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Mashed potatoes are a non-negotiable part of any holiday meal. Non-negotiable. But sometimes, when you have a lot of pots on the stove and things to tend to, making them on the stovetop is one thing too many. That’s where the beloved appliance, The Crock-Pot, comes into play and saves the day.

All you have to do is cook the potatoes — completely hands-off — in your slow cooker in a bit of broth, with a bit of garlic and salt, and then when they are tender, mash them up with some milk, cream, and butter, and you are ready to roll. The potatoes go right into the slow cooker without being cooked — no boiled mashed potatoes!

This recipe, with 4 pounds of potatoes, will serve 8 people amply as a side dish, even more if you have a lot of sides on the menu. But you can’t ever have too many mashed potatoes, really. And you can always reheat them or make mashed potato pancakes with the leftovers! Or think about making a Shepherd’s Pie, Moussaka, or Fall Apart Pork Roast.

Oblong dish of Mashed Potatoes.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes: Mashed potatoes made in the crock pot are SO easy and stay warm for hours. No boiling needed!

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Ingredients

Potatoes, broth, and other mashed potato ingredients.
  • Potatoes – I use Yukon gold potatoes for this recipe! Peeling and cubing potatoes is an excellent task to assign to someone else, by the way. So is the mashing.
  • Broth – Use vegetable or chicken broth for an extra boost in flavor, or opt for water, which works just as well.
  • Minced garlic – Mincing the garlic will allow its delicate flavor to come through.
  • Butter – Helps make the potatoes easier to mash.
  • Milk – Whole milk makes these potatoes extra creamy.
  • Cream – I use heavy cream, which makes this dish even more rich and decadent.

Variations

If you want to give your potatoes some extra “oomph,” try stirring in any of the following!

  • 1⁄2 cup soft goat cheese or shredded hard cheese, such as cheddar or fontina
  • 1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, tarragon, or chives
  • 1⁄4 cup pesto
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon drained prepared horseradish
  • ½ cup or more of sour cream or softened cream cheese for more body and thickness and a tangy note.

How to Make Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

  1. Cook the potatoes: Combine the potatoes, broth, garlic, and salt in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, until the potatoes are tender.
White Crock Pot full of diced potatoes.
  1. Mash the potatoes: Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes right in the slow cooker. You can also use an electric mixer, but be careful not to overbeat them, or they will become gluey and dense. If you want smoother potatoes, you can run the potatoes through a food mill or a ricer and return them to the slow cooker. Add the butter, milk, and cream, and stir to thoroughly combine.
  2. Stir and re-cover: If you like, you can re-cover the crockpot, set it to low, and hold them for up to an hour, stirring occasionally. Or leave them in the slow cooker on the warm setting for up to a few hours. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and recombine everything.
  3. Serve: Transfer to a large bowl to serve (add a pat or two more of butter, which looks luscious!), or serve right out of the crockpot.
Butter melting on top of a dish of Mashed Potatoes.

FAQs

Why cook mashed potatoes in a crockpot?

The best part of making mashed potatoes in a crockpot is that you don’t have to boil them first, and you also don’t have to drain them. You need to cook them on high heat because they are so dense. Low heat would take a really long time, and because there is very little liquid in the crockpot during the cooking process, it would be difficult for them to become tender on low heat.

Also, after the potatoes are cooked and tender, you can leave them on warm in the slow cooker. The cooked potatoes can stay in the crockpot for a couple of hours if you need some extra time before you mash them. And, once you do mash them, they can sit at low for a couple of hours or on warm for even longer — up to 4 hours — before serving. You can serve the mashed potatoes straight from the slow cooker, or you can transfer them to a large bowl just before serving.

Does using a crockpot change the color of mashed potatoes?

Potatoes do not need to be submerged in water while cooking in the crockpot. However, because they are not covered in liquid and because there is a bit of broth added, the color might not be as starkly white as mashed potatoes made in boiling water on the stovetop. However, they will still be a beautiful creamy color, and they will taste amazing. And I have never seen anyone turn down mashed potatoes because they are a slightly off-white color. Who would do such a thing? Also, the addition of the cream and milk will compensate for the slightly beige tone of the slow-cooked potatoes.

How should I portion my mashed potatoes?

The general rule of thumb is ½ pound of potatoes per person. For example:
– 1 pound potatoes serves 2 people
– 2 pounds potatoes serves 4 people
– 3 pounds potatoes serves 6 people

Pro Cooking Tips

  • Make sure to use a slow cooker large enough to hold all of the potatoes with some room to spare. You will be adding the milk and cream right into the slow cooker, so use a slow cooker that has at least a 4-quart capacity.
  • Leftovers can be made into amazing Mashed Potato Pancakes!

What to Serve With Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans

Classic Baked Ham

Simple Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Dish of Mashed Potatoes set on a pink table cloth.

More Mashed Potato Recipes

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Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8 People
Mashed potatoes made in the crock pot are SO easy and stay warm for hours. No boiling needed!

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 4 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth or water
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup warm whole milk
  • 1 cup warm heavy cream

Instructions 

  • Combine the potatoes, broth, garlic, and salt in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, until the potatoes are tender (a knife should slide right into a potato cube with no resistance).
  • Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes right in the slow cooker. You can also use an electric mixer, but be careful not to overbeat them or they will start to become gluey and dense. If you want smoother potatoes, you can run the potatoes through a food mill or a ricer and return them to the slow cooker. Add the butter, milk, and cream, and stir to thoroughly combine.
  • If you like, you can re-cover the crockpot, set it to low, and hold them for up to an hour, stirring occasionally. Or leave them in the slow cooker on the warm setting for up to a few hours. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and recombine everything.
  • Transfer to a large bowl to serve, or serve right out of the crockpot.

Notes

Variations and Mix-Ins
If you want to give your potatoes some extra “oomph,” try stirring in any of the following!
  • 1⁄2 cup soft goat cheese or shredded hard cheese, such as cheddar or fontina
  • 1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, tarragon, or chives
  • 1⁄4 cup pesto
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon drained prepared horseradish

Nutrition

Calories: 372kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 60mg, Sodium: 671mg, Potassium: 1040mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 754IU, Vitamin C: 45mg, Calcium: 91mg, Iron: 2mg

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

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