Crockpot Mashed Potatoes are an easy, hands-off way to enjoy creamy, velvety mashed potatoes. Seasoned with garlic and parmesan, these slow cooker mashed potatoes are not only the easiest way to prepare mashed potatoes but also one of the tastiest!
Holiday meals demand creamy, buttery mashed potatoes. But it often can be difficult to get warm mashed potatoes on the table while trying to prepare a Brined Turkey or Baked Ham. And many times the stovetop is full of other pots and pans preparing sides like Cranberry Orange Sauce, Green Beans Almondine, or Stovetop Mac and Cheese.
With a few tips, you can make the creamiest, fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes right in your crockpot with minimal effort!
Why use a Slow Cooker for Mashed Potatoes
- Hands-off recipe. You do not have to boil your potatoes or watch closely to ensure they don't overcook. There is no draining either! That makes making mashed potatoes in your slow cooker an incredibly easy, hands-off approach.
- Can be prepared in advance. Once mashed, you can keep these potatoes on warm for up to 4 hours without drying out.
- More flavorful. With just a few simple ingredients, potatoes are cooked up to tender perfection, while absorbing a rich buttery broth while cooking. Finished with garlic and Parmesan, these slow cooker mashed potatoes are so flavorful they may steal the show!
- Perfect for the holidays. No holiday meal is complete without mashed potatoes, especially Thanksgiving Dinner. But my perfect mashed potato recipe can be a pain to make on the holidays. You know the drill--everyone is rushing this way and that. The meat needs to be carved, the homemade rolls need to be toasted, the stuffing needs pulled out of the oven, AND the potatoes need drained and mashed. It can feel a bit overwhelming. Because this recipe is hands-off and can be kept warm in the slow cooker once mashed it's perfect for busy holidays or entertaining or to prep before heading off to a weeknight soccer game.
Notes on Ingredients & Substitutions
- Potatoes: For the best results, use Yukon Gold potatoes. They not only have a creamy, buttery texture, but they do not release as much starch when cooked in the crockpot, making the final result absolute perfection.
- Broth: The potatoes absorb the flavor of the cooking liquid, so you want to use low-sodium storebought or homemade vegetable broth, homemade chicken stock, or Instant Pot chicken stock, instead of water to cook the potatoes.
- Cream/Milk: Use half and half, cream, or milk of any fat percentage for a creamy finish to these slow cooker mashed potatoes.
- Parmesan: Freshly grated parmesan cheese adds a nutty, salty finish to these crock-pot mashed potatoes, but feel free to omit them for a more classic flavor.
- Garlic: I like to add fresh garlic cloves to the slow cooker to slowly cook and add flavor, but if you are not a fan of garlic, simply omit the garlic cloves. You can also use 2 teaspoons of garlic powder in place of the garlic cloves.
- Salt: Salt is a MUST for potatoes to be flavorful. The amount needed will depend on how salty the stock you use is and whether or not you add Parmesan cheese. Start with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and add more to taste after mashing potatoes.
How to Make Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Wash and peel the potatoes. You want to remove the peels for the creamiest mashed potatoes.
- Dice the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Be sure they are all about the same size so that the potatoes cook evenly.
- Combine the potatoes, broth, garlic, salt, and butter in the base of a slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours, or until potatoes are fork tender and mash easily.
- Use a handheld potato masher, not a handheld mixer, which can make the potatoes gummy, to mash the potatoes into the cooking liquid until smooth.
- Warm the cream slightly in the microwave, before adding it to the slow cooker. This helps keep the potatoes from seizing up, which can happen if you add cold cream.
- Stir in the warm cream and parmesan if using into the potatoes.
- Stir in the sour cream and if needed, add up to an additional ½ cup of milk or cream until the potatoes reach the right consistency.
- Give the potatoes a taste and adjust the salt to taste.
- Set slow cooker to warm setting, for up to 4 hours, until ready to serve.
- Serve the mashed potatoes with additional pats of butter and parmesan if desired.
Storing Leftover Mashed Potatoes
Leftover cooled mashed potatoes can be stored in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. You can also freeze the mashed potatoes in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month. I suggest reheating the potatoes with a bit of broth or milk to help keep the potatoes creamy. If frozen, defrost the potatoes in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat over low heat in a slow cooker or in an oven-safe dish at 300 degrees F until warmed through.
You can also use leftover mashed potatoes to make recipes like Pierogi Lasagna or Thanksgiving Egg Rolls. Absolutely delicious!
