10 Potato Side Dishes Your Crockpot Will Make for You
The slow cooker is well known for its expertise in perfecting soups and stews, but it can master side dishes, too. Making your side dishes in the slow cooker allows you to concentrate on your main course, even if the slow-cooked sides end up stealing the show.
There are many slow cooker recipes that star potatoes, and they require little work from you. Check out these different food formulas that have you throwing your carbs in the slow cooker and checking back later. You’ll be surprised just how indulgent and creamy potatoes can taste when they’re set up in the slow cooker.
1. Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
First up is a recipe all cooks need up their sleeves. Mashed potatoes made in the slow cooker don’t only come in handy for Thanksgiving. They’re also simple and satisfying for any weeknight meal. This recipe from The Kitchn feeds a crowd, serving 6 to 8. There’s not a ton of prep work, and there are no extra dishes to clean.
All you need to do is cut your potatoes, throw them in the slow cooker, and then cook with a small amount of liquid. When they’ve softened, mash them right in the pot, add in the milk and butter, and keep them warm in the slow cooker until you’re ready to serve.
- 5 pounds russet potatoes
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, optional
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 to 3 ½ cups milk, or a mixture of milk and cream
- ½ cup unsalted butter
Directions: Lightly grease the slow cooker insert with butter or cooking spray. Peel the potatoes, and chop into small pieces about 1 inch to a side. Transfer the potatoes to the slow cooker. Smash the garlic cloves, if using, and drop on top of the potatoes. Stir in the salt and a generous quantity of black pepper. Pour in 1 ½ cups milk, and stir the potatoes once.
Cover the slow cooker, and cook 4 to 5 hours on high or until the potatoes are tender and soft. Turn the heat to warm.
When the potatoes are done, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir 2 cups milk, or a mixture of milk and cream, into the melted butter and warm gently over low heat.
If you used garlic but don’t want the potatoes super garlicky, remove the garlic cloves and discard. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard any browned bits on the sides of the pot. Use a potato masher or ricer to mash the potatoes right in the pot.
When the potatoes are as smooth as you like, slowly stir in the warmed dairy and butter. The potatoes will look soupy at first but the potatoes will quickly soak up the liquid. Add an additional ½ cup of milk or cream if you want them to be even creamier.
Taste and season with additional salt or pepper if desired.
2. Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes
Scalloped potatoes are a fan favorite — and for good reason. The creamy potato side dish often steals the dinner show, and this recipe from Food Network shows you how to make it in the slow cooker.
By taking advantage of the slow cooker, you only need to allow for 30 minutes of active time in the kitchen. That is when you combine your cream, broth, flour, and thyme in a measuring cup before arranging your sliced potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker and pouring the cream mixture and cheese over. The potatoes cooks for a little under 5 hours. Then, serve them warm.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, lightly chopped
- 2 ½ pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced about ⅛ inch thick (about 5 potatoes)
- 6 ounces grated Gruyere cheese (about 2 cups)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Rub the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker very lightly with the butter on the bottom and 2 inches up the sides.
Whisk together the cream, broth, flour, and thyme in a 2-cup measuring cup.
Arrange ⅓ of the sliced potatoes in an even and slightly overlapping layer on the bottom of the slow cooker insert. Sprinkle ⅓ of the Gruyere over the potatoes, and add ¾ teaspoon salt and an even grating of black pepper. Drizzle ⅓ of the cream mixture evenly over the layer. Repeat with 2 more layers of potatoes, Gruyere, salt, pepper, and cream mixture.
Press the potatoes down firmly to make sure they are submerged. Cover the slow cooker, and cook on high until the potatoes are tender and the liquid has thickened, 4 ½ to 5 hours. Remove the lid, and let the potatoes rest for 15 minutes.
3. Garlic Parmesan Potatoes
Carb lovers would argue there are few side dishes better than garlic Parmesan potatoes. The creamy cheesy potatoes complement any main dish perfectly, and this recipe from Betty Crocker shows you how easy they are to make, too.
Cooking the potatoes on low heat for 6 hours allows them to adequately soak up the mushroom and garlic flavors. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on your roasted potatoes when they’re done, and you have yourself another hearty and flavorful potato side dish your family will love.
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, sliced
- 1 can condensed golden mushroom soup
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ⅓ ounces (⅓ cup) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, if desired
Directions: In large bowl, combine 1 cup water and cream of tartar. Add sliced potatoes; toss to coat. Drain, discarding water. Place potatoes in 3- to 4-quart slow cooker.
In medium bowl, combine soup, ½ cup water, flour, butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder; mix well. Pour mixture over potatoes; stir gently to coat.
Cover; cook on low setting for 5 to 6 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top.
4. Maple-Walnut Sweet Potatoes
You can’t forget sweet potatoes are also delicious when they’re made in a slow cooker. You can serve these maple-walnut sweet potatoes from Taste of Home for a dinner side dish even though they’re tasty enough for dessert.
What makes them most appealing is their 15-minute prep time. Cut your potatoes, add them to the slow cooker — along with walnuts, brown sugar, cherries, syrup, and cider — and you’re good to go. The side dish cooks on low for 5 to 6 hours before it’s ready to feed 12.
