What are the Healthier and Paleo-Friendly Mashed Potato Alternatives?

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13 Healthier, Paleo Alternatives to Mashed Potatoes

Skip the russets this year and mash up turnips, plantains and sweet potatoes instead with these 13 ideas for mashed potato alternatives.

Everyone loves a heaping mound of buttery mashed potatoes at the holiday table. Unfortunately, since white potatoes belong to the nightshade family, nightshades can be a constant source of irritation to your body – especially if you suffer from autoimmune disease.

Luckily for us, potatoes are only one of many root vegetables, and not even the tastiest! From cauliflower to sweet potatoes, there’s plenty of nourishing veggies for you to boil up and get to mashing.

Even if your guests are not following a Paleo diet, these creamy dishes will satisfy their taste buds and bring hearty goodness to any feast.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Maple Ghee and Pecans

Recipe by Jennafer Ashley

Maple syrup, cinnamon and pecans elevate these buttery mashed sweet potatoes to the next level.


  • Stocked pot
  • Colander
  • Mixing bowl
  • Potato masher
  • Casserole dish


  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, chopped into large chunks
  • 3 T ghee
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped and divided


  • Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Boil the sweet potatoes over medium heat until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Drain the sweet potatoes and add to a large mixing bowl. Mash using a potato masher or fork.
  • Stir in the ghee, maple syrup, cinnamon and half of the pecans.
  • Pour into a large casserole dish and top with the remaining pecans. Bake for 10 minutes, and serve hot!

Roasted Garlic Mashed Turnips


  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 lbs turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and crushed black pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Peel off outer layers of your head of garlic and slice the entire head in half lengthwise.

3. Place the garlic halves cut side up on top of a sheet of aluminum foil. Pour 1 tbsp olive oil across the cloves and completely wrap the foil around the garlic. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes––or until fragrant.

4. While the garlic is roasting, place quartered turnips into a pot and cover with water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Let turnips boil until fork tender, about 25 minutes.

5. Remove turnips from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to a food processor or blender. Add the roasted garlic and process until smooth. With the mash blending, pour in olive oil and season with salt and crushed black pepper to taste.

6. Serve hot and enjoy!

Garlic Mashed Parsnips


  • 2 pounds Parsnips peeled and chunked
  • 8 ounces Sharp White Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • Chives for garnish optional


  1. Start by peeling, washing and cutting parsnips into 1″ chunks
  • Add parsnips to large pot of cold salted water and bring to a boil. 
  • While parsnips are cooking, in a small saucepan, gently heat the cream, butter and garlic powder over low heat. 
  • Boil parsnips for 15-20 minutes or until parsnips are fork tender. Drain and return parsnips to pot
  • Add in cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, butter/cream/garlic mixture and salt and using a potato masher, mash parsnips to personal preference.  You may also use an electric hand mixer for a smoother, creamier texture
  • Garnish with chives (optional) and serve immediately
  • Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days

Bacon Thyme Mashed Cauliflower


  • 2 lbs cauliflower florets
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or grass-fed butter
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and steam cauliflower florets and garlic cloves until tender.
  • Meanwhile, cook 6 slices of bacon to desired crispness.
  • Once cooked, remove bacon and pulse in a food processor or blender until small bits are created.
  • Once cauliflower is cooked through add to a blender along with ghee or butter and process until smooth.

Loaded Holiday Parsnip Mash


  • 2.5 lb parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 3–4 pieces of bacon, cooked and diced
  • 1/4 cup green onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (or ghee) + 1 tbsp
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme


1. Add the parsnips to a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for 20-25 minutes until parsnips are soft and tender.

2. Remove the parsnips from the heat, strain the water and allow them to cool.

3. In a medium pan, melt 1 tbsp of the cooking fat and add the diced onion and a pinch of salt. Stir until onions are soft and cooked. Remove from heat and set aside in a small serving bowl.

4. Once the parsnips are cooled, add them to a high speed blender or food processor along with the cooking fat, salt, garlic, and thyme. Blend until combined.

5. Serve the parsnip mash in a large serving both with onions, green onion, and diced bacon on the side for toppings. Salt to taste!

Mashed Rutabaga


  • 4 lbs rutabaga, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • coarse ground sea salt, to taste
  • fresh parsley (optional)


  1. Roughly chop the peeled rutabaga into large chunks.
  • Transfer rutabaga to a 5-quart pot and fill with water until vegetables are covered.
  • Cover pot with a lid and place the pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until a sharp knife can easily slide through the rutabaga (~1-2 hours)
  • Drain all but 1/2-1 cup of cooking liquid in the sink and return pot to the stovetop.
  • Add butter and season with sea salt.
  • Using an immersion blender, or a potato masher by hand, mash the rutabaga until smooth. Taste to test for additional salt and serve with an optional garnish of minced fresh parsley.

Mashed Garlic Cauliflower


  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh chives, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb, then cut off the very top of the head of garlic to expose the individual garlic cloves. Place in aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil, then seal the foil around the garlic. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cloves are soft. Allow garlic to cool, then squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the skin.
  • Meanwhile, place a couple inches of water in a large pot. Once water is boiling, place steamer insert and then cauliflower florets into the pot and cover. Steam for 12-14 minutes, until completely tender. Drain and return cauliflower to pot.
  • Add roasted garlic, milk, ghee, and salt to the cauliflower. Using an immersion blender or food processor, combine ingredients until smooth. Top with chives and freshly ground pepper.

