Make Ahead Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes

Make Ahead Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes are creamy, delicious and a simple way to make busy holidays easier. 

When preparing a big meal it’s great to have an easy mashed potato recipe that can be made a couple of days ahead of time and reheated in the crock pot.

crock pot make ahead mashed potatoes on a wooden spoon

Other easy side dish recipes for the holidays include Broccoli Mushroom Casserole, Scalloped Corn and Broccoli Cauliflower Salad.

Making Mashed Potatoes Ahead of Time

Mashed potatoes are guaranteed to be on the table at all of the big holiday meals like Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  These potatoes also work well when having a dinner with friends and serving Farmhouse Pot Roast or Baked Pork Chops.

We also make Farmhouse Mashed Potato Recipe or our Creamy Potato Bake several times throughout the year.

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Preparing mashed potatoes during the holidays can be a bit trickier because there’s often several dishes to make OR a hectic travel schedule to keep up with.

A few other potato recipes that we like to pull out for special occasions are Loaded Potato Casserole, Loaded Smashed Potato Casserole, Crock Pot Loaded Red Potatoes, Farmhouse Loaded Potatoes and Farmhouse Potato Salad.

It won’t take long to see dairy products are front and center in our best potato recipes!

Making mashed potatoes ahead of time and reheating them in the crock pot can save a lot of time, stress and mess the day of the holiday meal.  Cutting potatoes into small cubes can cut down on boiling time and speed up the process even more.

boiled, hot potato cubes in mixing bowl ready to make mashed potatoes

We also love making Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes and using the ideas from this recipe so they can be prepped ahead of time and reheated in a slow cooker.

Reheating Mashed Potatoes in a Crock Pot

My solution to make easy mashed potatoes is to make this recipe and pour into a lined crock pot.  Then put a twist tie around the crock pot liner and place the liner ONLY in the refrigerator.

I did some online research about how to reheat mashed potatoes.  I wondered if it is safe to heat a cold crock pot.  This topic is more controversial than I realized and there many are mixed feelings.

Putting a cold crock from the refrigerator into a slow cooker and turning it on could be hard on the crock.  Changing a wide range of temperatures certainly has the potential to damage the crock and / or the glaze on the insert.

The effect on the material doesn’t even address how evenly and quickly the food would go from cold to cooked.  A slow temperature change may cause food safety issues. This is my biggest concern.

mashed potatoes being reheated in crock pot with a liner

I personally have concerns with putting an entire crock in the refrigerator, so I worked to think of other options that are safe. Filling the liner seems safest to me.

If you are concerned about the food leaking then place the filled liner in a bowl or another plastic container in the refrigerator.  When it’s time to reheat, simply place the mashed potatoes in the liner in the crock pot.  Remove the twist tie, cover and turn on low for 3 to 4 hours while the potatoes re-heat.

Keeping Mashed Potatoes Warm in a Crock Pot

The most important way to keep potatoes warm in the crock pot is to stir often so that the spuds maintain a steady temperature and consistent texture.

Start with a mashed potato recipe like this one that’s loaded with cream cheese, sour cream, milk and butter.  The dairy products are all basic ingredients that add moisture to the potatoes.

Totally prepare mashed potatoes in a mixing bowl.  The crock pot will keep the potatoes warm or help to reheat them.

Have extra butter handy and place a few dots or thin slices of butter across the top of the potatoes if you are concerned they may dry out.

Once potatoes are warm and heated through turn from low to keep warm.

Stir warm potatoes often to prevent the edges from burning.  Take samples occasionally and add small amounts of milk, butter or sour cream if needed.

Slow Cooker with a liner filled with reheated mashed potatoes

Stirring often with a firm, long handled spoon will also help the chilled potatoes heat up faster and more evenly.

