Of lately, I have been including more ground provisions like mashed taro into our diet and we are thoroughly enjoying them. Try some of my ground provision recipes, Taro Chips, Yellow Yam Salad, and Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding.

taro for mashed taro

Other names for taro are dasheen, eddo, kalo, coco, and malanga. It is a root vegetable grown in Jamaica, while the rest of the Caribbean, Central America, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

Growing up in Jamaica, we always had a taro or dasheen bush growing in our yard. My mom harvested the bush and dug the dasheen tubers or corms. She would boil them with other side dishes like Jamaican dumplings, yellow yam, cassava. She also added it to soups, like Vegan Pumpkin Soup.

Recently, I  bought dasheen at my local Caribbean supermarket. I decided to prepare dasheen differently from the traditional Jamaican methods.

Mashed dasheen or mashed taro is a simple yet flavorful recipe that the entire family will enjoy. It makes the perfect vegan and gluten-free side dish. Mashed Taro is traditionally enjoyed in Hawaii and the Fuji Islands.

Why You’ll Love This Mashed Taro Recipe

  • Easy Preparation: This taro recipe is simple to make with only five ingredients and straightforward cooking steps.
  • Unique Flavor: Mashed taro offers a unique and delicious flavor that combines the earthy notes of taro with the richness of roasted garlic and vegan butter.
  • Versatile Side Dish: It serves as a versatile side dish that can complement a wide range of main courses and other dishes.
  • Vegan and Gluten-Free: Mashed Taro is a vegan and gluten-free option, making it suitable for a variety of dietary preferences and restrictions.

Ingredients Needed

  • Taro: The main ingredient, providing a starchy and earthy flavor to the dish. Look for taro that is firm and free from blemishes when shopping.
  • Olive Oil: Used for mashing the taro and adding a subtle richness. Choose a good quality olive oil for the best flavor.
  • Roasted Garlic: Adds a deep, savory aroma and taste to the mashed taro. You can roast garlic cloves in advance or buy pre-roasted garlic for convenience.
  • Vegan Butter: Enhances the creaminess and richness of the dish, giving it a smooth texture and buttery flavor.
  • Salt: Provides seasoning and enhances the overall taste.

How To Cook Taro

  1. Peel taro and cut into large chunks.
  2. Add taro plus 1 teaspoon of salt to a large pot and cover with cold water, bring water to boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot and allow to cook for 25-30 minutes or until taro when pierced with a fork is soft.
  4. While taro is boiling, heat a small saucepan over medium heat, add minced garlic cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. 
  5. Using a colander drain the taro and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  6. Mash taro using a potato masher or a handheld mixer until smooth and fluffy. 
  7. Add vegan butter, roasted garlic, salt and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Expert Tips

  • When choosing taro at the store, look for tubers that are firm, free from soft spots, and have a smooth, unblemished skin. Avoid taro with dark or mushy areas, as they may be overripe.
  • Taro contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can be slightly toxic if consumed raw. To make it safe for consumption, it should be cooked thoroughly. Ensure you peel and cook the taro properly to eliminate any potential risks.
  • You can roast the garlic cloves in advance or use pre-roasted garlic for convenience. To roast garlic, wrap cloves in aluminum foil with a drizzle of olive oil and bake in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 30 minutes until soft and fragrant.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Incorporate fresh herbs like chopped cilantro, parsley, or chives for a burst of freshness and color.
  • Mix in your favorite vegan cheese or nutritional yeast for a cheesy, umami flavor.

Storage Tips

Refrigeration: If you have leftovers, allow the mashed taro to cool to room temperature before refrigerating it. Store it in an airtight container. You can portion it into smaller containers for convenience.

Mashed taro can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Avoid Freezing: While you can freeze mashed potatoes, taro has a different texture, and freezing can cause it to become watery and lose its desired consistency. It’s best to enjoy mashed taro fresh or refrigerated.

Reheating: To reheat, transfer the desired portion to a microwave-safe dish and reheat in the microwave. You may need to add a small amount of water or plant-based milk to restore its creaminess.

Alternatively, you can gently reheat it on the stovetop, stirring frequently.

What To Serve With Mashed Taro

Recipe FAQs

Is taro safe to eat raw?

No, taro contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can be slightly toxic if consumed raw. Always cook it thoroughly to make it safe to eat.

Where can I buy taro?

Taro is commonly available in Asian, Caribbean, and international grocery stores. Look for it in the root vegetable section.

What is taro, and what does it taste like?

Taro is a root vegetable with a starchy texture and a slightly sweet, earthy flavor. It’s often compared to potatoes but has a unique taste.

Mashed Taro Recipe in a white bowl, on a grey background

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Categories

Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 140 kcal / 585 kJ
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Carbs: 28 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking: 25 min
  • Ready in: 35 min
  • For: 4 Servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Peel taro and cut into large chunks.
  2. Add taro plus 1 teaspoon of salt to a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring water to boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot and allow to cook for 25-30 minutes or until taro is soft when pierced with a fork.
  4. While taro is boiling, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add minced garlic cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. 
  5. Using a colander drain the taro and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  6. Mash taro using a potato masher or a handheld mixer until smooth and fluffy. 
  7. Add vegan butter, roasted garlic, salt and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Choose firm, unblemished taro at the store, avoiding mushy or dark areas.
  • Cook taro thoroughly to eliminate potential toxicity from calcium oxalate crystals.
  • Roast garlic in advance for convenience: wrap cloves in foil with olive oil, bake at 375°F (190°C) for 30 minutes until soft and fragrant.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.