- Flavoring: You can keep the flavor of these crock pot mashed potatoes basic by omitting the leaving out parmesan and garlic. Or you can take these mashed potatoes over the top and make Loaded Mashed Potatoes by omitting the parmesan and garlic and stirring in shredded cheddar cheese, cooked crumbled bacon, and chives after cooking and mashing the potatoes with cream.
- Dairy-Free Option: If you would like to enjoy this recipe but are dairy-free, use additional broth in place of the cream, use non-dairy butter, and omit the parmesan. To replace the sour cream, you can use non-dairy sour cream, non-dairy plain yogurt, or simply use additional broth to loosen up the consistency a bit.
Serve Crockpot Mashed Potatoes with:
Crockpot mashed potatoes are the obvious choice for holiday meals, as they make pulling off a big meal easy. But don't just reserve these potatoes for the holidays, they deserve to be enjoyed with weeknight or Sunday dinners.
Make your meals easier with this recipe for slow-cooker mashed potatoes. And be sure to leave a review if you give this recipe a try! I love to hear your comments!
Crockpot Mashed Potatoes
- 5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken stock
- ½-1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½-1 cup warm milk or half and half or cream
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
- Place peeled, cubed potatoes and garlic cloves in the slow cooker. Add in the broth, ½ teaspoon of salt, and butter and stir to combine.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours, or until potatoes are fork tender and mash easily. Do not drain off the cooking liquid.
- Once the potatoes are tender, mash the potatoes with a hand-held potato masher until they are broken down.
- Add in ½ cup of the warm milk and parmesan and stir to combine. Stir in the sour cream and if needed, add up to an additional ½ cup milk until the potatoes reach the right consistency. Give a taste and add in additional salt if needed.
- Serve immediately or keep on warm for up to 4 hours until ready to serve.
This recipe for Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2022 with new photos and a new video.
I did these mashed potatoes for Christmas dinner to make life with a 1 and 3 year old more fun on Christmas day! I made them Christmas Eve, left the crockpot in the fridge and then reheated them for Christmas dinner. Tasted great, nice consistency and most of all no need for Christmas Day stovetop cooking. Thank you!!
Thanks for sharing, Linsie! I love hearing you enjoyed this recipe and it made your Christmas day more enjoyable.
I made this recipe for potatoes for Christmas. They tasted amazing but there was small lumps that I just couldn't get out and could feel when eating. I'm not sure what caused this. I used a potato smasher. Want to make again so any ideas to make completely smooth would be helpful. Thank you:)
Hi Becca! So happy to hear you enjoyed the flavor. As for the lumps, try cooking for 30 minutes longer next time to help soften up the potatoes. I find a metal masher works to be a bit better, but you would want to transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, so you don't scrape up your crockpot.
Was a little worried when I read about the darkening of the potatoes but decided to go ahead. Not a problem! Used Yukon golds, skin on, cooked for 3 and a half hours on high, added everything until tasted perfect. Saved counter space, dishes, time and effort. Delicious! Thank you so much for this recipe, appreciate you!
Wonderful! So happy you enjoyed the potatoes, PJ!
Hi there...instead of using a potato masher as I don't want to scratch the inside, could I use an immersion blender instead?
That can make the potatoes a bit gummy and in my experience, can scratch up the inner pot more. I would recommend transferring the potatoes to a large mixing bowl to mash and then transferring back to slow cooker if you don't have a plastic masher. Enjoy!
Thank you so much for the advice! I may do just that.
I also wanted to comment that I found hints if you peel your potatoes in advance to cover with water but to add lemon juice to lower the ph levels and minimize browning which should also prevent them going black if cooking on low heat.
Started these in crockpot on low setting. About an hour in I went to check them and they were turning BLACK on top. Quickly stirred them in and set the crockpot on high. Now hoping they turn out. What went wrong? Looked good when I started.
Hi Mark! When exposed to oxygen, potatoes can turn gray or black, but it is completely safe to eat! It is likely due to your lid not be fitted tight on the crockpot. You can cook on high in the future to help prevent this from happening.
Thank you Kristen for this delicious recipe! Tried it yesterday, I left out the Parmesan cheese and I used heavy whipping cream. Very rich and creamy! Yum!
Wonderful to hear! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, Carla.
What size slow cooker?
This recipe is best made in a 6 to 8-quart slow cooker. Enjoy
Could you cut these potatoes up the night before and put water over them si they don’t turn brown and drain the water off before cooking?
Yes!!! Just be sure to salt your water as well.