Pressure Cooker & Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes.  I feel like they’re kind of like chocolate chip cookies in the way that everyone has their  version of perfection.  Some like them smooth, some like them chunky, some like skins, others are horrified by the skins (#teamskin, for the record). Then you’ve got a plethora of add-in options like garlic and cheeses, herbs, and more.  When it comes to Thanksgiving I feel like simple is the way to go.  Classic, buttery, creamy, perfect potatoes.  But I will tell you one thing I hate, hate doing:  peeling potatoes.  Also bringing an enormous pot of water to boil on my stove top.  Also boiling a giant pot of potatoes.  So I have a few methods to save time, sanity, and stove-top real estate this Thanksgiving!  I’m going to talk about pressure cooking in this blog post, but you can find my easy slow-cooker instructions in the printable recipe!  Both methods are very much set-it-and-forget-it. 

Mashed Potato Recipe: Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes

A pressure cooker can be your knight in shining armor on big meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas when you really don’t have time to be babysitting a big giant pot of boiling water, and it’s SO quick and easy to cook an enormous amount of potatoes!

Pressure Cooker Recipe Thanksgiving Side Dish Mashed Potatoes

I’m using russet potatoes, from Idaho (duh!).  I bought a 10lb bag for .88 CENTS.  I got home and my husband reminded me that we had about 20 pounds of potatoes sitting in our garage that had come straight from an Idaho farm nearby.  Oops.  I was so excited about an .88 cent bag of potatoes that I forgot we already had potatoes coming out of our ears.  So we are having mashed potatoes every day for the next month, if you’re wondering.  

So here we go.  I’m not peeling these potatoes.  You absolutely can if you’d rather do that to start, but I leave the skins on, because remember I hate peeling potatoes??  I have a trick to peeling them after!


  Cut each potato in half across the equator.  If you have a rack, place the rack on the bottom of your pressure cooker so the potatoes won’t sit in the water.  Add 1 1/2 cups water. 

Pressure Cooker Recipe Thanksgiving Side Dish Mashed Potatoes

You can read all about pressure cooking, here.  I have an Instant Pot and a stove-top Rikon Kuhn pot and I have always wanted a Fagor because they are so highly rated by America’s test Kitchen.  I love my Instant Pot, and I kind of think of it as my trusty Honda, while this gorgeous new Fagor is more like a BMW.  It even comes in pretty holiday colors (copper!  Silver!  Champagne!) I’ve been really impressed with it.  It’s not only beautiful to look at, but it cooks like a dream, with a user-friendly control panel. 

Pressure Cooker Recipe Thanksgiving Mashed Potato Recipe

To cook the potatoes, process on high pressure for 12 minutes and then quick release the steam. The potatoes will be VERY hot at this point, so you can let them cool for just a minute, but not too long!  I use a paper towel and grab the potato and just squeeze the flesh out of the skin. Most of them pop right out very easily!  Keep in mind this method really works best with russet potatoes.  This wouldn’t work with a thin-skin like red or yukon gold.  If you’re using that variety either peel them first, or mash them with the skins still on.

Pressure Cooker Recipe Thanksgiving Side Dish Mashed Potatoes

I make mashed potatoes in my stand mixer; I find it to be super easy and it yields a smooth creamy texture with a few chunks in tact, just how I like them.  It also whips air into the potatoes, giving russets a light, fluffy texture.

Pressure Cooker Recipe Thanksgiving Side Dish Mashed Potatoes

While they’re still hot, pour in a full stick of melted butter and some whipping cream.   These are holiday potatoes, people!  For every day potatoes I tend to use low fat milk and less butter, but on holidays I go all out with the butter and cream.  Just go for it.  You’re going to eat tons of pie after this so it’s a lost cause.   I melt the butter and then pour the cream into the butter so the mixture is warm when it goes into the potatoes.  

Pressure Cooker Recipe Thanksgiving Side Dish Mashed Potatoes

I feel like consistency is really personal, and a little different depending on the variety of potatoes you use, so from here you’ll want to add more according to taste.  You can either pour in about another 1/2 cup cream, or I often use sour cream as well.  You really want to do this part to taste.  Lots of sampling should occur.  The other important aspect is salt.  Salt makes the biggest difference in the overall flavor of your potatoes.  Add kosher salt and then mix and taste and repeat until it’s perfect!  You can also add a few big cracks of black pepper. 

Pressure Cooker Recipe Thanksgiving Side Dish Mashed Potatoes

I like to garnish my potatoes with additional melted butter and fresh chives.

Pressure Cooker Recipe Thanksgiving Side Dish Mashed Potatoes

They’ll be smooth and creamy, and rich and buttery and perfect for slathering in gravy!  
Mashed Potato Recipe: Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Speaking of- do you know how to make gravy??  It’s SO easy!  You can even make it ahead of time and freeze it for Thanksgiving.  Check out my tutorial right here!

NOTE: Slow Cooker Instructions (for some reason these are not showing up on the recipe card so I’ll write it here!)
Spray slowcooker with cooking spray and place whole potatoes inside. Cook on high for about 3 hours. Either slip peels off of russets (or scoop out flesh with a spoon), or smash other varieties with the skins still on. Easy peasy!

