Fact: Cooking time is very limited on Thanksgiving. You have to somehow fit a turkey in your oven, make mashed potatoes and gravy, serve a cake, and put the other awesome sides on the table. How are you going to do it ?!

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Don’t worry, I have a solution: amazing mashed potatoes right in your slow cooker! It’s a game changer and frankly I was shocked when they came out exactly how I wanted it: creamy, smooth, delicious, and full of flavor.

This recipe was inspired by my mother-in-law who is known for making the creamiest delicious mashed potatoes during Thanksgiving. She always does something different, but my favorite is when she just adds a little butter and sour cream and then purees it to perfection.

I did my best to reproduce their recipe on the blog but made it easier and I think it’s worth trying out. So creamy, so delicious!

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Ingredients for slow cooker mashed potatoes

These simple potato purees in the pot use few ingredients, but they get so creamy and delicious. You need:

  • Yukon gold potatoes: I think golden potatoes give the best, buttery texture and taste, but you can use rust red potatoes as well. Looking for a Sweet Potato Option? Try my brown butter puree sweet potatoes.
  • Garlic: Get all that hearty, delicious taste from 6 cloves of garlic. Yes six!
  • Butter: What are mashed potatoes without a lot of butter ?! Feel free to use salted or unsalted butter, and even vegan butter.
  • Broth or water: Add the perfect amount of moisture with chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water.
  • Milk: I also like to add unsweetened almond milk, but you can use any milk you like. If you find that your mashed potatoes are too thick after cooking or sitting, feel free to add more!
  • Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt: The secret ingredient for silky mashed potatoes is sour cream or Greek yogurt.
  • Spices: Don’t forget to add plenty of salt and pepper to taste. I also like to garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme or even chives!

How to make mashed potatoes in the slow cooker

To make the process easier and save a bit of time on Thanksgiving Day, I decided to take my mother-in-law’s mashed potatoes recipe and just cook it in the slow cooker! In just a few steps and with a few simple tips, they became wonderfully aromatic and silky smooth:

  1. Mix the potatoes, garlic and broth. You start by adding your diced, raw potatoes with the chopped garlic and some broth to your slow cooker. The potatoes don’t have to be cooked beforehand! Turn your slow cooker on to cook the potatoes. The broth prevents the potatoes from sticking to the bowl of the slow cooker and lets the potatoes steam while cooking.
  2. Add creamy elements. After the potatoes have cooked in your pot and are very tender for a fork (4 hours on high was perfect for mine!), Add the sour cream or Greek yogurt, butter, some milk to start with, salt and pepper.
  3. Crush them. You will then want to mash everything together with a potato masher. I don’t recommend using an electric mix as there are a lot of potatoes and they could go anywhere.
  4. Customize flavors and textures. Everyone enjoys their potatoes a little differently, so you can really adjust to what you want here. Add extra milk to make the potatoes creamier or add more butter and use whole milk for richer, ultra-creamy mashed potatoes.
  5. Remember to have fun and enjoy! This recipe is simple and pretty much impossible to screw up. Don’t stress yourself too much about it. When everything is ready and your potatoes are creamy and taste delicious, just place them in a warm bowl just before serving and garnish with a piece of butter and freshly ground black pepper. YUM.

Brighten them to perfection

To make healthy crock pot mashed potatoes, I recommend using unsweetened almond milk and Greek whole milk yogurt in this recipe. You can also use vegan butter! Trust me, they’ll still be incredibly flavorful, silky, and delicious. If you can also use skimmed milk or 2% milk!

Peel potatoes instead of peel potatoes

In this recipe, you can either peel your potatoes or leave the peel on. It just depends on how you like your mashed potatoes texture. I also like to leave the skin on the potatoes as it gives a nice texture in my opinion, but you can also peel it if you want an even smoother, creamier version.

Tips for making the BEST mashed potatoes

  • Be sure to generously season your mashed potatoes with salt and pepper, then mix again and season to taste a bite or two before serving.
  • Add extra milk to make the potatoes creamier or add more butter and use whole milk for richer, ultra-creamy mashed potatoes.
  • It’s important to try as you walk and add more of this and that as needed. Experience is what cooking means, learning to trust yourself and adapting flavors.
  • If you like chunky mashed potatoes, just hold back from mashing them too much and leave more chunks!
  • Would you like to use sweet potatoes? Try my recipe for mashed sweet potatoes with brown butter here!

Keep mashed potatoes warm in the slow cooker

As soon as your mashed potatoes have finished cooking in the slow cooker and you have pureed them, you can warm up the slow cooker and keep it warm for up to 3 hours. Before serving, I recommend trying them again and, if necessary, adding a little milk to keep them creamy.

Do them in advance

Yes, you can even make these simple mashed potatoes ahead of time! You can either:

  • Cut your potatoes into cubes the day before and store them in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.
  • Or, fully cook the slow cooker mashed potatoes 1-2 days in advance and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Then just put them back in the slow cooker to reheat – add more milk as needed.

More Thanksgiving recipes to try

Check out our Thanksgiving recipes here. Here are some of my other personal favorites:

Hope you love this creamy slow cooker mashed potatoes. They’re simple, SO GOOD, and a wonderful way to save time and space during Thanksgiving. Let me know if you make this recipe by rating the recipe and leaving a comment below – xo!

The best creamy slow cooker mashed potatoes

total time 4th hours fifteen protocol

The BEST creamy slow cooker mashed potatoes with garlic. This healthy, lightened version is sure to be your family’s new favorite mashed potato recipe!

  • 5
    Gold potatoes, diced (peeled or unpeeled, of your choice)
  • 6th
    Garlic, chopped
  • 1
    Chicken broth or vegetarian broth
  • 1/3
    soft butter (or vegan butter)
  • 1/2
    Sour Cream or Greek Whole Milk Yogurt
  • 1 / 2-1
    unsweetened almond milk, if necessary more for thinning the potatoes (can also use skimmed milk or 2% milk)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • To garnish:
  • Extra butter
  • Fresh sprigs of thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large 5 or 6 liter slow cooker, add diced potatoes, chopped garlic, and stock. Cook on high for 3-4 hours until the potatoes are very tender for a fork.

  2. Once the potatoes are done cooking, turn the slow cooker on the warm level and add the butter, sour cream, and 1/2 cup of milk to start. Use a potato masher to mash potatoes until they are the consistency you want. I like my potatoes super creamy so I mash them until they’re completely smooth.

  3. If you want your potatoes to be creamier, add ½ cup – 1 cup more milk. Finally, add a lot of salt and pepper, then mix again. Season to taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

  4. To serve, place in a large warm baking dish, add a piece of butter, a pinch of fresh thyme and some freshly ground black pepper. Serves 10.

If you want a richer, very silky smooth version, you can use half a cup of butter and whole milk.

If you don’t like potato skins, you can peel your potatoes before you dice them and put them in the slow cooker. They are delicious!

If you keep the potatoes warm in your slow cooker, you may need to add more milk before serving to keep their silky smooth texture. Mashed potatoes can be kept warm in the slow cooker for up to 3 hours.

Check out the full post to see how you can make them 1-2 days in advance!


Servings: 10 servings

Serving size: 1 serving

Calories: 204kcal

Fat: 7.7г

Saturated fatty acids: 4.5 g

Carbohydrates: 31g

Fiber: 4.7 г

Sugar: 2.1 g

Protein: 4g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious cuisine | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

This post was originally published on November 23, 2020 and republished on November 23, 2021.


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