Surprisingly Healthy Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

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Easy, creamy, smooth, AND healthy? Yes, please!

Surprisingly Healthy Buttermilk Mashed potatoes that the entire family is sure to love!

There are certain dishes that must be a part of your holiday menu, with mashed potatoes obviously being one of them! Regular mashed potatoes are good, but you need a recipe that’s great! With that, you’ll definitely want to add our creamy and smooth buttermilk mashed potatoes to the menu. This delightful side dish is incredibly pleasing to the taste buds and is healthier than classic mashed potato recipes.

Our Super Simple Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Buttermilk Mashed postatoes that won't break the calorie bank!

Sometimes, less really is more. You don’t need a ton of ingredients to make a tasty dish, and our buttermilk mashed potatoes will prove it!

We recommend using russet, or Idaho potatoes, to make this recipe. These have a higher starch content than other potatoes, which leads to fluffier and smoother mashed potatoes. Plus, russet potatoes are also more absorbent, so when boiled with the garlic, bay leaf, and salt, they soak up all that yummy flavor!

This recipe uses a very small amount of butter that you’ll add just before you mash the potatoes. Then, heat some buttermilk and add it into your mashed potatoes until the desired, creamy consistency has been reached!

The Benefits of Buttermilk

The perfect side dish for your holiday dinner!

There are several reasons why we’ve chosen to use buttermilk in this recipe. Mashed potatoes are usually made with heavy cream or sour cream. These two ingredients might taste delicious, but they’re not the best options when trying to make a healthy side dish.

Buttermilk, on the other hand, is lower in fat and calories. In addition to being healthier, it also has a delightfully tangy flavor and creamy texture. This means you’ll still get that classic mashed potato taste without the unnecessary calories!

You can use powdered buttermilk in place of regular buttermilk too. Not only is it lower in fat than regular buttermilk, but it also has a much longer shelf life.

An Incredibly Delicious Side Dish for Any Time of the Year

Love fried chicken? You won't know the difference with this healthier version.

If you’re throwing a holiday party at your house, we strongly recommend making this vegetarian, gluten-free, and kid-friendly recipe for your guests. This dish is also great if you’re attending a party somewhere else: Volunteer to bring the mashed potatoes! No matter where you serve them, they will likely be the star of the show. 

While these mashed potatoes are perfect for celebrating the holidays, this recipe will make a great dinner time staple all year round. In addition to turkey and ham, it will also pair wonderfully with these main courses:

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Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

These mashed potatoes turn out creamy and delicious. No one will realize they're a healthier version!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 6 people
Serving Size 0.66 cups (approximately)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American


  • 2 pounds russet or Idaho potatoes about 4 to 6 large
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk low-fat
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste


  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch chunks.
  • Place the potatoes, garlic, and bay leaf in a large sauce pot. Add water to cover the potatoes by two inches. Season the water with salt, to taste.
  • Bring the water to a boil before reducing the heat to simmer. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
  • Meanwhile, heat the buttermilk over medium-low heat until it’s warmed through. Do not boil, or the buttermilk can curdle.
  • Drain the potatoes in a colander and return them to the pot. Discard the bay leaf.
  • Add the butter to the pot and heat over low heat, shaking constantly, for 1 minute to dry the potatoes.
  • Mash the potatoes with a hand masher or an electric mixer,adding enough of the buttermilk to create a smooth puree. Be careful not to overmix, or the potatoes can become gummy.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 0.66cups (approximately) | Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 703mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 5
Keywords Gluten-Free, Holiday, Vegetarian

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What did you think of our creamy and smooth buttermilk mashed potatoes? Are you going to make them for your holiday dinner? If you do, be sure to let us know what you thought in the comment section!

If you enjoyed this healthy recipe, we think you’ll also want to try these tasty side dishes:

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Chef Lindsay

Lindsay D. Mattison is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer. After graduating from Cascade Culinary School, Lindsay worked as the executive chef of a farm-to-table restaurant in Bend, Oregon. She is passionate about using local, organic ingredients and loves teaching home cooks how to incorporate seasonal food into their diet. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to create beautiful meals for her family. She lives with her husband in Colorado, where she enjoys the trials and errors of gardening.

More by Lindsay D.


    1. Hi Melissa,

      Add cut up potatoes to the instant pot. Add enough water to cover the potatoes.
      Cover with the lid and set to seal. Cook on the pressure cooker setting for 8 minutes.
      Turn off your instant pot and quick release the pressure.
      Drain potatoes, add remaining ingredients and mash or whip until smooth. Enjoy!

  1. When using the powdered buttermilk do you reconstitute it first? Can you use the potato water they’re cooked in to reconstitute?

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