Easiest Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Easiest Garlic Mashed Potatoes

12 reviews / 4.8 average

Can't stop can't stop can't stop.

Garlic mashed potatoes. They have my heart.

And you guys, I pinkie promise something: these are the easiest ever. I mean, nothing deserves the Easiest Ever badge of honor like a recipe that can be made in a kitchen that is, um, not even a kitchen. The basement, remember?

And it's a complete bonus for all the friends around the table when easiest ever also means extremely delicious, right? The buttery texture with the texture of the potatoes skins (I am on the leave-the-skins-on-the-potatoes side of the fence) and a hint of warming roasted garlic is making me one happy pre-Thanksgiving girl. I have had these for dinner for WAYYY too many nights in a row and we're still weeks away from the big feast. And yes I do seriously mean that I have been calling simple, humble bowls of garlic mashed potatoes my “dinner.”

What do normal people eat again?

Potatoes and garlic.
Mashed potatoes in a mixing bowl.

Okay friends, I need to let you know that right here and now - this is your one last chance to get a peek into the basement kitchen. Which is essentially just a basement with a power strip for plugging in kitchen appliances. Because after today, we are moving on up to the uppppstairs where we have a Kitchen with a capital K.


How To Make Our Garlic Mashed Potatoes:

Ahhhm, is sticking an electric mixer directly into a slow cooker some kind of bad cooking voodoo basement black magic? I have lost touch with reality down here amongst the dirty cement bricks. Bring me to the light.

I don't know though, those horror movie basement lights are pretty flattering.

Woman in a basement and woman in a kitchen.


So yesterday I started something new! I packed up my computer, put on my real person clothes, and set out to work at a co-working space. Where a bunch of self-employed adults go to hang out I MEAN WORK so that they don't lose their minds, working from home, alone, on the couch, in pajamas, forever, until they die. No? Just me?

It was really fun to be downtown for the day. I was buzzing with entrepreneurial energy, even though the most complicated thing I did all day was write a blog post while sipping some strong coffee. I spent a good portion of the afternoon walking around downtown Saint Paul because I am a hipster and I like to walk. —> Lies. I got lost looking for a good place to eat lunch. What else? Lunch is a big deal to me, you know? I can't just choose any old place to eat when I'm within walking distance of all the great downtown Saint Paul restaurants. My quest was only partially rewarded when I finally found a delicious restaurant, uhm, errr, just right across from where I started.

Hi, I'm not from here.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.

It's good to have a place to work away from home. True thing.

Also true: it's good to come back home to a large pot of steaming garlic mashed potatoes luring me down to the basement with their savory smells right when I walk in the door.

These garlic mashed potatoes. I'm telling you - they are so super easy and they get delicious roasty-garlic flavor even though you don't actually have to roast the garlic. I was thrilled to see that when I lifted the lid off the slow cooker after a few hours, my baby garlic cloves were sitting right there on top looking rich and golden brown. Not roasted exaaaactly, but close enough for this ovenless girl.

If I were not already the Salad Bringer, or if I were the Salad Bringer (which I am) aaaand I was also feeling super generous and maybe hungry on that particular day, I would definitely be bringing these mashed potatoes to Thanksgiving.

Easiest Garlic Mashed Potatoes, you are creamy, buttery, laced with the perfect amount of garlic flavor, salted generously, creamy with just enough texture, all with just a few minutes of prep and one-bowl clean up. Like a champ.

And if you don't have a slow cooker and want to make this in the Instant Pot, I've got something for you right here!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes on a spoon.
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Garlic Mashed Potatoes in a bowl with gravy and a spoon.

Easiest Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • Author: Skillful Cook
  • Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: about 12 one-cup servings 1x


These are the Easiest Garlic Mashed Potatoes ever - made entirely in the bowl of a slow cooker and they still have that deliciously warm garlic flavor!


Units Scale
  • 5 pounds Russet potatoes, chopped into 1 or 2 inch pieces
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3-5 large cloves fresh garlic (depends on how much you can handle! I did 3 for this batch)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Place the potatoes, milk, broth, and garlic in a slow cooker, with the garlic sitting on top. Cover and cook for 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. When the potatoes are very tender, mash directly in the bowl of the slow cooker to incorporate everything to your desired consistency. You can also use an electric mixer, which I did, and it was super slick. Just be careful not to keep the mixer completely inside the bowl so you don't get a mashed potato spray.
  2. Stir in the salt, butter, and sour cream. Taste and adjust seasoning, mix or mash any more if needed, and serve. Yummmms.


