Because I work from home and we school at home, my daily commute and our trek to school are as far as walking downstairs to the kitchen from our bedrooms (uphill both ways, mind you). This also means that my work attire is typically quite casual and sometimes involves pajama pants.
It all makes sense, then, that I would run out the door to a meeting a few evenings ago where I would join many professionals who had just left their offices. They were so dressed up and looked so nice! I took a seat, looked down, and that’s when I noticed that I was still wearing my slippers.
Nailed it. But at least I had on actual pants.
I’ve gotten to the point of laughing (most of the time) about the craziness of my days – mostly because I truly do love my life – even if it is sometimes questionably insane. The “day of the slippers” I had gone from one kid to the next to the next as we tried to crank out papers and assignments for school, along with a video that was due for a church event the minute we got back from a three day out-of-state basketball tournament. Try as I might, never once was I able to sit down to even answer a work email.
The day after that was no different (except that I was still wearing those same slippers). So I’m not sure what came over me when I decided that morning to try the Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes so many of you told me about after I’d lamented that my mashed tater making days had come to an end.
They take too much time, said I. They make too much of a mess. I’ve got to keep my meals simple!!
All of this is true. After all, I don’t even have time to remember to wear shoes when I go out in public. Therefore no one should expect me to make mashed potatoes for dinner.
But since the crock pot version seemed just as simple as making baked potatoes in the crock pot – and I’ve been doing that for years – I decided to give mashed potatoes one last chance.
You guys. My children are so happy that you are in my life. They had long since forgotten that mashed potatoes were an actual thing. Imagine their faces (and their full plates) when I presented them with a crock full of beautiful, fluffy, delicious mashed potatoes THAT HAD TAKEN ALL OF 2 MINUTES TO MAKE.
The crock pot has made mashed potatoes great again.
What’s the difference in the amount of work/time/dirty dishes compared to making mashed potatoes on the stove-top? The difference for me is enormous!
When I made potatoes on the stove-top, I’d dirty a pot, and I’d almost always allow the potato water to spill over and dirty the stove-top. Then I’d transfer the cooked potatoes to a bowl and use my beaters to mash them. This means I’d dirty my counter-tops because I’m a messy cook and potatoes would fling precariously from the beaters.
I can’t even handle the memory of making mashed potatoes this way. I just had to walk away.
But here’s how to make Simple Mashed Potatoes in the Crock Pot. I do warn you ahead of time and apologize because I no longer know how to cook in small quantity. If you aren’t feeding an army of teenage boys, feel free to cut this recipe in half.
The Easiest Mashed Potatoes in the World
- 5 pounds potatoes (I prefer yukon gold)
- 1 cup whole milk, half-and-half, or cream
- 2 cups sour cream
- ¼-1/2 cup butter
- sea salt to taste
- Scrub, but don't peel the potatoes
- Cook them in a crock pot on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5 hours.
- Mash soft potatoes directly in the crock with a potato masher.
- While mashing, dump in the milk, sour cream, butter, and salt.
- Continue mashing until potatoes have reached desired consistency.
A few extra tips:
- If you don’t like potato skins, peel them before baking them. Of course, this requires an extra step, takes away some nourishment, and I just can’t handle it. (The skin on yukon gold or red potatoes is much thinner and easier to eat, so I recommend sticking with those potatoes in this recipe!)
- You don’t have to add sour cream and butter to these, but if you don’t, what even is the point of eating them??
- These will cook faster if you cut the potatoes into chunks, but again, then we’ve added an extra step to the process which changes the name of these potatoes to “Almost the easiest mashed potatoes in the world.”
Much to my family’s delight, I have made mashed potatoes two weeks in a row after a very long mashed potato hiatus. A huge thank you to all who suggested this method!
Tell me if you’ve tried mashed potatoes this way? If you haven’t, promise me you’ll join this mashed potato party!
This is great and so quick in the instant pot too! It’s my go to when we have unexpected company. Mmmmmmm…..
My family is going to be very happy you shared this recipe! I was definitely on the “mashed potatoes are too much work!” bandwagon, but I will absolutely give these a try! Thank you so much for sharing!!! You have really blessed my family so much by taking so much of the stress out of my cooking that it makes me actually want to cook, lol :) Thanks again!!
