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The 20 BEST Milk Substitutes For Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that everyone loves, but they can be time-consuming to make.

Using milk substitutes for mashed potatoes is an easy way to cut down on the cooking time and still get delicious results.

But with so many types of milk available, it can be hard to know which one will work best in your mashed potato recipe.

That’s why I’ve put together this list of the 20 best milk substitutes for mashed potatoes – from almond milk and coconut milk to oat milk and soy milk – so you can find the perfect match for your dish.

Read Also:

Is Milk Necessary in Mashed Potatoes?

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that can be enjoyed without the addition of milk.

The potatoes themselves contain enough moisture to create a creamy texture when mashed, and adding butter or olive oil will help to further enhance the creaminess.

Milk is not necessary for making mashed potatoes, but it does add an extra layer of flavor and richness.

If you choose not to use milk in your mashed potatoes, you can substitute it with vegetable broth or even water for added moisture.

The key to making great mashed potatoes is using the right type of potato—starchy varieties like russet or Yukon Gold work best as they break down easily during mashing and absorb more liquid than waxy varieties like red-skinned or fingerling potatoes.

Boiling the potatoes until they are fork-tender also helps ensure that they mash up nicely without needing too much additional liquid.

Once boiled, drain off any excess water before mashing them with butter (or olive oil) and seasonings such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, etc., depending on your preference.

You can then add a splash of milk if desired for added flavor and creaminess; however, this step is optional!

The 20 BEST Milk Substitutes For Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a staple in many households, but they can be difficult to make when you do not have cow’s milk.

Luckily, there are plenty of substitutes that can be used instead.

Here we look at 20 of the best alternatives for making mashed potatoes without cow’s milk:

1. Heavy cream

Heavy cream can be used as an alternative to milk when making mashed potatoes.

This will result in a richer, creamy texture with a luxurious flavor.

Compared to milk, heavy cream has more fat and less water, resulting in a much denser consistency that helps bind the cooked potatoes together better than milk would.

To use as an alternative for milk in mashed potatoes, start by replacing every cup of milk with ¾ cup of heavy cream and add 2 tablespoons of butter for added richness.

You can adjust the amounts according to your preference; some recipes call for equal parts milk and cream or even just all cream!

2. Extra melted butter

Melted Butter

Adding a few tablespoons to your mashed potatoes will help to add creaminess and flavor.

Be sure to start off slow with just a tablespoon or two and then adjust as needed.

You can also use vegetable broth in place of milk for added flavor and moisture.

You may want to taste the potatoes after adding it so that you know how much salt or other spices need to be added.

Another great substitute is sour cream, which adds an extra tanginess but still has a creamy texture when mixed into potatoes.

Just like with the other alternatives, start by adding only a small amount at first and then gradually increase if needed.

3. Stock

Stock is a great option if you want to add more depth of flavor while still keeping them creamy.

Use either chicken or vegetable stock and simmer it with some chopped onions and garlic until it’s reduced by half.

This will give your mashed potatoes a nice savory flavor without being overpowering.

4. Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise needs no introduction—it’s a staple condiment with a creamy texture and tangy flavor.

Surprisingly, it can also be used as an alternative to milk in mashed potatoes.

The result is just as creamy, but with a richer flavor that adds depth to the dish.

When substituting mayo for milk, try adding more butter than usual to make up for the lack of fat from the milk.

This will also help keep your mashed potatoes from becoming too oily.

You can also add other ingredients like garlic or herbs for extra flavor!

5. Coconut milk

If you’re looking for a healthier, dairy-free version of the classic side dish, try substituting coconut milk.

It has a creamy consistency and an incredibly rich flavor that will give your mashed potatoes an exotic twist.

To achieve the same texture as with cow’s milk, add equal parts coconut milk and water when mashing your potatoes.

You can also substitute butter with coconut oil to further enhance the flavor.

Adding some garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper will give it an even more flavorful kick!

