Most people think of mashed potatoes as a side dish. I say it deserves to be promoted to entree. It has earned a place in the Main Dish Hall of Fame, celebrated front and center in the Comfort Food wing. And not only that, I submit that these vegan mashed potatoes, nay, these oil-free vegan mashed potatoes, could go against any dairy-filled spud dish and be taken seriously. That’s how confident I am that these potatoes should be on plates all over the world.
I haven’t even mentioned yet that these vegan mashed potatoes have an entire head of cauliflower in them, and you cannot tell whatsoever. That’s because it’s cooked along with garlic and raw cashews and pureed into a silky smooth sauce that takes the place of milk and butter. Stealthy vegetables for the win!
Making these vegan mashed potatoes starts with the sauce, which is super easy. Toss some cauliflower, cashews, and garlic cloves in a pan of water, bring to a boil, and simmer until soft. Then drain to a blender and puree into silky oblivion.
By the way, this sauce is so good on its own, you might have to have someone take your tasting spoon away to make sure there’s enough for the potatoes.
Cook a heap of peeled yukon gold potatoes until fork-tender, the drain and mash with your favorite mashing device.
Then pour that gorgeous savory sauce on top. Try not to face-plant straight in at this point, like that kid in A Christmas Story. (“how does the little piggie eat?”)
Pepper generously. Always pepper generously.
These taters are creamy and flavorful enough to eat on their own, but a hefty pour of vegan white gravy will send you to Comfortfoodlandia.
I can’t believe I just typed the word Comfortfoodlandia. Twice. I think the only way to end this post is to just skulk off in shame. At least I’ve got mashed potatoes to comfort me.
Vegan Mashed Potatoes (plant-based, oil-free)
- 3-4 lbs yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2 inch pieces
- 1 16 oz. bag of frozen cauliflower florets (or 1 head cauliflower, cored and chopped into large florets*)
- 1/4 cup raw cashews (optional, but recommended)
- 1 T. nutritional yeast
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp. salt
- In a large saucepan, cover cauliflower florets with water by 2 inches. Add cashews and garlic cloves.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork.
- Strain the water off and remove the cauliflower, cashews, and garlic to a blender or food processor and let cool.
- To the same pot, add the chopped potatoes and cover with water by at least an inch.
- Bring a to boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook potatoes for 8-10 minutes, or until a fork goes through a piece of potato easily.
- Turn off the heat, drain the potatoes, and return them to the hot pot.
- To the ingredients in the blender, add 1 tsp salt and 1 T nutritional yeast, if using.
- Puree the cauliflower sauce until smooth and creamy.
- Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or electric mixer until smooth.
- Mix in the sauce gently, taking care not to over mix and make the potatoes gluey.
- Add a splash of unsweetened, unflavored plant milk to thin, if necessary.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.