The most perfect, make-ahead Slow Cooker Cheesy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes. Made simply and easily in the slow cooker with cream, fresh herbs, a little garlic, salted butter, and melty Gruyere cheese. Each bite is perfectly smooth, creamy, and so delicious. The secret? Cooking the potatoes together with the cream. This method makes for the creamiest and most flavorful mashed potatoes. You can make these in the slow cooker, instant pot, or on the stove. They’re perfect for making ahead of time for easy entertaining!

overhead photo of Slow Cooker Cheesy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes in serving bowl

It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a double serving of mashed potatoes. For my family, the mashers are just as important, if not more important, than the turkey. But really it’s the meal altogether. You can’t do a turkey without a side of gravy and really good mashed potatoes, you know? It’s classic, and it’s what we all want the most on Thanksgiving Day.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we’re exactly two weeks out and planning is very much underway! I didn’t intend to share so many Thanksgiving focused recipes this week, but somehow it ended up that way. And you know, I think that’s OK! From what I’ve gathered from you guys, you’re really trying to hammer out your Thanksgiving Day to a T. And I’m happy to be providing some new recipes to do that!

And guys? These mashed potatoes, I think they’re debatably my favorite Thanksgiving focused recipe I’ll be sharing this month. It’s not that they’re some crazy new out-of-the-box flavor, but more the ease of cooking these, and their DELICIOUS outcome. These are hands down, the BEST mashed potatoes I’ve ever shared with you guys.

I know, everyone says everything is the “the best”, but these really are. Let me explain.

prep photo of potatoes cooking in Slow Cooker

The secret to these potatoes?

The secret is to cook the potatoes together with the cream, the garlic, and the herbs. This means no boiling the potatoes, no extra steps, and nothing fancy. It turns out that creating almost perfect mashed potatoes is actually really easy.

A few years back I had made mashed potatoes and cooked them together with the milk. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. I was just trying to make mashed potatoes the easiest way possible. Adding the milk right to the slow cooker seemed like a great idea. The only thing was, when I shared the recipe with you guys, some of you mentioned your concern for the milk potentially curdling. In fear of the recipe not working for some, I retested it minus the milk. And it’s a great mashed potatoes recipe…but it’s not the best.

Fast forward to today. I’ve learned a lot more about cooking, and I know way too much about the potato. Two things you need to know? Potatoes actually release so much flavor when they boil in water. So when you drain out the water, you’re actually losing a lot of flavor. Second, when making mashed potatoes, water is the thing you want to avoid the most. Excess moisture will give you grainy mashed potatoes, and let’s be real, no one wants that.

prep photo of potatoes after ricing

And that all brings me to this mashed potato recipe. When I was thinking about what to share this month, for some reason I thought back to those potatoes I had cooked in milk. I remembered they turned out so well for me. They were creamy, flavorful, and so close to perfect. When I thought back to that, I decided to test out something new. Instead of just milk, what if I cooked the potatoes in cream? And…with the herbs and the garlic too?

And in the slow cooker for ease?!

It all sounded interesting, so I went for it, and yeah, I think you’ve guessed the outcome. I got near perfect mashed potatoes, and yes, I am so excited to share them with you guys. Just in time for Thanksgiving.

prep photo of cream being added to potatoes

The quick and easy details.

First things first, you can make these mashed potatoes in the slow cooker, the instant pot, or on the stove. I love the slow cooker best, since I can keep them warm for hours after I’ve made them.

Combine the potatoes with the cream. Add the herbs and a good amount of garlic. Add a parmesan rind if you have one for even more delicious flavor. Then slow cook until the potatoes are tender. You can go low and low for six hours, or cook on high for four hours. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them, BUT be sure to save the cream. You’ll need it!

Slow Cooker Cheesy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes in the slow cooker pot

Now, a new discovery of mine? The potato ricer. it’s key to making ultra-smooth mashed potatoes. Do you have to have a potato ricer? No, a good ole masher works too. But if you want the smoothest mashed potatoes, get a ricer.