How to Make Crock Pot Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

  1. Peel, cube, cook and mash potatoes.  Ensure potatoes are smooth or desired consistency before adding other ingredients.
  2. Add cream cheese, butter, sour cream and milk to potatoes. Beat until smooth.
  3. Put a liner in a slower cooker and pour potatoes in. Cool completely.
  4. Close bag with a twist tie and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  5. Heat on low for 3 hours until warmed through, then turn down to keep warm.
  6. Stir often and sample occasionally to determine if additional butter, milk or sour cream needs added.
collage of make ahead mashed potatoes

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Other Easy Holiday Side Dish Ideas:

More Popular Holiday Recipes

Pumpkin Carrot Cake – Only three ingredients create this delightful spice cake.

Little Smokies with a cranberry glaze are always popular at holiday parties.

Making Ham In A Roaster or Turkey in our Electric Roaster saves oven space and still makes a delicious centerpiece of the meal.

When we have a big crowd Corn is the easiest side dish we make and it’s always popular.

Printable Make Ahead Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes Recipe

creamy mashed potatoes on a wooden spoon

Make Ahead Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes

Servings 12 people
Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life
Make Ahead Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes are creamy, delicious and a simple way to make busy holidays easier. 
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes


  • 5 pounds potatoes peeled, cooked and mashed
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 3/4 cup milk


  • Mix together potatoes, cream cheese, butter, sour cream and milk. Beat until smooth.
  • Put a liner in a slower cooker and pour potatoes in. Cool completely.
  • Close bag with a twist tie and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Heat on low for 3 hours until warmed through, stir often to help heat evenly. Add pats of butter, milk or dollops of sour cream as needed to keep creamy and moist.
  • Once warm turn down to keep warm. Continue to stir occasionally until done serving.


Calories: 288kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 7gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 168mgPotassium: 853mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 632IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 116mgIron: 6mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!


  1. Cheryl Deger says:

    4 stars
    What size Crockpot for the recipe??? Thank You…

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There – great question! I use a 5 or 6 quart crock pot for this recipe!

  2. If I double the recipe, will it still fit in the crockpot? Or should I use 2 crockpots? Have to transport tomorrow & was wondering…

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Great question! I think this recipe might be too big to double. Maybe one and a half recipes would fit in a large slow cooker, but I haven’t tested that. I also think that much more volume would increase the reheating time. Please let me know if you give it a try how it all works out 🙂

  3. Fran Growall says:

    5 stars
    This is pure genius ❤ thanks

  4. I tried reheating mashed potatoes in the crock pot twice. I just made them the way I usually do because not everyone likes cream cheese and or sour cream. Both times they got soupy, and that ruined them. I was very disappointed. Would it be better to reheat them in the oven after the turkey comes out?

    1. 5 stars
      You have to follow this recipe exactly to reheat in the crockpot and it comes out perfect. You cannot just make them the way your normally do (that’s the whole point of this recipe) , otherwise they will come out soupy in the crockpot. If you are going to do this your own way, you would be better off just reheating them in the microwave or heating them up in the oven and forgetting about the crockpot. There is a reason that you add the sour cream and cream cheese (especially the cream cheese). In my opinion the cream cheese makes the potatoes a bit stiffer and denser and they hold together well in while reheating in the crockpot. The sour cream just adds subtle tang to the potatoes. I have been making this recipe every year for Thanksgiving and it works out just fine. No complaints from anyone. Also, since the underside of the crockpot lid always gets wet from condensation, when this starts to happen I lay a clean white kitchen small towel (cotton) under the lid so the towel soaks up the water and it does not drip onto the potatoes making them watery. If you have a box of instant potato flakes (plain) you can also sprinkle some into the mashed potatoes and this will thicken them up a bit. Hope these tips help you.

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is a keeper! After preparing mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving day for over 30 years, i am seriously wondering WHY??! Everyone raved and I am very happy. Thank you!!

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Thanks so much for sharing this! So glad to hear 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Russet work fine – just peel and prepare as directed. Hope you enjoy!

  6. When placing them in the crockpot to reheat do you leave the potatoes in the bag liner?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Yes! That’s exactly what we do. Hope this recipe works well for you!

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