Mashed Potato Substitutes: 15 Healthy Alternatives


Potatoes can be baked, roasted, boiled, mashed or used in a stew. They’re versatile but for various reasons some people may want to substitute them for something else. Therefore, what are mashed potato substitutes?

Here are healthy substitutes to mashed potatoes:

  1. Mashed sweet potatoes
  2. Mashed cauliflower
  3. Mashed broccoli
  4. Mashed carrots
  5. Mashed butternut squash
  6. Mashed turnips
  7. Mashed parsnips
  8. Mashed rutabaga
  9. Mashed acorn squash
  10. Mashed brussels sprouts
  11. Mashed pumpkin
  12. Mashed yams
  13. Mashed taro
  14. Mashed ube
  15. Masked kabocha

What’s even better than these alternatives by themselves is they will add a huge dose of color, flavor and nutrition to your dinner plate. 

Mashed Potato Substitutes

1. Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an absolute favorite of mine. I (almost) never get tired of them. Now, sweet potato mash? That stuff is an absolute explosion of flavor and happiness.

But how do they compare to your regular white mashed potatoes? Let’s take a look.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Sweet Potato, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 86
Protein 1.68 g 1.57 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 20.1 g
Fiber 2.4 g 3 g
Fat 0.10 g 0.05 g
Sugar 1.15 g 4.18 g

Nutrient Resources 1 2

Much of the nutrition information for these two foods is quite similar; however, one major difference is difficult to miss: the vitamin A content in sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes have a little more than 14,000 IUs (international units) of vitamin A per 100 grams (3.53 oz) or about 284% of the suggested daily intake. 

White potatoes, however, only have about 8 IUs per 100 grams or 0.1% of your suggested daily intake. So, if you’re looking for a good boost of vitamin A, then sweet potatoes are an excellent option. They’re also a good source of calcium.

It’s important to remember sweet potatoes are slightly higher in other areas, including:

  • Calories
  • Fiber
  • Sugar
  • Carbohydrates

The differences are minimal, though, and shouldn’t have a major impact unless you’re eating more sweet potatoes than you can fit in your belly.

2. Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed cauliflower is another favorite mashed potato substitute. Mashed cauliflowers are perfect when you want something simple and easy. Just put a bit of salt and pepper on top, and you’re golden.

Let’s take a look at their nutrients.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Cauliflower, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 25
Protein 1.68 g 1.92 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 4.9 g
Fiber 2.4 g 2 g
Fat 0.10 g 0.28 g
Sugar 1.15 g 1.91 g

Nutrient Resources 3

Cauliflower has a bit more than a third less calories per 100 grams than white potatoes. Therefore, if you’re looking for a low-calorie substitute, this is a really good option.

It’s also higher in:

  • Choline
  • Folate
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K

It’s also significantly lower in carbs for those looking for a low-carb or ketogenic substitute for mashed potatoes.

Overall, it doesn’t get much better than mashed cauliflower. Except, maybe, for sweet potato mash, but I suppose that’s a matter of personal preference. 

mashed cauliflower
Mashed Potato Substitutes – Mashed cauliflower

3. Mashed Broccoli

Some people have an issue with broccoli, and I know why. It’s because it’s oddly crunchy, bristly and doesn’t taste good to some. However, it’s similar to cauliflower in that a little bit of seasoning goes a long way.

Remember, you won’t need as much extra liquid with broccoli as with some other alternatives because it has relatively high water content.

Let’s take a look at their nutrients.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Broccoli, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 32
Protein 1.68 g 2.57 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 6.2 g
Fiber 2.4 g 2.4 g
Fat 0.10 g 0.34 g
Sugar 1.15 g 1.40 g

Nutrient Resources 4

Broccoli is another great option if you’re looking for a low-calorie alternative to mashed potatoes. For 100 grams of both, broccoli has less than half the calories. It also carries significantly more of the following: 

  • Folate
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium

Broccoli also boasts a bit more protein than white potatoes, so that’s a plus. I can say mashed broccoli is more than good enough to add to a meal. 

In addition and this has been proven by trial and error, kids like it more than raw broccoli. So, if you’re trying to get some nutrition in the kids and they hate eating broccoli, mash it, season it and you’re good to go.

mashed broccoli
Mashed Potato Substitutes – Mashed broccoli

4. Mashed Carrots

Mashed carrots, anyone? It doesn’t sound too good, does it? Believe it or not, they aren’t bad. Season it to your liking, and it’s a great way to mix up the dinner plate.

Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Carrots, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 45
Protein 1.68 g 0.94 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 10.3 g
Fiber 2.4 g 0.9 g
Fat 0.10 g 3.1 g
Sugar 1.15 g 4.7 g

Nutrient Resources 5

Carrots’ claim to fame is its extremely high vitamin A content. Carrots have more vitamin A than sweet potatoes and way more than white potatoes.

One hundred grams of carrots have 334% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A.

Why all this harping on vitamin A, you ask? It’s important to get vitamin A because, according to the National Institutes of Health, this vitamin helps with the following:

  • Your vision
  • Immune system
  • Reproductive capabilities

It even assists organs like your heart, lungs and kidneys 6.

Carrots have some other benefits too, like their low calorie and carb counts. Whichever way you look at it, mashed carrots will be a great addition to a good, healthy meal.

mashed carrots
Mashed Potato Substitutes – Mashed carrots

5. Butternut Squash

I think butternut squash is tasty, and it’s really nutritious. It has a similar sweetness to sweet potatoes, and also like sweet potatoes, it contains a high level of vitamin A.

Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Butternut squash, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 45
Protein 1.68 g 1.00 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 11.7 g
Fiber 2.4 g 2.0 g
Fat 0.10 g 0.10 g
Sugar 1.15 g 2.20 g

Nutrient Resources 7

Butternut squash is lower in calories, carbs and full of good things the body needs to function properly, and for those reasons, it gets a high score as a substitute. It contains more:

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Folate

I suppose I should mention how good it tastes as a mash with some seasonings on top.

mashed butternut squash
Mashed Potato Substitutes – Mashed butternut squash

6. Mashed Turnips

Every Thanksgiving my Mom used to make mashed turnips in addition to mashed potatoes. Turnips taste sweeter than the starchier mashed potatoes.

Turnips have the spiciness of radishes and the savory taste of cabbage. Some people find turnips tasting like a cross between carrots and potatoes. Therefore, they make a great substitute.

Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Turnips, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 28
Protein 1.68 g 0.90 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 6.4 g
Fiber 2.4 g 1.8 g
Fat 0.10 g 0.10 g
Sugar 1.15 g 3.80 g

Nutrient Resources 8

Turnips are a great option if you’re looking for a low-calorie alternative. For 100 grams, they have less than half the calories and carbohydrates. It also carries significantly more of the following: 

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C

Turnips will take slightly longer to cook than potatoes so cut them smaller for boiling.

mashed turnips
Mashed Potato Substitutes – Mashed Turnips

7. Mashed Parsnips

Like turnips, parsnips are sweeter than potatoes. Their sweetness is closer to a carrot. They also have a cream colored flesh making them appear closer than some of the other substitutes.

Parsnips are often roasted but they taste just as good when boiled and mashed. To make them creamier people often add milk. To add flavor try mixing in some apple, cinnamon or chili flakes. 

Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Parsnips, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 75
Protein 1.68 g 1.20 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 18.0 g
Fiber 2.4 g 4.9 g
Fat 0.10 g 0.30 g
Sugar 1.15 g 4.80 g

Nutrient Resources 9

Parsnips have a few more calories and carbohydrates than potatoes but the difference is not huge. They do have approximately double the amount of fiber.

They also have more of the following: 

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Zinc

8. Mashed Rutabaga

Many people aren’t aware of what a rutabaga is. They are a root vegetable and like a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. They are often mistaken for turnips because they look similar.

In addition to roasting and frying, rutabagas make a great mash. They are much sweeter and less starchier. They mix well with onion, garlic, olive oil and black pepper.

Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Rutabaga, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 37
Protein 1.68 g 1.08 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 8.62 g
Fiber 2.4 g 2.3 g
Fat 0.10 g 0.16 g
Sugar 1.15 g 4.46 g

Nutrient Resources 10

Rutabagas have considerable less calories and carbohydrates than mashed potatoes. They have slightly less protein and almost the same fiber.

Rutabagas have more of the following: 

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate

Rutabaga was one of 13 low carb potato substitutes in my article. Check out the other 12 here, Low Carb Potato Substitutes: The 13 Best Alternatives.

9. Mashed Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is sweeter than mashed potatoes but less than sweet potatoes. The texture is similar to sweet potatoes, and the taste is slightly nutty.

Just like with mashed potatoes, use less or no butter. Many recipes call for brown sugar which you can cut down or avoid to help keep things healthy.

Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Acorn squash, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 40
Protein 1.68 g 0.80 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 10.4 g
Fiber 2.4 g 1.5 g
Fat 0.10 g 0.10 g
Sugar 1.15 g 2.46 g

Nutrient Resources 11

Acorn squash has less calories and carbohydrates than mashed potatoes. They have half the protein and less fiber.

Acorn squash has more of the following: 

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A

Are you using potato flakes? Find out the best alternatives in my article, Potato Flakes Substitutes: The 17 Best Alternatives.

10. Mashed Brussels Sprouts

Just like broccoli and cauliflower, many people aren’t aware brussels sprouts can be mashed also. Many people do a smash version which is a nice alternative also.

Favorite additions include the following:

  • Garlic
  • Balsamic
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Lemon juice

Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Brussels sprouts, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 43
Protein 1.68 g 3.38 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 8.95 g
Fiber 2.4 g 3.8 g
Fat 0.10 g 0.30 g
Sugar 1.15 g 2.20 g

Nutrient Resources 12

Mashed brussels sprouts are one of the few substitutes which contain fewer calories and carbohydrates but more protein. In addition, it provides more fiber than mashed potatoes.

Brussels sprouts have more of the following: 

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Folate
mashed brussels sprouts
Mashed Potato Substitutes – Mashed Brussels sprouts

11. Mashed Pumpkin

Pumpkins are typically used for soups, pies or bread but taste great mashed also. Many people think it’s a vegetable but its actually a fruit.

Fun fact: The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds.

Mashed pumpkins will taste sweeter than mashed potatoes. They are more like sweet potatoes for taste and texture. For better results use small sugar pumpkins instead of the large ones.

When mashing be sure to remove all the skin because it has a bitter taste and unfavorable texture. Mashed pumpkin will be very creamy just like potatoes.

Favorite additions include the following:

  • Garlic
  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil

Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Pumpkin, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 26
Protein 1.68 g 1.00 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 6.5 g
Fiber 2.4 g 0.5 g
Fat 0.10 g 0.10 g
Sugar 1.15 g 2.76 g

Nutrient Resources 13

If you’re counting calories or carbs, pumpkin is a good choice because it contains about half the amount of each. Although it provides much less fiber and protein than mashed potatoes.

Pumpkins are 90% water but have more of the following: 

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A
  • Iron
  • Zinc

12. Mashed Yams

Yams often get confused with sweet potatoes but are more like yuka. True yams have a bark-like skin with hairs. The skin is dark and the flesh is light colored.

The flesh is dry, starchy and stringy before mashing. They taste slight nutty like a sweet potato but less sweet.

Some producers label their sweet potatoes as yams. It was a tradition started over 100 years ago to distinguish sweet potatoes from regular potatoes. The USDA requires the label sweet potato to be accompanied by any labeling of sweet potatoes as yams.

Therefore, you’ll sometimes find the words yams and sweet potatoes on the same label.

True yams are difficult to find in your typical supermarket. You’ll have a better chance at a local grocery store specializing in products for foreign customers. They can also be found online.

In West Africa, people often mash yams and add them to soups.

Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Yams, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 118
Protein 1.68 g 1.53 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 27.9 g
Fiber 2.4 g 4.1 g
Fat 0.10 g 0.17 g
Sugar 1.15 g 0.50 g

Nutrient Resources 14

If you’re counting calories or carbs, yams aren’t the better substitute because it contains substantially more of each. Yams provide a similar amount of protein and more fiber.

Yams have more of the following: 

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Folate

Some substitutes are different for Yukon Gold potatoes. Find out how in my article, Yukon Gold Potatoes Substitute: The 13 Best Alternatives.

13. Mashed Taro

Taro is a starchy root vegetable with a rough, bark-like outer skin. The flesh is creamy white or purple.

Taro has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. It’s mashed the same as mashed potatoes. Taro has a pasty consistency. Some people call it a taro mash. In Hawaii, taro is used to make poi.

Favorite additions include the following:

  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Plant-based butter
  • Olive oil

Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Taro, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 112
Protein 1.68 g 1.50 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 26.5 g
Fiber 2.4 g 4.1 g
Fat 0.10 g 0.20 g
Sugar 1.15 g 0.40 g

Nutrient Resources 15

If you’re counting calories or carbs, taro isn’t the better substitute because it contains substantially more of each. Taro provides a similar amount of protein and more fiber.

Taro has more of the following: 

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A
  • Folate
  • Potassium

Find out the best russet potato substitutes in my article, Russet Potatoes Substitute: 13 Healthy Alternatives.

