Fact: cooking time is very limited on Thanksgiving. You’ve got to somehow fit a turkey in your oven, make mashed potatoes and gravy, serve a pie and put the other amazing sides on the table. How will you do it?!
Don’t worry, I’ve got a solution: amazing mashed potatoes made right in your slow cooker! It’s a game changer and frankly, I was shocked when they came out exactly the way I wanted them to: creamy, smooth, delicious and full of flavor.
This recipe was inspired by my mother in law, who is known for making the most creamy delicious mashed potatoes during Thanksgiving (Hi Judy!). She always does something a little different, but my most favorite is when she adds just a little butter and sour cream and then mashes them to perfection.
I tried my best to replicate her recipe on the blog, but kept it lightened up, and I believe they’re well worth trying.
How do you make mashed potatoes in the slow cooker?
In order to simplify the process and save a little time on Thanksgiving day I decided to take my mother in law’s mashed potato recipe and make it in the slow cooker for ease! They came out magnificently flavorful, silky smooth and can guarantee creamy mashed potatoes in just a few easy steps.
Here’s how to make mashed potatoes in the slow cooker:
- Add diced potatoes and minced garlic to your slow cooker with a little broth and cook on high. The broth prevents the potatoes from sticking to the bowl of the slow cooker and allows them to steam a little while they cook. Personally, I like using Yukon gold potatoes because they’re softer and more buttery in flavor. I also like to keep the skin on the potatoes, since I think it adds a nice texture, but feel free to peel them if you want an even smoother version.
- Once potatoes are fork tender, add your other ingredients and mash to creamy perfection. After potatoes have been cooking in the slow cooker and are very fork tender (4 hours on high was perfect for me!), add in sour cream or greek yogurt, butter, a little milk to start, and salt and pepper. Then mash with a potato masher. I don’t recommend using an electric mixer because there are a lot of potatoes and my fear would be them going everywhere.
- Adjust the texture and flavors to your liking. Everyone enjoys their potatoes a little different, so you can really adjust here as you see fit. Add additional milk to make the potatoes creamier or feel free to add in more butter and use whole milk for richer, ultra creamy mashed potatoes.
- Have fun. This recipe is easy and pretty impossible to mess up. Don’t stress too much about it. When all done and your potatoes are creamy and taste delicious, simply scoop into a warm bowl right before serving, then garnish with a pat of butter and freshly ground black pepper on top. YUM.
How to make healthy mashed potatoes
To make healthy slow cooker mashed potatoes, I recommend using unsweetened almond milk and whole milk greek yogurt in this recipe. Trust me, they’re still going to be incredibly flavorful, silky and delicious.
Peeling vs not peeling potatoes
In this slow cooker mashed potato recipe, you can either decide to peel your potatoes, or leave the skins on. It just depends on how you like your mashed potato texture. Peeled potatoes will give you a creamier texture.
Tips for the BEST mashed potatoes
Be sure to generously season your mashed potatoes with salt and pepper and then mix again and taste a bite or two before serving — it’s important to taste as you go, adding more of this and that where needed. Experiencing is what cooking is all about, learning to trust yourself and adjusting flavors.
Keeping mashed potatoes in the slow cooker
Once your mashed potatoes are done cooking in the slow cooker and you have mashed them, you can turn the slow cooker to warm and keep on warm for up to 3 hours. Before serving, I recommend tasting them again and stirring in a little more milk to keep them creamy, if necessary.
More healthy Thanksgiving recipes to try:
Feel free to check out our healthy Thanksgiving recipes here. Here are some of my other personal favorites:
I hope you love these creamy slow cooker mashed potatoes. They’re easy, so GOOD and a wonderful way to save both 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 Garlic Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- 5 pounds gold potatoes, diced (peeled or unpeeled, your choice)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth or vegetarian broth
- 1/3 cup softened butter (or vegan butter)
- 1/2 cup sour cream or whole milk greek yogurt
- 1/2-1 cup unsweetened almond milk, plus more to thin potatoes out if necessary (can also use skim milk or 2% milk)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- To garnish:
- Extra butter
- Fresh thyme spigs
- Freshly ground black pepper
In a large 5 or 6 quart slow cooker add diced potatoes, minced garlic and broth. Cook on high for 3-4 hours until potatoes are very fork tender.
Once potatoes are done cooking, place slow cooker on warm setting and add in butter, sour cream and 1/2 cup of milk to start. Use a potato masher to mash potatoes until they reach your desired consistency. I happen to like my potatoes super creamy, so I mash them until they’re completely smooth.
If you want your potatoes creamier, add in ½ cup-1 cup more milk. Finally, a generous amount of salt and pepper, then mix again. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Transfer to a large warm casserole dish for serving, add a pat of butter, a sprinkle of fresh thyme, and a little freshly ground black pepper. Serves 10.
If you want a richer, very silky smooth version, you can use a ½ cup of butter and whole milk.
If you don't like potato skins, feel free to peel your potatoes before dicing and placing in the slow cooker. They're delicious!
If you're keeping 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.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats