The slow cooker is well known for its expertise in perfecting soups and stews, but it can master side dishes, too. Making your side dishes in the slow cooker allows you to concentrate on your main course, even if the slow-cooked sides end up stealing the show.
There are many slow cooker recipes that star potatoes, and they require little work from you. Check out these different food formulas that have you throwing your carbs in the slow cooker and checking back later. You’ll be surprised just how indulgent and creamy potatoes can taste when they’re set up in the slow cooker.
1. Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
First up is a recipe all cooks need up their sleeves. Mashed potatoes made in the slow cooker don’t only come in handy for Thanksgiving. They’re also simple and satisfying for any weeknight meal. This recipe from The Kitchn feeds a crowd, serving 6 to 8. There’s not a ton of prep work, and there are no extra dishes to clean.
All you need to do is cut your potatoes, throw them in the slow cooker, and then cook with a small amount of liquid. When they’ve softened, mash them right in the pot, add in the milk and butter, and keep them warm in the slow cooker until you’re ready to serve.
- 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 ½ cups milk, or a mixture of milk and cream
- ½ cup unsalted butter
Directions: Lightly grease the slow cooker insert with butter or cooking spray. Peel the potatoes, and chop into small pieces about 1 inch to a side. Transfer the potatoes to the slow cooker. Smash the garlic cloves, if using, and drop on top of the potatoes. Stir in the salt and a generous quantity of black pepper. Pour in 1 ½ cups milk, and stir the potatoes once.
Cover the slow cooker, and cook 4 to 5 hours on high or until the potatoes are tender and soft. Turn the heat to warm.
When the potatoes are done, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir 2 cups milk, or a mixture of milk and cream, into the melted butter and warm gently over low heat.
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.
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 ½ cup of milk or cream if you want them to be even creamier.
Taste and season with additional salt or pepper if desired.