Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

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For the best-tasting Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes, choose a high-starch potato like Russets. Slow-cook them in butter, milk, and salt, then stir in sour cream at the end for a punch of extra flavor and creaminess.

A crockpot full of mashed potatoes with chives on top.


 

My ideal mashed potato recipe will always be made with starchy, not waxy, potatoes. Waxy potatoes, such as Yukon golds are small red potatoes, and will never get as fluffy as a pile of russets.

Beyond that, I need just butter, milk, and salt to complete the dish. You can definitely elevate your potatoes with other flavors such as garlic, sour cream, or a block of cream cheese. But if the basic version cannot stand on its own, I have to try again.

You can easily boil potatoes in a crockpot, but I wanted to boil them in milk. This way, the final dish is infused with flavor, not water. I love copious amounts of butter, too, so we add that here. Finally, I stirred in sour cream at the end. It adds a welcome tangy flavor that just suits these mashed potatoes well. Adding a handful of freshly snipped chives is great too!

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for slow cooker mashed potatoes.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Potatoes: For the fluffiest, smoothest, and most flavorful mashed potatoes, choose high-starch potatoes like Russet, Idaho, or Yukon gold potatoes.  Waxy potatoes (such as new, red, or white varieties) require more mashing to become creamy which could result in gluey, pasty spuds.
  • Chives: The fresh chives are totally optional here but they go really well with the sour cream. If chives feel weird on your Thanksgiving table, though, just leave them out. 

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In the bottom of a crock pot, add potatoes and milk. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt, then top with both sticks of butter.
A crockpot full of diced potatoes cooking in milk and butter.
  1. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, stirring once every hour, until the potatoes are fork tender.
A crockpot full of diced potatoes cooking in milk and butter.
  1. Remove cover and mash the potatoes to a uniform consistency (they will look oily until the butter has been thoroughly mashed into the potatoes; don’t worry, just keep mashing).
A crockpot full of mashed potatoes.
  1. Fold in the sour cream.
A crockpot full of mashed potatoes with sour cream.
  1. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with chives if desired.
Bowls of mashed potatoes with chives.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipes makes about 12 cups of mashed potatoes, enough for 12 (1-cup) servings.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: Peel and cube the raw potatoes up to 24 hours in advance. Cover with water and chill in the refrigerator.
  • Freezer: Not recommended; mashed potatoes wind up watery and unappetizing after thawing from frozen.
  • Fresh herbs: Use the extra fresh herbs to make an herb butter to mix into your mashed potatoes, or simply garnish the spuds with a sprinkle of fresh chopped chives.
  • Assisted mixing: If you don’t want to mash your potatoes by hand, add them to the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer.
  • Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes: This freezer-defying recipe uses cream cheese and egg whites for more staying power in the cold, and it’s part of my complete Make Ahead Thanksgiving menu.
  • Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes: Add the peeled, cubed potatoes to the bottom of a pressure cooker. Add cold water to cover and 1 teaspoon salt. Close the lid, set the valve to seal, and cook on manual pressure for 8 minutes. Turn off the instant pot and quick-release the pressure. Drain potatoes well, return to pot, and mash well. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Toast cloves of garlic in a skillet (or roast whole bulbs of garlic in the oven), peel, mince, and add to your mashed potatoes. You’ll need about 2 bulbs (40 cloves garlic) for every 5 pounds of potatoes.
  • Cauliflower mash: For a low-carb, highly satisfying side dish, try Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (without a potato in sight).
  • Boursin Mashed Potatoes: Soft-skinned small red potatoes mixed with fresh herbs and a block of Boursin cheese. You don’t even have to peel the potatoes!
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes: These mashers are flavored with fresh thyme and a touch of brown sugar. Or try Sweet Potato Casserole with a delicious marshmallow topping.
  • Small batch: Making mashed potatoes for your next date night in? Try my scaled-down Mashed Potatoes for Two recipe.
  • Irish twist: Colcannon is a delicious version of mashed potatoes with cooked kale or cabbage stirred in. You’ll love that extra texture and color!
  • Loaded Mashed Potatoes: Top your mashed potatoes with plenty of shredded cheddar cheese, crispy cooked bacon, and thinly sliced scallions.
  • Potatoes on top: Delicious mashed potatoes are critical for the best possible Shepherd’s Pie.
  • Vegan Mashed Potatoes: Made with just 3 simple ingredients (plus salt and pepper). These vegan mashed potatoes are easy, wholesome, and delicious.
  • Best Thanksgiving Slow Cooker Recipes: Discover the best slow cooker recipes for your Thanksgiving feast including turkey and all the classic sides. Free up oven and stove top space when you need it most by cooking one (or more!) Thanksgiving recipes in a crockpot.
A plate of roasted trukey, stuffing, vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, and cranberries.
A Classic Midwestern ThanksgivingPerfect Roast TurkeyMashed Potatoes with Turkey Gravy, Classic Bread StuffingVegetable CasseroleRoasted Asparagus, and Cranberry Sauce with Apples.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make chunky, rustic-style mashed potatoes?

Use a basic potato masher. A waffle-head masher will mash the potatoes into a smoother consistency if you like them somewhere in between.

How do I make super smooth, silky mashed potatoes?

Use a potato ricer (peeled potatoes) or food mill (unpeeled potatoes). These gadgets make the smallest, finest pieces of cooked potato, which fluff up beautifully.

Can you freeze mashed potatoes?

Mashed potatoes wind up watery and unappetizing after thawing from frozen (unless the recipe is created for that purpose such as our freezer-defying Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes recipe which uses cream cheese and egg whites for a little more staying power). I don’t recommend that you freeze regular mashed potatoes.

How do you bake potatoes?

Bake potatoes faster by taking a microwave shortcut:
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Poke a few holes in each potato with a fork.
2. Microwave on HIGH power for 8 to 12 minutes, flipping potatoes halfway through the cooking time.
3. Remove the potatoes from the microwave and rub each all over with olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper.
4. Transfer potatoes to a preheated oven and bake directly on the oven rack until tender when pierced with a small knife, about 20 minutes longer.

What is the nutrition information of a potato?

1 raw potato contains about 19g carbohydrates including 15g starch and 2.2g dietary fiber. A potato also contains about 2g protein and 0.1g fat (nearly fat-free). Potatoes also contain a host of vitamins and minerals and almost no sodium.

More holiday side dishes

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Slow cooker mashed potatoes with chives on top.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

For the best-tasting Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes, choose a high-starch potato like Russets. Slow-cook them in butter, milk, and salt, then stir in sour cream at the end for a punch of extra flavor and creaminess.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings (1 cup each)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 304
5 from 3 votes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In the bottom of a slow cooker, add potatoes and milk. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt, then top with both sticks of butter. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, stirring once every hour.
  • Remove cover and mash potatoes to a uniform consistency (they will look oily until the butter has been thoroughly mashed into the potatoes; don't worry, just keep mashing). Fold in the sour cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Notes

  1. Potatoes: For the fluffiest, smoothest, and most flavorful mashed potatoes, choose high-starch potatoes like Russet, Idaho, or Yukon gold potatoes.  Waxy potatoes (such as new, red, or white varieties) require more mashing to become creamy which could result in gluey, pasty spuds.
  2. Chives: The fresh chives are totally optional here but they go really well with the sour cream. If chives feel weird on your Thanksgiving table, though, just leave them out. 
  3. Yield: This recipes makes about 12 cups mashed potatoes, enough for 12 (1-cup) servings.
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cupCalories: 304kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 5gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 158mgPotassium: 833mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 524IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 2mg
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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