Learn how to make vegan olive oil mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, mainly on the stovetop! This thorough recipe provides you with both key potato tips and prep steps as well as cooking instructions. This vegan mashed potatoes recipe uses olive oil as the primary fat (no milk!), which is infused with lemon peel and fresh herbs, and combined with vegetable stock for extra depth of flavour and a lusciously creamy–but still fluffy–texture. Perfect as a side to a holiday dinner with vegan mushroom gravy and vegan stuffing, this how-to recipe is easy to follow with lots of step by step photos to show you how it’s done!
We were due for a classic mashed potatoes recipe on here! I love this staple holiday side with vegan butter and cashew “cream,” but sometimes I want a more straightforward version that’s also completely nut-free. I also have a great alternative veg mash recipe in my cookbook if you have it! Sometimes you need options when entertaining with vegan holiday recipes.
The nutty and fruity qualities of good olive oil make it a great substitute for butter in mashed potatoes. It’s rich enough and super silky mashed up with the potatoes.
The primary flavour enhancers of this olive oil mashed potatoes recipe are the olive oil itself, some hardy herbs (rosemary and thyme), roasted garlic, and lemon. I infuse the olive oil with lemon peel and also add lemon juice to the mash at the end. I know that this sounds strange! Mashed potatoes need an acid lift to really shine in my opinion. You see this in traditional recipes with buttermilk or sour cream. Lemon juice gets the job done here without the end result tasting overly lemony.
Potato Selection & Prep Tips!
- I use a 50/50 mix of Yukon Gold potatoes and Russets. Yukon Golds are creamy and buttery. Russets have a higher starch content and a more airy/fluffy texture when cooked (plus they absorb fat nicely). I like creaminess and fluff with my mash, so this combo is ideal.
- Resist the urge to cut the peeled potatoes into small pieces! I know that small pieces boil faster, but they can also get waterlogged, which leads to gluey mashed potatoes. Once peeled, I cut the potatoes into quarters.
- Once peeled and cut, I give the potatoes a rinse under cold water. This washes them and rids them of excess starch.
- Cover the potatoes with cold water in the pot and add a teaspoon of salt, as if you were salting pasta water. You want to season from within! I add salt later on when they’re mashed too.
- Simmer the potatoes until completely tender, drain thoroughly, and then transfer back to the warm pot to dry the pieces out completely! Excess cooking water remaining on drained potato pieces = gluey mashed potatoes.
The best mashed potatoes are freshly made ones. I honestly can’t recommend making these ahead of time. One tip I’ve learned recently though! If you want to make them ahead of a big feast, you can keep the finished ones in a slow cooker set to low for a few hours. They will stay warm without scorching or any notable changes in texture.
Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic
- 1 small head garlic
- ⅓ cup olive oil, plus extra (see note)
- 2 strips lemon peel
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 ½ lbs (680 grams) Russet potatoes
- 1 ½ lbs (680 grams) Yukon Gold potatoes
- ¾ cup vegetable stock
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
- I recommend using a fruity and mild olive oil; not a peppery one. I used this one and it was great! You should love the flavour of the oil on its own.
- I know that adding lemon juice to mashed potatoes sounds weird! The acidity really perks them up though. I promise that they don’t taste overly lemony or anything.
- I can’t stress this enough: one of the main keys to mashed potato success is using enough salt. I have you salt the potato cooking water, as well as add salt during the mashing process.
- Yes, small potato dice cook faster. But they also get more waterlogged, which is not ideal here! The extra boiling time for big chunks is worth it.
- Preheat the oven (or a toaster oven) to 450°F
- Cut the top quarter off of the garlic head to expose the cloves. Place the garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle olive oil on top and wrap it up in the foil. Roast the garlic until cloves are tender and caramelized on the top, about 45 minutes.
- Infuse the olive oil. Pour the olive oil into a small saucepan and add the lemon peel strips, thyme, and rosemary. Bring the oil up to a light simmer over medium heat and cook for a minute. Remove from the heat and discard the herbs. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the oil for garnish, and the lemon peels if you like. Set the remaining oil in the saucepan aside.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into quarters. Rinse the peeled and cut potatoes in a colander under cold water to wash off excess starch.
- Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add about a teaspoon of salt to the water. Cover and place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes. A chunk should mash under a fork very easily. Drain the potatoes and return them to the warm pot to dry off completely.
- Add the vegetable stock to the saucepan with the infused olive oil. Bring this mixture up to a simmer over medium heat.
- Squeeze the roasted garlic into the pot with the potatoes. Add big pinches of salt and pepper. Using a masher, mash the potatoes until no big chunks remain. Pour in the hot olive oil and vegetable stock mixture. Keep using the masher or switch over to a rubber spatula to stir the olive oil and stock into the potatoes.
- Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to the potatoes and stir. Check the potatoes for seasoning, and adjust if necessary (more salt, pepper, lemon). Serve the olive oil mashed potatoes warm with the reserved infused olive oil on top, the reserved lemon peel, and a few fresh thyme/rosemary leaves if you like.