Brandette W. says
Oh, what?! I have made mashed potatoes many times in my crockpot, but I always have spent the time to peel & dice them before they go in to cook. You are telling me, I can just plop the whole potatoes in the crockpot to cook and then mash them from there??? You have literally opened up a whole new world now. We eat potatoes often, this is going to be fun!
Kathleen Keener says
Seriously? I regularly take mashed potatoes to a weekly potluck dinner and with some pre-planning, I can make them in the same crock pot I take them in?
Yes!!! How exciting is this?!
Stupid Question Guy says
Umm. So are we just putting the potatoes in the crock pot dry, or adding water? Sorry for the dumb q.
Yep, that’s the beauty of how simple these are! No added water, so you don’t have to drain them before mashing. Just throw them in, let them cook, then mash!
Laura, I tried the crock pot baked potatoes right after you mentioned them. I thought what a time saver. well, my potatoes cooked overnight, at least 8 hrs, and still rock hard when I checked them. What did I do wrong? I had it on high.
Wow, I really have no idea what could have happened! On high for 8 hours your potatoes should have been mush. Were they piping hot at the end of that time? Did you leave them to cook so that they eventually got soft? What a mystery!
Laura, yes they were warm through out, but tested with a knife, poked it and it was not tender at all.
I used Russets, about 5 medium is all I had in it. I cooked all day, and still rock hard. had to throw them out..
I help out a couple elderly people with meals a few times a week, so any time saver would be great..
and must let you know, I am a Laura Natural food convert. real butter, oh yes… etc.. you get the picture.. thanks
I can’t figure out what might have gone wrong. I have only used red potatoes or yukon gold potatoes for this, so you might try that variety instead, but still, after so many hour russets should have been fine too!
Yes! These are the best! Especially good on a Sunday when we have church and then minister at the nursing home. We come home so hungry to mashed potatoes in one crock pot and a roast in another. No leftovers at all on those days! Glad you are enjoying mashed potatoes again.
Confirmed member of #teamcrockpot for mashed potatoes! Glad that you tried it and liked it. :)
I freeze the leftovers in meal sized amounts. They can then be reheated on the stove, in the oven (350 for +/- 30 minutes) or microwave (@50% power). I generally add a bit of milk or cream to freshen them up.
Tera B says
Thanks for the tip on freezing! Because even though these are the easiest mashed potatoes in the world, it’s even easier taking them out of the freezer :)
Not team crockpot here with mashed potatoes, however, I do almost the exact same thing on the stove top.
Start with a large stainless steel pot, add potatoes that have been cut into chunks (but not peeled) and fill with water. Boil for 30-40 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain using the lid of the pot, so no extra dish to wash. Then return to stove top, add milk, butter, sour cream, salt and pepper and mash right in the pot.
Potato masher only. Using a mixer to mash potatoes gives you whipped potatoes, which are gummy and not nice.
If I’m in the mood, I will add 3-4 cloves of whole garlic to the pot to boil with the potatoes. Makes the best garlic mashed potatoes.
I hope your slippers look nicer than mine. :) And this is a great idea I haven’t tried. I have made mash potatoes on the stove top and then transferred to the crockpot to keep warm for a potluck so this would be much easier. Thanks a lot!
Love this idea! And since I also feed an army of teenage boys, I appreciate that I don’t have to double or triple your recipes, like I do for some bloggers! ;)
Blessed Little Family says
I think I will try making these dairy free. We have coconut milk and vegan butter. I don’t know yet if I’ll sub out the sour cream, but I’ve made creamy mashed potatoes before without dairy. I think a little garlic powder would be a nice touch to this recipe.
We have food allergies so we must work around dairy. Thanks for an easy recipe that can easily be adapted for people who can’t consume or choose not to consume dairy.
I have tried this method on two different occasions – from two different sites- and the dang taters were still solid! I had to put them on the stove and boil them until they were done!!
Bethany Lotulelei says
Oh no! Have you tried adjusting the cooking time? Maybe leave them in your crock pot for another hour or two, and check them again. Every crock pot runs a bit warmer or colder, so that could change things!
Let us know how it goes.
-Bethany (Laura’s assistant)
I am reading the comments about solid potatoes in crock pot after many hours. Are you using water in crock pot? Perhaps that would solve the problem. Some varieties of potatoes have more moisture in them than others.
I don’t use any water. But I’m assuming that those having trouble are using russets. I use red or gold and never have any trouble!