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Crockpot Mashed Potatoes are smooth, silky, and extra creamy. They taste just as delicious as the stovetop version, but made easier because we used the crockpot! They are the perfect make-ahead mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
Crockpot Mashed Potatoes | My Best Kept Secret During the Holidays
My original mashed potato recipe is made the old-fashioned way on the stove. But around the holidays when things are busy and you’re in the kitchen more than any other time of year, sometimes you need to catch a break. The crockpot is just the ticket for freeing up stove space and clearing out brainpower. Not only does the crockpot create equally delicious and comparable versions of mashed potatoes, but the crockpot works around your cooking schedule.
Set it, forget it and mash the potatoes when you’re ready. So let’s get this (potato) party started!
Crockpot Mashed Potatoes Basics
Nothing too crazy on this list! Made with super simple ingredients, here’s everything you’ll need to make perfect crockpot mashed potatoes!
Best Potatoes to Use
I am loyal to the Idaho Russet Potato. It’s cheap, easy to find, and nearly fool-proof. But you can definitely use other kinds of potatoes. Yukon Golds are the next best thing for a stellar mashed potato. You could also get away with red potatoes, just note that they are a bit more starchy so don’t overmix (this leads to gumminess).
Why These Are CREAMY Mashed Potatoes (plus Substitutions)
- Salted Butter – if you use unsalted butter make sure you taste and season accordingly. Unseasoned potatoes are not delicious.
- Cream Cheese – this is my secret ingredient while mashing because it’s thick, creamy and tangy without being obviously so. You can sub this out for sour cream or greek yogurt in a pinch. But just as a note, sour cream is too much tang and not enough cream for me, so I always opt for cream cheese.
- Whole Milk – If you’re feeling particularly naughty, half & half or heavy cream would work too, though I refuse to calculate the nutritional info on that.
Water vs Chicken Broth?
You will notice that I cook my potatoes in salted water and that’s it. Lots of other recipes online cook their slow cooker mashed potatoes in chicken broth or vegetable broth. This is a personal preference thing! I really like the purity of a plain mashed potato but feel free to replace the water with chicken broth!
Besides plain ol’ salt and pepper, here are a couple of ideas to spice up your crockpot mashed potatoes:
- Cajun Seasoning. This one will literally spice up your potatoes, but not crazy hot. Cajun seasoning has a rustic taste that goes well with chicken or smoked sausage.
- Parmesan with Italian Seasoning. An Italian twist on mashed potatoes. My only word of wisdom here is to use the good kind of parmesan and to add small amounts at a time until the desired cheesy-ness is achieved.
- Everything Bagel Seasoning. This will always be a good idea. If you haven’t tried this seasoning before, try it!
- Roasted Garlic. Garlic goes with just about anything, including mashed potatoes (have you tried my Garlic Mashed Potatoes yet?). So if you love garlic, go ahead and roast some to mix into this recipe.
How to Make Mashed Potatoes in a Crockpot
If you are comfortable peeling potatoes, then you are going to fly through this recipe with no problems at all. Just be sure to not let them cook *too* much longer beyond them being tender. They will get waterlogged and there is no correcting waterlogged potatoes. Drain them once they’re tender, mash them, and then keep them warm in the crockpot until you’re ready to serve. For full details on how to make mashed potatoes in a crockpot, see the recipe card down below 🙂
Peel and rinse potatoes. Cut into even-sized cubes (1-inch x 1-inch approximately) and place them into a cold crockpot.
My Potatoes Are Turning Brown! What Should I Do?
There is an enzyme in potatoes called polyphenol oxidase. When that enzyme interacts with the air, it turns any cut edge of the potatoes brown. There is nothing wrong with this happening per se, it is just an unappetizing reality. #science! So the question is how do we prevent this from happening? Two options:
- Add Acid. After your potatoes are peeled and topped off with cold, salted water, add in a little lemon juice, lime juice or vinegar to deactivate this enzyme. Because you’re draining the potatoes, you won’t notice any difference in the taste of the finished mashed potatoes.
