mashed potato bar {in a slow cooker}

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This is such a fun way to serve decadent, warm comfort food at a cool weather gathering in the autumn or winter. Guests can serve themselves and make their mashed potato “parfaits” any way they like. This time my toppings were pretty standard but you can get really creative with the toppings if you like. The possibilities are endless! If you’d like to make this a bit more fancy, offer white or black truffle oil, capers, smoked salmon, or caviar as topping choices and serve the mashed potatoes in martini glasses.

4 lb. russet potatoes, washed, peeled and quartered (make the pieces uniform in size.)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt

1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 cup water

4 Tablespoons butter, cut into little chunks

8 oz. chive & onion cream cheese

1/3 cup milk

Place potato pieces in slow cooker. Add garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, pepper, water, and butter. Mix well to coat potatoes. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours (or until potatoes are tender.) Once potatoes are tender, mash them well with a potato masher, right in the crock. Stir in the cream cheese until evenly blended. Stir in milk.  Serve or keep warm on the LOW setting for up to 2 hours. If you have a WARM setting you cold keep it on for 4 or more hours.

Topping suggestions:

~ gravy

~ fried bacon, crumbled

~ shredded sharp cheddar cheese

~ chopped green onions or fried onions

~ butter

~ sour cream or plain greek yogurt

~ ranch dressing

~ ketchup or BBQ sauce

~ malt vinegar

~ chopped fresh parsley or fresh thyme leaves

~ salt and pepper



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  34 comments for “mashed potato bar {in a slow cooker}

  1. August 17, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I love this idea. I love that you can take as much or as little as you would like. A great splurge for a winter or fall get together!

    • Melissa
      August 18, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks, Althea! I’m so happy you like the idea 🙂

  2. August 22, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Just made these potatoes for my family last night. They were a hit.

    • Melissa
      August 22, 2015 at 9:03 am

      glad to hear it! Thanks for stopping by to let me know 🙂

  3. Cheryl
    August 28, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    What a terrific idea, our family will love this and will keep the potatoes warm. Thanks for sharing!
    I shared, too!

  4. Beverly
    August 30, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Sounds great!! If I want to double (or triple) the recipe, would I have to add more time to cook?

    • Melissa
      August 31, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Beverley 🙂
      If you want to double or triple the recipe you’ll need more than one Crock Pot. This makes a lot and pretty much fills up the slow cooker. Hope that helps! ~M

      • Beverly M.
        September 27, 2015 at 1:19 am


  5. Sallie
    August 30, 2015 at 10:49 am

    What a Great Idea!!!! Perfect for Thanksgiving, Our Winter BBQ….
    Thank you …..

    • Melissa
      August 31, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      My pleasure, Sallie! 🙂 Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by to comment!

  6. Dawn Crawford
    September 19, 2015 at 11:18 am

    approximately how many does the recipi serve?

    • Melissa
      September 25, 2015 at 8:24 am

      I’d say if you make a 7 quart Crock Pot full of mashed potatoes, you’d have at least enough for 10 people. 🙂

  7. Alison
    November 6, 2015 at 11:01 am

    My small group from church is getting together and I wanted to make this. If I cooked the potatoes the night before would it still work?

    • Melissa
      November 6, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      I believe you could! 🙂 Never tried it, but if they thicken up too much just thin them out with a little sour cream or buttermilk 🙂 enjoy!

  8. Amy T
    December 20, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Doing this with Christmas dinner. Can’t wait.

  9. Pam Shelton
    August 25, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    I love this idea for Football get together’s everyone loves it !!! Thank you

    • Melissa
      August 27, 2016 at 10:52 am

      You’re welcome! Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by, Pam! 🙂

  10. Carol K
    August 27, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Do you put a little liquid in crock pot to cook potatoes.

    • Melissa
      August 27, 2016 at 10:50 am

      the recipe says 1 cup of water and 1/3 cup of milk 🙂

  11. Karen
    November 23, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Love idea of using the crockpot. Would it be just as creamy/good if replace the cream cheese with sour cream?

    • Melissa
      November 24, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      Hi Karen!
      I’ve never tried it with sour cream in place of cream cheese 🙂 Please let me know if you try it with good results. ~M

  12. Rebecca Anderson
    December 21, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    I love using sour cream in making mashed potatoes all the time…and then cream cheese puts it over the top!!!!

    • Melissa
      December 22, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      YUM! 🙂

  13. Lisa Maginnis
    March 6, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Hosting bunco on a Friday in March (christian lent) so I look for creative “meat free” options to serve my guests. This is perfect. What’s more Irish for March Bunco than Potatoes???
    Thank you for posting!

    • Melissa
      March 6, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      Oohhh!!! I like the way you think! Enjoy! Happy Bunco-Patty’s Day! 🙂

      • Melissa
        September 2, 2017 at 6:10 pm


    • Melissa
      September 2, 2017 at 6:10 pm


  14. Karen Steinmann
    September 1, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Want to do this for our next camping trip. We pool our side dishes and each bring their own meat. I’ve read about doing baked potatoes like this but love this. A new thing to share. Always looking for something everyone likes, easy to make and NEW ideas. Thanks.

    • Melissa
      September 2, 2017 at 6:10 pm

      My pleasure! Enjoy! 🙂

  15. Karen Steinmann
    September 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    additional thought to my comment. I have some small canning jars…think I’ll use them to serve this in when it’s an adult camping trip, no kids or grandkids. We do this at least once a year so we can relax and have adult talk time

    • Melissa
      September 2, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      love it!

  16. Fonn
    September 2, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I’ve never hear of BBQ sauce, ketchup, or malt vinegar on mashed potatoes?

    • Melissa
      September 2, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      Really? All of them are good depending on the other toppings you choose. So many different possibilities for a mashed potato bar.

  17. Pam
    July 7, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    I do this a lot for big family dinners. I usually just make my mashed potatoes as usual and pour them into the slow cooker to keep warm.

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