Easy Mashed Purple Potato (+ Flavor Variations)

5 from 2 votes
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Mashed purple potato brings color to your dinner/holiday table as a savory, creamy, flavorful, naturally purple side dish! Here are all the top tips and flavor variations for the best purple mashed potatoes!

Mashed purple potatoes in a bowl

In my house, you can never have too much mashed potato! I’ve already shared recipes for creamy mashed potato and sweet potato mash. Now it’s the turn of this mashed purple potato for a low-starch, wonderfully purple, flavorful side dish for mid-week dinners and special occasions (like Thanksgiving and Christmas)!

Unlike regular potatoes, purple potatoes are fairly waxy with low starch and low moisture content. Unfortunately, this means some people find the mash to be very dry/flakey. Luckily, the addition of extra fat (and optional liquid) will clear that issue right up. I prefer to just use butter in most cases when needing a mid-week mash, but a little additional milk, half and half, or cream (dairy or dairy-free) makes for a super creamy version, perfect for special occasions or simply if you prefer things creamier!

This recipe requires just a handful of ingredients, is ready in under 40 minutes (most of that is hands-off), and can be tweaked to fit multiple diets: vegan, paleo, dairy-free, etc. Plus, there are tons of ways of adding extra flavor to this purple potato mash, too!

What are Purple Potatoes?

Not to be confused with purple sweet potatoes (which are sweeter, starchier, and you can mash using this method), purple potatoes are a savory, slightly nutty, earthy low-starch potato native to South America.

Mashed purple potatoes in a bowl

They are usually fairly small and often contain a dark purple outer skin with lighter purple flesh. There are several varieties, including Purple Majesty, All Blue, Purple Peruvian, Congo, etc., most (if not all) of which are available year-round.

Not only do they add color to your dinner table (thanks to the same anthocyanin that colors blueberries!), but purple potatoes contain several health benefits too.

The Health Benefits of Purple Potatoes

  • Lower starch potato with several nutrients, including Vitamin B6, vitamin C, Potassium (more than a banana), Manganese, Copper, and a small amount of iron.
  • They’re also packed with gut-healthy fiber.
  • Purple potatoes may improve blood pressure and artery health.
  • The anthocyanins that give the potatoes their purple color are also a powerful antioxidant, improving cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of several chronic diseases, and even improving eye health.
  • Along with the anthocyanins, purple potatoes also contain several other antioxidants (2-3x that of regular white/yellow potatoes).
  • May reduce the risk of cancer (and slow the growth of cancerous cells).

If you enjoy this purple mashed potatoes recipe, you might also enjoy this roasted purple potatoes, too!

The Purple Mashed Potato Ingredients

  • Purple potatoes: make sure to use purple potatoes and not purple sweet potatoes. Use even-sized potatoes or chop them down into even-sized pieces.
  • Water: to cook the potatoes.
  • Butter: use unsalted butter (dairy or vegan butter). Olive oil is another option, but I find the flavor too strong for the subtlety of purple potatoes.
  • Salt: added to taste. You may also want to add black pepper too.

For creamier mashed purple potato, I’ll often also add:

  • Cream OR milk: for the creamiest results, use heavy cream (double cream) OR dairy-free canned coconut milk (for vegan purple mash potato). Alternatively, use the milk of your choice (dairy or dairy-free).
Ingredients for purple mashed potatoes

