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The 10 Best Substitutes for Heavy Cream in Mashed Potatoes

Whether you’re vegan, health-conscious, or just out of heavy cream, it can be tricky to find a suitable substitute.

What are the best substitutes for heavy cream when making mashed potatoes? The best substitutes for heavy cream in mashed potatoes include vegan alternatives like coconut cream and non-dairy milk (like almond or soy milk) or dairy products like sour cream and yogurt. If you don’t have any of these items on hand, you can also make quick substitutions with butter, olive oil, or even water.

Switching up traditional mashed potato recipes can seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be!

Let us help you make the perfect mashed potatoes with our guide to the 10 best substitutes for heavy cream.

Why Use Heavy Cream in Mashed Potatoes?

Heavy Cream
CreaminessHeavy cream adds a rich and creamy texture to mashed potatoes.
SmoothnessHeavy cream helps to create a smooth texture in mashed potatoes.
FlavorHeavy cream adds a subtle sweetness and richness to mashed potatoes.
BindingHeavy cream helps to bind the mashed potatoes together.
MoistureHeavy cream adds moisture to mashed potatoes, preventing them from becoming dry.
ThicknessHeavy cream can help to thicken mashed potatoes, making them more substantial.
ColorHeavy cream can give mashed potatoes a slightly lighter color.
VersatilityHeavy cream can be used in a variety of recipes, making it a versatile ingredient.
TraditionHeavy cream is a traditional ingredient in many classic mashed potato recipes.
IndulgenceHeavy cream adds a touch of indulgence to mashed potatoes, making them a special treat.

The 10 Best Substitutes for Heavy Cream in Mashed Potatoes

If you’re looking for richer and creamier mashed potatoes but don’t want to use heavy cream, you have a few alternatives.

Here are ten tasty substitutes that will give your mashed potatoes an extra bit of flavor without the added calories:

1 – Sour Cream

Sour Cream

Not only does sour cream provide flavor and texture to mashed potatoes, but it also adds a slight tangy complexity.

Add ½ cup of sour cream to your potatoes while mashing or whip with a hand mixer for added richness.

For those watching their diet, choose low-fat or fat-free sour cream options to reduce calories and saturated fats.

2 – Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a creamy and tangy substitute for traditional dairy products.

With its high protein content, it adds a thick and velvety texture to mashed potatoes without the need for heavy cream.

Use plain Greek yogurt in your recipe for optimal flavor; however, for more sweetness, opt for flavored varieties like honey or vanilla.

3 – Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is another great alternative to heavy cream in mashed potatoes, providing a thick texture without all of the added fat.

If using full-fat varieties, start with ¼ cup and adjust according to taste preferences.

To enhance the flavor even further, consider melting the cream cheese before adding it into the pot as well as adding herbs like rosemary or thyme to your dish.

4 – Milk

Oat Milk

Milk can be used as an alternative when preparing mashed potatoes instead of heavy cream due to its creamy consistency and slightly sweet taste.

Use any kind of milk—whole milk works best—and add gradually while mashing until desired consistency is reached.

Keep in mind that non-dairy milks may not achieve similar results since many are made with water and other additives instead of whole milk products.

5 – Half-and-Half


Half-and-half is a blend of equal parts light cream and whole milk that delivers rich flavor without being too overpowering.

This combination provides just enough fat content for your dish without overdoing it on calories like heavy cream does.

Use approximately ¾ cup of half-and-half per 2 pounds of potatoes; then adjust if necessary according to desired thickness and taste preferences.

By utilizing half-and-half in lieu of heavy cream, you can still enjoy delicious mashed potatoes without compromising on nutrition or flavor.

6 – Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is an ideal substitute for heavy cream in mashed potatoes.

This vegan-friendly option provides a smooth and creamy texture without the extra calories or saturated fat.

Coconut milk also adds a subtle sweetness that pairs well with savory dishes like mashed potatoes.

When preparing your dish, opt for full-fat coconut milk for the optimal creamy finish.

7 – Buttermilk


Buttermilk is another excellent alternative to heavy cream.

Its tart flavor contrasts nicely with the buttery richness of mashed potatoes, creating an intriguing flavor profile.

Additionally, buttermilk has far fewer calories and fat compared to heavy cream; its high calcium content also strengthens bones and teeth while promoting strong immune systems.

To ensure a creamy consistency, elevate its viscosity by adding cornstarch prior to cooking.

8 – Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese

With its unique lactic acidity and refreshingly light texture, cottage cheese can be used as a substitute for heavy cream in mashed potatoes.

In addition to lending its distinct flavor to the dish, cottage cheese offers numerous health benefits due to its high protein content and low sodium levels.

To integrate it into your recipe, mash cooked cottage cheese until it’s completely smooth before stirring it into your dish; if desired, add fresh herbs or spices for added flavor complexity before serving.

9 – Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese is another dairy-based product that can replace heavy cream in mashed potatoes without sacrificing flavor or texture.

It imparts a delicate nuttiness that complements savory dishes like mashed potatoes wonderfully well; ricotta cheese contains higher amounts of calcium than most other dairy products due to its manufacturing process, providing additional nutrients without compromising taste or quality when compared to traditional alternatives.

10 – Vegetable or Chicken Broth

Chicken Broth

If you’re looking for an entirely non-dairy option for your mashed potato dish, vegetable or chicken broth are both excellent substitutes for heavy cream.

These broths provide depth of flavor while ensuring an ultra-creamy consistency when mixed with butter and other seasonings; additionally, they contain virtually no saturated fat or calories while delivering numerous beneficial vitamins and minerals per serving.

To guarantee maximum mouthfeel and flavor impact from these broths, use ones with low sodium levels.


In conclusion, while heavy cream is a traditional ingredient in mashed potatoes, there are plenty of alternatives available that can be used to achieve a similar texture and flavor.

Whether you choose to use sour cream, Greek yogurt, cream cheese, milk, half-and-half, coconut milk, buttermilk, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, or vegetable or chicken broth, each alternative has its own unique benefits and can be used to create delicious mashed potatoes.

So don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and find the perfect substitute for heavy cream that works for you and your taste buds.

The 10 Best Substitutes for Heavy Cream in Mashed Potatoes

The 10 Best Substitutes for Heavy Cream in Mashed Potatoes

Looking for alternatives to heavy cream in mashed potatoes? Check out our list of 10 substitutes that can help you achieve a rich and creamy texture without the added calories and saturated fat. From sour cream to vegetable or chicken broth, each alternative has its own unique benefits and can be used to create delicious mashed potatoes that are both healthy and flavorful. So, whether you're looking for a non-dairy option or simply want to switch things up, these alternatives are sure to satisfy your taste buds.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • Sour Cream
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Cream Cheese
  • Milk
  • Half-and-Half
  • Coconut Milk
  • Buttermilk
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Vegetable or Chicken Broth


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.