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Can You Make Instant Mashed Potatoes Without Milk ?

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Instant mashed potatoes are a blessing for any home cook. They come in handy, they’re quick to make, and you only need a few ingredients to make them really pop.

One of those key ingredients if milk. But what if you have no milk ? Or you’re lactose intolerant and just can’t have dairy products ? Then you’ll need a substitute.

We’re going to tell you all the ways you can make mashed potatoes without any milk. And we’ll touch on what to do when you have no butter as well.

mashed potato without milk

Can you make instant mashed potatoes without milk ?

Yes, you can make instant mashed potatoes without milk. You can use something as simple as water and add more butter or margarine to intensify the flavor.

The only change is a lack of creaminess, and the mashed potatoes may taste a little flat. But there are a lot of milk substitutes you can use when making mashed potatoes, and you can try adding different seasonings and herbs for more flavor.

We’ll explore all of these options below. Just know that it’s entirely possible to make mashed potatoes without milk, no problem.

What about without butter ?

Yes, you can make instant mashed potatoes without butter was well. Whether you don’t have milk and butter, or you’re only missing butter, you can still make them.

The butter can be replaced with another fat, like margarine, lard, or olive oil. There are more options than that, and we’ll explore those as well.

Feel free to mix and match whatever options you think would be the most delicious for your taste buds.

Read also: How Long Do Mashed Potatoes Last In The Fridge ?

Substitutes for milk and butter in mashed potatoes

We’re going to cover the best substitutes for milk and butter for mashed potatoes on the next section. We’ll give you dairy and vegan options, so everyone is covered.

And if none of these suit your tastes, we’ve got another section for add-ins you can use to make any mashed potatoes more flavorful.

Heavy cream

Heavy cream has the advantage of being both creamy and fat, meaning it will make a really decadent mashed potato dish. There’s almost no need for butter at this point, but feel free to add it if you like.

You will still need to add some water, just to hydrate the potato flakes. Mix in warm (or hot) cream, and you’re done !

Cream cheese

This is possibly our favorite way to make any mashed potato into something really creamy and delicious. Cream cheese, the simplest you can find.

You will still need to use water, and the cream cheese will thicken the entire dish. Depending on how you like mashed potatoes, add more water or more cream cheese to get it thin or thick.

Just remember that cream cheese should not be heated. Only add it cold or room temperature, don’t warm it up.

Read also: Mac N Cheese Without Milk

More butter

Another option is to add more butter. The more you add, the more flavorful and rich the mashed potatoes. There is a point where it becomes too much, that’s true.

If cooking less than a pound of mashed potatoes, don’t add an entire stock of butter. Try to only use half, even if you really love butter.


If cholesterol isn’t your concern, and you really want to change things up, then maybe try adding lard. You may have to skip on the butter this time, or only add a little because the combination is very strong in terms of taste.



Margarine has that added benefit of being completely vegan, so if you’re making mashed potatoes with just water and margarine it will be an entirely vegan dish.

Olive oil

Try adding olive oil if you’re out of butter and milk. While it won’t be the richest dish, it will still be flavorful. Especially if your olive oil has something added, like a bit of chili flakes, or tarragon, or garlic.

Cashew cream

Since cashews are so creamy to begin with, using cashew cream is another option you can use. You can be sure this one will be vegan as well, if you have no milk and butter.

It may need a little more help with a bit of cooking oil or seasonings, but it’s entirely up to you.

Add-ins to make them more flavorful

Alright, let’s see what we can use to make instant mashed potatoes more flavorful. Some folks complain that even after adding milk and butter they still taste a little bland.

That can be true in some cases, so we have to look at what we can add to make this more delicious. Especially if you have no milk or butter, which will really cut down on the flavor department.

Garlic or onion powder

Garlic and onion are pretty much your best friends when it comes to adding flavor to anything. If you can add lightly fried onions and garlic into the mashed potatoes, that’s great. It add richness from the cooking oil, and it adds extra flavor from the garlic and onions.

But if you only have powdered or granulated versions, you can use those as well. They’re going to draw from the moisture already inside the dish and release a lot of flavor.

Don’t overdo the garlic though, since it can really overpower anything.

Bouillon cubes

You can use bouillon cubes in the water you’re using for instant mashed potatoes. Make sure the bouillon is very well dissolved before adding it to the potato flakes, or you may get pockets that are way too seasoned, and parts that are bland.

Chives or spring onions

Chopped chives or spring onions bring a nice pungent yet fresh aroma to mashed potatoes, and they just look great. Whether you sprinkle a bit on the top, or mix them into the potatoes is up to you.


Any herbs will do, and it depends on what you’re serving with the mashed potatoes. Some of our favorites are dill, rosemary, and parsley. You can use a season mix or a regional mix, like Provence herbs or Italian spices.


Read Also:How Much Potato Salad Per Person ?

Bacon bits

And if you really want to take things to the next level, we recommend frying some bacon bits and chopping them up nicely. Add the bacon, and if you like you can add the bacon grease as well.

And that’s it, that’s pretty much all you can add to your instant mashed potatoes if you don’t have milk or butter. Feel free to mix and match the substitutes and seasonings.


You can substitute the milk for instant mashed potatoes with many other things but I won’t recommend making instant mashed potatoes with only water because the texture and taste will be very disappointing.

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