Super Skinny Vegan Mashed Potatoes with Gluten Free “Chicken” Gravy

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This dish is vegan, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply substitute the vegan ingredients for mainstream ones. Non-dairy milk with cows milk. Vegan butter with real butter, etc. I’ve made it both ways and it is fantastic either way.

This is another one of those dishes that came from my husbands “low carb” phase back in the early 2000s.  One of my signature dishes was a baked cauliflower “mashed potato” casserole. I plan to make it again for you all, but it had mashed cauliflower, heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, butter, and cheddar cheese. It was delicious and low carb… but it was not what I would call “healthy”. My secret way to make it even better was to make a cauliflower gravy to put on top. I added a touch of cheese to it and that really kicked it up a notch. Now that my oldest is following a vegan diet I used this as my inspiration and just veganized it. It also makes this dish a whole lot healthier and lighter. 

I didn’t start out trying to make a gluten-free dish. It just kinda happened. I knew I wanted to make this vegan. I also knew I wanted to make it lighter than the original, that can be quite calorie-heavy, but when it was finished I was so happy to see that it was gluten free too. The secret ingredient to make the gravy is cauliflower. Holy cow was it good! It’s good enough that I doubt anyone would know that there was no flour or butter in it… so tasty!


  • 1 pound of potatoes {skin left on}. I like to use the little yellow ones.
  • 2 cups of nondairy milk. I’ve used rice and soy, both worked great.
  • 1/2 cup of vegan buttery spreads.
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 heads of cauliflower, medium sized
  • 2 “chicken” flavored seasoning squares


  1. Boil the potatoes and cauliflower until they are very soft.  I do this in the same pot and I just remove the cauliflower once it’s done and let the potatoes keep cooking till they are done. Separate the cauliflower into two equal parts. One part for the gravy and the other for the mashed potatoes.

For the gravy:

  1. Add 1/2 a cup of milk to your cauliflower and blend it really well till it has the same consistency as a thick gravy,
  2. In a saucepan on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter to the seasoning squares. Whisk the butter and seasoning till it’s all incorporated.
  3. Add the blended cauliflower to the butter seasoning and stir well still on medium heat.
  4. Add a 1/2 cup of milk and bring it all to a slow boil and then immediately turn it down to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes so that the flavors can mingle and merge.

For the Mashed potatoes:

  1. Mash the cooked potatoes with the rest of the cauliflower. We like ours chunky.
  2. Add the rest of the butter {should be about 1/2 cup minus 2 tbs}, 1 cup of milk and a few sprinkles of salt and pepper to your taste.


  • I always leave the skin on potatoes. It adds texture, especially when adding cauliflower. The skin is also the most nutritious part of the potato and my family loves the taste. I think it’s all in how you are raised too… my mother never removed the skins and I don’t either. Maybe try it with your family and convert them?
  • Credit is due to my oldest… she perfected the ratio for the mashed potatoes.
  • I’m calling this gluten-free because I can’t see any gluten in the ingredients I used, however, I am not a gluten-free expert, so please check your ingredients carefully!
  • These are much lighter in calories and fat than the original recipe as there is no butter or flour and fewer potatoes since I sub in cauliflower. I also use much less butter substitute as it is more flavorful.


I’d love to hear if your family loves this too!

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • Hi Heather,
    Do you separate the cauliflower into florets before boiling? Do you cut up the potatoes for boiling or leave them whole? I’m anxious to try this; it looks great!

    • Hi Anne-Marie! I did use mostly florets… maybe a bit of the lower stuff too. For the potatoes it just depends on what type I’m using. If it’s the fingerlings I boil them whole, but if it’s the russel or other bigger potatoes I cut them up so that they cook quicker!

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