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Crockpot Mashed Potatoes

4.8 from 5 votes

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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!

mashed potatoes in a crockpot with slices of melted butter and garnish

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!

diced potatoes in a crockpot filled with water

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!

Optional Seasonings

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 🙂

Prep Potatoes

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

mashed potatoes in a crockpot with slices of melted butter and garnish

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.

mashed potatoes in a crockpot with butter and garnish

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!

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!

4.8 from 5 votes

Crockpot Mashed Potatoes

Crockpot Mashed Potatoes are smooth, silky, and extra creamy. Perfect make-ahead mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
servings 10 servings
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds Idaho potatoes
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 852mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 595IU | Vitamin C: 10.3mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 1.6mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Thanksgiving
Keyword: crockpot mashed potatoes, crockpot mashed potatoes recipe, mashed potatoes, slow cooker mashed potatoes

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22 Responses
  1. jilliano

    Hi Lauren,

    Do you recommend a slow cooker with a latched lid like yours? Mine is not latched like that, but maybe it allows too much heat to escape?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thank you!

    1. Lauren

      I don’t latch the lid when I’m cooking. It’s meant for travel. Maybe you should look into getting another crockpot?! I know lots of them, depending on how old they are, can vary significantly.

  2. Katie M.

    5 stars
    Hi Lauren, These Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes look so creamy, dreamy, & devine!!!!

    So ready for you to bring on the recipes. I also enjoy your life & family posts.

    Thank you, Lauren for your time & hard work your, Laurenslatest. blog. Please feel no guilt on the time you work on laurenslatest*******You are doing a Good job on laurenslatest..

    Enjoy the peace of a job well done on your laurenslatest blog*****get the sleep you need, in- person time with your family, & time to yourself. Your laurenslatest blog family will be here for You & lift You up in prayer!!!! Much Love & Smiles to you, Lauren

  3. Ashley

    5 stars
    Would Yukon gold potatoes work well with this recipe, too? Those are my favorite! Or would you recommend using Idaho potatoes as it is listed in your ingredients? Thanks!

  4. Chicken Piccata Recipe | Super Health Guide

    […] ahead with these Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes so you can have more of that precious dinner time with your family. If you aren’t fond of slow […]

  5. Bridget Schofield

    4 stars
    Amazing. I also love my potatoes to taste like 🥔 potatoes! But the Everything Bagel seasoning is a great idea. 🥯😀

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