Rice the potatoes right back into the slow cooker, then add the cream back, along with butter and melty gruyere cheese. Now cook until the cheese is melted…and that’s it. You’ll have the most perfect, flavorful, and creamiest mashed potatoes.

Honest these are the BEST. Classic, but with amazing flavor and texture.

The added bonus is just how easy they are to make, not to mention the fact that using the slow cooker frees up precious stove-top and oven space. Win, win for Thanksgiving Day!

overhead photo of Slow Cooker Cheesy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes

To sum it up, these mashed potatoes are really as close to perfect as it gets. Both in the way that they’re cooked and in the way they taste.

I am SO excited to make them again for Thanksgiving. I’m crossing my fingers that these are going to be on all of your Thanksgiving menus! Or maybe even sooner for an easy weeknight dinner side dish. These would be great with pot roastshort ribs, and Coq au Vin.

Also..they’s pretty darn good just by the spoonful! 😉

overhead close up photo of Slow Cooker Cheesy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes

Looking for other easy Thanksgiving potato recipes?? Here are my favorites: 

Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole with Sweet ‘n’ Savory Bacon Pecans

Crispy Rosemary Butter Roasted Potatoes

Cheesy Potato Casserole with Buttery Ritz Crackers

Lastly, if you make these Slow Cooker Cheesy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes, 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!

Slow Cooker Cheesy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes | halfbakedharvest.com
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Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

The Recipe

Slow Cooker Cheesy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes

This slow cooker method makes for the creamiest, most flavorful mashed potatoes...so delicious!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 345 kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, plus more for serving
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for serving
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 parmesan rind (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (or use more!!)

Instructions

Slow Cooker

  1. 1. In the bowl of your slow cooker, combine the potatoes, parmesan rind (if using), heavy cream, milk, sage, thyme, and garlic. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, until the potatoes are fork tender. Switch the slow cooker to warm

    2. Drain the potatoes, reserving all of the cream. Discard the thyme, sage, and parmesan rind (if used). Press the potatoes through a potato ricer, adding them back to the slow cooker. Alternately, you can add the potatoes back to the slow cooker and mash with a potato masher.

    3. Add 1 1/2 cups of the reserved cream and the butter. Continue to add more of the cream until your desired consistency is reached. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese, cover, and cook another 15 minutes, or until melted and creamy. Keep the potatoes covered, on warm, for up to 4 hours.

    4. Serve the potatoes topped with additional fresh herbs and butter.

Instant Pot

  1. 1. In the bowl of your instant pot, combine the potatoes, parmesan rind (if using), heavy cream, milk, garlic, and sage. Cover and cook on low pressure for 15 minutes. Release the steam. Switch the instant pot to warm.

    2. Drain the potatoes, reserving all of the cream. Discard the thyme, sage, and parmesan rind (if used). Press the potatoes through a potato ricer, adding them back to the instant pot. Alternately, you can add the potatoes back to the instant pot and mash with a potato masher.

    3. Add 1 1/2 cups of the reserved cream and the butter. Continue to add more of the cream until your desired consistency is reached. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese until melted and creamy. Keep the potatoes covered, on warm, for up to 4 hours.

    4. Serve the potatoes topped with additional fresh herbs and butter.

Stove-Top

  1. 1. In a large dutch oven, combine the potatoes, parmesan rind (if using), heavy cream, milk, garlic, and sage. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and cook 20-25 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.

    2. Drain the potatoes, reserving all of the cream. Discard the thyme, sage, and parmesan rind (if used). Press the potatoes through a potato ricer, adding them back to the warm pot. Alternately, you can add the potatoes back to the pot and mash with a potato masher.

    3. Over low heat, add 1 1/2 cups of the reserved cream and the butter. Continue to add more of the cream until your desired consistency is reached. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese, cooking until melted and creamy.

    4. Serve the potatoes topped with additional fresh herbs and butter.

overhead photo of Slow Cooker Cheesy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes