Easy Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes For Thanksgiving

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

One of my least favorite dishes to make on Thanksgiving is the home-made mashed potatoes. It’s a favorite for sure, but it’s labor-intensive and time-consuming. Once on the table, they chill too quickly and become hard.
Luckily, I found this great idea from kitchn.com on how easy they are to do in the slow cooker AND it keeps the mashed potatoes warm during dinner! It’s a Win-Win!

Here’s What You Need:

5 pounds russet potatoes
3 to 4 cloves garlic, optional
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
3 to 3 1/2 cups milk, or a mixture of milk and cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter

Chef’s knife
Cutting board
4-quart (or larger) slow cooker
2-quart saucepan
Potato masher or ricer
Wooden spoon or spatula


Peel and chop the potatoes: Lightly grease the slow cooker insert with butter or cooking spray. Peel the potatoes and chop them into small pieces about 1 inch to a side. The smaller the potatoes, the faster they will cook, obviously. Transfer the potatoes to the slow cooker.

Add the seasonings: Smash the garlic cloves, if using, and drop them on top of the potatoes. Stir in the salt and a generous quantity of black pepper.
Pour in 1 1/2 cups milk and stir the potatoes once.
Cook until tender: Cover the slow cooker and cook for 4 to 5 hours on HIGH or until the potatoes are very tender and soft. Turn the heat to WARM.
Melt the butter: When the potatoes are done, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
Warm the dairy: Stir 2 cups milk, or a mixture of milk and cream, into the melted butter and warm gently over low heat.
Mash the potatoes: If you used garlic but don’t want the potatoes super garlicky, remove the garlic cloves and discard. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard any browned bits on the sides of the pot. Use a potato masher or ricer to mash the potatoes right in the pot.
Slowly stir in the dairy: When the potatoes are as smooth as you like, slowly stir in the warmed dairy and butter. The potatoes will look soupy at first but the potatoes will quickly soak up the liquid. Add an additional 1/2 cup of milk or cream if you want them to be even creamier.
Taste and season: Taste and season with additional salt or pepper if desired.
Keep warm: To keep the potatoes warm, leave in the covered slow cooker on the WARM setting for up to 4 hours.

Recipe Notes:

Dairy-free potatoes: You can also cook the potatoes in chicken or vegetable broth instead of milk.
Lighter mashed potatoes: This recipe is based on our perfect mashed potatoes and they are quite rich and creamy. But of course, you don’t need to add butter, milk, or cream — you can simply cook the potatoes and then mash them without additional dairy.
Potato add-ins: I like to switch up the flavor (and color) of my mashed potatoes. I add rutabaga or use a mix of Yukon Gold and Russet for color and flavor. This is easy here; just cut up the potatoes or another root vegetable and cook along with the main bulk of the potatoes.


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