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy from Our Best Bites

Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes

5 from 1 vote
And easy way to cook mashed potatoes, in just minutes in your pressure cooker. Slowcooker instructions also included in notes.


  • 5 lbs russet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick butter
  • 1/2-1 cup whipping cream
  • optional: 1/2 cup sour cream
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • Chives if desired


  • Cut each potato in half across equator. Place rack (if you have one) in an electric pressure cooker and place potatoes on top. Do not exceed the "max fill" line (in my pot, 5lbs potatoes fit perfectly). Add water.
  • Secure lid on pot according to directions and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. When finished, quick release steam and open pot.
  • Heat butter in microwave until melted. Stir in 1/2 cup cream (this helps warm the cream).
  • Potatoes will be hot, but use a paper towel to grab them and squeeze the potato out of the skin and into a bowl. Using an electric mixer, stand mixer, or hand-masher, whip up potatoes and add butter and cream. Add either additional 1/2 cup cream, or sour cream, a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. Add 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt (to taste!) and several generous cracks of black pepper.
  • Place potatoes in bowl and garnish with chives, and a little extra melted butter, if desired.
  • Yields 8-10 large servings or 10-12 smaller ones.
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!

Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes

I also joined up with a bunch of other bloggers who have all made holiday dishes in their Fagor Pressure Cookers.  You can check out all of their delicious-looking recipes, below!


This post is not sponsored.  I was just provided with a Fagor pressure cooker to try out.  This post does contain affiliate links, learn more about them, here.


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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I loved the no-peal option in the instant pot. It worked just as described. I also loved the fix it and forget it ease of doing it this way. Thanks for introducing me to this method!

    1. We just switched over to a new print feature and I noticed that it takes any information we left in our Notes/Special instructions area and doesn’t display them! The slowcooker info was there, sorry about that, here you go:

      Slow Cooker Instructions:
      Spray slowcooker with cooking spray and place whole potatoes inside. Cook on high for about 3 hours. Either slip peels off of russets (or scoop out flesh with a spoon), or smash other varieties with the skins still on. Easy peasy!

  2. looks so flavorful! I see that you can use aluminum foil to cook these potatoes with metal colander in pressure cooker to minimum the cooking time!

  3. This was a great way to cook mashed potatoes without peeling them. Thanks again. Worked out great.

    1. Yes, 6qt should be fine. Just don’t go past the max fill line on whatever model you are using

  4. P.S. Thanks for the holiday pressure cooking recipe links! <–There's probably a better way to word that, but I'm too excited to care! YAY!

  5. I made these last night in my Instant Pot because I couldn’t wait to try it! They turned out perfectly. So easy, so tasty! One quick note–the recipe doesn’t say to add the water. I’d read through the top part and so it wasn’t an issue for me, but someone coming to print it off may miss that step. 😉 Thanks for the recipe! My new go-to for mashed potatoes.

  6. Hoping to get an pressure cooker one day, but until then, if I use the slow cooker method do I need to add any water with the whole potatoes while they are cooking?

  7. I have a Technique electric pressure cooker I was gifted for Christmas last year. My husband gave me a cookbook to go with it too. I always wondered if I could do potatoes in it. I made sweet potatoes in it tonight using your recipe. And made mashed sweet potatoes.

  8. Exactly what I needed! Do you think I can make them now and freeze them. (My son is having all 4 wisdom teeth removed 2 days before! Good thing he loves mashed potatoes!)

    If so, Would they still be fluffly? Should I then save adding the butter and more cream until they are heated up?

    Thanks ~ Betty

  9. Do you recommend the 6 or 8 quart size of pressure cooker? It’s just me and my husband that I usually cook for.

  10. We’ve been doing mashed potatoes in our stove-top pressure cooker for at least 10 years but we (by which I mean my husband and son) always peel them. I’m totally trying it this way!

  11. My husband signed up to take mashed potatoes to a party at work yesterday. Too tired to fix them the night before, I put the potatoes in the oven and set it to bake them by the time we got up. The garlic I roasted with them made it a savory start to the day. And then we peeled and mashed twenty pounds of potatoes before 7:00 in the morning. It worked pretty well, except that some of the big russets weren’t quite done yet, and had to be finished off in the microwave. Too bad we don’t have a giant pressure cooker!

    1. I actually don’t have a rack (I mean, I HAVE one, somewhere, who knows where, haha) so no biggie. The ones at the bottom are usually just a little harder to pop out of the peel nicely but it totally works.

  12. I’m wanting to get an electric pressure cooker for Christmas. Between the two you mentioned (InstantPot and Fagor) which would you recommend? I haven’t used a pressure cooker before, so I want to make sure I get one that is easy to use and works well.

    1. Ya know, they both work fine; I’ve never had any problems with either. If price isn’t a huge factor, I’d get the Fagor.

        1. It’s just overall a little nicer construcion and smoother operation, but both work great!