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My go-to, make-ahead Crockpot Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions. Made simply and easily in the crockpot with cream, salted butter, onions, and melty Gruyere cheese. Each bite is perfectly smooth, creamy, and so delicious. This method makes for the creamiest and most flavorful mashed potatoes. You can make these in the crockpot, instant pot, or on the stove. They’re perfect for making ahead of time for easy entertaining!

Crockpot Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

I just could not do Thanksgiving without perfect mashed potatoes. After all, they’re everyone’s favorite side dish, right? My brothers are mashed potato fanatics. They say the only reason they love turkey and gravy is thanks to the forkful of mashers they add with each bite.

And while I definitely have other mashed potato recipes on the site, this is the family favorite. The crew really loves a cheesy, buttery potato with just the right amounts of onions. Not overpowering, but just right.

Crockpot Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

These are their perfect potatoes. I think I got the ratios just right! They’re now labeled as “fire” mashed potatoes.

Clearly, we love these potatoes.

After many years of trying all the ways to cook my mashed potatoes, I’ve decided that using the crockpot is my favorite. When in a time crunch, I use the instant pot or stove, but the crockpot is my ideal cooker.

I do mine a little differently than most.

Crockpot Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

Here are details

Most recipes for potatoes in the crockpot don’t have you cook the potatoes in water, then drain. They’ll tell you to cook in milk or broth. But I just don’t find that to work as well.

I add the potatoes to the crockpot, add water, add garlic, and salt, then cover and let them slow cook for a few hours or up to all day.

Once the potatoes are fork-tender, I drain them and add them back to the dry, but still hot crockpot bowl. I set the crockpot to low, then cook onions. The key is to allow the potatoes to sit in the hot crockpot to dry off. Reducing the moisture gives you even creamy, tastier potatoes!

Crockpot Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

While the potatoes sit, I make the onions.

A lot of mashed potato recipes call for onion powder. But I wanted to add a little more of a fresh onion flavor that wasn’t overpowering, but just right.

I love using caramelized onions for an onion flavor that’s more mellow.

I first caramelize them down in a bit of butter. Then I like to add some wine to help them caramelize a little faster. Next, just a little fresh thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Plus lots of butter, which is key for any good potato dish.

Crockpot Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

When it comes to mashing the potatoes, I don’t do anything fancy, just mash them with a masher and call it a day. But you do you, if you love a super smooth, whipped potato, try using a potato ricer instead.

Once I have the potatoes mashed, I add cream, sour cheese, the carmelized onions, butter and melty gruyere cheese. Continue letting the potatoes cook until the cheese is melted. And that’s it, you’ll have the most perfect, flavorful, and creamiest mashed potatoes.

Classic, but with amazing flavor and cheesiness.

Crockpot Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

Serve these up warm with a little added sage for color.

I’m excited to not only share this recipe with you guys but also with family and friends. My brothers have all agreed, these are one of their favorite potato dishes.

When you win over the brothers, all is good!

The next question is, what will you be pairing these cheesy potatoes with? The obvious answer for Thanksgiving is turkey. But come December, over here it will be my roasted beef tenderloin.

Crockpot Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other easy Thanksgiving sides?? Here are my favorites: 

Crispy Parmesan Thyme Sweet Potato Stacks

Crispy Cheesy Potato Stacks

Sweet Potato Casserole with Sweet ‘n’ Savory Bacon Pecans

Easiest No-Boil Brie Mac and Cheese

Lastly, if you make these Crockpot Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

 

Crockpot Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 521 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

Crockpot

  • 1. In the bowl of your crockpot, combine the potatoes, water, garlic, and salt. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, until the potatoes are fork tender. Set the crockpot to low or warm.
    2. Drain the potatoes, then add them back to the crockpot. Let sit, uncovered while you caramelize the onions.
    3. Melt together 4 tablespoons butter and the onions in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and continue to cook another 5 minutes until the onions are deeply caramelized.
    4. Add 4 tablespoons butter, the thyme, and sage, and season with salt and pepper. Cook another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
    5. Mash the potatoes with a masher. Add the cream and sour cream, adding more cream until your desired consistency is reached. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Stir the onions in with the butter and cheese, cover, and cook another 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and creamy. Keep the potatoes covered, on warm, for up to 4 hours.

