Potatoes cooked to tender, pillowy perfection are great but slow-cook them cloaked in a rich and savory cheese sauce, and you've officially upgraded to spectacular. In fact, you can use fresh Russets, ready-made hash browns, or even frozen diced potatoes for making Cheesy Crock Pot Potatoes -- as long as you stick with this particular sauce, you're golden!
Below you'll find instructions for making cheesy slow cooker potatoes any which way. It's the perfect starchy side dish for feeding a crowd or rounding out any comfort food dinner!
CROCK POT CHEESY POTATOES INGREDIENTS
This slow cooker side dish comes down to two basic parts: The potatoes and that creamy, cheesy sauce. As for type of spuds to sue, you'll have plenty of options, but as far as the sauce goes, stick with just the one. This sauce is too good (and too easy) to meddle with.
THE POTATOES -- FRESH OR FROZEN?
With an overall "fresh is best" mentality, fresh Russets are our potato of choice for this recipe. However, this does extend the cooking time quite a bit. Fresh spuds will take a total of 8 hours to cook through in the slow cooker.
Because of this, we've also included cooking options for using both refrigerated hash browns and frozen diced potatoes! Both of these options will cook through in significantly less time than fresh potatoes.
CAN I USE HASH BROWNS?
Yes! If you'd like to cut back on the prep time and simultaneously speed up the cooking process by almost 2 hours, you can omit the Russets and sub in 2 (20-ounce) bags of refrigerated shredded hash browns.
Serve Crock Pot Cheesy Hash Browns as a breakfast, brunch, or dinnertime side dish!
CAN I USE FROZEN POTATOES?
It might surprise you to learn that frozen potatoes will cook faster in the slow cooker than fresh ones. But, why? Before they're frozen, they are steamed and tumbled to get the skin off, which means they've got a bit of a headstart in the cooking process.
So, if you'd like to speed up the cook time for this recipe, make Crock Pot Cheesy Potatoes with frozen potatoes! One (32-ounce) bag of frozen diced hash brown potatoes will do the trick.
The sauce for Crock Pot Cheesy Potatoes is addictively delicious and comes together easily on the stovetop. It consists of the following ingredients:
- Diced Onion
- Chicken Broth
- Cheddar Cheese
- Sour Cream
Diced onion cooks in butter on the stovetop and serves as our building block for flavor. Then, in goes the flour (this is the sauce's thickening agent), followed by chicken broth, which makes up the body of the sauce. Be sure to use unsalted or low-sodium chicken broth or your Crock Pot Cheesy Potatoes will end up far too salty!
Once the sauce comes together, you'll add sour cream and, of course, the Cheddar cheese. We prefer both the texture and flavor of freshly grated Cheddar, however, if time won't allow, feel free to sub in good quality pre-shredded cheese.
HOW TO MAKE CROCK POT CHEESY POTATOES
- Prep the Potatoes - Scrub, peel, and cut them into ½" cubes and add them to the crock pot. If preferred, omit the prep altogether and use refrigerated hash browns or frozen diced potatoes instead.
- Cook the Onion - Add the butter to a medium-sized pan, and as soon as it has melted, add the diced onion and cook until softened and cooked through.
- Make the Sauce - Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir until evenly coated. Then, add the chicken broth one big splash at a time, stirring until it is fully incorporated after each addition. Simmer briefly to thicken. Then, remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream, salt, and pepper. Add ⅔'s of the Cheddar cheese and stir once more.
- Add to Slow Cooker and Cook - Stir the cheese into the slow cooker and cook on the low heat setting until the potatoes are soft and tender. The cook time will vary depending on which tater you choose to work with.
- Top With Cheese - Then, top with the remaining cheese, allow it to melt, and serve!
HOW TO STORE CROCK POT CHEESY POTATOES
Store refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Do not attempt to freeze them. Because of the amount of dairy, there would be a great deal of separation when reheated.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHEESY POTATOES
You can serve Crock Pot Cheesy Potatoes with any number of main courses. Because the sauce is really the star of the show, you should steer clear of casseroles or other proteins with built-in gravies and such. Simple recipes like pan-seared pork chops and fried chicken breasts are perfect for serving with this cheesy side!
CAN I MAKE THIS IN THE OVEN?
Yes! If you'd like to skip the slow cooking altogether and get straight to business, you can transform Crock Pot Cheesy Potatoes into a potato casserole that cooks in the oven. It will be very reminiscent of the potluck classic, Funeral Potatoes!
You'll first have to parboil the potatoes to give them a headstart in the cooking process.
- Add the diced potatoes to a large pot of water and bring it to a boil.
- Boil for about 5-6 minutes (just until al dente) and drain well.
- Make the sauce as directed in the recipe card below.
- Combine the potatoes and the sauce and pour into a greased 9x13" casserole dish, add the remaining cheese over the top, and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 350°F covered with aluminum foil for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.
5 MORE POTATO RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- The BEST Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
- Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes
- Loaded Potato Salad
- Garlic Parmesan Smashed Potatoes
Crock Pot Cheesy Potatoes cloaked in the best homemade cheese sauce ever! Here, you'll find instructions for using fresh potatoes, hash browns, or even frozen potatoes for this slow cooker recipe!
Note: Prep time and cook time will be dependent on the type of potato you use!
- 4 large russet potatoes or 6 medium-sized ones** (see alternative potato options below)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cup unsalted (or low-sodium) chicken broth
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 ¾ cups freshly grated Cheddar cheese
Scrub, peel, and cut the potatoes into small cubes, no larger than a ½". The size of the potatoes will affect the cook time. Spray a 4-5 quart crock pot with nonstick cooking spray and add the potatoes.
Add the butter to a medium-sized sauté pan over medium-high heat. As soon as it has melted, add the diced onion and sauté for 4-6 minutes, until softened and cooked through.
Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir until evenly coated. Then, add the chicken broth about a ¼ cup at a time, stirring until fully incorporated after each addition. Allow to simmer 3-4 minutes, until slightly thickened, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream, salt, and pepper. Add 2 cups of the Cheddar cheese and stir once more. The sauce will taste very salty.
Pour the sauce over the potatoes, stir to combine, cover, and cook on low for 8 hours (or until soft and tender). Once the potatoes are cooked through, add the remaining Cheddar to the top of the potatoes and allow to melt -- about 10-15 minutes. If desired, dab any grease collected on the top with paper towels. Serve and enjoy!
HOW TO MAKE IT WITH REFRIGERATED HASH BROWNS
Omit the fresh potatoes and sub in 2 (20-ounce) bags of refrigerated shredded hash brown potatoes. Then, make the sauce as directed, combine with the hash browns in the slow cooker and cook for 4-5 hours on the low heat setting stirring half-way through.
Top with remaining cheese and cook 10-15 minutes more.
HOW TO MAKE IT WITH FROZEN HASH BROWN POTATOES
Omit the fresh potatoes and sub in 3 pounds diced hash brown potatoes. Make the sauce as directed, combine with the frozen potatoes in the slow cooker and cook for 3-4 hours on low.
Top with remaining cheese and cook 10-15 minutes more.