- Add Hot Water. Very hot water deactivates this enzyme as well. Place your potatoes into the crockpot and top with boiling, salted water. Then cook on high until done.
Cook in Slow Cooker
Add cold water until potatoes are just covered and sprinkle with salt. Add lid and cook on high for 3 -4 hours.
How Do You Know The Potatoes Are Ready?
Potatoes will be fork tender. What this means is that it will be easy to stab or cut a potato chunk with a fork. Depending on how big or small you cut your potatoes determines cook time, so check early and often.
Mash + Season
Drain potatoes and return to warm crockpot. Mash together with butter, cream cheese, milk, and seasonings. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.
Hand Masher vs Mixer
This is a personal preference thing. I like mashing my potatoes by hand (my favorite masher here), but some choose to use a hand mixer or even a stand mixer! My only caution is don’t overmix! You can go from fluffy delicious potatoes to a gloopy, starchy mess in a hurry, especially when using an electric mixer. You should be fine if mashing by hand and/or err on the side of chunky mashed potatoes.
Can I Keep My Mashed Potatoes Warm In The Crockpot?
Yes! If you’d like to keep these potatoes warm an hour or two before serving, switch to the “keep warm” function and add 1-2 tablespoons of butter to the top of the mashed potatoes to keep them moist.
If your crockpot runs a little hot, the bottoms of the mashed potatoes might scorch if left in too long, so just stir occasionally if you keep it warmer longer than two hours and keep an eye on them.
Storing + Reheating Instructions
Store any leftover Crockpot Mashed Potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days!
To reheat, transfer the mashed potatoes into a large bowl and microwave until warm. Every 30 seconds to 1 minute, stir and add splashes of milk where necessary. Once they are hot and to your desired texture, transfer them to a serving bowl, top with a few pats of butter, and serve.
Freezing Mashed Potatoes
The trick to freezing mashed potatoes is to eliminate as much air as possible. Transfer completely cooled mashed potatoes into a freezer bag and seal, removing as much air as possible. Store in the freezer for up to three months. Reheat using the microwave method as outlined above.
What to Eat with Mashed Potatoes
- Homemade Turkey Gravy – an obvious and amazing pairing with any mashed potatoes is gravy. It’s a classic for a reason. And it’s because it is SO delicious.
- Perfect Roast Turkey or Dry Brine Turkey – okay, another obvious one for the holidays, but these comfort foods are perfect for those chilly evening dinners with the family.
- Simple Meatloaf Recipe – this is one of my recipes that is protein-heavy. Creamy, buttery carbs on the side, makes this meal whole.
- Amazing Baked Ham – if you’re not into turkey so much, this baked ham is for you! Or this Amazing Brown Sugar Ham Glaze Recipe… both are great options to go with Crockpot Mashed Potatoes.
- Prime Rib – this is a newer recipe on the blog and is absolutely perfect for the holidays!
More Potato Side Dishes to Try!
- Twice Baked Potatoes
- Roasted Potatoes
- Grandma’s Potato Salad
- Scalloped Potatoes
- Pan Fried Potatoes
- Funeral Potatoes
Below is the printable recipe card, as per usual. Feel free to save this recipe by pinning, printing or bookmarking. Trust me, you’re gonna want this recipe this holiday season.
Have a great day, friends!
Crockpot Mashed Potatoes
- 4 pounds Idaho potatoes
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups whole milk
- salt & pepper to taste
- Peel and rinse potatoes. Cut into even-sized cubes (1-inch x 1-inch approximately) and place them into a cold crockpot. Add cold water until potatoes are just covered and sprinkle with salt. Add lid and cook on high for 3 -4 hours or until fork-tender.
- Drain potatoes and return to warm crockpot. Mash together with butter, cream cheese, milk and seasonings. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.
- If you’d like to keep these potatoes warm an hour or two before serving, switch to “keep warm” function and add 1-2 tablespoons of butter to the top of the mashed potatoes to keep them moist. If your crockpot runs a little hot, the bottoms of the mashed potatoes might scorch if left in too long, so just stir occasionally if you keep it warmer longer than two hours and keep an eye on them.