Want to make mashed potatoes without milk? These are the creamiest and easiest mashed potatoes with no milk in sight! They make the perfect classic side dish for a weekday dinner, Thanksgiving meal, or any time you just want easy mashed potatoes!
Mashed potatoes are something easy enough that everyone can make but not everyone can make them actually taste good without being covered in gravy.
We’ve been making these mashed potatoes for years both for my own family and for the entire extended family for Thanksgiving and they taste just as good on their own as they do with something. That makes them the perfect side dish for any meal – not just with the turkey!
The Best Mashed Potatoes
Is there anything better than a mountain of mashed potatoes topped with hot gravy dripping down the sides? It’s definitely my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner (and this amazing stuffing) and really any dinner that mashed potatoes are a part of.
I grew up in a family where instant mashed potatoes were a thing – now they’re a thing of the past. After trying real russet mashed potatoes, you’ll never go back to pouring something out of a box, no matter how simple it is.
These mashed potatoes are almost that easy, they just take a little more time. I promise you it’s worth it!
The recipe as written doesn’t use any milk so it’s perfect if you’re out of milk but still want creamy mashed potatoes. Or if you want to go without milk or cream, I’ve included options for those as well! Dairy-free? I’ve included instructions for that as well!
Why you’ll love this Recipe
- Simple ingredients – with just three ingredients (plus salt and pepper), these mashed potatoes are simple to make! Plus, the creamy and fluffy taste of the potatoes doesn’t get weighed down with a bunch of other ingredients.
- Creamy and fluffy – the addition of butter and warm cream turns these into the creamiest potatoes you could ever imagine. There’s a reason you don’t need gravy on top, they have so much flavor on their own.
- Great to make ahead – make these the day of or the day before then just warm them up when you’re ready to serve. They taste just as good reheated as they do freshly made!
- Russet potatoes – we always prefer organic potatoes and typically just buy them in a big five pound bag. If you can’t find russets, yukon gold potatoes are an okay substitute as well, but it means you’ll have more peeling to do!
- Salted butter – we prefer salted grass-fed butter because the flavor is just so much better. You want the butter to be room temperature before adding it to the potatoes so it melts in easily. By using salted butter vs unsalted butter, you don’t have to add quite as much salt to the potatoes themselves.
- Heavy cream – while these are mashed potatoes without milk, they do use butter and cream so they’re not dairy free. The cream gives these an amazingly creamy texture. I’ve included instructions below if you want to make these without milk or cream AND if you want to make these dairy-free.
If you don’t want to use heavy cream or are looking for a dairy-free alternative, keep reading to the end of the post. I’ve included instructions for making mashed potatoes without milk, cream, or butter!
How to make Mashed Potatoes Without Milk
Once you see how easy these mashed potatoes are to make, you’ll be adding them to your weekly menu every week! Make them once a week and then enjoy them with all sorts of meals throughout the week!
1 – Prep the Potatoes
- Peel and dice the potatoes. This helps them cook both evenly and quickly. This takes a little prep time, but it’ll make the cook time shorter.
- Put the diced potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Drain the water then fill the water with more cold water until the potatoes are just covered with water.
Don’t skip rinsing the potatoes. I know it sounds like a pain, but it helps to get rid of the excess starch in the potatoes and makes these super fluffy.
2 – Boil the Potatoes
- Cover the pot and bring the water (and potatoes) to boil over high heat.
- Once it’s boiling, uncover the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until you can easily pierce and crush the potatoes with a fork.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander and set aside.
If you are making more potatoes than the original recipe calls for, it will likely take longer for the potatoes come to boil and maybe a little longer for them to cook enough to be softened. Keep this in mind when planning for any large meals you might be cooking for. I typically assume that if I double the amount of potatoes, I need to double the amount of time it normally would take for the water to boil.
3 – Heat the Cream
- Add the cream to the empty pot and heat just until warmed, about two minutes.
- Remove the cream and set aside for later.
Warm cream makes a big difference when it comes to mashing the potatoes and getting that ultimate creaminess. It only adds about two minutes to the total time it takes to make these and makes a huge difference.
4 – Mash the Potatoes
- Add the potatoes back into the empty pot and lightly mash with a silicone whisk or potato masher to break up the potatoes. You could also use a fork, but it’ll take longer. Some people like to use an electric mixer, but I prefer to mash by hand.
- Add your room temperature butter and continue to mash and stir with the whisk until the butter is fully combined with the potatoes.
- Add the warm cream, salt, and pepper and continue to mash until smooth.
- Your mashed potatoes are now ready to enjoy! Transfer to a large serving bowl or let people serve themselves right out of the pot!