Optional Add-ins and Variations

  • Sour cream: you can add a little sour cream to the mashed purple potatoes for added dimension, creaminess, and a slightly sour taste.
  • Fresh herbs: I particularly like to use chives, scallions, or parsley. You can either stir them into the mashed purple potato or use them to garnish.
  • Herbinfused milk/cream: another way to add the flavor of herbs like rosemary, sage, or thyme is to add them to a small saucepan with some milk/cream and allow it to simmer for several minutes, then steep (off-heat) for 20-30 minutes (while you cook the purple potatoes). Then slowly mix that into the mashed purple potatoes until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Garlic: use 1 garlic clove per lb. of potatoes (or increase to taste and sauté in a pan to get rid of the harsh, raw flavor) or some garlic powder. Alternatively, I usually use caramelized roasted garlic and just mash in a clove at a time until it reaches my desired flavor.
  • Cream cheese: cream cheese will slightly thicken and add flavor to the purple potato mash. Use dairy or dairy-free. For extra flavor, use a flavored cream cheese like Boursin.
  • Cheese: mix in a little sharp cheddar (or Simple Smoky Vegan Cheddar Cheese) or parmesan to the hot mashed purple potatoes.
  • Other seasonings: feel free to experiment with various seasonings like onion powder, chili/cayenne, paprika, etc.
  • Truffle potatoes: replace about 1 Tbsp of butter with truffle oil.
  • Shredded vegetables: the easiest way to do this is to stir in some spinach at the end to gently wilt in the potatoes. However, you can also add shredded broccoli, peas, corn, and other veggies for extra color and texture.
  • Paleo mashed purple potatoes: use paleo-friendly milk/cream like canned coconut milk or unsweetened cashew milk/oat milk. Then replace the butter with ghee.

How to Make Mashed Purple Potatoes?

Step 1: Prepare and Cook the Purple Potatoes

First, wash the potatoes. Use a vegetable brush if needed.

Since my potatoes were all fairly small, I cooked them whole and unpeeled (to peel after). But feel free to chop them down into even-sized pieces (which will speed up the cooking time but could make for slightly more watery purple potato mash.

You can save the potato peel to make this healthy potato peel chips recipe!

Transfer the potatoes to a large pot with cold water (enough to fully submerge them with an extra 1-2 inches on top), season liberally with salt, and bring to a boil. Then cook over medium-high to high heat or until the potatoes are knife/fork-tender. This took 25-30 minutes for me.

Boiled purple potatoes in a pot

The cooking time will vary based on how large the potatoes are and if they’re peeled/unpeeled.

Alternatively, you could steam or bake the purple potatoes. Each method will affect the liquid content in the mash, and the cooking time will vary.

Step 2: Mash the Purple Potatoes

Drain the water from the potatoes and then allow them to cool until you can handle them, and then peel the potatoes. They should slip off really easily (you can skip this if using a potato ricer in the next step).

You can leave the potatoes unpeeled if preferred. They contain tons of nutrients, too, and aren’t SUPER noticeable in the mash.

Steps for preparing purple potatoes

Next, it’s time to mash the purple potatoes in one of several ways. Using a potato ricer (fluffy and smooth), potato masher (which can be done directly in the pan to keep the potatoes warm – mash to desired consistency), or with a fork (will be chunkier).

You can also use a mixer at low speed. Be careful not to overwhip the potatoes, as it will enhance the waxy nature of the potatoes and can make them gummy.

Steps for making purple mashed potatoes

Step 3: Add the Butter and Seasoning

Then, add the melted butter and salt to the warm mashed purple potato and stir to thoroughly distribute within the mixture until creamy.

Using just butter will yield a fairly thick, scoopable mash. However, if you want creamier results, you’ll need to add some liquid too – either using warm milk, half and half, or cream, added in gradually at the same time as the butter until you reach your desired consistency. I recommend heating ¼ cup to begin with then adding an extra one Tbsp at a time.

Then taste and adjust the salt to taste. Finally, serve the mashed purple potatoes with a drizzle of melted butter or oil and optionally with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like thyme/rosemary (or even candied pecans.)

Adding seasoning to mashed purple potatoes

How to Serve?

You can enjoy this mashed purple potato recipe in the same ways that you would regular creamy mashed potatoes. For example, as part of a roast dinner, on the table at the holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.), With meatloaf, meatballs (or vegan meatballs), sausages, baked salmon, roasted chicken, and other proteins. Plus, of course, with many other delicious veggie sides like roasted veggies (like these honey-roasted carrots or air-fried green beans) and more!

How to Store?

Store: store any leftover mashed/whipped sweet potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. They can dry out fairly easily over time, so keep tightly covered.

Freeze: I haven’t frozen this purple potato recipe before. However, I imagine you could treat them similarly to other mash. First, allow it to cool, then transfer to either an airtight freezer-safe container or Ziplock bag (flattening as much as possible). Then freeze for up to two months. Leave to thaw overnight before reheating.