- 4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 8 medium potatoes)
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, divided
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup apple cider or juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions: Peel and cut sweet potatoes lengthwise in half; cut crosswise into ½-inch slices. Place in a 5-quart slow cooker. Add ½ cup walnuts, brown sugar, cherries, syrup, cider, and salt; toss to combine.
Cook, covered, on low 5 to 6 hours or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with remaining walnuts.
5. Loaded Slow-Cooker Potatoes
If you’re looking to go the indulgent, comfort-food route, check out these loaded potatoes from Delish. It’s the perfect recipe for the lazy cook, as all you need to do is throw your favorite ingredients in the slow cooker and walk away. Into the pot go potatoes, cheddar, garlic, bacon, onions, and paprika. Then, you cook on high for 5 to 6 hours. When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle more bacon and cheese on your potatoes, drizzle with sour cream, and serve. This is a dangerously easy recipe.
- Cooking spray
- 2 pounds baby potatoes, halved and quartered if large
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 8 slices bacon, cooked
- ¼ cup sliced green onions, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sour cream, drizzling
Directions: Line a slow cooker with foil, and spray with cooking spray. Add half the potatoes, 1 ¼ cups cheese, half the garlic, a third of the cooked bacon, half the green onions, and half the paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat.
Cover and cook on high until potatoes are tender, 5 to 6 hours. About 20 to 30 minutes before serving, top with remaining cheese and bacon.
Garnish with more green onions, drizzle with sour cream, and serve.
6. Sweet Potato Casserole
Make your sweet potato casserole in the slow cooker with this recipe from Oxmoor House. A sweet potato casserole is too delicious to eat only once a year, and now you can prepare it in minutes. If you can whip together potatoes, butter, sugar, eggs, spices, and whipped cream in a bowl before adding the mixture to a slow cooker, you can master this recipe. The sweet potato casserole cooks on high for 3 to 4 hours. It feeds 8 lucky dinner guests who don’t need to know how simple it was to make.
- 2 (29-ounce) cans sweet potatoes in syrup, drained and mashed (about 4 cups mashed)
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Directions: Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add whipping cream; stir well. Pour into a lightly greased 3-quart slow cooker.
Combine pecans and remaining 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle over sweet potatoes.
Cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours.
7. Loaded Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes
Next is a different take on loaded potatoes from Martha Stewart. This is a healthier recipe that has you serving your carb filling inside of the shells of russet potatoes.
You’ll cook the russet potatoes in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Then, you saute the mushrooms and broccoli; combine them with the potato flesh, broth, and yogurt; and add your mixture back into the skins. Loaded baked potatoes are the perfect side dish to any lunch or dinner. And if you add enough ingredients, you can even enjoy them on their own.
- 4 medium russet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
- 1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets, stalks peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ to ½ cup vegetable or chicken broth, hot
- ⅔ cup low-fat plain yogurt, room temperature
Directions: Wrap each potato in foil, and place in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until potatoes are tender, 8 hours.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook 2 minutes, then add broccoli and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until broccoli is crisp-tender, 8 minutes.
Split potatoes, scoop out flesh, and transfer to a medium bowl, reserving skins. Add broth and yogurt to bowl, then season with salt and pepper and stir until combined; divide among potato skins. Top each stuffed potato with broccoli mixture.
9. Crockpot Roasted Red Potatoes
Ready for some red potatoes? Check out this recipe for slow cooker roasted red potatoes from Food.com. With this recipe in your back pocket, you really have no reason not to indulge in the carbs. They take you all of 15 minutes to prepare, and when you make your potatoes in the slow cooker, you leave room in the oven for your main dish. So round up your red potatoes, seasoning, olive oil, and butter, and get to work. After 4 to 5 hours in the slow cooker, your tasty and tender red potatoes are ready to go on plates.
- 6 to 8 medium red potatoes
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of melted butter
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
Directions: Wash the potatoes and scrub lightly with a vegetable brush. Scrubbing too vigorously removes the skin, which is part of the appeal of red potatoes.
Cut into ½ to ¾ inch wedges. Dry with paper towels and set aside.
Pour the olive oil into a large bowl, and add the potatoes; stir to evenly coat the wedges. Sprinkle with the seasoning, and stir well.
Pour the melted butter into the bottom of the crock pot, and add the potato mixture. Set the crock pot on low, and allow to roast for 4 to 5 hours until fork tender.
10. Slow Cooker Hash Brown Casserole
Last is a slow cooker dish you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Enter: slow cooker hash brown casserole from Betty Crocker. Carb dreams really do come true, and this recipe even lets you enlist a shortcut to success. We’re talking store-bought hash browns that will go in the slow cooker, along with butter, onions, garlic, cheese, sour cream, and cream of mushroom soup. The resulting hash brown casserole is cheesy and dreamy. Most importantly, it takes just minutes to prepare. Serve it with a protein of your choice for a satisfying meal.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 bag (32 ounces) refrigerated hash brown potatoes
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 can (10 ¾ ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
Directions: Spray a 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
In 8-inch skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook onion and garlic in butter, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes or until translucent and soft.
In large bowl, stir onion mixture and remaining ingredients until well combined. Place in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting, 5 to 6 hours.