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Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes with Garlic, Chives, and Cream Cheese (Vegan)

5 from 10 votes

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These slow cooker mashed potatoes are made with red potatoes, garlic, chives, and cream cheese (vegan). They are an easy but elegant side dish to serve at your special dining event.

mashed potatoes in glass bowl

Nothing says the comfort of home like a lovely mashed potato dish. These mashed potatoes are so easy to make too. You don’t have to peel the potatoes. You don’t whip them “light”, but smash them, leaving nice chunks of creamy potato that mix perfectly with cream cheese, garlic, and chives.

For some other delicious holiday side dishes try:

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mashed potatoes in glass dish with slow cooker in background with pinterest text overlay

Ingredients Needed to make this slow cooker mashed potato dish:

ingredients needed for mashed potatoes including milk, cream cheese, oil, garlic, chives, and red potatoes

Why we use red potatoes:

Red potatoes are a little less starchy and waxier which means they aren’t going to whip up as light and fluffy. That makes them perfect for this recipe as it’s more of a sturdy “smashed” potato dish!

The red skins are also thin and quite edible and look festive along with the green chives making this a perfect holiday dish.

Different types of red potatoes:

Did you know there are many varieties of red potatoes? Some are whiter inside, while others are a creamy yellow. I’ve used both and really can’t tell a difference in taste or texture so use what you can find in your local produce department. Read more about the different types of red potatoes here.

mashed potatoes with butter on top
(These potatoes were more cream colored inside and make a beautiful vibrant dish!)

Can I use baby red potatoes in this dish?

No, it’s best to not use baby potatoes. Baby-size are smaller and so have a greater skin to potato-flesh ratio. We don’t peel these potatoes, but cook and mash them with the red skin intact. While some skin is desirable, too much would be too chewy. Just use regular red small potatoes.

How to make garlic cream cheese mashed red potatoes in the slow cooker:

The first step is to wash and inspect the red potatoes. You will be using three pounds which is the perfect size for this 3 1/2 quart slow cooker!

If you have a larger slow cooker, then you may increase the amount of potatoes as well as the other ingredients accordingly.

Inspect the red potatoes while washing:

I love red potatoes, but they sometimes come with weird pieces. Cut all of the blighted or dark pieces out before cooking. There is nothing less appetizing than getting a crunchy brown piece of unknown origin in your beautiful mashed potato dish. (Yep sadly I know…)

Cut the potatoes to equal size:

cut red potatoes and garlic in crockpot liner

This is actually pretty important so that the potatoes cook at an even rate. If you have some smaller potatoes, you can leave those whole. The idea is that the potatoes should be fairly uniform in size.

Cooking the potatoes in the slow cooker:

Make sure to spritz your pan with cooking spray. Then add the potatoes. Next, pour the olive oil and water over the top. Finally sprinkle in the salt and chopped garlic.

Make sure the lid fits tight and turn on high for 3-4 hours. I don’t know how your slow cooker cooks. My potatoes are fork-tender in 3 hours. Every time!

After the red potatoes have cooked:

Your potatoes should be “fork-tender” which means that you can easily stick a fork in without any resistance. If the potatoes have cooked too long then they will be falling apart – but as long as you check the potatoes at exactly three hours, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Mashing the cooked potatoes:

You can mash the potatoes right in the Crock-Pot liner! Use a potato masher or a hand mixer. I use a mixer, but honestly end up mashing with the beaters more than I do mixing. It’s all good – you just need to get those potatoes nice and smashed!

cooked potatoes being mashed with hand mixer

As mentioned above, these are not the light and fluffy type of mashed potatoes, but a heavier, hearty, “smashed” potato dish. It is desirable to have some big chunks of potato in the finished dish.

Adding the cream cheese, milk, and chives.

This is a vegan food blog, so of course, I am using vegan-friendly ingredients. If you are not vegan, use what you normally would.

After the potatoes have been smashed, stir in the cream cheese and half of the chopped chives. If you are using vegan cream cheese, it will already be soft enough to just stir in.

