3 New Mashed Potato Recipes Get Pimped for Thanksgiving

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

There is one serious food rule in my family: if my Grandpa asks you to pass the mashed potatoes do not serve yourself on the way over to him. He called that a “mashed potato short stop” and proclaimed if you “short stopped” in the Army the penalty was a scoop of mashed potatoes in your face.

My family takes mashed potatoes very seriously, and even though my Grandpa passed years ago we still uphold his “no mashed potato short stop” rule and have a deep respect for the honorable dish at our Thanksgiving table.

I made a dedication to embark on this makeover with an equally serious devotion. You can remake a mash, but you better be sure it is delicious and worthy of its own set of beloved table rules.

As far as I’m concerned if you start a vegetable mash with extremely fresh ingredients you will end up with something delicious. It seemed only logical then to begin this makeover with a trip to my local farmers market.

Off I went without specific recipes in mind. I allowed the seasonal bounty to inspire. I came home with veggie loot to brag about and knew I was well on my way to a delicious party of mashes.

What resulted were three thanksgiving table-worthy mashes: a twist on the traditional, a Paleo mash, and a whizz-bang-boom masterpiece!

If you, dear reader, happened to grow up in a household where mashed potatoes came out of a box I encourage you to begin your makeover this year simply by peeling a fresh-from-the-earth-farmers-market potato, boiling it until soft, and mashing it with fresh, high-quality (ideally grass fed and organic) butter. You will be amazed at the simplicity and beauty of this two-ingredient side dish.

First up – a twist on the traditional.

Buttermilk and Chive Creamed Kale Mashed Potatoes

Who put kale in my mashed potatoes? That would be me. The kale caper.

Any which way I can find to throw kale into a dish I will do it. Think of this version like mashed potato and creamed spinach all in one. I suggest making a little pool in the center of the mash for the creamed kale, this way your guests can choose to have as little or as much kale with their potato as they wish. Watch how fast that kale disappears!


1 pound yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon grass fed organic butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper


4 cups kale, stripped from the stalks and ripped into bite size pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp grass fed organic butter
1 Tbsp chives (plus more for garnish)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper


1. In a large pot boil potatoes until tender. Drain and cover to keep warm.

2. In a small saucepan on low heat warm buttermilk, chicken stock, and butter.

3. Using an immersion blender or electric mixer to blend potatoes with warmed liquid until creamy. Be cautious to not over-whip to avoid releasing too much starch from the potato, this would result in gummy potatoes.


1. In a large pot of boiling water, boil kale for 4 minutes (feel free to use the same water you boil the potatoes in).

2. Drain kale, allow to cool, and squeeze kale between your hands to release any excess water. You want the kale to be as dry as possible.

3. In a food processor blend kale, buttermilk, chives, and butter until creamy.

4. Arrange potatoes and kale in bowl and top with chives.

Mash #2: Paleo Mash

Mashed Cauliflower with Balsamic Caramelized Onions

I had a ton of requests this year for a mashed potato substitute that was paleo-diet friendly. The paleo diet is one of the hottest trends this thanksgiving so I decided to oblige.

What resulted is a mash that is thick and satisfying with a tangy flavor counterpoint from the onions.


1 medium size head of cauliflower
2 medium onions, sliced (about 3 cups)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup chicken stock (plus more for consistency)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper


1. In a large pan over medium-low heat sauté onions and fresh thyme in olive oil for 10-12 minutes until soft, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup chicken stock and balsamic vinegar. Cover and cook additional 5-8 minutes until all liquid is evaporated and onions are caramelized. You may need to add a bit more stock and continue stirring to achieve desired consistency.

2. Meanwhile, chop cauliflower into small florets and boil until soft (about 6 minutes).

3. Transfer cauliflower to a food processor, add 1/4 cup chicken stock salt and pepper and puree until smooth.

4. Serve mashed cauliflower topped with caramelized onions.

Mash #3: Root Extravaganza Smash! (vegan)

Coconut Scented Golden Beet, Parsnip, Turnip and Pear Smash

Finally a totally vegan, nutrient dense version that has an explosion of flavor. Utilize the root vegetables that are a staple of the season and a happy addition to any Thanksgiving feast.


6 small golden beets, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 large parsnip (about 1 lb.) peeled and cut into large chunks
1 large turnip (about 1/2 lb.) peeled and cut into large chunks
1 red anjou pear, sliced in half
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper


1. In a large bowl toss the beets, parsnip, and turnip with 1 tbsp melted coconut oil, cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Spread out on a large baking sheet and roast at 425 for 35 minutes until tender. Stirring every 10 minutes.

2. In the last 20 minutes of cooking place the pear cut side down on the baking sheet. Remove from oven and transfer to a large bowl.

3. Mash all ingredients with 1 tbsp coconut oil. The consistency should be chunky. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wishing you all a glorious and delicious Thanksgiving meal!

Introduce more healthier Thanksgiving sides to your meal this year:

Turkey Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing

Roasted Candied Sweet Potato Casserole

Roasted Pear Gravy

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

5 Tasty Vegan Side Dishes

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