There’s nothing quite like a Mashed Potato Bar to get the party started! The idea is simple: create amazing mashed potatoes and serve them along with a variety of toppings and mix-ins so that your guests can mix and match to create the ultimate mashed potatoes! It’s not hard to do, and I’ve got all the info you need to make this amazing spread yourself!

Mashed Potato Board

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I love mashed potatoes and take every chance I can get to put out a Mashed Potato Board. These bars are so much fun to plan and serve, and everyone always loves them. From kids to grandparents, there’s something for everyone to enjoy with a spread like this.

Mashed Potato Bar

One of the best parts about a spread like this is that you can make it portable! I put it out on my 12 x 24” board, and then I can pick up the whole thing and take it outside, into another room, or wherever I need it.

mashed potatoes with toppings

Serve a Mashed Potato Bar (or food board)

Having a board like this really makes a fabulous presentation, but you can arrange your Mashed Potato Bar on a countertop, dining room table, or wherever you have room for guests to mingle and make their own mashed potato creations.

Did I mention that most of this can be made or prepped ahead of time? This means you can spend more time with your guests or finish up the rest of the meal. I also love asking guests to bring something to contribute to the spread. It can be cheese, veggies, meats, and more. I’ve got all sorts of ideas for you down below.

mashed potatoes for a Mashed Potato Bar

An epic Mashed Potato Board needs to start with the best mashed potatoes on the planet, and I’ve got that recipe for you! You can make them on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Either way, they’re rich, creamy, and delicious! 

Why I love this recipe

  • I love mixing and matching flavors and the mashed potato bar toppings are all terrific!
  • My friends and family love bars like this, and I love making them happy! 
  • You can prep just everything ahead of time so it’s all ready to serve.

ingredients to make a Mashed Potato Bar

Gather these ingredients

  • Russet potatoes – Washed, peeled and quartered. 
  • Garlic powder
  • Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • White pepper – You can use black pepper, but then you’ll have black flecks in the potatoes.
  • Butter – Cut into chunks.
  • Cream cheese
  • Milk
  • Salt and pepper – To taste.
  • Fresh chives – Chopped.

a serving of mashed potatoes with bacon and cheese

Mashed Potato Bar Toppings

  • Cooked bacon – Crumbled.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese – Shredded.
  • Green onions – Sliced.
  • Crispy fried onions
  • Red onions – Finely chopped.
  • Cooked broccoli florets – Cooked to tender-crisp.
  • Sour cream – Or plain Greek yogurt.
  • Ranch dressing
  • BBQ sauce
  • Fresh parsley – Chopped.

a bowl of mashed potatoes with toppings

What are the best potatoes for mashed potatoes?

I love using russet potatoes for making mashed potatoes. They’re so floury that they make light and fluffy mashed potatoes. My second favorite potatoes for mashing are gold or yellow potatoes. Also known as Yukon Gold potatoes, these have such a pretty color. 

how to mash potatoes

How to make the most epic Mashed Potato Bar

You first need to make the mashed potatoes. You can make them on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Here’s how to make them both ways.

Slow Cooker

  1. Place the peeled potatoes into the insert of your slow cooker and add the garlic powder, seasoned salt, pepper, 1 cup of water, and butter.
  2. Mix to coat the potatoes.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or until the potatoes are tender. Actual cooking time will depend on how big you’ve cut the potatoes.
  4. Mash the potatoes and stir in the cream cheese and milk until well mixed. Season with salt.
  5. Serve or keep them warm on the low setting of your slow cooker for up to 2 hours or up to 4 hours on the warm setting. 


  1. Add the potatoes to a pot and cover with water. Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  2. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot and mash the potatoes. 
  3. Stir in the cream cheese, milk, seasoned salt and pepper, and mix well. 
  4. Taste to adjust the seasoning if necessary and serve.

mashed potatoes on the big board

To assemble the Mashed Potato Bar

  1. Fill a large serving bowl (or 2 bowls) with mashed potatoes and garnish them with a pat of butter and chopped fresh chives. Place the bowls on your counter or board or whatever you’re using to hold the Mashed Potato Bar.
  2. Arrange smaller bowls or plates of mashed potato bar toppings around the mashed potatoes. 
  3. Have plates and napkins nearby for guests to make their own mashed potato creations.
  4. Dig in!