6. Creme fraiche

Creme fraiche is easy to find – and it makes a delicious substitute for milk or cream when making mashed potatoes.

The rich, creamy consistency of creme fraiche will give your mashed potatoes an extra luxurious taste, and its slightly tangy flavor will add complexity to the dish.

In addition, creme fraiche is much thicker than milk — so you won’t need as much of it (you can start by replacing every cup of milk with ¾ cup of creme fraiche).

You may also want to adjust the seasoning depending on how salty or sweet your potatoes turn out; the acidity in creme fraiche can bring out different flavors from herbs and spices.

7. Cream cheese

Cream cheese has tons of different uses in the kitchen, including as a substitute for milk when making mashed potatoes.

The creaminess and slight tang of cream cheese will give your potatoes an extra boost of flavor.

You can also use it to add richness, texture, and body to your mash.

To make this substitution, start by cutting off about ¼ cup of cream cheese from the block and adding it to the cooked potatoes.

Then mash everything together with a potato masher or electric mixer until smooth, creamy consistency is reached.

Make sure you don’t overmix or else you risk ending up with runny mashed potatoes!

Add salt and pepper (or any other seasonings) for taste.

8. Almond milk

I’m a big fan of almond milk for mashed potatoes.

Not only is it a great plant-based alternative to dairy, but it also adds a subtle nutty flavor that can take your dish to the next level.

To use almond milk as an ingredient in your mashed potatoes, just heat it up until steaming and stir it into the mash with butter and other seasonings.

9. Unflavored yogurt

Unflavored yogurt is a great substitute for milk when making mashed potatoes.

Whether you opt for plain Greek yogurt made from cow’s milk or a non-dairy alternative such as coconut, almond, or soy, the sour and tart flavor of the yogurt will add an interesting depth to your mashed potatoes.

The creamy texture of the yogurt helps make your mashed potatoes extra smooth and fluffy. Plus, it adds protein and calcium to your dish!

When substituting unflavored yogurt for milk in mashed potatoes, be sure to use one that has no added sugar or flavoring.

You may also want to reduce the amount of butter used in order to balance out the tanginess of the yogurt.

For an even richer taste, try adding some grated cheese into your mixture before mashing – this will help bring out more flavor while still keeping things light and healthy.

10. Unsweetened creamer

Unsweetened creamer has a similar flavor and texture to half-and-half or whole milk, but without the added sugar.

Creamer is made from vegetable oil, corn syrup solids, sodium caseinate (a milk protein), and other ingredients like natural flavors and colors.

It can be used in place of dairy products for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan.

The creamy consistency makes it perfect for adding richness to mashed potatoes without having to use butter or cream cheese.

For an extra boost of flavor, try using flavored unsweetened creamer such as vanilla, almond, hazelnut, chocolate, caramel, or pumpkin spice!

11. Potato cooking water

Potato cooking water not only adds flavor, but it also helps to make the potatoes extra creamy and smooth.

The starch from the potatoes will thicken up the cooking water as it boils, creating a flavorful liquid that can be used in place of milk or cream.

When boiling your potatoes, reserve some of the cooking water before draining them.

This will give you enough liquid for mashing without having to use additional dairy products.

Once drained, mash your potatoes with butter and salt before adding in some of the reserved potato cooking water until you reach your desired consistency.

The result should be fluffy and light mashed potatoes with an added depth of flavor from the potato-infused liquid.

12. Olive oil

Olive oil adds a unique flavor and richness that can’t be found in other ingredients.

When selecting an olive oil, it’s important to choose one with the right flavor profile for your dish.

High-end extra virgin olive oils should have notes of fresh herbs and fruit, ranging from delicate to complex flavors.

Low-quality oils will just taste like oil.

Tasting olive oil is similar to tasting wine – you should take time to appreciate its aroma and flavor before adding it into your recipe.

Once added, the potatoes will become creamy and flavorful without being overly greasy or heavy on the palate.

