashed potatoes with it, and they came out pretty well. It does give things the slightest nutty flavor, so you might want to add roasted garlic or another flavoring agent as well.

            2. re: babette feasts

              What about macadamia nut oil? It's supposed to be lovely stuff - seems like it might show well in this context. Macs have a buttery quality.

            3. I would also suggest adding a lot of garlic--peeled--along with the potatoes and then mashing it with them and using olive oil as someone else suggested. That way, you're not missing the dairy because it's not meant to be there.