ran out of butter for mashed potatoes

Butter gives any dish a special creamy texture, but what would you use if you ran out of butter for mashed potatoes?

On a cold winter day, nothing beats a warm bowl of creamy mash to fill you up and warm your soul.

Truly, a heaping serving of hot, buttery mashed potatoes is the perfect side dish for any meal.

But, if you enjoy it quite often, you may seriously want to think of substituting butter.

What can I use instead of butter in mashed potatoes? It is kind of confusing, right?

The truth is that whether you simply want to switch to a healthier substitute for butter or just realize you do not have any while whipping up a batch, there are options to consider.

You can always use buttermilk, mayonnaise, or Greek yogurt, among many others, as a substitute for mashed potatoes. 

The Romantic Relationship of Mashed Potatoes and Butter

the relationship of mashed potato and butter

While it may seem like butter and mashed potatoes are inseparable, it is not the case.

In fact, it is a good idea to look for other healthier alternatives when making your next batch of fluffy and creamy mashed potatoes. 

The Popularity of Butter in Mashed Potatoes

No doubt, using butter is among the secrets to creating perfectly creamy mashed potatoes.

The addition of butter improves the texture of mashed potatoes and also enhances their flavor.

It works amazingly well to change mashed potatoes from grainy to silky and luscious.

But, the truth is that butter is not the only option here. Some people even go with milk.

When combined with butter, milk helps transform starchy mashed potatoes into a fluffy, creamy mash. 

Enjoying the Buttery Taste of Mashed Potatoes

enjoy buttery taste of mashed potato

Imagine melted butter trickling over a plate of steaming vegetables or a slab of steak topped with garlic butter.

Really, you can always add a pat of butter to almost any dish, and it will be that much more delicious. Why is that?

Butter comes with a high-fat content since it is made by churning whole milk or cream.

It melts easily and has a subtle sweetness that complements other flavors.

What’s more, melted butter can coat the starch particles, which also contributes to the silky feel.

To illustrate, consider the luscious, silky consistency of many sauces that start with a roux made of flour and melted butter. 

Substituting Butter in Mashed Potatoes

substituting the butter

Experts believe that eating foods high in saturated fat, such as those containing 7.3g, can increase your “bad” cholesterol and risk of cardiovascular disease.

It has been determined by the United States Department of Agriculture that a tbsp of butter comprises 11.5g of fat and 102 calories. 

Moreover, if you consume 2,000 calories per day, your saturated fat intake should not exceed 10% of those calories.

In other words, you should limit your intake of saturated fat to 22g a day – even lower if you already have cardiovascular disease.

But, if you consume a serving of mashed potatoes and add a single tbsp of butter to it, you instantly get one-third of your daily limit of saturated fat.

It is because of all these reasons that many people look for a substitute for butter in most recipes.

But in case you are struggling with what to use instead of butter in mashed potatoes, we are here to help.

Tip: A little amount of smooth applesauce can help add the same texture and taste you usually get by adding butter to your mashed potatoes. 

Ran Out of Butter for Mashed Potatoes? Here is What to Try!

ran out of butter

Some may argue that butter is essential to the flavor of mashed potatoes.

It is important to note that there are alternate options that can serve you well when you run out of butter. 

Olive Oil

Extracted from olives, olive oil can be used to simulate the silky texture of buttery mashed potatoes.

Not only does it have a smooth texture, but it also tastes great and earthy with a hint of spice.

In many traditional Mediterranean dishes, olive oil plays an important role.

For using a stovetop to prepare a meal, olive oil is a great substitute for butter. It is especially true when sautéing veggies and meat.

Since it is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, try using olive oil instead of using butter or another unhealthy animal fat.

Those with dietary restrictions, such as a vegan diet or one that avoids dairy, can benefit from this option.

Tip: When substituting olive oil for butter, it is recommended to use a slightly smaller amount of olive oil. 

Coconut Oil

use coconut oil

The usage of coconut oil in the kitchen has increased dramatically in recent years, thanks to its amazing versatility.

This multipurpose oil is great for both your body and your kitchen.

Because of its high content of healthy medium-chain fatty acids, this oil may be used in many ways and is a healthy dairy-free substitute for butter.

Olive oil may be solid at room temperature but melts readily, making it perfect for use in both sautéing and baking.

When melted, coconut oil gives food the same silky smoothness and creamy richness as butter. 

How to Use It in Mashed Potatoes

To make the oil work in place of butter, just melt it and mix it in after you have cooked your potatoes.

The resulting side dish will be airy and delicate, perfect for complementing any meal. 


use a mayonnaise

When you run out of butter and have nothing else to substitute, try mayonnaise.

Granted, it is not the healthiest option out there, but it is delicious nonetheless.

If you want to make mashed potatoes that are extra wet and creamy without using any milk or butter, mayonnaise is a great substitute.

Since mayonnaise lacks the sweetness of butter, the mashed potatoes will not taste quite the same.

Still, you can expect a luscious, creamy, and quite satisfying mash. 

How to Use It

When substituting for butter, you should add around half a cup of mayonnaise for every pound of potatoes.

Be sure to check the consistency while adding mayonnaise.  If the mixture looks too dry, you can always add a little milk. 


the buttermilk

Yet another reasonably good substitute of butter for mashed potatoes is buttermilk.

If you do not have any butter available, simply go with buttermilk and it will do the job.

When prepared with buttermilk, mashed potatoes become extraordinarily light and fluffy.

The flavor may feel slightly acidic and even lack some of the butter’s sweetness, but its texture is exquisite.

In fact, many people become fond of that taste and permanently replace butter with buttermilk. 

How to Use It?

When substituting butter, you need to add a cup of buttermilk if you use 2 lbs of potatoes in your recipe.

And you can always add a little more if you think the mash is a bit too thick for your taste.

Tip: When there is no buttermilk in stock and you want the same taste, simply add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of milk and use it instead. 

Greek Yogurt

the greek yogurt

Because of its high protein content, Greek yogurt can be used in place of butter in a variety of baked goods.

If you want to give your mashed potatoes a velvety texture, try adding some Greek yogurt.

You are going to like it more if you have already been a fan of using a splash of heavy cream on your mashed potatoes.

In other words, you can do away with milk, butter, and even cream, and fill the gap with some unsweetened Greek yogurt. 

How to Use It?

Get ¼ cup of Greek yogurt and use it in a pound of mashed potatoes to make them taste outstanding.

And if you think the consistency is a bit on the thicker side, a dash of canola oil is all you need to tame it a little.

Tip: If you want to bake something and want it to be moist, be sure to stick with full-fat yogurt because non-fat yogurt leads to a drier finished product.


So, ran out of butter for mashed potatoes? You do not have to worry because there are enough substitutes to try in place of butter.

Remember that you need to use those substitutes correctly to avoid changing the texture of your mashed potatoes.

It may not turn out perfect on the first attempt, but you will definitely learn about the best substitute after some experimentation.