Olive oil also helps keep them warm longer than if made with milk alone!

13. Sour Cream

Sour cream is a versatile dairy product that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

It has a tangy, tart taste backed by a rich, thick creaminess that makes it an ideal substitute for milk when making mashed potatoes.

The sourness of the cream helps to balance out the sweetness of the potatoes while adding extra moisture and flavor.

When using sour cream instead of milk, you may need to adjust your recipe accordingly as it will add more richness than milk would.

For best results, use full-fat sour cream and mix it into your mashed potatoes slowly until you reach your desired consistency.

Sour cream also pairs well with herbs like chives or parsley for added flavor and texture.

14. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a traditional dairy product with a slightly acidic taste and thick, creamy texture.

It’s made from the liquid that remains after churning butter from cream and has been used in baking for centuries.

The acidity of buttermilk helps to tenderize baked goods like breads, cakes, pancakes, and biscuits by reacting with the raising agents in the mixture to create a light, airy texture.

When substituting buttermilk for milk in mashed potatoes, you may need to adjust the seasoning as it can add an extra layer of flavor.

Buttermilk also adds moisture which can help keep your mashed potatoes light and fluffy – just be sure not to overmix them or they could become gummy!

15. Evaporated milk

This type of milk has been heated and reduced, resulting in a thicker consistency and creamier flavor than regular milk.

It contains no added sugar, so it won’t make your mashed potatoes overly sweet – instead, it will give them a rich, milky taste.

When using evaporated milk for mashed potatoes, you may want to add some butter or cream cheese for extra richness.

You can also use evaporated milk as an ingredient in other dishes such as macaroni and cheese or creamy soups.

16. Water

Water is an often overlooked ingredient when it comes to mashed potatoes.

Water won’t add the same richness that milk does, but it will still provide moisture and help create a creamy texture.

When using water in place of milk, you may need to adjust the amount of butter or other fats used in order to achieve the desired consistency.

Adding some sour cream or Greek yogurt can also help give your mashed potatoes more flavor and creaminess without having to use dairy products.

Using water instead of milk is an easy way to make your mashed potatoes lighter and healthier while still maintaining their delicious taste.

17. Soy Milk

Soy milk is a great dairy-free alternative to traditional cow’s milk, and it can be used in many of the same ways.

It has a mild, creamy flavor that varies between brands, but it is typically sweeter than other non-dairy milks.

When making mashed potatoes, soy milk can provide a rich creaminess without the added fat or cholesterol of cow’s milk.

Soy milk also contains more protein than other plant-based milks, so you may find that your mashed potatoes have an extra fluffy texture when made with this type of milk.

For those looking for a dairy-free option that tastes like real cow’s milk, soy milk is probably your best bet.

18. Oat Milk

Oat milk is a popular plant-based alternative to cow’s milk, made from oats and water.

It has a creamy texture and mild flavor that’s slightly sweet with an oaty aftertaste.

Though it may not be the same as cow’s milk in terms of taste, oat milk can still provide a delicious addition to mashed potatoes.

The sweetness of the oat milk will add depth to the dish while its creamy texture will help create a smooth consistency.

Plus, since it is lactose-free, those who are sensitive or allergic to dairy products can enjoy this tasty side dish without worry.

For added flavor, try adding herbs like thyme or rosemary for an extra layer of complexity.

19. Cashew Milk

Cashew milk has a mild flavor profile that won’t overpower the taste of your potatoes, and it’s also naturally creamy and thick.

When made at home with just water, salt, and cashews, it tastes plain — in the best way possible. It’s a little salty, a little sweet, and only a little bit nutty.

The texture of cashew milk is smooth and silky which makes it perfect for creating light and fluffy mashed potatoes.

Plus, since it’s dairy-free you don’t have to worry about any lumps or clumps forming as you mix it into your spuds.

For an extra boost of flavor try adding some garlic powder or fresh herbs like parsley or chives to the mix before serving!