14. Mashed Ube

The flesh is creamy white, lavender or purple. The purple flesh gets darker when cooked.

In the Philippines, ube has been used to make deserts for years. They can be pureed, roasted, boiled and mashed just like mashed potatoes.

Ube is earthy like potatoes but is a little sweeter and nuttier. They often get confused with red yams or sweet potatoes. Many people call them purple yams.

Favorite additions include the following:

  • Salt
  • Coconut cream
  • Plant-based butter

Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Ube, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 120
Protein 1.68 g 1.00 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 27.0 g
Fiber 2.4 g 4.0 g
Fat 0.10 g 0 g
Sugar 1.15 g 0 g

Nutrient Resources 16

If you’re counting calories or carbs, ube contains more and may not be the better choice for you. Ube provides a little less protein and more fiber.

Ube has more of the following: 

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A

Many low carb substitutes for sweet potatoes are different due to flavor. Check those out in my article, Keto Substitute for Sweet Potatoes: 8 Healthy Substitutes.

mashed ube
Mashed Potato Substitutes – Mashed ube

15. Mashed Kabocha

Kabocha is a hard squash and is also known as Japanese Pumpkin. It has a slightly bumpy skin with light green or white stripes.

The flesh is a dark yellow. It tastes like carrot and sweet potato mixed together. It’s slightly sweet but not as sweet as a sweet potato.

Favorite additions include the following:

  • Salt
  • Coconut oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Nondairy milk
  • Honey

Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

  Potato, raw (100 g) Kabocha, raw (100 g)
Calories 69 35
Protein 1.68 g 1.18 g
Carbohydrates 15.7 g 8.2 g
Fiber 2.4 g 1.2 g
Fat 0.10 g 0 g
Sugar 1.15 g 0 g

Nutrient Resources 17

If you’re counting calories or carbs, kabocha contains less and is a good mashed potato substitute. Kabocha provides a little less protein and half the fiber.

Kabocha has more of the following: 

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C

Kabocha is a good source of potassium and contains a few more milligrams than potatoes.

With this and the other possible alternatives, you’re going to have quite the developed home menu. Consider rotating them all through, so you receive all the nutritional benefits each of these foods has to offer. 

Additional Resources 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

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Article Resources: Foods For Anti-Aging follows strict guidelines to ensure our content is the highest journalistic standard. It's our mission to provide the reader with accurate, honest and unbiased guidance. Our content relies on medical associations, research institutions, government agencies and study resources. Learn more by reading our editorial policy.
  1. USDA: Potatoes, white, flesh and skin, raw[]
  2. USDA: Sweet potato, raw, unprepared[]
  3. USDA: Cauliflower, raw[]
  4. USDA: Broccoli, raw[]
  5. USDA: Carrots, mature, raw[]
  6. National Institutes of Health: Vitamin A and Carotenoids[]
  7. USDA: Squash, winter, butternut, raw[]
  8. USDA: Turnips, raw[]
  9. USDA: Parsnips, raw[]
  10. USDA: Rutabagas, raw[]
  11. USDA: Squash, winter, acorn, raw[]
  12. USDA: Brussels sprouts, raw[]
  13. USDA: Pumpkin, raw[]
  14. USDA: Yam, raw[]
  15. USDA: Taro, raw[]
  16. USDA: Pamana, Whole Purple Yam, raw[]
  17. USDA: Kabocha Squash[]
  18. University of Illinois Extension: Pumpkins and More[]
  19. Library of Congress: What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams?[]
  20. University of Illinois Extension: Winter Squash[]
  21. Wikipedia: Kabocha[]
  22. National Center for Biotechnology Information: White Vegetables: A Forgotten Source of Nutrients: Purdue Roundtable Executive Summary[]
  23. NC State: Jose “Pepe” Calderon Markets Sweet Potatoes Internationally[]
  24. Wikipedia: Taro[]
  25. Wikipedia: Ube halaya[]
  26. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Nutritional quality of organic, conventional, and seasonally grown broccoli using vitamin C as a marker[]
  27. Purdue University: Cauliflower[]
  28. Michigan Fresh: Using, Storing and Preserving Carrots[]
  29. Wikipedia: Rutabaga[]
  30. Harvard Health Publishing: The pros and cons of root vegetables[]

Kevin Garce

Kevin Garce is a Certified Health Coach who encourages people by informing them on nutrition and food topics important to them. His years of research and knowledge inspire people to achieve their goals. Read more here About Me

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