Reheat: mashed purple potatoes dry out quite easily in the fridge, so it’s usually best to add extra liquid or butter when reheating. Reheat the mash either in the microwave or stovetop, adding a splash of liquid at a time until you achieve your desired consistency.

Mashed purple potatoes in a bowl

FAQs

Where to buy purple potatoes?

This will depend on where you live. However, in the US, they’re available in many grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

How long to boil purple potatoes?

When cut into 1-inch pieces, they should take around 15 minutes until tender. For whole, unpeeled small purple potatoes, this will increase to 25-30 minutes.

What do purple potatoes taste like?

Actually very similar to regular potatoes, but with a slightly nutty, earthier flavor. I find they taste very similar to red potatoes.

Why are my purple potatoes quite white on the inside?

This usually means they were picked before they were fully ready. Unfortunately, with purple potatoes, you can’t tell UNTIL cutting into them. They’ll still be fine to eat, but the color won’t be as vibrant.

Recipe Notes and Top Tips

  • Be careful not to overcook the potatoes: they can become mushy and make for watery mash.
  • For the brightest color: steam or bake the purple potatoes rather than boiling them. As the color can leech into the water.
  • Use a potato ricer: while I’ve included other options, using a potato ricer when mashing potatoes always yields my favorite light and fluffy results.
  • Adjust the consistency: the mashed purple potatoes will be fairly thick and “scoopable” when using just butter. If you want a “thinner”/creamier mash, add some liquid (milk, half and half, or cream).
  • There is no need to peel: the skins add extra nutrients and aren’t super noticeable.
  • Be careful not to overwhip: especially if using a mixer; otherwise, the mashed potato can turn gummy.
  • For purple potato puree: press the mashed purple potato mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Just note this takes quite a lot of time and effort and is not exactly “necessary” unless you want a super silky smooth potato puree (blending will turn it gummy).

Other Holiday Side Dishes

If you try this easy purple mashed potatoes recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Easy Mashed Purple Potato (+ Flavor Variations)

5 from 2 votes
By: Samira
Mashed purple potato brings color to your dinner/holiday table as a savory, creamy, flavorful, naturally purple side dish! Here are all the top tips and flavor variations for the best purple mashed potatoes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 sides

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 1.5 lb purple potatoes not purple sweet potatoes. Use potatoes similar in size
  • 1.8 oz butter unsalted, dairy or dairy-free
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt used for the water when cooking the potatoes & to season the mash
  • water enough to cover the potatoes when boiling

Check the Recipe Notes below for optional add-ins and variations!

    Instructions 

    Step 1: Prepare and Cook the Purple Potatoes

    • Wash the potatoes. Use a vegetable brush if needed.
    • Since my potatoes were all fairly small, I cooked them whole and unpeeled (to peel after). But feel free to chop them down into even-sized pieces (which will speed up the cooking time but could make for slightly more watery purple potato mash.
    • Transfer the potatoes to a large pot with cold water (enough to fully submerge them with an extra 1-2 inches on top), season liberally with salt, and bring to a boil. Then cook over medium-high to high heat or until the potatoes are knife/fork-tender. This took 25-30 minutes for me.
      The cooking time will vary based on how large the potatoes are and if they’re peeled/unpeeled – as little as 15 minutes for 1-inch cubed pieces.
      Alternatively, you could steam or bake the purple potatoes. Each method will affect the liquid content in the mash, and the cooking time will vary.

    Step 2: Mash the Purple Potatoes

    • Drain the water from the potatoes and then allow them to cool until you can handle them, and then peel the potatoes. They should slip off really easily (you can skip this if using a potato ricer in the next step).
      You can leave the potatoes unpeeled if preferred. They contain tons of nutrients, too, and aren’t SUPER noticeable in the mash.
    • Mash the purple potatoes in one of several ways. Using a potato ricer (fluffy and smooth), potato masher (which can be done directly in the pan to keep the potatoes warm – mash to desired consistency), or with a fork (will be chunkier).
      You can also use a mixer at low speed. Be careful not to overwhip the potatoes, as it will enhance the waxy nature of the potatoes and can make them gummy.