Tips & tricks
Use high-quality cream and butter since they’re the only things really flavoring the potatoes other than salt and pepper.
Use a whisk rather than a fork to mash for the maximum creaminess.
Double the recipe and enjoy mashed potatoes all week long. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days and just warm them back up in the microwave or oven.
Use room temperature butter and warm cream to help them incorporate into the potatoes better.
What to Serve with Mashed Potatoes
One of the reasons mashed potatoes are so popular is because they can go with pretty much anything! These are some of our favorite things to serve with creamy mashed potatoes.
- Almond chicken
- Coconut chicken tenders (this would be really good if you made these mashed potatoes with coconut milk)
- Cider glazed ham (a Christmas favorite!)
- Cheese stuffed meatballs
- Balsamic chicken
Use leftover mashed potatoes to make this delicious shepherd’s pie. You could even double the mashed potatoes recipe specifically for the purpose of making this later on in the week!
Make Mashed Potatoes Without Milk or Cream
If you want to make mashed potatoes without milk or cream, you have two options:
- Omit the cream and milk all together and add more butter until you reach your desired creaminess.
- Substitute the heavy cream for with the same amount of coconut milk and keep the same amount of butter. This may change the flavor just slightly but it shouldn’t be enough to really make an impact. We do do this all the time in our zuppa toscana soup and you can’t tell at all.
Make Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes
If you want to make mashed potatoes without butter, milk, or cream the best option we’ve come up with is to replace the cream in the recipe with coconut milk instead. Mash that and if they’re not quite creamy enough for you, add more coconut milk until you achieve your desired consistency.
If you still don’t want to do coconut milk, we’ve also made these with chicken broth, but they’re not nearly as creamy as making them with some sort of cream, coconut cream, or butter.
Mashed Potatoes FAQs
Don’t have a potato masher or a mixer? Try a whisk. We actually prefer to use a whisk to mash potatoes because it helps get the lumps out and make the potatoes more creamy. Don’t have a whisk? A fork works too!
You should plan on about 1/2 pound of potatoes per person so ideally you’d measure the weight of the potatoes. Or if you’re buying bags of potatoes – a five pound bag would be good for 10 people, 3 pound bag would be good for 6 people, etc. This recipe is written using a 3 lb bag of potatoes.
I recommend using russet potatoes for mashed potatoes because they’re larger and have a really good flesh for mashing. If you can’t find russets, yukon gold are okay too.
Substitute the cream in this recipe with coconut cream instead. Add the amount the recipe calls for at first to see if the potatoes are creamy enough for you. If they’re not, add more coconut milk until the potatoes reach your desired creaminess. I also recommend increasing the salt amount slightly to account for not using the salted butter.
More Delicious Potato Recipes
If you like potatoes you have to try these other potato recipes! They’re some of our favorite side dishes!
- Smashed potatoes – forget mashed potatoes and try these smashed potatoes next time instead! They’re crispy and delicious!
- Boursin cheese potatoes – twice baked potatoes filled with creamy boursin cheese!
- Hash brown cups – these fun snacks are a great holder for chili, bacon, and other delicious toppings!
- Air fryer homemade fries – make these in the oven or an air fryer, they’re delicious either way!
- Buffalo chicken potato skins – crispy potato skins filled with delicious buffalo chicken. It’s like buffalo chicken dip and potato skins mixed into one delicious appetizer!
Mashed Potatoes without Milk
- 3 lbs russet potatoes peeled and diced into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup butter at room temperature
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Put the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Drain the water to remove any excess starches and then fill the pot with more cold water until the potatoes are just covered with water. Cover the pot and bring the water and potatoes to boil over high heat.3 lbs russet potatoes
- Once boiling, uncover the pot and reduce the heat to medium to maintain a simmer. Simmer the potatoes until they are easily pierced and crushed by a fork, about 10-15 minutes.
- Once tender, drain the potatoes in a colander.
- Return the empty pot to medium heat. Add the cream to the pot and heat just until warmed, about 1-2 minutes. Once warmed, remove the pot from the heat and set the cream aside for later.1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Add the potatoes back to the empty pot and lightly mash with a whisk to break up the potatoes.
- Add in the room temperature butter and continue to mash and stir with the whisk until the butter is fully incorporated.1/2 cup butter
- Add the warm cream, salt, and pepper and continue to mash until smooth.1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Serve warm with butter, gravy, or alongside your favorite main dish.
Tips & Notes:
- Omit the cream and milk all together and add more butter until you reach your desired creaminess.
- Substitute the heavy cream for with the same amount of coconut milk and keep the same amount of butter. This may change the flavor just slightly but it shouldn’t be enough to really make an impact
This recipe was originally posted in November 2019 and has since been updated and changed.