Instant Pot

  • 1. In the bowl of your instant pot, combine the potatoes, water, garlic, and salt. Cover and cook on high pressure for 14 minutes. Release the steam, drain the potatoes, then add them back to the instant pot.
    2. Set the instant pot to warm. Let sit, uncovered while you caramelize the onions.
    3. Melt together 4 tablespoons butter and the onions in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and continue to cook another 5 minutes until the onions are deeply caramelized.
    4. Add 4 tablespoons butter, the thyme, and sage, and season with salt and pepper. Cook another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
    5. Mash the potatoes with a masher. Add the cream and sour cream, adding more cream until your desired consistency is reached. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Stir the onions in with the butter and cheese, cover, and cook another 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and creamy. Keep the potatoes covered, on warm, for up to 4 hours.

Stove

  • 1. In a large dutch oven, combine the potatoes, 6 cups water, the garlic, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook 20-25 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes, then add them back to the pot.
    2. Finish as directed through step 3.
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Crockpot Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. Alright, Tieghan – I prepared them on the stovetop, and they are now on “warm” in the crockpot, ready to take to the in-laws this afternoon! Obviously I did some quality control testing, and I am SO looking forward to more with dinner. I grabbed the wrong cheese at the store – gouda instead of gruyere – but I think they’ll be just as tasty! Thank you for sharing your love of food and memories with your eager readers. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    1. Hey Rachael,
      Thank you so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was a winner! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! xx

  2. 5 stars
    These are a keeper for sure! Great baked potato flavor w/such complementary mix-ins. I used half & half & milk that was on hand so hoping texture okay when I reheat tomorrow. If anything it’s a tad lighter. Next year I will do thanksgiving day if I don’t use crockpot for my Turkey. Thank you for the delicious spin on a classic!

    1. Hey Samantha,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

    1. Hey Margaret,
      Sure, that will work well for you! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! Happy Thanksgiving! xx

    1. Hi Lauren,
      You bet!! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! I hope you love the recipe:) xx

    1. Hi Marybeth,
      Yes, you are still going to use the 2 cups of water. Please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Thanksgiving! xT

  3. Hi Tieghan
    Very excited to make these this year for Thanksgiving.
    Can the recipe be doubled? And if so do you recommend making it in the crockpot still.
    Thank you

    1. Hey Laura,
      Thanks so much! I would make sure your crockpot is large enough to handle doubling the recipe, if not I would do the stove top:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Thanksgiving! xx

    1. Hi Joshua,
      You bet, just keep covered in the fridge and then add some milk or cream for reheating. I hope you love this recipe! Happy Thanksgiving! xT

    2. Made these last night for a friend. I typically do not like mashed potatoes, but LOVE caramelized onions, so gave this a go. It was soooo good! I was requested to make it again.

      1. Hey Kathleen,
        Wonderful!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

  4. 5 stars
    Made this last night for Friendsgiving and it was a big hit!! Loved the caramelized onion addition. The only thing was that I ended up using more cream to get it a little thinner/creamier 🙂 Great recipe!

    1. Hey Maggie,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

    1. Hey Nicole,
      You bet! Just add some more cream or milk when reheating:) I hope you love the recipe! Happy Thanksgiving! xT

      1. When you reheat them, you add milk or cream to potatoes in the crockpot and just stir together? Making it for thanksgiving! 🙂

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      You can make this entire recipe in advance and then reheat in the slow cooker by adding some more cream. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

    1. Hi Amber,
      You can use broth in place of the wine. Please let me know if you have any other questions! I hope you love it! xx

    1. Hey Kim,
      Awesome!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it and sharing your review:) Happy Thanksgiving! 🍽