    Step 3: Add the Butter and Seasoning

    • Add the melted butter and salt to the warm mashed purple potato and stir to thoroughly distribute within the mixture until creamy.
      Using just butter will yield a fairly thick, scoopable mash. However, if you want creamier results, you’ll need to add some liquid too – either using warm milk, half and half, or cream, added in gradually at the same time as the butter until you reach your desired consistency. I recommend heating ¼ cup to begin with then adding an extra one tbsp at a time.
    • Taste and adjust the salt to taste. Finally, serve the mashed purple potatoes with a drizzle of melted butter or oil and optionally with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like thyme/rosemary (or even candied pecans.)

    How to Store?

    • Store: store any leftover potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. They can dry out fairly easily over time, so keep tightly covered.
      Freeze: I haven’t frozen this purple potato recipe before. However, I imagine you could treat them similarly to other mash. First, allow it to cool, then transfer to either an airtight freezer-safe container or Ziplock bag (flattening as much as possible). Then freeze for up to three months. Leave to thaw overnight before reheating.
      Reheat: mashed purple potatoes dry out quite easily in the fridge, so it's usually best to add extra liquid or butter when reheating. Reheat the mash either in the microwave or stovetop, adding a splash of liquid at a time until you achieve your desired consistency.

    Notes

    • Be careful not to overcook the potatoes: they can become mushy and make for watery mash.
    • For the brightest color: steam or bake the purple potatoes rather than boiling them. As the color can leech into the water.
    • Use a potato ricer: while I’ve included other options, using a potato ricer when mashing potatoes always yields my favorite light and fluffy results.
    • Adjust the consistency: the mashed purple potatoes will be fairly thick and “scoopable” when using just butter. If you want a “thinner”/creamier mash, add some liquid (milk, half and half, or cream).
    • There is no need to peel: the skins add extra nutrients and aren’t super noticeable.
    • Be careful not to overwhip: especially if using a mixer; otherwise, the mashed potato can turn gummy.
    • For purple potato puree: press the mashed purple potato mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Just note this takes quite a lot of time and effort and is not exactly “necessary” unless you want a super silky smooth potato puree (blending will turn it gummy).
    Optional add-ins and Variations:
    • Sour cream: you can add a little sour cream for added dimension, creaminess, and a slightly sour taste.
    • Fresh herbs: I particularly like to use chives, scallions, or parsley. You can either stir them into the mashed purple potato or use them to garnish.
    • Herbinfused milk/cream: another way to add the flavor of herbs like rosemary, sage, or thyme is to add them to a small saucepan with some milk/cream and allow it to simmer for several minutes, then steep (off-heat) for 20-30 minutes (while you cook the purple potatoes). Then slowly mix that into the mashed purple potatoes until you reach your desired consistency.
    • Garlic: use 1 garlic clove per lb. of potatoes (or increase to taste and sauté in a pan to get rid of the harsh, raw flavor) or some garlic powder. Alternatively, I usually use caramelized roasted garlic and just mash in a clove at a time until it reaches my desired flavor.
    • Cream cheese: cream cheese will slightly thicken and add flavor to the mash. Use dairy or dairy-free. For extra flavor, use a flavored cream cheese like Boursin.
    • Cheese: mix in a little sharp cheddar (or Simple Smoky Vegan Cheddar Cheese) or parmesan.
    • Other seasonings: feel free to experiment with various seasonings like onion powder, chili/cayenne, paprika, etc.
    • Truffle potatoes: Replace around 1 Tbsp of butter with truffle oil.
    • Shredded vegetables: the easiest way to do this is to stir in some spinach at the end to gently wilt in the potatoes. However, you can also add shredded broccoli, peas, corn, and other veggies for extra color and texture.
    • Paleo mashed purple potatoes: use paleo-friendly milk/cream like canned coconut milk or unsweetened cashew milk/oat milk. Then replace the butter with ghee.
    Check the blog post for serving suggestions and answers to top FAQs!
    Course: Side
    Cuisine: American, British
    Freezer friendly: 3 Months
    Shelf life: 2-3 Days

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1side, Calories: 222kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 101mg, Potassium: 719mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 322IU, Vitamin C: 34mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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