20. Rice Milk

Rice milk is a popular non-dairy alternative to cow’s milk, made from boiled rice and water.

It has a light, slightly sweet taste that makes it an ideal choice for those with lactose intolerance or vegan diets.

Unlike other plant-based milks, rice milk is quite thin in texture and does not have the same creamy consistency as dairy milk.

However, this can be beneficial when making mashed potatoes as it will help create a lighter texture without overpowering the flavor of the potatoes.

When using rice milk in place of regular milk for mashed potatoes, you may need to add more butter or cream cheese to achieve the desired creamy consistency.

Rice milk also works well in baking recipes like cakes and muffins where its subtle sweetness adds an interesting depth of flavor.


Can I use water instead of milk in instant mash?

You can absolutely use water instead of milk when making instant mashed potatoes. By using warm water in the mix, you’ll achieve a softer and creamier consistency, with a more buttery flavor.

Additionally, you can substitute milk or half-and-half for the water if you want to add an even richer taste.

How can I thicken mashed potatoes without milk?

If you’re looking to thicken your mashed potatoes without milk, cornstarch is your best bet. Not only is it more powerful than flour when it comes to thickening, but it is also gluten-free so it’s a great option for those with dietary restrictions.

When using cornstarch, it’s best to add it in small increments. Start with a tablespoon at a time and stir it into the potatoes until you get your desired consistency. Keep in mind that the potatoes will thicken more when they cool, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and add less cornstarch than you think you need.

What happens if you don’t have milk for mashed potatoes?

If you don’t have any milk on hand to make mashed potatoes with, heavy whipping cream or half-and-half are excellent alternatives that will produce a creamy and delicious final product.

The texture of the potatoes will be much more luxurious compared to using milk and the flavor will be bolder and richer. The heavy cream will help to create a luxurious and decadent mashed potato dish that everyone will love.

Additionally, you may even enjoy the flavor of the mashed potatoes more with the heavy cream than you would with just milk.

Can you leave milk out of mashed potatoes?

Yes, you can definitely leave out the milk when making mashed potatoes. As a substitute, you could use water or even vegetable or chicken broth to add a little flavor. If you opt to use water, you may need to add more butter to make the mashed potatoes creamy.

Additionally, you could also use the starchy cooking water from the potatoes to help give it a creamier texture.


In conclusion, when it comes to finding the best milk substitute for mashed potatoes, there are plenty of options.

From heavy cream to stock, mayonnaise to creme fraiche, there is something for everyone.

The best milk substitutes for mashed potatoes are heavy cream, extra melted butter, stock, mayonnaise, coconut milk, creme fraiche, cream cheese, almond milk, unflavored yogurt, unsweetened creamer, potato cooking water, olive oil, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, and water.

Using one or more of these milk substitutes can help you create a delicious and creamy mashed potato without the need for dairy.

So, the next time you’re in a pinch, reach for these substitutes and give them a try.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

The 20 BEST Milk Substitutes For Mashed Potatoes

What if I told you that you could make mashed potatoes even better? In this article, I'm sharing my top 20 milk substitutes for mashed potatoes to take your dish to the next level. From dairy-free milk alternatives like almond milk to plant-based milks like soy milk, I'll provide you with a variety of options to choose from. With these substitutions, you can create a totally unique mashed potato experience that your family and friends will love!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 350 kcal


  • Heavy cream
  • Extra melted butter
  • Stock
  • Mayonnaise
  • Coconut milk
  • Creme fraiche
  • Cream cheese
  • Almond milk
  • Unflavored yogurt
  • Unsweetened creamer
  • Potato cooking water
  • Olive oil
  • Sour Cream
  • Buttermilk
  • Evaporated milk
  • Water
  • Soy Milk
  • Oat Milk
  • Cashew Milk
  • Rice Milk


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
CEO at Happy Muncher | | Website | + posts

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.