September 26, 2023


Cooking Is My World

Easy Make-Ahead Crockpot Mashed Potatoes

Bowl of crockpot mashed potatoes topped with butter next to cream and parmesan wedge.

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!

Crockpot mashed potatoes in serving bowl topped with parmesan, butter, and thyme.

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

Ingredients for slow cooker mashed potatoes labeled on counter.
  • 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: vegetable broth or 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.
Cubed potatoes, butter, broth, and garlic in crockpot.
  • 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.
Side by side photo showing mashed potatoes in crockpot before and after adding sour cream.
  • 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.
Bowl of crockpot mashed potatoes topped with butter next to cream and parmesan wedge.

Storing Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Leftover cooled mashed potatoes can be stored in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. 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!

Recipe Modifications

  • 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! 

Bowl of Crockpot Mashed Potatoes next to slow cooker

Crockpot Mashed Potatoes

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes are an easy way to prepare velvety, creamy Mashed Potatoes. Seasoned with garlic and Parmesan these Mashed Potatoes are perfection.


Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Servings: 10

Calories: 263kcal

Prevents your screen from going dark while preparing the recipe.


  • 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.


  • You can use red-skinned potatoes if you would prefer but your mashed potatoes will not be as creamy.
  • I really recommend mashing potatoes with a hand held potato masher, for creamy, not gluey, mashed potatoes. A hand-held mixer can be used, but be very careful to NOT over mix.
  • Use half and half, cream, or milk of any fat percentage for a creamy finish to these slow cooker mashed potatoes.
  • Feel free to omit Parmesan and Garlic for a more classic recipe for crockpot mashed potatoes. 


Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 541mg | Potassium: 968mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 560IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 2mg

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This recipe for Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2022 with new photos and a new video.