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Do-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for a Crowd


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Plan Smartly: Do-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for a Crowd

No FODMAPs have been detected in white potatoes at 75 g YAY! We like potatoes any which way we can get them: steamed, boiled, fried, oven roasted and mashed, as we have here. Mashed potatoes are an oft-requested side dish during the holidays, be it Thanksgiving or Christmas or other large celebratory meal.

I served them with our Standing Rib Roast to rave reviews. Or try with one of our fabulous TURKEY recipes. And of course, don’t forget the low FODMAP Gravy!

do ahead mashed potatoes in slow cooker

Make ‘Em For The Whole Party

For those times when you need to feed a crowd, the last thing you want to deal with are last-minute preparations, so we have figured out how to make Do-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for a Crowd, utilizing your slow cooker to help.

Texture: Smooth or Lumpy?

Everyone has their preference for mashed potato texture. When we are making mashed potatoes on any given weeknight, we are more apt to make a less rich dish (sometimes using the cooking water and/or unsweetened almond milk) and even leave in some lumps.

This more rustic approach just seems to go with quickie mid-week meals. For a holiday or celebratory meal, we prefer them smooth. All the better to create round craters to hold puddles of silken gravy and to contrast with stuffing or whatever else might be offered.

How Do You Mash Your Potatoes?

An old-fashioned potato masher can be used for this recipe, in which case you will peel the potatoes before boiling – more on that later. But did you know that there are several ways that you can accomplish a great bowl of mashed potatoes?

Potato ricers make the silkiest mashed potatoes but they are often small in capacity and not everyone has one. Food mills are more common in the kitchen since they can also be used to make tomato sauce, applesauce (pre-FODMAP) and puréed soups. Like a ricer they crush the food and press it through a perforated sieve/disc. The soft, cooked potatoes come out the other side, in short, squiggly spaghetti-like strands that can be whisked together in a flash, creating a fabulously silky texture.

A food mill performs the added bonus of separating the skins from the flesh, so you don’t have to peel the potatoes first – and you get the benefit of the potato-y flavor from boiling all parts of the vegetable together.

do ahead mashed potatoes in slow cooker lid askew

Choose Your Potato

Russet potatoes are the starchiest and we think they make the best mashed potatoes. A close second would be Yukon Gold potatoes, so you can choose between the two, or even use a blend. Yukon Gold potatoes provide a rich golden color to your finished mashed, which many people like, and they even have a buttery flavor.

You will figure out what you like best through experimentation. Just don’t use waxy potatoes for this recipe.

Choose Your Approach

Step number one is to choose your approach. If you are going to mash them by hand with a potato masher or use a potato ricer, then peel them first. If you are going to press them through a food mill, then there is no need to peel.

The food mill will press the potato flesh through the sieve leaving the peels behind. You might have to clean out the food mill once or twice of the skins as you work.

do ahead mashed potatoes inside slow cookerAbout That Slow Cooker

You will boil the potatoes on top of the stove but after they are mashed they will be switched over to a slow cooker where they can be kept warm for up to 4 hours. You will need a large capacity slow cooker (4 quart/3.8 L or larger).

Once you make Do-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for a Crowd with our slow cooker technique you will never do it any other way!

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do ahead mashed potatoes in slow cooker lid askew
3.66 from 223 votes

Do-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for a Crowd

For those times when you need to feed a crowd, make Do-Ahead Mashed Potatoes for a Crowd, utilizing your slow cooker to help.

Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes about 6-quarts (5.7 L) of mashed potatoes; 25 servings of about a scant cup per serving

Makes: 25 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
Author: Dédé Wilson


  • 10 pounds (4.5 kg) russet potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 to 4 cups (720 ml to 960 ml) lactose-free whole milk or half-and half, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 113 g) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Scrub the potatoes, peel or don’t peel. Cut into large chunks and place in a very large pot with plenty of headroom. Fill with water to cover and then add a few extra inches of water; salt the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust heat and vigorously simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes or until done.
  2. Meanwhile, warm 3 cups (720 ml) of the milk (or half and half if you want richer mashed potatoes) with the ½ cup (113 g) of butter.
  3. Butter the inside of your slow cooker at this time, as well.
  4. Drain well in a colander. Return potatoes to the pot over low heat and toss them around a few times to dry out a bit.
  5. If you are going to mash with a hand-held potato masher you will proceed right in the pot. If you are going to use a ricer or food mill, you will do that right in the slow cooker.
  6. Using Hand-Held Potato Masher: Use a potato masher to begin mashing the potatoes right in the cooking pot, adding the warmed milk and melted butter. Add additional milk if necessary and keep mashing to achieve desired texture. You want them a little looser than usual, as they will dry out a tad in the slow cooker. Taste and season well with salt and pepper. Transfer to slow cooker. Dot potatoes with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Cover the slow cooker and set on warm for up to 4 hours.
  7. Using Ricer or Food Mill: Place ricer or food mill over slow cooker. Add potatoes to ricer or food mill and press potatoes into slow cooker. Clean out skins from food mill as you go. Once all the potatoes are in the slow cooker, add warmed milk and melted butter and use a balloon whisk to bring everything together. Add additional milk if needed, whisking it in well. You want the mashed potatoes little looser than usual, as they will dry out a tad in the slow cooker. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper. Dot potatoes with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Cover the slow cooker and set on warm for up to 4 hours.

Dédé's Quick Recipe Tips Video



  • Make sure to use starchy Russet baking potatoes for the fluffiest and best results.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American


Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 757mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin C: 10.3mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1.6mg

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.