More salt is almost always a good thing with this recipe. Potatoes love salt! Also, as you can see, mine were very rustic-y with some lumps and bumps of potato and also of the potato skin, which I sort of liked. If you want ultra-smooth, you might want to a) cook the potatoes a bit longer, or b) do the full fancy thing where you use a potato ricer and everything. That's not this recipe.

Make This In An Instant Pot: You can make a similar recipe in the Instant Pot using this recipe!

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: garlic mashed potatoes, slow cooker mashed potatoes, crockpot mashed potatoes

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I never thought of making mashed potatoes in the crock pot. That’s a great idea especially if you aren’t bringing them, but instead cooking the entire Thanksgiving meal. It’s good to have something on autopilot while you’re trying manage getting the rest of the meal out at the same time! The video looks great! It sounds like you’ve put your new sound equipment (if I remember correctly from the last income post?) to great use. Can’t wait to see the new kitchen!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi Lindsay,
    Do you recommend slow-cookers? It looks like you love yours. OK, silly question, but can you leave it plugged in all day if you’re not home? I guess that’s the concept; that people can go to work and have it done by the time that they get home? I’ve always been hesitant to leave things plugged in like that when I leave the house… Thoughts?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yes – I do leave mine on when we’re gone! In fact, the other night I was making something and left it plugged in when we went out for a few hours, and then I was literally laying in bed at midnight when I bolted awake and remembered the crockpot still on down in the basement. EEEK! But yes, the idea is to leave it on all day. Ideal if you’re home, but I feel okay leaving it on when I’m not home, too.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Thanks Lindsay! I will have to invest in one. Also, if you have a favorite juicer (if you have one) and a favorite blender, please tell! Thanks!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    I see you left the skins on the potatoes for yours….did you cut them up first as well? Or just put the whole potatoes in there?

    Thanks !

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    You made MASHED POTATOES look good. You win the food photography award 😉

    Seriously, a place where self-employed people can go work exists? So cool. I wish I lived near a city! And I totes understand your lunch dilemma. Every time I go to a big city it’s the hardest decision to pick where to eat. ps… Lindsay with makeup and hair done! Looking good 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Haha – thanks Leigha! I’ve been a little too okay with the no-makeup videos so I think it’s time to start stepping up my game.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh my goodness!!! Your kitchen is coming along so fast! Seriously can’t wait to see the finished product. Also, these potatoes look awesome. Love that you put the mixer right in the crock pot 🙂

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    You can’t beat recipes like this where it requires almost no thinking whatsoever. Throw it in the slow-cooker and come back to it when it’s done. I can’t wait to see the kitchen reveal and I can only imagine how excited you are to be out of the basement!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    LOVE this recipe, LOVE your video, and LOVE the kitchen progress! So fun! I see you’re doing the video through youtube…I need to figure out how to do that/youtube ads etc. Ay yi yi my brain might explode!

    Awesome post as always 🙂

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    These do look most extremely delish, but I think part of that has to be the great-looking gravy on top. Recipe, please?

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love the idea!! And am I the only one who likes texture in their potatoes. I love the bits of skin and even a few little lumps. The thin gruely style potatoes remind me of glue. No I don’t normally eat glue but I’m sure it would be the same consistency. Great job!!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m so glad my friend sent me your blog. I’ve had fun reading and cooking over the last few months. Maybe thats why my pants are a little tight, hmmm.

    Love the portions you have in the potatoes. I have added a few Yellow potatoes with the russets to add some butter texture and colour. (Yes I am Canadian and that is not a typo). I also do my early morning boiling with skins on for the big cook days. Then the ricer takes care of peeling and I get the nutrition into the potatoes. The slow cooker from Costco works well for me – melting the butter etc. and the broth helps the potatoes keep moist all day. I too would love the gravy recipe.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Has the gravy come out of the test kitchen yet? I keep hoping to see the recipe. 🙂

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wonderful idea! I need to branch out a little with what I cook in my slow cooker. I usually end up with some kind of version of a stew, which to be honest I find quite boring … now creamy mashed potatoes with garlic could never be boring!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Awesome idea! Saves so much time and space on the big T day! Also – I love your swirled mashed potatoes picture! With the wooden spoon? And the herbs? And the chunks of skin? Perfection.

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Gurrrlllll your makeup is looking fresh! Also, loving this recipe. I’m definitely going to bring my crock pot home for Thanksgiving this year and impress everyone with these taters!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh my gosh this is brilliant. Hosting Thanksgiving is overwhelming to me and I love to cook. I don’t have enough hands and helpful relatives try to come in the kitchen and offer assistance and that just confuses me more. It will be nice to put something in the slow cooker – no brainer. Thank you!