Cinnamon Honey Mashed Carrots


  • 1-1.5 lbs Carrots (chopped)
  • ½ 1 tsp SeaSalt or Himalayan Pink Salt
  • ¼ tsp Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • 2-3 tsp Raw Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Grass-fed butter (can also use Coconut Oil)
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice


  1. Steam carrots until extra soft.
  • Mash with a fork or potato masher. Once mashed, I also like to use a handheld immersion blender to get the texture extra smooth.
  • Add in all remaining ingredients and mix well.

Carrots and Rutabaga Mash


  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped;
  • 1 lb. rutabaga, peeled and chopped;
  • 4 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced;
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;


  1. Place the carrots and rutabaga in a large saucepan and cover with water.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer; then cover and let simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are really soft.
  • Drain the water.
  • Mash the carrots and rutabaga with a potato masher; add the ghee and season to taste.
  • Serve and sprinkle with fresh parsley on top.

Pesto Cauliflower Mash


  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 4 cups packed basil
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp ghee (optional)
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper


  1. Place a couple inches of water in a pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, place a steamer insert into the pan and add the cauliflower florets. Cover the pan and allow it to steam until the cauliflower is soft and easily pierced with a fork.
  • Drain the water out of the pot and add the cauliflower. Turn the stove back on to medium heat and allow any extra water to evaporate out of the pot. This is the key to a fluffy mash! Add the basil, garlic, ghee (if using) salt and pepper to the pot, and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste. *Another option is to place the cauliflower in your food processor/blender and process/blend until smooth.

Mashed Butternut Squash


  • 1/2 roasted butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • bone broth to cover (use vegetable broth for vegan)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Begin by roasting the butternut squash in a 375° oven for 45-70 minutes or until the squash is tender and you can poke a fork through the flesh. *Tip: Most recipes suggest cutting the squash in half and scooping out the seeds and membrane then brushing it with olive oil and placing it in the oven to roast it. To save time, I just put the whole squash in the oven for the same amount of time, then feel when the squash is soft when you squeeze it with an oven mitt to know when it’s done. Once it’s done, let it cool, then slice in half and scoop out the seeds and membrane. Either way will work for this recipe.
  • Once the butternut squash has finished roasting, cut up half of the squash and put it in a small pot. Pour broth into the pot until it almost reaches the top of the butternut squash. Add chopped garlic. Turn heat to high until it almost starts to boil, then turn heat to medium-low.
  • Once the squash is mushy enough to be able to puree, turn off the heat. Use a potato masher or a hand blender to puree. Once it is smooth, add the coconut oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mix with a spoon until the coconut oil is melted. Then mix again with the hand blender until smooth.

Mashed Plantains


  • 4 plantains, (more brown than yellow)
  • water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Cut the ends off the plantains then cut a shallow slice down the entire length of the outside of each plantain. Remove the peel and discard.
  • Quarter each plantain and transfer to a 3 quart cast-iron pan. Fill with water and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and let simmer until plantains are soft (~15-20 minutes).
  • Drain water (be careful of the steam).
  • Mash plantains using a potato masher or the back of a large spoon or fork.
  • Season with cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger. Stir to combine and serve as a side or the main course for your paleo breakfast.

Mashed Malanga, Taro, or Yuca

Recipe by Amanda Torres @ The Curious Coconut


  • 1 lb malanga, taro, or yuca, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 – 1 cup beef or chicken bone broth OR about 1/4 to 1/2 cup broth and 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • (optional, but recommended if not using coconut milk) 2 – 4 Tbsp fat of choice (olive oil, lard, ghee, butter, palm shortening)
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Begin by rinsing your root well under running water. Then, use a kitchen peeler to peel taro or malanga. Use a sharp knife to peel yuca. In all 3, look for any soft or discolored parts and cut those out.
  • Chop into chunks about 2″ long and add to a pot filled with filtered water.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Cook for about 25 minutes or until very tender and easily pierced with a fork.
  • If using yuca, remove the stringy, tough, fibrous center from each piece.
  • Strain in a colander, then add to a large bowl.
  • Mash with a potato masher. Add bone broth, coconut milk, and/or oil to desired consistency (may require more or less than what is suggested here – please just keep adding and mashing until the consistency looks good to you).
  • If you like, use a hand mixer to whip your mashed starch.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!
  1. You may also use any of these mashed starches as a topping for shepherd’s pie.

Watch this video – Healthier and Paleo-Friendly Mashed Potato Alternatives

Written by Cristiana Wilcoxon

Author Bio:

Cristiana Wilcoxon is a reformed vegetarian obsessed with delicious and nutritious food. She believes firmly that every dish is best served with bacon.

Kelsey Alea, is a certified nutritional therapist at PaleoHacks. She is the author of the Keto Slow Cooker Cookbook. The cookbook features 80 mouth-watering Keto slow cooker recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. It is a perfect cookbook for those who want to indulge, save time in the kitchen, and stay in ketosis.

A lot of people have gotten results from the Keto diet, and enjoyed the foods that it has to offer. However, many of the people who are following this diet have a hard time finding the recipes that they need, especially ones that are quick and easy to complete.

Fortunately, Kelsey Ale, noticed this problem, and decided to do something about it. She’s found that making recipes in a slow cooker gives you meals which are not only delicious, but also take very little time to make. Mostly you just put a few simple ingredients in the slow cooker, and let it do the rest.

To find out more, click on – Keto Slow Cooker Cookbook

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