The chefs at Idaho Potatoes recommend cooking this favorite side dish in a slow cooker, which will free up valuable stovetop and oven space that are at a premium when preparing a Thanksgiving feast.

As you ponder your Thanksgiving lineup, consider a streamlined mashed potato recipe.

The chefs at Idaho Potatoes recommend cooking this favorite side dish in a slow cooker. First of all, a slow cooker will free up valuable stovetop and oven space, which are at a premium when preparing such a bountiful feast.

Another bonus is that you won’t have to pay much attention to the dish while it cooks. Instead of having to watch the potatoes as they boil on the stovetop, you can forget about them as they simmer inside the Crock-Pot for three hours. When they are cooked, mash them, then turn the cooker on warm until you’re ready to yell, “Time to eat!”

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

3 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 1/3 cups water

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, divided

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

1 cup whole milk

Coat a 3 ½- or 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add potatoes and pour water over potatoes, stir, cover and cook on high setting 3 hours or until potatoes are tender.

Reduce heat to low, add all but 1 tablespoon of the butter, salt and pepper. Using a potato masher or a handheld electric mixer, beat on medium speed until potatoes are thoroughly mashed (while potatoes are in the slow cooker). Slowly add the milk and beat until creamy, and do not ‘over beat’ or they will be stiff and have a gummy texture.

Place the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small microwave bowl and cook on high setting 25-30 seconds or until just melted. Drizzle evenly over potatoes. If not serving immediately, turn cooker to warm.

Makes 8 servings (3/4 cup per serving).

Per serving: 220 calories, 13 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 390 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber, 5 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrate.