Nov 10

Vegan Mashed Potatoes: The Art & Science of a Classic

You know that moment when it’s over

A bad batch of mashed potatoes has a moment, a moment when you know there is no turning back. That there is going to be a gooey mess in front of you that is not amenable to salvage. I was just there! I am working on the menu for the upcoming THANKSLIVING 2020 course and thought I would see how it if I could make vegan fluffy mashed potatoes in the food processor…. NOPE. It did not work out, to say the least. And I had a massive gooey mess. Potatoes just don’t work well to be “processed” that much!

General Tips

  • Type of potato (russet or Yukon gold)
  • Temp they cook (simmer not boil with added salt)
  • Time they cook – should be soft when punctured with knife or fork
  • Moisture – can return to heat after straining to be sure extra moisture is evaporated 
  • Heating the milk and “butter” – not good idea to this cold to the mixture. 

The Journey

It has taken time… a long time to get to a plant-based version that I love. Read here the famous recipe from Julia Child. This is one that I had a child that needed to be reworked and “plantified”

In my third year of college, in the midst of the premed insanity, I intentionally failed a virology course (by not going to class) so that I could give myself permission to look at another career. And for several years I entertained the idea of being a chef.

Early in my childhood, we were allowed one hour of TV a day. My brother and I would grab the TV Guide and circle our choices. Now… this was way before cable when there were only four channels and I was all about PBS. I loved the Great Chef cooking shows. 8 year old me taking notes on recipes feels really precious. These shows ignited me. Being able to transform simple ingredients into taste journeys seemed like a superpower. I loved to create dishes that spurred the imagination. That moment, you know, when you take a bite of something and are transported somewhere.

The curiosity around flavor and the experience of it began to shape my time in the kitchen. Fast-forward to premed, I took a semester off and explored new kitchens, learning about plant-based cooking techniques. In time I found my way back to academics and medical school though it always felt like a compromise – that I had left a large part of myself behind.

“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
Julia Child


Making a BIG Career Change

After 20 years in practice, I made a change. I realized that there were things I had to take off the back burner. About a hot minute before Covid started, I was partnering with a group to open a culinary medicine center here in Phoenix. And we were dreaming big – everything I could have hoped for in one place. And that dream is still growing however we all had to pivot when the basis of socially gathering together was taken off the table.

What can help us heal in this divisive time? One element is getting rid of heavily processed food and turning to the “green side”. Adding whole foods and veggies to our plate. I literally have no idea when normal living will emerge again… it feels elusive so I’m settling into each moment. Breath by breath. Bite by bite. Thought by thought. And in those moments, ideas have emerged, ways to help and be part of the change that is needed.

Thanksliving Event

Right before the COVID outbreak, I was planning to partner with a local group to start sharing culinary medicine principles here in Phoenix at an educational center. Therefore, I had to put those plans on hold like so many of us. However, it did create time for me to pivot online and then share with a wider group of people who are interested in learning more about the HOW of creating a plant-based kitchen.

This year, I will be hosting a “thanksliving” cook along celebration the week of thanksgiving. This event was created for people looking for something new to bring into their life this year and help with streamlining the process.

Learn more about the journey here: THANKSLIVING 2020 and scroll down to read a staple recipe from the Thanksliving “vault”.

Fluffy Central

In truth, everything I needed to know about making mashed potatoes was passed down to me from my Great Aunt Thelma. A visit to her kitchen was like walking into a cooking museum – filled with treasures from all over the world. She was also locally renowned as being a hostess who was incredibly gracious and enjoy the company of anyone who found their way into her home. Born in 1900, she came from a time long past, yet when I use something that came from her kitchen it fills my heart with joy.

Check out Julia Child’s famous mashed potato recipe here…. (its not vegan however that could be shifted to all plant-based)

Perfect Vegan Mashed Potatoes Live Cooking Demo

Join me each week on Facebook lives to ask questions in real-time. Hop on YouTube and subscribe to get the latest cooking demos.

After you have had a chance to learn more about how to make the dish from the video above, please find below a print out of the recipe. You can print the recipe for your own records. Sample them overtime or share this to your Pinterest board. Check out last week’s recipe, Masala Spice Blend.

Recipe INFO

Tag me on Instagram if you make this at home with your own variation and process. There are so many ways to make Vegan Mashed Potatoes. Therefore, I would like to encourage you to be in the kitchen and experiment.

Vegan Mashed Potatoes

Make the fluffiest, amazing vegan mashed potatoes with this recipe
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Mashing10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: plantbased, Vegan
Servings: 4
Serving Size:
Author: Siri Chand Khalsa MD


  • 2 pounds Russet or Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tsp salt divided
  • 1 cup plant milk (I like oat)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or plant-based butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Russet and Yukon gold potatoes have lower moisture and higher starch content that makes them ideal for mashing. Other potatoes do not turn out as well as they need more mashing to break up which results in a gooey potato. I am also recommending to take the skins off prior to making (which I did not do in the video) as the key to a really great outcome is ricing them while hot which is harder to do with the skin on as it clogs the ricer… however you can do it that way too.
  • In a larger pot, add the potatoes and then add enough cold water to cover by at least 2-3 inches. Add one tsp of salt after it comes to a boil and then let this simmer until done. Takes about 15 minutes. You will know they are done as a knife or fork goes easily into them. Drain potatoes in a colander and return to the stove for 1-2 min on medium heat to reduce the moisture.
  • Warm the plant mylk, add the plant butter or olive oil and 1 tsp salt.
  • Begin to rice the potatoes (see video above) and add to your bowl or pot. Go through all the poatoes.
  • Lightly folding in, taking care not to mix too much, add the cream and butter. Adjust as you like with salt and pepper.
  • If you can, warm the bowl you will be serving them in and serve immediately. If you would like to make ahead, loosely cover and keep in a warming oven at around 200.
  • Add your favorite gravy and you are all set!!

Kitchen resources

Potato Ricer

This gadget is usually under $20 and filled with so much value for making the best mashed potatoes. A worthy investment for your plant-based kitchen.

Blog Posts with Focus On Local, Seasonal Food in Phoenix

Listed below are all recent blog entries with video tutorials. These entries use the freshest of ingredients from your local farmer’s market or garden.

Dr. Siri Chand 


*Please note as an amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases which means I will receive a small fee if you purchase them. I have only included things I truly use.

This post is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. For my full Disclaimer, please go here.

May your time with the plants be nourishing!

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