Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes – This Crock pot mashed potatoes recipes is the EASIEST way to make this classic side dish!
Long live carbs!
Especially for big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m always looking for ways to free up stove space and oven space, so “outsourcing” some of my side dishes to countertop appliances like a slow cooker or instant pot can be a great way to free up space and make more recipes hands-off.
Much like our instant pot mashed potatoes, making mashed potatoes in a slow cooker is SO easy and convenient–no waiting for a pot to boil! I love that I can start them several hours in advance, and they basically take care of themselves!
Here’s what you need to make our easy slow cooker mashed potatoes recipe…
Our Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes Recipe, At A Glance:
Here’s What You need To Make Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes:
- Potatoes. We love using Yukon gold potatoes (yellow potatoes), or red-skinned potatoes for mashed potatoes. Both work especially well in this slow cooker mash potato recipe.
- Water Or Broth. To avoid the milk curdling or separating during cooking, I use water to cook the potatoes in the slow cooker, then add the milk at the end. For more flavor, you can also use chicken broth or vegetable broth. (Just know that the flavor can come through, so only use a broth you enjoy!)
- Butter. A little (or a lot!) of butter adds richness and gives the potatoes so much flavor. Unsalted butter or salted butter works fine–whichever you have and enjoy!
- Milk Or Cream. Once the potatoes are cooked, you’ll mash them with some milk or cream. The higher the percentage of fat, the creamier your potatoes will be, but any kind of milk will work. (Even dairy-free milk, like cashew milk or almond milk–just don’t use vanilla!)
- Salt & Pepper. Friends don’t let friends under-season their mashed potatoes! Make sure to use plenty of both, to taste.
- A Slow Cooker! Last, but not least, you’ll need a slow-cooker! This one’s inexpensive, cute, and works like a charm! If you’ve got a touch more room in the budget, this slow cooker is more programmable and works for all kinds of dishes.
Mix It Up! Try These Mashed Potato Toppings & Mix-Ins:
- Sour Cream Or Greek Yogurt. Add a bit of tang and lightness to your mash with a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt mixed in with the butter and milk. (Some folks even use an ounce or two of cream cheese for a similar effect!)
- Cheese. Grate in a bit of Parmesan cheese as you’re mashing the potatoes, or top them with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese at the end. (Pair the cheddar with some cooked, crisped bacon for loaded mashed potatoes!)
- Garlic.Add another layer of flavor by adding garlic! Add a minced garlic clove (or two or three) to your potatoes as they cook, or stir in some roasted garlic at the end, when you’re mashing the potatoes.
- Fresh Herbs. Snipped or chopped chives on top, a little rosemary mixed in at the end, or some parsley for decoration!
How To Make Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes , Step By Step:
- Peel & Prep Your Potatoes. Start by washing and peeling the potatoes, as desired. (If you prefer to leave some or all of the peels on, that’s fine!) Cut the potatoes into chunks. (1-inch chunks or 2-inch chunks work best)
- Get Ready To Cook. Add the potato chunks to the slow cooker along with the water or broth, 4 Tablespoons of butter, and salt.
- Cook The Potatoes on HIGH for 3-4 hours or on LOW for 6-7 hours, or until tender. A fork should easily pierce through the potatoes. (This is called “fork tender”)
- Add The Other Goodies. Pour in the milk and add the remaining butter. (No need to drain the potatoes.)
- Mash The Potatoes. Mash potatoes with a potato masher, potato ricer, or a hand mixer, adding more milk or butter as desired until you reach your desired consistency. (If using a hand mixer, try not to over-mix the potatoes or they can get gluey and overly starchy)
- Taste & Season the potatoes, adding salt or pepper to taste, and adding more milk or butter as needed for your desired consistency. Garnish, as desired, and serve warm!
- Keep Them Warm. Slow cooker mashed potatoes can be kept covered on the WARM setting for up to 2 hours.
*Cooking the potatoes on HIGH for 3-4 hours will give you a prettier color than cooking on LOW for 6-7 hours.
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes:
How Many Potatoes Should I Make Per Person?
A general guidelines is to plan 1/2 pound (8 oz.) of potatoes per person. This crock pot mashed potatoes recipe calls for 5 lbs. of potatoes, so it should serve 10 or more guests. This estimate usually holds up for me!
What Potatoes Work Best For Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes?
Yukon gold potatoes (yellow potatoes) and red potatoes work best in the slow cooker. Russet potatoes *can* be used, but they tend to oxidize (turn brown) more quickly, so you may notice some brown spots on your potatoes after cooking. This is harmless, but can impact the color.
Do You Have To Peel Potatoes For Mashed Potatoes?
Nope! It’s totally up to you. If you like a more rustic texture, leave some or all of the peels on your potatoes. If you want super smooth mashed potatoes, then you’ll want to peel the potatoes first. Also, keep in mind the type of potatoes you’re using. Russet potato skins can be thick and tough and are best peeled, while Yukon golds and red potatoes have thinner, more tender skin that easily mashes.
A Trick For Easy Clean Up
My mom loves these slow cooker liners for easy clean-up. If you’re cooking for Thanksgiving or another food-heavy holiday, it can be a great way to help you cut down on dishes! You can spray your slow cooker with cooking spray or spray oil before adding the potatoes and other ingredients.
What Can I Use Instead Of Butter For Mashed Potatoes?
If you don’t eat butter, you can use 1/4 cup olive oil, then use additional milk (dairy-free milk, if needed) or broth for the rest of the liquid. We’ve done this in our Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes loads of times. Vegan butter (like Earth Balance) also works! If dairy’s not a problem, you can also use sour cream, cream cheese, or plain Greek yogurt in place of all or part of the butter.
What’s The Best Way To Re-Heat Mashed Potatoes?
I always recommend adding some extra milk or butter, as it feels like mashed potatoes have a tendency to dry out. Additionally, whipping them or at least fluffing them with fork after heating can help revive their light texture.
p.s. have leftover potatoes? Try these mashed potato cakes!