Deliciously Healthy Mashed Potatoes

So, like, what if I told you it was possible to have deliciously healthy mashed potatoes with your turkey dinner this Thanksgiving? You would probably doubt the likelihood that the traditionally rich and creamy side dish – that frankly takes centerstage on my plate each year – could be made healthy and still remain delicious. Well, I have a recipe here that proves otherwise.

Colcannon. Ever heard of it? Traditionally Scottish and/or Irish, these are no wimpy potatoes. Smashed (or pounded!) potatoes get fortified with sautéed cabbage and, stick with me here….kale. My favorite! But seriously, don’t wince. I am telling you, I vow to you in fact, that the addition of sautéed cabbage and kale amplifies the heartiness and the flavor in your classic mashers and takes them over the top. So good!

Deliciously Healthy Mashed Potatoes

Sometimes the trick to eating well, isn’t what you take away, but what you add! In order to honor mashed potatoes, which really is my favorite dish at Thanksgiving (who needs turkey!?), I keep the potatoes, then with just a few additions I can ensure at least one dish at the table this year is seriously nutritious. Yes, that’s a good thing!

Besides the kale and cabbage (ie. Brussels sprouts – the worlds most adorable little cabbage heads) I’m adding cauliflower – one of my absolutely favorite Super Foods. No one will even notice. I simmer the potatoes directly in milk (see! Yummy!) because water just, well, waters everything down. By setting the cauliflower and some garlic cloves on top of the potatoes, they get steamed while the potatoes simmer. Easy!

Deliciously Healthy Mashed Potatoes

While the potatoes do their thing, I prep the kale and Brussels sprouts. Seriously, aren’t they just the cutest little things?  Mini food is adorable!

Deliciously Healthy Mashed Potatoes

All that happens here is a quick sauté in olive oil with salt and pepper, and then I finish them with a dollop of butter. (More yum!) Remember, the key is that I am adding nutritional items, not canceling out everything that makes mashed potatoes so delicious.

Deliciously Healthy Mashed Potatoes

Once the potatoes simmer for about 15-20 minutes, they can practically be mashed with the back of a fork. I finish the job with a my trusty handheld blender, though. Then, I fold in the sautéed greens and check the final seasoning. Feel free to add another pat of butter if you like, and a dash more salt and pepper if necessary.

Deliciously Healthy Mashed Potatoes

So, what do you think? Sound pretty good? I am telling you, these will be bangin’ with some gravy over the top. And you won’t feel guilty for even a moment if you go back for seconds. In fact, with all that healthy goodness, maybe you should have seconds!


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Deliciously Healthy Mashed Potatoes

Deliciously Healthy Mashed Potatoes

  • Author: Emily Wilson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Vegetables


Deliciously healthy mashed potatoes are possible with this Colcannon-style recipe, complete with cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts. All that’s missing is the gravy!


  • 2 pounds baking potatoes
  • 2 cups cauliflower, trimmed small
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 cup whole milk or 2% milk (heavy cream is good too!)
  • 4 cups kale, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, outer leaves and bottoms discarded, bulbs sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper


  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into a 1/2 inch dice. Place in a large saucepan.
  2. Trim cauliflower into small pieces and set on top of the potatoes. Add peeled and smashed garlic cloves and 1 cup of milk. Set over medium-low heat and cover. Bring to a gentle simmer. Lower heat as necessary to keep milk from scalding, and every so often remove lid and stir to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. Cook for 15-20 minutes until potatoes and cauliflower are very tender. Should easily smash with the back of a fork.
    • Note: I start with 1 cup of milk because I don’t want too much liquid in the final product. We can always add more when we mash. However, you don’t want your pot to boil dry, which is why keeping the lid on is helpful. If need be, add a little more liquid as it cooks.
  3. While potatoes cook, prep kale and Brussels sprouts. For the kale, simply remove the stems, then pile the leaves on top of each other and cut thinly crosswise into ribbons. For the sprouts, remove the outer leaves and cut off the root end. Then, cut the remaining bulb in half, lay flat and slice crosswise very thinly.
  4. Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add kale, season with salt and pepper, and sautee for 3-5 minutes until slightly tender and very bright green. Add brussels sprouts and cook another 2-3 minutes, then toss in a pat of butter and let melt. I like the greens to still have crunch, but not taste raw. Remove from heat.
  5. Once potatoes are super soft, use a potato masher or a handheld blender to puree them until nearly smooth. When they reach your desired smoothness, fold in the greens. Add another pat of butter if you want, and finish with salt and pepper to taste. Scoop and serve warm!

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