Smashed potatoes with vegan mushroom gravy — yum! And so much easier to make than traditional mashed potatoes. It’s a comfort classic to warm up with, and a good plant-based holiday side dish.
Making mashed potatoes is kind of a project, at least for me — all that peeling and dicing, plus the cooking time, and then the scrupulous mashing. Because most people like their mashed potatoes nice and smooth, not lumpy.
No wonder most of us save mashed potatoes and gravy for holidays or special occasions. But that’s not the case with smashed potatoes with vegan mushroom gravy.
This is an easy recipe that you can make any day of the week, even (or especially) when you’re feeling lazy and want something comforting in a flash. It has just 5 ingredients, no added fat, and is just fine left lumpy! And yet, it’s special enough to serve as a side dish on a winter holiday menu.
Smash the potatoes well with a large fork or masher, but let them stay lumpy!
Microwave or bake, as you prefer: Though I like to use russet potatoes for this dish, you can use any potatoes you have on hand (even sweet potatoes), as long as you microwave or bake them long enough to smash easily. The gravy yield is enough to cover 8 halves of large russet potatoes, so adjust accordingly.
Following the recipe you’ll find a few tips for baking potatoes properly in the oven — which can take up to an hour, but results in better flavor. Most of us don’t have the time, or we’ve forgotten to plan ahead, which is one of the reasons why the microwave was invented.
Baked Potatoes, the Classic Way
For those of us who lead hectic lives (and who doesn’t these days?), the microwave is a boon for baking potatoes and sweet potatoes. They cook in a fraction of the time it takes in the oven.
But if you find yourself home on a cold or drizzly day, consider baking a few white or sweet potatoes the old-fashioned way. Their flavor deepens and they bake much more evenly in the oven than they do in the microwave.
Preheat the oven to 400º F. Scrub the potatoes well, whether you plan to eat the skins or not (after all, they’ll be sitting on your plate) with a vegetable brush. Cut off any eyes that have begun to sprout.
Conventional wisdom says to poke a few times with a fork to allow steam to escape, but to be honest, I never do this. Line a baking dish with foil. Arrange the potatoes in it and cover snugly with more foil. Or, you can wrap the potatoes in foil individually.
Bake until a knife pierces through easily, 45 minutes to an hour, depending on size and variety of potato. That’s it; enjoy! Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com
- 4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed well
- 8 to 10 ounces cremini or white mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Finely minced parsley or chives, or a few sprigs of thyme or oregano
- To cook the potatoes in the microwave: Line your microwave tray with a couple of layers of paper towel and arrange the whole potatoes on it. Start with 8 minutes on High. If the potatoes aren't easily pierced with a knife, cook for an additional minute per potato at a time, until all of the potatoes are tender. To bake the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400º F. Line a baking dish with foil. Arrange the potatoes in it and cover snugly with more foil. Or, you can wrap the potatoes in foil individually. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife. (see more detail following the recipe box).
- To make the gravy: When the potatoes are nearly done using either method, start the gravy. Combine the mushrooms with about 1/4 cup of the broth in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until wilted down, about 5 minutes.
- Dissolve the flour in enough of the broth to make it smooth and flowing. Slowly whisk it into the saucepan, followed by the remaining broth and nutritional yeast.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook briefly until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cut each fully baked or microwaved potato in half lengthwise. Gently smash the open surface of the potatoes with a large fork or potato masher. Don’t be afraid to smoosh them well, even if you break the skin, to make a lot of crannies for the gravy.
- Distribute two potato halves per serving, then pour the gravy over the smashed potatoes and serve at once. Sprinkle optional fresh herbs over individual servings if you’d like.
As mentioned in the headnote, you can use whatever potatoes you have on hand.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 503Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 248mgCarbohydrates: 103gFiber: 22gSugar: 17gProtein: 25g
Nutrition data is always an estimate depending on program used to calculate and exact products used. This is given for informational purposes only and accuracy cannot be guaranteed.
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