bowl of creamy mashed potato recipe with some vegan butter on top
Lunch\ Dinner

The Best Potato for Creamy High Protein Mashed Potatoes

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Make the best creamiest high protein mashed potato recipe ever with our secret ingredient! Get the added protein you and your family need with every bite with this delicious recipe. With our simple steps, you’ll have amazingly delicious high-protein mashed potatoes in no time. Try it today!

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Editors note: This post was originally published in December 2019 but has been updated with answers to some commonly asked questions.

45 degree shot of a bowl of high protein mashed potatoes with vegan butter and text overlay
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With the winter weather in full effect here in Canada all I want is bowls of comfort. Something to ‘warm my bones’ as my mother would say! And what could be better than a hearty creamy recipe like this one! It is like a hug in a bowl!

Do potatoes have protein?

Is there protein in mashed potatoes? actually Yes! 100 grams of mashed potatoes contain 1.7g of protein. For some context, the same amount of lentils has 9 grams of protein! Feeding picky kids can be a challenge, but mashed potatoes are likely to be something many kids, especially toddlers, and babies enjoy. The good news is that we can use that to our advantage! With a few simple modifications, you can offer your children a delicious and nutritious high protein mashed potato dish without changing the creamy texture. Want to know how? Read on for this clever mama trick to make sure your children get the protein they need during their picky eating phase! (pssst… its red lentils!).

How can I make a high-protein mashed potato recipe?

Need a high-protein meal to fuel your family? Look no further! This simple but delicious combination of red lentils and potatoes is the perfect answer. It’s easy to make and full of protein – a win-win! The recipe was actually a happy accident. We set out to create a Shepherd’s Pie recipe but ended up overcooking the lentils. We decided to use them anyways and add them to the potatoes I was already cooking. To our surprise, it was a huge hit! Even our picky eaters loved it, I mean it’s mashed potatoes right? After becoming a family go-to recipe I wanted to share this with all of you so you can rest easy knowing your family is getting a hearty and healthy meal.

The Shepard’s pie recipe did end up working out and it is awesome. Check out the recipe here High protein vegan Shepherd’s pie.

If you are looking for more kid-friendly recipes or are curious about what my kids eat in a day check out this post: What my toddler eats in a day We also make a killer bean chili recipe that is perfect as a meal prep recipe, Easy meal prep lentil stew.

yellow potatoes being peeled on a wooden cutting board
steam rising from cooked yukon gold

What kind of potatoes are best for that creamy texture?

When it comes to making creamy mashed potatoes, the type of potato you use can make a big difference in the final texture and flavor of the dish. Ultimately, the type you choose should depend on your preference and the desired texture you are after. Here are some varieties that are commonly used:

  1. Russet potatoes: Russet are a popular choice because they are high in starch and have a fluffy, light texture when cooked. They also absorb butter and water well, resulting in a rich and creamy mash.
  2. Yukon Gold potatoes: Naturally buttery in flavor, this is another great choice. They have a slightly lower starch content than Russets and a creamy texture, so the resulting mash will be slightly denser.
  3. Red potatoes: Red potatoes are lower in starch and have a firmer texture than Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes. While they may not yield the fluffiest mashed potatoes, they are a good choice for those who prefer a chunkier, more rustic texture.
  4. Fingerling potatoes: Fingerling potatoes are small and thin, and they have a nutty, buttery flavor. They are less starchy than Russet or Yukon Gold, so they may not make the creamiest mash, but they are a great option for those who want a more unique flavor.

To make this high-protein recipe, we recommend you use Yukon gold. We choose this one because of its creamy texture and buttery flavor and felt it could offer the best balance to pair with the red lentils in this recipe.

How long should you boil potatoes for a creamy mash?

When it comes to making the best mash, timing is key. Boiling potatoes can take anywhere from 15-20 minutes, depending on their size and type. To avoid overcooking, check the potatoes periodically and remove them from the heat as soon as they are fork tender. Overcooking the potatoes can lead to a mushy texture, so it is important to keep an eye on them! There is a big difference between creamy and mushy! Once the potatoes are boiled, reserve a cup of potato water, then drain them right away. Check out the recipe below for the best technique to ensure your mash always ends up with the desired texture.

How do you keep this high-protein recipe from getting lumpy?

Potato mash is a classic and comforting side dish, especially for families! But they can easily turn lumpy if not prepared properly. To avoid lumps, start by using the right type of potatoes like Russet or Yukon Gold, which have a higher starch content that results in a creamier texture. Additionally, avoid overcooking the potatoes and instead cook them until they are just fork-tender. Use a potato masher or ricer to mash the potatoes and avoid using a food processor or blender, which can overwork the potatoes and make them gummy. Warm any milk or butter prior to adding them, or skip that altogether and add the hot potato water instead. Then make sure to only add the red lentils after they are fully cooked. By following these tips, you can enjoy a perfectly smooth and creamy mashed potato recipe every time.

