I start nearly every slow cooker recipe off by talking about how smitten I am with slow cookers, and I really want to start this one the same way. I guess when you’re in love, you want everyone to know. Repeatedly. And often. But I’ll attempt to hold myself back a bit and just talk about these Slow Cooker Loaded Mashed Potatoes.
Okay, but. Here’s the thing. Slow cookers, in all their gloriousness, have totally transformed how I make mashed potatoes. With the Crock Pot, they are so much easier to make! I LOVE SLOW COOKERS!
I think it’s out of my system now. But seriously – I never knew mashed potatoes could be so easy. I mean, they weren’t that tough before, but I hated all that peeling and the inevitable boiling-over that would happen on the stove.
With the Crock Pot, you cut up potatoes, add a little liquid and butter, and then let them cook. A little time with the masher along with some milk or cream and you’re good to go. I love how this method makes mashed potatoes practically effortless for big holiday dinners – one less thing to have to worry about come crunch time.
I posted this recipe for Unbelievably Easy Crock Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes last year, and since then, I’ve been playing around with different potatoes and flavors. For this version, I decided to go whole hog. Without the hog. Unless you want the hog in which case you can add bacon to your serving – otherwise, they’re vegetarian.
Oh, Crock Pot. I’ll never stop loving you. (((Hug))).
Slow Cooker Loaded Mashed Potatoes (with Optional Bacon)
A seriously easy Crock Pot mashed potato recipe, these loaded mashed potatoes are trashed up (in the best possible way) with butter, sour cream, scallions, cheddar cheese, and - of course - bacon for the meat-eaters.
- 3 pounds red potatoes (scrubbed clean and cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 4 tablespoons butter (cut into squares + more for serving if desired)
- 1 teaspoon salt + additional salt if desired
- 1/3 cup water or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup half-and-half plus more if needed
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup + 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
- 1 bunch scallions (chopped & divided)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the optional bacon topping:
- 2-4 slices bacon or turkey bacon (cooked, drained, and crumbled)
Add potatoes to a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Dot with the butter and sprinkle on the salt. Pour water or vegetable broth over the top. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low 7-8 hours, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Turn off the slow cooker, remove the lid, and let cool for a few minutes.
Add 1/2 cup half-and-half and sour cream. Mash and stir with a potato masher until well-combined. Add more half-and-half for a thinner consistency, if desired. Stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese and most of the scallions, reserving some of the green slices for garnish. Taste and add additional salt and some pepper if desired.
Transfer to a medium-size casserole dish or serving bowl, piling the potatoes lightly. Add additional butter, if desired, and top with the remaining cheddar cheese and the remaining scallions. Pass with the bacon in a separate bowl so diners can top with bacon if desired (or leave it off if they prefer).
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