Garlicky Kale Mashed Potatoes (vegan option)

Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Sides, Vegan

Garlicky Kale Mashed Potatoes with a vegan option

Garlicky Kale Mashed Potatoes make the perfect side dish with a healthier kick for your holiday table, and I’ve modified this recipe to be vegan with zero taste compromise!  

Christmas is HERE, and if you’re on the hunt for a delicious side dish this is it!   As a dietitian I’m ALWAYS on the hunt for ways to make meals a bit healthier, and decided to take an entire head of kale and add it to the potatoes this year and test it on my family.  I’m sure they love being my guinea pigs!  At any rate, these potatoes were a hit and I don’t think that anybody suspected that there were 8 cups of kale in the dish!

You can use more or less kale if your head of kale yields an in-exact amount, it will still taste incredible.   I have started to give options for recipes for those of you who need or want to ‘flex’ a recipe as you can see below.  Some people are vegan, others aren’t, some have nut allergies etc.  Note that if you are making this vegan you will need to prepare cashew cream in advance.

Easy no hassle cashew cream that needs to straining.

Now, you can make this using all olive oil, which would yield a much different flavour (but slightly healthier). If you choose this route substitute the butter for olive oil and keep everything else the same (just skip heating the olive oil with the cashew cream). You will want to use the best olive oil you can get your hands on if this is the case!

Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavour, but also important B vitamins (ie: B12) which is important if you are vegan.  Since B12 in particular is found in animal products, it’s something you need to be aware of if you are eating a plant-based diet.  Vitamin B12 deficiency can be serious and may lead to neurological issues, numbness, weakness, memory loss, depression and more.  Be sure to purchase nutritional yeast that is fortified (it will be labelled as such): I use flaked nutritional yeast in all of my recipes.

Ok, so enough geeking out and back to Christmas dinner!  I would love to hear if you make this.  Other holiday dishes that we love to make include our Vegan Mushroom Wellington and Lemon Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts in case you’re looking for more inspiration!

Wishing you all the Merriest Christmas filled with amazing food, laughter, friends and family!



Garlicky Kale Mashed Potatoes with a vegan option
5 from 1 vote

Garlicky Kale Mashed Potatoes (vegan)

A healthy twist on the traditional mashed potatoes, this recipe is packed with garlicky sautéed kale and modified to be vegan with zero taste compromise!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter (can substitute regular butter if desired)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8 cups lightly packed torn kale leaves (1 head kale)
  • 1 cup cashew cream* (see note)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sliced scallions or chives for garnish optional


Prepare the Cashew Cream

  1. Prepare the cashew cream if using: note that you will need to prepare this in advance as the cashews need time to soak (use the quick soak method if you are pressed for time)

Prepare the Potatoes

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the potatoes and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 20-25 minutes.  Drain once cooked and prepare the kale while the potatoes are cooking.

Prepare the Kale

  1. While the potatoes are cooking, in a large frying pan on medium heat, add the olive oil.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds (do not brown the garlic).  Add the kale and cook, tossing regularly, until the kale is wilted and cooked, about 3-4 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Assemble the Mashed Potatoes

  1. In a microwave-safe dish, heat the cashew cream and vegan butter until warm and the butter starts to melt (this will help prevent your dish from cooling down when added to the potatoes).  Mash the drained potatoes immediately with a potato masher and add the cashew cream and butter along with the nutritional yeast and salt and pepper.  Continue to mash the potatoes to combine, and add the kale.  Mash again just to combine, finish seasoning with salt and pepper if needed and serve!

Recipe Notes

Substitute 1 cup of 18% cream for the cashew cream if desired.

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