9 Substitute for Milk in Instant Mashed Potatoes

Instant mashed potatoes make an easy side dish in most families. With tons of options to choose from in regards to flavors, they are sure to satisfy most everyone. Instant mashed potatoes don’t require a lot of effort, but they require some kind of liquid to bring the fluffiness out.

In most cases, the box or bag you purchased your mashed potatoes in has a recipe calling for milk. Whether you are out of milk or have a loved one with a milk allergy, there are alternative ways to enjoy our mashed potatoes using a different mixer.

You can make great instant mashed potatoes using a few milk alternatives. These include creams, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, and just butter. There are also dairy-free substitutes like almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and broths.

1. Cream

You can use just about any cream normally used for cooking to make instant mashed potatoes. Half and half, light cream, heavy cream – really any of the above. 

There are two factors to consider when using cream. You are going to need a lot less cream than you will milk because cream is thicker and fattier than most milk. Add cream slowly and stir constantly to ensure you get the right consistency.

Secondly, the more fat you have in your cream, the stronger the flavor will become. If you are looking for more flavor, add more cream. If you want creamier potatoes, but not much as flavor, use a cream with less flavor.

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2. Buttermilk

Buttermilk will bring a unique flavor to your mashed potatoes. Let’s call it ‘sharp’. You can use about the same amount of buttermilk as your recipe calls for of regular milk.  Some recipes for instant mashed potatoes use buttermilk only or use milk and buttermilk to balance out the flavor.

Buttermilk has a natural creaminess that will make your mashed potatoes nice and moist. Buttermilk represents a nice change of pace in terms of texture and we think you’ll like it.

3. Sour Cream

Along with regular creams, you are going to have to ignore the box instructions a bit here to make sour cream work. Sour cream is tangy and can be thick. Use a half cup of sour cream for every cup of milk your instant mashed potatoes recipe calls for.

We do have to add that sour cream comes with flavoring. Trying a southwestern sour cream or something with chives might make for a real interesting twist on an ingredient better known for tacos.

You may have also thought about cream cheese, which didn’t make this list because it’s more of a spread.

4. Greek Yogurt

Want low calorie, fluffy, and light mashed potatoes? Greek yogurt is the best way. Use half the yogurt compared to the whole cup of milk your recipe calls for.

We suggest using unflavored greek yogurt. Greek yogurt sometimes comes in fruit flavors and that just doesn’t go well with mashed potatoes!

5. Melted Butter

Will this taste delicious? Yes, it will. You’ll need a whole cup of melted better.

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In case you wanted to know, the best way to melt butter is to put a half a stick or a whole tick in a microwave safe container. Put the top in to above spatter. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time until melted.

6. Almond Milk

Almond milk can be added to your mashed potatoes in the same amount as milk.

Given this is the milk of nuts that were ground to create the liquid, your potatoes will taste a bit nuttier than you are used to, but that sounds good.

7. Soy Milk

Use as much soy milk as your recipe calls for milk. Soy is a bit of a stronger flavor and might require a little extra butter to make your mashed potatoes really pop. 

8. Coconut Milk

Coconut milk’s flavoring is a bit intense for mashed potatoes. We suggest using a bit less of it while getting the right texture you want. You can also add some herbs or something neutral to balance out the flavor.

Add slowly and mix in.

9. Broths

Chicken and beef broth are certainly options. Chicken broth is less fatty and can add a great twist to your potatoes. Beef broth should be the salted kind to add something besides light beef flavoring.

Consider adding flavoring of some sort with chicken if you like more flavorful mashed potatoes.


As you can see, there are many options for making the best possible instant mashed potatoes. Whether you are replacing milk because of an allergy, used all the milk, or just want to change it up a little – it’s a good start. We hope our list made the world of mashed potatoes a bit more exciting and offered you the chance to try something new.