Getting the right texture every time: Tips to follow

  • Using the right potato (Yellow or Russets)
  • Add salt to the water
  • Add potatoes in before boiling the water
  • Drain them well
  • Don’t over mash
  • Add the red lentil when they are still warm, preferably right after they finish cooking.
  • Do not add cold butter, milk, or water. Warm them up or add them in at room temperature.
  • Don’t make them mash too far in advance!

You can read a bit about common mistakes in this article written by Good Housekeeping.

Top down view of a bowl a high protein side dish
45 degree shot of a high protein side dish. A bowl of vegan mashed potato and red lentils siting by the window on a marble table

Increasing the protein with red lentils: How should they be cooked?

For parents looking to amp up their meals’ protein content, red lentils are the perfect way to go. To cook them the right way for this recipe, use the Instant Pot for 15 minutes on the same ratio of 1:3 cups of lentils and water to get them to the perfect texture. Alternatively, you can use the stovetop with the same ratio, checking often to ensure they don’t burn. It should take around 20-25 minutes, and you’ll know they’re ready when you can easily mash them together with a spoon. Then just add them to your mash – so delicious!

How do you make butter-free mashed potatoes?

Make a creamy, delicious mash without using butter! Normally, we add vegan butter to this recipe. However, we have made this recipe butter-free many times to accommodate my mother-in-law’s nut allergy.

To make it butter-free, add some of the potato water back into the recipe – just enough to get it to come together. About 1-2 cups or so. Start stirring, adding the water slowly, and you’ll see it become nice and creamy. To give it great flavor, add a pinch more salt and fresh herbs like oregano, thyme, or rosemary. Enjoy your butter-free mash!

Alright, NOW ON TO THE RECIPE! I hope you enjoyed this twist on a classic! As a mama to a few picky eaters I know how stressful it can be to make sure your kids are getting all the nutrients they need. So this is a fail-safe recipe for our family, and I hope it helps you as well.

Until next time, tchau

bowl of vegan mashed potato and red lentils siting by the window on a marble table

High protein creamy mashed potatoes

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Creamy vegan mashed potatoes. made with red lentils and Yukon gold for a high protein side dish. Super easy to make for a creamy heart recipe. There is also an oil and butter free option for these mashed potatoes in the notes section.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegan
Keyword: easy side dish recipe, gluten free vegan recipe, high protein side dish, mashed potatoes, vegan mashed potatoes, vegan recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 180kcal


  • 5 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • ¾ cups dry red lentils (1 ½ cups cooked)
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • reserve some of the potato cooking water


  • Wash, peel and dice your potatoes. Then fill a large pot with cold water. Add the potatoes in and a generous amount of salt. Place onto the stovetop and boil until potatoes are fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, add your dry lentils to a pot with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are soft and mushy. Keep an eye on the water level. You shoudl have no water by the end. If you do just drain it.
    Best results are with a instant pot. Cook on bean setting for 15 minutes.
  • Nest, drain your potatoes very well and add back to the pan. UsSe a ricer or potato masher to start mashing. Add in the cooked red lentils, salt, oregano and vegan butter and mash to mix. If the potatoes are to dry then add in more butter or some of the potato water.
    Mashed potatoes are best served right away. But they will last in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Butter FREE version: You can omit the butter from this recipe by replacing it with the potato water. The water the potato was cooked in has some starch and will help add some of the wetness to the mash without making it soggy.
When you cook your red lentils make sure to cook them a tad longer to get them to break down. Test with a spoon to make sure it mashes before adding it into the potatoes.
Potato ricer


Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 821mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 126IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 7mg
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Can I make mashed potatoes without oil or butter

Yes, you can. To make an oil and butter-free recipe reserve your cooking water. Then slowly add in the potato cooking water into your mashed potatoes and stir. Just add enough to make them creamy without making them soggy (about 1/4 cup for 3 cups of potatoes). You will also want to add in more spices and salt.

What can you use instead of milk to make mashed potatoes

To make a diary free mashed potato recipe you use oat or almond milk. Alternatively you can reserve some of the potato cooking water and use that instead.

What is the best potato for mashed potatoes

The best potatoes to use for mashed potatoes are Yukon gold or white.

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  1. Pingback: Easy Shepherds Pie, Vegan Recipe - AtMyTable

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