Tips & substitutions

  • I love using an electric hand mixer to “mash” the potatoes. This makes them so nice and light and fluffy.
  • Ensure you have small serving spoons or tongs for guests to get their toppings.
  • You can make the potatoes up to 2 days in advance and then just warm them in the microwave or slow cooker before serving.
  • Feel free to use all your favorite mashed potato bar toppings in the roundup! 
  • Cut down on prep work by asking guests to bring some of the toppings.
  • Prep your toppings ahead of time and keep them in the fridge covered with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
  • If you want to try sweet potatoes, try these Instant Pot Sweet Potato recipe.

taking a bite of potatoes

Serving suggestions

This Mashed Potato Bar is going to be the star of the show! I love serving it along with other tasty eats like Slow Cooker BBQ Pork, Caprese Chicken Foil Packs, and Mexican Shredded Beef. You can serve these potatoes with so many other dishes, but because this is a carb-forward dish, stay away from mains that have carbs in them.


Store any leftover potatoes in the fridge for 3-4 days, and the toppings can be wrapped up and stored in the fridge, too.

Check out these awesome bar and board recipes while you’re here

potatoes on a food board

The Big Board®

Friends, The Big Board® is here! Yes, I’ve partnered with JK Adams, the premier woodmaking company in Vermont, with my own line of RE boards!

  • 20-inch round, maple
  • 26-inch round, maple
  • 12 x 36-inch maple
  • 12 x 24-inch maple 
  • 26-inch ebonized BLACK, cherry
  • 12 x 36-inch ebonized BLACK, cherry
  • 26-inch cherry
  • 12 x 36-inch cherry
  • 12 x 24 folding travel board
  • A board with a lip (or raised edged) so the food doesn’t fall off
  • Made in the USA
  • Undercut handles (a unique design)

Thank you for your support, as we’ve sold out so many times already!

Order The Big Board® today!

mashed potatoes with toppings
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Get the Recipe:

Mashed Potato Bar

Wow everyone with this epic Mashed Potato Bar! Delish mashed potatoes and all kinds of toppings make this a customizable feast! Made on the 12 x 24" BIG BOARD but you can also set out on the counter.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 8
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • 4 lb. russet potatoes, washed, peeled and quartered (make the pieces uniform in size.)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Lawry’s seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper pepper
  • 1 cup water, if using the slow cooker method
  • More water if using the stovetop method
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, cut into little chunks
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped chives


  • Cooked bacon, crumbled
  • Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Green onions, chopped or fried onions
  • Red onions, finely chopped
  • Cooked, bright green broccoli
  • Fresh parsley, chopped


  • Sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • Ranch dressing
  • BBQ sauce


  • 12 x 24" board (or use a countertop)


  • Place peeled potato pieces in slow cooker. Add garlic powder, salt, pepper, water, and butter. Mix well to coat potatoes. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours (or until potatoes are tender.) Once potatoes are tender, mash them well (we use a hand mixer). Stir in the cream cheese until evenly blended. Stir in milk.  Serve or keep warm on the LOW setting for up to 2 hours. If you have a WARM setting you cold keep it on for 4 or more hours. Salt to taste.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut into roughly 1-inch cubes. Place in a small pot with cold water to cover.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, until tender.
  • Drain and return to pot. Stir in the cream cheese until evenly blended. Stir in milk.
  • Add salts, pepper and cream cheese and milk. Mix well.

Assemble the bar (board):

  • Place the potatoes in a large bowl in center of a board. In the middle, place 2-3 Tbsp butter (it will melt), and sprinkle with fresh chopped chives.
  • Add around the bowl of potatoes add toppings and sauces.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!

a Mashed Potato Bar with toppings