Easy cheesy slow cooker loaded mashed potatoes are a simple way to bring a delicious side dish to life by mixing in sour cream, smoky bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese!
We’re all about potato dishes in my house. Everything from scalloped, to easy roasted potatoes or greek lemon roasted potatoes and Instant Pot sweet potatoes. If there’s a way to include these quick and easy, budget-friendly root veggie recipes into my meal, chances are, it’s happening!
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An Easy Potato Side Dish
These crock pot mashed potatoes are a cross between everything you love about a loaded baked potato (you know, those amazingly tasty toppings) and light and fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes. I make these the exact same way whether I’m serving a fancier meal during the holidays or when I’m making meatloaf for weeknight dinners. It’s one of the easiest side dishes that work for any and all special occasions. The best part is, they’re so low maintenance! A simple side made with simple ingredients but loaded with flavor!
Homemade loaded potatoes are comfort food at its best and always a crowd-pleaser. It’s a set it and forget it recipe in the slow cooker which means you can walk away or focus on other parts of the meal in the meantime. This recipe is guaranteed to become a family favorite recipe for mashed potatoes.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself eating a big ole bowl of it, spoon in hand, and nothing else!
Why this recipe works/why we love this recipe
- Quick and easy and absolutely low-fuss which is always a bonus when making side dishes.
- A great way to enhance your every day mashed potatoes while keeping it budget-friendly.
- Kid-friendly. Everyone loves mashed potatoes, especially the kiddies!
- Customizable to add or omit any of the additional ingredients.
- Slow cooker is hands off, but these can be made on the stovetop as well.
- similar to this Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe we love!
- Potatoes – I like to use red potatoes, sliced into 1-inch chunks, for this recipe. They’re not too waxy and also doesn’t have a high starch content, which makes for nice light creamy mashed potatoes.
- Chicken broth – Any brand of low sodium chicken broth will do. If you have homemade broth, use it. The broth will infuse flavor into the potatoes as they slow cook.
- Butter – Adding butter to mashed potatoes is a must to getting that delicious buttery flavor that takes it up a notch.
- Salt & black pepper– A simple seasoning that is needed to round out the dish.
- Milk – The liquid component that gets added at the end once the potatoes are cooked. It adds a rich creamy layer that helps to blend the potatoes smoothly.
- Cheddar cheese – I recommend you shred your own cheese from a block because it melts much better, but if pre-shredded is all you have, use that.
- Sour cream – A cooling cream that adds a fat and tangy flavor balancing out the starches in the taters.
- Bacon – Cooked and diced into small pieces. For convenience, you can use precooked bacon.
How to Make this Recipe
This recipe will come together in just a few steps, then the crockpot takes over. If you are not ready to eat when it’s done, just leave it on warm until dinner is served.
Step 1: Add diced potatoes, chicken broth, butter, salt, and pepper to a prepared slow cooker, coated with a nonstick cooking spray or oil.
Step 2: Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 until the potatoes are very tender. They should fall apart and are fork tender.
Step 3: Mash the potatoes, with a fork, potato masher or electric mixer, until creamy then stir in the half cup milk, followed by the cheese, sour cream, and bacon. Stir to combine making sure everything is incorporated.
Step 4: Top with a bit of extra shredded cheddar cheese and green onions, if preferred, and enjoy!
- Substitute 4 ounces of cream cheese for 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.
- Use Yukon gold potatoes or russet potatoes if preferred.
- Switch to Colby Jack cheese instead of cheddar cheese for a slightly different taste.
- Turn this dish into a baked casserole, by boiling potatoes on the stovetop and transferring them to a baking dish, and baking in the oven covered for 20 minutes, then uncovered for another 20 until heated through and the melty cheese is all nice and bubbly.
- Red potato skin is thin and delicate, so it’s not necessary to remove it, but you can.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and/or onion powder, if desired.
- Some crunchy fried onions would be another great topping idea.
- Top with sliced fresh chives, if desired.
- For a little added heat, add in some chopped jalapeños.
- There’s always room for more diced bacon. if desired.
- Top with chives instead of scallions for a change.
- Mixing or 1-2 minced garlic cloves or roasted garlic added to your potatoes is an awesome way to make yourself some garlic mashed potatoes. So good!
- To keep them warm, keep the crock pot on the warm setting until ready to serve.
Once cooled, store any leftover mashed potatoes for up to 3 days in the fridge. Sometimes I find freezing potatoes a little funny as it can change the texture, so I typically try and eat it all when I have the chance!
To reheat them, place them in the oven on medium until heated through, or on the stovetop. You may find you need to add a little liquid to get them back to a creamy consistency.
Slow Cooker Loaded Mashed Potatoes
- 2.5 pounds red potatoes cut into one inch pieces
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 4 strips bacon cooked and diced into small pieces.
- Grease the bottom of the slow cooker with cooking spray or a little oil.
- Add the potatoes, chicken broth, butter, salt, and pepper.
- Place the lid on and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours until the potatoes are very tender.
- Remove the lid and mash the potatoes until creamy with a potato masher or electric hand mixer on low speed.
- Then stir in the milk and stir to combine.
- Add the cheese, sour cream and bacon and stir to mix thoroughly.
- If not serving immediately, set the slow cooker to “warm” until ready to serve.
- Top with more shredded cheese and scallions if preferred.