Milk Substitute For Mashed Potatoes that Work Really Well (or Even Better)!

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We all know there’s nothing like a hot serving of creamy mashed potatoes. But is there a milk substitute for mashed potatoes when you run out?

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Actually, there is!

And you’ll be glad to know that not only are there many substitutes for milk in mashed potatoes. But also that some of these substitutions you may use instead of milk from now on! Join us as we explore the many substitutions for milk that you likely already have in your fridge.

Table of Contents

peeled potatoes

Creamy Mashed Potatoes Without Milk

Yes, it is possible to achieve creamy mashed potatoes without milk. What you basically need is a liquid to take the place of the milk, however, what liquid you choose will highly affect the flavor and texture of your potatoes.

Read on to find out our best picks when substituting for milk in mashed potatoes.

Best Milk Substitute For Mashed Potatoes

The following are our top recommendations for substituting milk in mashed potatoes:

  • Sour Cream
  • Heavy Cream
  • Light Cream
  • Yogurt
  • Chicken Broth
  • Water with Butter (Or Butter Substitute)
  • Buttermilk

Note: Most of these substitutions will be made at a 1:1 ratio for milk, with the exception of water, heavy cream, and a few other substitutions as you’ll see in the following segments.

Can You Use Water Instead of Milk For Mashed Potatoes?

Yes, you can use water instead of milk in mashed potatoes, however, you will want to make up for the flavor and creaminess that your potatoes will be missing.

Because water is bland and can potentially make your mashed potatoes soupy, we recommend going light on water and compensating with butter. If the butter is too rich for your tastes, try margarine or vegan butter instead.

When adding water, use only a little at a time to get the mashed potatoes just short of your desired consistency. Then add a pat or two (or three or four) of butter along with some seasonings to help the taste.

Since water doesn’t have a flavor, we strongly recommend that you add spices to mashed potatoes made with butter and water. Consider a blend of garlic and herbs, or throw in some salt, pepper, and your favorite cheese to help with the flavor.

mashed potatoes

Is It Better to Use Milk or Heavy Cream for Mashed Potatoes?

You can use either. However, heavy cream will provide a richer and creamier taste, along with more calories, than would milk.

If that sounds like your jam, then go ahead and replace milk with heavy cream. When doing so, you may wish to use slightly less heavy cream than you would milk so you aren’t overpowering the potatoes. With heavy cream, a little can go a long way, especially if you plan to add butter and cheese to the mix. Start with ¼ of whatever amount of milk you’d normally do, then increase the amount of heavy cream according to taste from there.

Can You Use Light Cream Instead of Milk in Mashed Potatoes?

Light cream is another solid option for substituting milk in mashed potatoes. Since light cream is 18% butterfat, it is a good option for keeping calories lower than when using heavy cream while still adding richness and flavor.

Still, we recommend going light on the light cream because it could still overpower your potatoes as heavy cream would. Go for about ½ to ¾ of the amount of milk you’d normally use in your mashed potatoes recipe, and increase from there as you see fit.

Can You Substitute Chicken Broth For Milk in Mashed Potatoes?

Yes, you can substitute chicken broth for milk in mashed potatoes, and in fact, many people love preparing their mashed potatoes this way.

Know that adding chicken broth (or stock) to your mashed potatoes will provide a richer yet meatier flavor. It’s nice because the absence of milk can sometimes render mashed potatoes tasteless, especially if you also nix the butter. Chicken stock adds saltiness and flavor that can be paired with garlic, herbs, and spices to make your mashed potatoes come alive, with or without the use of dairy.

bone broth in white bowls on cutting board with vegetables

Can I Substitute Sour Cream For Milk in Mashed Potatoes?

Yes, you can substitute sour cream for milk in mashed potatoes and we recommend that you do!

Sour cream has a rich and slightly tangy taste that can add both flavor and bulk to your mashed potatoes. It can also render your mashed potatoes very creamy and velvety which really helps when you have no milk!

Can Yogurt Be Used Instead of Milk in Mashed Potatoes?

Yes, yogurt can be used instead of milk in mashed potatoes. The result will be similar to sour cream with a tangier aftertaste.

If you like the tangy flavor of yogurt, this will be an excellent substitute. If you don’t, you may wish to consider adding a dollop or two of yogurt along with extra butter and a little chicken stock to help mellow out the flavor. The yogurt will help with the creaminess while the butter and stock will help with flavoring.

Substitute Mayo For Milk in Mashed Potatoes

Although mayo makes a good creamy substitute for milk in mashed potatoes, you should be warned that the result of adding mayonnaise to mashed potatoes is a bit, well…mayo-ey.

If this is okay with you, then, by all means, go ahead and use mayo as a substitute for milk in your mashed potatoes. If you aren’t a huge fan of mayonnaise, we’d recommend you skip this one, as the mayo flavor really shines through when replacing it for milk.

Go easy on the mayo for this one, and only add ¼ of your normal amount of milk at a time so as not to overpower your mashed potatoes with this potent condiment.

Can I Substitute Buttermilk For Milk in Mashed Potatoes?

Yes! Many love the use of buttermilk in mashed potatoes, as it adds a natural creaminess with less fat than some of the other options. Use buttermilk at a 1:1 ratio in mashed potatoes, and we’re fairly confident you’ll love the results!

Can I Substitute Butter For Milk in Mashed Potatoes?

You can absolutely substitute milk for butter in mashed potatoes. To do so, start by doubling the amount of butter you’d normally put in your mashed potatoes. After that, you can add more butter according to the desired taste and texture you’re going for. This is a high-calorie option, however, its smooth and flavorful result will make you forget you didn’t add milk!

Note: If you don’t want to use that much butter in your mashed potatoes, feel free to add as much butter as you’re comfortable with before adding one of our other substitute suggestions (like sour cream, water, or chicken broth) to help keep the mashed potatoes a bit lighter while also maintaining the creamy consistency of your mashed potatoes.

butter on table

Can Non-Dairy Milk Be Used in Mashed Potatoes?

Non-dairy milk can be used in mashed potatoes. But do so at your own discretion.

Though using non-dairy milk tends to be interchangeable with regular milk in many recipes, mashed potatoes isn’t one you’ll wish to substitute with. Most non-dairy milks, with the exception of soy, have a strong taste that you’ll easily detect in the potatoes. Thus, substituting regular milk for coconut or almond will make your mashed potatoes taste like coconut or almond. If that’s okay with you then go for it!

If not, then you may wish to opt for using water with added herbs and spices or using chicken stock with non-dairy butter instead.

Instant Mashed Potato Milk Substitutes

Can You Use Almond Milk in Instant Mashed Potatoes?

Again, we do caution against using certain non-dairy milks in potatoes because of their strong flavoring. Still, there are some brands of almond milk that have a less potent almond flavor than others.

What this really boils down to is flavor preference. If you don’t mind having a slightly nutty taste in your instant potatoes, then by all means, feel free to subsittie with it. If not, go for chicken broth or water with non-dairy butter to get your instant potatoes tasting the way they need to without the use of milk.

Idahoan Real Premium Mashed Potatoes - 3.25 Lbs.

How Do You Make Instant Mashed Potatoes Without Milk?

To make mashed potatoes without milk, you’ll need to replace the same amount of milk that your instant mashed potato recipe calls for with an equal amount of water, chicken broth, or non-dairy milk (if you’re okay with the taste). For added richness, include a dollop of yogurt, sour cream, heavy cream, or a pat of butter to add depth and richness to your potatoes without the use of milk.

FAQs on Substituting Milk In Mashed Potato

What can I substitute for milk in boxed scalloped potatoes?

When it comes to the best milk substitute for scalloped potatoes, your best bet is to go for chicken broth or unsweetened, unflavored almond milk when you are making scalloped potatoes. Anything else may not provide the taste or texture you’re looking for. Avoid using water or anything too thick. You may also consider using soy milk as a suitable substitute. 

Best Milk Substitute For Mashed Potatoes? You’ve Got Options!

If you’re looking for the best milk substitute for mashed potatoes, you’ve got options. From sour cream to chicken broth and even plain ‘ole water, we can guarantee you’ve got something in your kitchen that you can use to substitute for milk the next time you make mashed potatoes!

Until next time!

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By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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