Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

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Photography Credit: Lisa Lin

Like most of you, my kitchen is a hectic place on Thanksgiving Day. There are dirty bowls and spoons everywhere and ten different dishes cooking at once. Every nook and cranny becomes prime real estate.

Making the mashed potatoes in the slow cooker helps relieve some of the anxiety.

This dish is incredibly low maintenance. Just cook the potatoes on high for a few hours, mash, season, and serve. That’s it!

Slow Cooker Mashed PotatoesThere are a few things to note when making these slow cooker mashed potatoes.

I used chicken broth for cooking the potatoes, but you can substitute vegetable broth or even plain water if you’d like to make a vegetarian version. Do note that many store-bought vegetable broths tend to have a reddish-orange hue, probably because they use carrots to make the broth. The color of the vegetable broth could affect the overall look of the mashed potatoes when they’re finished.

I recommend stirring the potatoes once or twice during cooking since the potato chunks that touch the edge of the ceramic bowl of your slow cooker can start to brown. Stirring prevents the potatoes from browning too much.

If you like chunky mashed potatoes, like me, mash everything right in the slow cooker using a potato masher. For smoother mashed potatoes, mash the potatoes in two batches to make sure its smooth. A heavy-duty potato ricer is also a useful tool for completely smooth potatoes!

Slow cooker mashed potatoes are definitely a game changer for me. I will make them for my Thanksgiving dinners every year now!

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Slow Cooker time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and chopped to 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Chopped chives, to garnish (optional)

Special equipment:

 

Method

1 Season the potatoes: Stir the potatoes, broth, garlic and salt together in a large bowl, then transfer to your slow cooker. I like to do this step in a separate bowl so I'm sure the seasonings are evenly distributed, but you can also do it right in the slow cooker if you like.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

2 Cover and cook the potatoes on high for 4 hours. Stir once after 2 hours and again when there are about 30 minutes left for cooking. This helps prevent brown spots where the potatoes touch the side of the slow cooker, but it's fine if you forget.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

3 Mash the potatoes: When the potatoes are ready, the will fall apart easily when pierced with a fork. For chunky potatoes, use a potato masher and mash the potatoes right in the slow cooker. For smoother potatoes, remove half and mash the potatoes in two batches (using a potato ricer, if you have one).

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

4 Mix the butter and milk into the potatoes: Stir well to mix in the butter and milk. Don’t worry if the mashed potatoes look runny at first. The potatoes will absorb the liquid as you stir. Taste and add more salt and ground pepper if needed. Mix in chopped chives or other fresh herbs, if you like.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

These mashed potatoes can be kept covered and on the "warm" setting of the slow cooker for 1 to 2 hours. Stir before serving.

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Lisa Lin

Lisa Lin is the writer and photographer behind Healthy Nibbles & Bits, where she shares simple, gluten-free recipes. She grew up in San Francisco and spent time living in China and Washington, D.C. before moving back to California. Her recipes are often inspired by her time in China and travel throughout Southeast Asia.

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Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Showing 4 of 9 Comments

  • Michelle

    Anytime I’ve made anything with potatoes in the slow cooker they’ve turned out grey and disgusting – anyone know what the problem is? I’ve tried baked potatoes, potatoes in stews, etc – always grey and gross.

  • Alida @My Little Italian Kitchen

    I have never tried this. It definitely looks easy and delicious. Thank you I will try this for sure.

  • Dawn

    Love this idea! I always make my sweet potato casserole in one of my Crock Pots, so why I never thought to make the mashed taters that way, I cannot say. Thank you!

  • William Stoneman

    Tried this a couple of years ago…and would never recommend this method.

  • Mike

    Um…the slow cooker has several priorities higher than mashed potatoes in my kitchen on Thanksgiving. (Just how many crock pots do you have? And how many do you recommend?)

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