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Pure and Simple Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

5 from 8 community reviews

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Our family recipe for simple olive oil mashed potatoes made without butter, cow’s milk or cream. These potatoes are simply the best-tasting natural potatoes I’ve ever had!

A white casserole dish full of olive oil mashed potatoes with a wooden serving spoon.

This is my favorite dairy-free olive-oil mashed potato recipe, the one that I’ve made for years and years.

First, let me tell you I grew up LOVING my mom’s old-fashioned homemade mashed potatoes.

Her method involved putting cooked cubes of Russet potatoes in a stand mixer, adding loads of melted butter and scalded (hot) whole milk and whipping them for about half and hour.

Those mashers were so soft and smooth it was almost like eating buttery clouds.

A gray metal colander with small yellow Yukon Gold potatoes ready for boiling.

Making mashed potatoes without milk

I had to come up with dairy-free alternative to my mother’s recipe because a few of my family members have sensitivities to milk and butter.

This recipe contains a few ingredients:

  • Potatoes: I use yellow medium-starch potatoes, like Yukon gold. They have a higher water content, which means lighter mashed potatoes that don’t taste dry.
  • Water: The water the potatoes are cooked in helps to lighten the texture.
  • Salt: Use kosher salt or sea salt.
  • Extra virgin olive oil

In other words, they taste pure and simple. I believe this is the very best way to make mashed potatoes without milk. Want to know my SECRET?

Instead of milk and butter, I simply use the salted potato cooking water to lubricate the potatoes when they’re mashed.

Secret to dairy-free mashed potatoes is using the salted cooking water.

That cooking water is loaded with natural potato starch and since the water is seasoned with a generous amount of salt, it’s tasty, too.

Olive oil instead of butter in mashed potatoes

I probably don’t need to tell you this, but here goes. Since there are only a few ingredients in this recipe, the main things you want to taste are the potatoes and olive oil.

Over the years, I’ve tested mashed potatoes using liquids and fats other than cow’s milk and butter and always felt the flavor was off.

I’m talking almond milk (and other non-dairy milks), vegan butters, vegetable/chicken stock and even coconut milk.

A white casserole dish full of olive oil mashed potatoes with a wooden serving spoon.

But each of them added their own distinctive personality and masked the natural potato flavor.

To me, that takes away the whole point of making mashed potatoes, which should be all about the texture and the tuber.

The olive oil doesn’t need to be super-fancy, but do use a good one. Choose your go-to brand of extra-virgin olive oil — just taste it first to be sure the oil tastes fresh and delicious.

White mixing bowl with handheld potato masher blending cooked potatoes with olive oil, salt and water.

Smooth or chunky mashed potatoes

These potatoes are rustic. I like to keep the skin on for extra flavor and nutritious goodness, and coarsely mash them with a handheld potato masher for a soft but chunky texture.

If you enjoy a smoother mashed potato experience all you need to do is peel the potatoes before cooking.

Once they’re cooked, puree them with a potato ricer or food mill, or put them in a stand mixer and beat until smooth.

Yukon gold or yellow potatoes are my top choice for mashed potatoes. They aren’t as dry as baking (Russet) potatoes and will soak up all the flavor of your olive oil.

Serving olive oil mashed potatoes

These potatoes are the perfect canvas or side dish for any tasty topping or mix-ins. Here are some ideas for adding some flavor to your mashed potatoes:

  • Grated cheese such as Parmesan, Asiago or Grana Padano.
  • Roasted garlic cloves
  • Chopped fresh herbs like rosemary or parsley
  • Of course, don’t forget another good drizzle of additional olive oil over the top!

Olive oil mashed potatoes go with:

Pure and Simple Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

Karen Tedesco
Our family recipe for pure and simple olive oil mashed potatoes, made without butter or dairy milk. These potatoes are simply the best-tasting natural potatoes I've ever had!
Print Pin
5 from 8 community reviews
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 6


6 quart or larger pot
Potato masher or ricer


  • 2 ½-3 pounds (1.15 kg) small Yukon or yellow waxy potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) kosher salt or flaky sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 5 quarts (4.75 l) water
  • cup (80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving


  • Prep the potatoes: Wash them, and trim off any eyes or damaged skin. Peel if you prefer smoother mashed potatoes. Slice them so they're all about the same size, about 2-inches in diameter. Leave them whole if they're golf-ball size.
  • Put the potatoes in a large pot with 3 tablespoons of the salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, but not falling apart, 20-25 minutes.
  • Scoop out 2 cups of the cooking water, then drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Pour the olive oil over and 1 cup of the cooking water. Mash them with a handheld potato masher, adding more water a little at a time until the potatoes are the texture you like (you might not use all the water). Taste and add more salt, if desired.
  • Serve warm, drizzled with additional olive oil.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • Mashed potatoes can be refrigerated up to 5 days.
  • To reheat mashed potatoes: Place in a covered baking dish and heat at 350 degrees until hot, about 25 minutes. Or microwave on high power 2-5 minutes depending on serving size.


Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 578mg | Potassium: 797mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest
Recipe developer Karen Tedesco of the popular website Familystyle Food in her kitchen making a kale salad.

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

5 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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One Comment

  1. made these last night and they were perfect!