OK, so you can mash potato and do the twist. But have you mastered making mashed potatoes? What about putting a twist on the classic recipes? There’s a whole lot more to the Thanksgiving favorite than boiling spuds and blending them with butter. In fact, some of the best mashes don’t even include butter OR potatoes. Gasp!

Though the traditional dishes are insanely delicious (cream, butter, and carbs is a tough combo to beat), there are tons of ways to make them healthier and more flavorful. And it’s as simple as switching up potato types, tossing in some cheese, or experimenting with herbs and spices—all pretty painless endeavors.

From vegan fare to loaded potatoes (bacon, anyone?), these nine mashed potato recipes bring a fresh twist to the holiday table and ensure the starchy carb tastes anything but boring. You won’t even need gravy.

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes Photo: Feasting at Home

1. Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

One of the easiest ways to add color and flavor to classic mashed potatoes is to use red potatoes instead of white. Other simple tricks: Leave the potato skins on, and add a heaping spoonful of horseradish and sour cream. Extra creamy and extra beautiful, this recipe gives the dish a little flair.

2. Slow Cooker French Onion Mashed Potatoes

Using a slow cooker is great way to reduce time spent mixing (and sweating) in the kitchen. It also makes potatoes extra soft and tasty, as they’re left soaking in juices for several hours. The only downside of this recipe? You’ll end up with an abundance of leftover caramelized onions to use on sandwiches, salads, and in omelets. How AWFUL.

3. Buttermilk Vegan Mashed Potatoes

It may be hard to imagine a vegan recipe for mashed potatoes when the costars of the dish are not-so-vegan cream and butter, but it is possible to make a rich dish using coconut milk and a few sneaky ingredients like apple cider vinegar and garlic powder. Warning: Don’t substitute almond milk for coconut—it will ruin the potatoes.

Cheesy Chive and Bacon Mashed Potatoes Photo: The Wicked Noodle

4. Cheesy Chive and Bacon Mashed Potatoes

Healthier mashed potatoes are fun to make (and ponder making), but loading them with bacon, two cheeses, and extra cream, and then tossing them on a grill is arguably more fun—and delicious. Perfect for those craving an extra decadent dish, this recipe can only be improved with a splash of hot sauce.

5. Garlic and Parmesan Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

If thou doth protest to potatoes, try cauliflower. Boiled, blended, and mixed with Greek yogurt and Parmesan cheese, this cruciferous vegetable has a pretty strong resemblance to potatoes when mashed and creamed. Bonus: Cauliflower is lower is calories and carbs, making it a great option for those trying to keep things light.

6. Sage and Toasted Walnut Pesto Mashed Potatoes

Though this recipe doesn’t yield the most stunning presentation, the taste more than makes up for it—and a little green garnish (like peas) goes a long way. Simply prepare mashed potatoes as usual, mix in cream and homemade pesto, and season with salt and pepper. Bonus: The unique flavor is a game changer on sandwiches made from Thanksgiving leftovers.

Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes Photo: How Sweet It Is

7. Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Garlic powder is an easy way to flavor mashed potatoes, but roasted garlic adds a bolder taste (and heavenly scent). Using goat cheese in place of Parmesan also increases the creaminess and pairs perfectly with fresh chives.

8. Whipped Bourbon Bacon Sweet Potatoes

As the recipe creator describes, “It’s like every single thing I love just threw up all over my whipped sweet potatoes... I don’t think we are missing A THING!” Made with brown butter, bourbon, bacon, sage, sweet potatoes, milk, and spices, this dish is a dinner dream come true.

9. Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is by far the easiest on the list, but it yields just as much flavor as the rest. Loaded with spices like nutmeg, thyme, oregano, basil, and chives, and plenty of cream and cheese (sensing a theme here?), this dish will make traditional potato lovers happy while entertaining more adventurous palates as well.

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