Low-Fat Mashed Potatoes

The Best Vegan Mashed PotatoesThe average American consumes more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day.  All that extra-large eating can lead to extra-large bellies.

A Healthy Thanksgiving

I could talk to you about watching portions sizes, counting calories, running 4 miles after dinner, or drinking a gallon of water and eating 7 1/2 carrot curls before you sit down for the Thanksgiving meal, but let me read your mind:  It’s Thanksgiving – get real.  Right?

I hear you.  While all those diet tips and tricks for not gaining weight over the holidays are great ideas, they only work if you put them into practice.  And who wants to worry about portion sizes at Thanksgiving, let alone going for a run in the cold while everyone else is vegging out in front of the TV?

So how do you make sure Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t pack on the extra pounds and, even worse, set a high-calorie, overeating snowball rolling that crashes into your New Year’s resolution on January 1st?

Smart Strategies for a Healthier Holiday Meal

By preparing healthier versions of traditional (fattening) favorites, you can reduce the amount of refined sugar, refined flours, and refined fats you eat and thus reduce your risk of weight gain – not to mention other health concerns.  The key is to be sure to replace the fattening recipes with ones that are still full of flavor so you don’t feel like you’re missing anything.

Here’s one way.

The Best Mashed Potatoes Ever

The Best Vegan Mashed-Potatoes

One serving of regular mashed potatoes – which is officially one half cup – packs about 120 calories and 5 grams of fat.

Momentary detour …  I have a question for you.  When you eat mashed potatoes, do you have only a half cup?  I think I can safely say I’ve never eaten such a small serving.  Who makes up these crazy serving sizes anyway?   So I’m just gonna multiply that by my “real-person, don’t-kid-yourself” amount, and I come up with 300 calories and 13 grams of fat.  But, I digress.

So I took those regular potatoes, did a little tweaking, and came up with these best mashed potatoes ever  … which, by the way, are also much lower in fat and higher in fiber (than the average mashed tater) and perfect for any weight loss plan.

And, if you’re eating vegan, take note.  These fabulous mashed potatoes are also vegan.

4.8 from 4 reviews
The Best Ever Dairy-Free, Low-Fat Mashed Potatoes
Prep Time
Total Time
Potatoes are a very nutritious food until we load them with butter and cream. Here’s a delicious mash potato recipe that is so luscious and creamy you won’t ever miss the fattening stuff.
  • 12 medium potatoes (about 13 cups diced)
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic
  1. Peel and dice potatoes into large (about 1-inch) chunks.
  2. Place diced potatoes in a large steamer pan, cover, and bring to boil.
  3. Steam until potatoes are very tender (about 15 to 20 minutes).
  4. Meanwhile, rinse cashews in a colander under very hot water. Drain well.
  5. Place drained cashews, water, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, onion and garlic powder in blender and blend until very, very smooth. This may take several minutes unless you have a powerful blender.
  6. When potatoes are tender, remove from heat, transfer potatoes to a mixing bowl, and add blender mixture. Do not allow potatoes to cool.

    (The amount of blender mixture needed will depend on how much potato you have. The amount given works well for 12 medium potatoes. If the potatoes are large, use fewer potatoes. If your potatoes are on the small side, use only part of the blender mixture.)
  7. Mash potatoes with a potato masher or gently mash with an an electric mixer. Add a small amount of hot water if necessary to achieve a soft mash potato consistency. Do not over-mix or potatoes will be gooey rather than fluffy.
  8. Season to taste.

    Serve hot.
1. Be sure to buy only fresh cashews and store them in the freezer until ready to use.

2. For extra-rich mashed potatoes, add more olive oil or butter.

Extra Point:

Take a little bit of stress out of your holiday meal prep …

can I keep mashed potatoes warm in a crock potHere’s how to keep these luscious mashed potatoes warm in your crock pot.


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  1. Shelley says

    We tried these and they were very good! I used some Yukon potatoes and added a little extra olive oil (like you said) and some earth balance. mmm!

    • Jennifer says

      Hi Shelley,
      Oh, yes! Yukon Golds are a great addition to mashed potatoes – or anything else as far as I’m concerned. :)

      Happy to hear you like the recipe!

  2. Faith says

    It looks yummy! But how can I make this without the cashews and olive oil? I am trying to make a no fat, low sodium, vegan mashed potato.

    • Jennifer says

      Hi Faith,
      You could probably leave out the olive oil and it would still be quite good.

      However, the cashews are essential to provide the rich, creamy texture. You may be interested in the post I wrote about the health benefits of nuts. Even though nuts contain fat, it isn’t the same kind of fat as found in oil, margarine, butter, etc. Because the fat in the cashews is in its “original” package, it can actually help with weight loss and prevent many of the diseases that refined fats cause.

      To make the potatoes low in sodium, be sure to increase other seasonings. For example, I would up the onion powder a bit.

      Hope this helps! :)

    • Nina says

      Know this is an old post. For anyone else, I have used steamed cauliflower (pureed) as a creamy thickener, and oil substitute, for dips and soups. Haven’t tried to with this yet. Or use the cauliflower to cut back on the amount of cashews used. I adored this recipe. I find Jennifer has a real knack with spices and flavors that I wouldn’t be surprised with a sub, like steamed cauliflower or even pumpkin or sunflower seeds, which are lower in fat than nuts, and no oil, it would still be fantastic.

  3. Kristen says

    I’m interested in trying these for Thanksgiving. My extended family loves traditional foods with lots of cream and butter. Are these a good addition to the menu for a group not necessarily open-minded to healthier options? In other words, will I be able to fool them with this recipe? Thanks for your input!

    • Jennifer says

      Hi Kristen,
      It depends on what they normally eat in their mashed potatoes. If the mashed potato recipe they’re accustomed to is the traditional one made with milk and butter (as opposed to one decked out with cream cheese, sour cream, and lots and lots of butter), I think you’ll do just fine.
      You could add a little bit of butter or butter spread to these for “insurance” and they’ll come very, very close to (if not better than) the real deal.
      I’ve served these to groups who weren’t open or interested in healthy food, and people always went back for seconds.
      Best wishes to you!

  4. Kristi says

    How do you know if the cashews are fresh and where do you buy them? I don’t suppose the bulk ones I buy at Costco are very fresh? I have heard it’s important to store nuts in the fridge for freshness and soak all nuts before you eat them. But I haven’t gotten so far as to find a good, low cost place to purchase them. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  5. Heidi says

    I am doing a luncheon for my coworkers this Friday and would like to know how many servings are in this recipe? I believe these potatoes would go great with my turkey meatloaf I am making:-)

    • says

      Hi Heidi,
      A general rule of thumb is 1/2 pound of (raw) potatoes per person when making mashed potatoes.

      The average medium potato weighs 1/2 pound. So, since this recipe calls for 12 potatoes it provides 12 servings. (But, see my comment on serving sizes in the post above.)

      Of course, that all depends on how much people eat. When I’m cooking for my family, I often use at least one pound of potatoes per person because we love mashed potatoes 😉

      Best wishes on your luncheon!

  6. Nina says

    These really are the best mashed potatoes. I used to eat them the traditional way and these are way tastier! So much flavor and creamy. These will be a regular in our house. Thanks!

  7. Eric says

    Love these potatoes. I sometimes serve them with portobello mushroom gravy. Buy today I’m having them with a big salad. I made turkey meatloaf for carnivore friends.

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