Next stir in the milk, a little bit at a time. Be aware that you might not use the entire one-half cup, depending on the natural moisture of the potatoes you use.

I use oat milk because it does not have a distinctive flavor. Almond milk – even the unsweetened variety – will be too sweet for this dish and affect the flavor. Soy milk would work, as would unsweetened cashew milk.

Sprinkle the remaining chives on top and salt and pepper to taste.

Health it up!

You could make this recipe without oil, just add more water to the slow cooker before cooking. It will affect the texture though and your potatoes won’t be as creamy. But if you eat oil-free then you already know this. I don’t think homemade cream cheese made with tofu would taste as well in this recipe. You need to use cream cheese that will melt.

Serving Suggestions:

I like a dollop of buttery spread on top!

mashed potatoes with dollop of butter on top

My favorite seasoning to sprinkle on top is Penzey’s Fox Point. If you haven’t tried it, you really should. I posted my (affiliate) Amazon link. Or you can find it on the Penzey’s website.

These potatoes are plenty moist and creamy, but there is nothing wrong with a little gravy on top! AMIRIGHT?

Try my Homemade Vegan Thanksgiving Turkey Gravy for a special treat!

mashed potatoes with gravy on top with glass gravy dish off to the side

Will these slow cooker potatoes keep in the fridge?

The potatoes certainly will! In fact, I use them for meal prep and they will keep for at least five days. Before reheating the potatoes in the microwave, you will want to “recharge” them with a little plant-milk or even veggie broth.

And now for the recipe:

Did you love this recipe? Want to share the love? It would thrill me if you could leave ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ stars and even a comment. Did you know that this will help google to find this recipe when others are looking for something similar? Thanks, Cindy

mashed potatoes in glass bowl


These slow cooker mashed potatoes are made with red potatoes, garlic, chives, and cream cheese (vegan). They are an easy but elegant side dish to serve at your special dining event.
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: meal prep, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: garlic potatoes, slow cooker potatoes, vegan mashed potatoes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 281kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey


  • slow cooker


  • 3 lbs red potatoes small
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 ounces vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup plant milk unsweetened – see notes
  • 2 teaspoons chives finely chopped


  • Prepare the slow cooker by spritzing with cooking spray I use coconut oil spray.
  • Wash and examine the red potatoes. Cut off any blighted or strange parts. Cut larger potatoes in half if necessary so that the potatoes are close to the same size.
  • Chop the garlic and mince the chives.
  • All the prepared potatoes, chopped garlic, olive oil, salt, and water to the prepared slow cooker.
  • Put the cover on the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 ½- 4 hours. Check at 3 ½ hours to see if the potatoes are cooked through and fork-tender.
  • When the potatoes are cooked through, mash or beat the potatoes with a hand mixer right in the cooking pot. They will be a little lumpy which is desirable.
  • Add the cream cheese and fold in. Then add in the plant milk a little at a time until you have the desired consistency.
  • Stir in half of the chives leaving the other half to sprinkle on top.


  1. I used a three-pound bag of small potatoes and cut the larger ones in half so that the potatoes were evenly sized. Don’t use baby red potatoes. These will yield too much skin.
  2. I used Kite-Hill Cream Cheese. Homemade vegan cream cheese made with tofu will not work well in this recipe.
  3. Use an unsweetened plant milk and one that is not naturally sweet. Almond milk, even unsweetened sill has a sweet flavor. I used oat milk. Soy or cashew might work as well.
  4. I used a 3 1/2 quart slow cooker which is the perfect size for this recipe. If you use a larger slow cooker then you could perhaps increase the amount of ingredients. 


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 530mg | Potassium: 1040mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg
By on October 19th, 2020

About Cindy Rainey

Veggie Fun Kitchen by Cindy Rainey
Welcome to Veggie Fun Kitchen where you will learn to recreate family favorites the plant-based/vegan way! Let me know if I can help. I'm here for you.

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