Use Your Slow Cooker For Super Easy One-Pot Potato Salad

Making potato salad, one of our favorite side dishes of the summer, typically involves standing by the stove for about 20 minutes until your spuds are done boiling. But when the weather is warm and the last thing we want to do is stand inside next to a hot stove, there's an easier, set-it-and-forget-it method that involves — you guessed it — a slow cooker. It may take a few hours since your spuds will be cooking nice and slow, but you can basically just dump your ingredients in the pot and head outside until they're done.

To make slow cooker potato salad, you'll want to cube your potatoes and place them in the device. Make sure they're cut into evenly sized chunks so they'll all finish cooking at the same time. Then, pour in water, and cook until they're tender — if you're looking for a rule of thumb, try adding equal amounts of spuds and water, or you can just make sure they're barely covered in water. If you're using a Crockpot, this can take up to eight hours on the low setting and up to four hours on high. Once the potatoes are done, make sure to cool them so you don't end up with a hot dish. From there, you can mix up all the rest of your ingredients, combine them with the cold spuds, and get to eating.

What to keep in mind when making slow cooker potato salad

When choosing which spuds to buy, go for waxy options like Dutch cream or Kipfler potatoes, since they'll hold together better than starchier varieties like russet or sweet potatoes. While you can throw your veggies in as-is, you can also slow-cook them with some added ingredients for flavoring. Ideal options include seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, an Italian blend, or liquids like vinegar and Italian dressing. If you're including eggs in your recipe, just crack them and add them to the slow cooker when you first put the potatoes in — but note that they'll cook faster than your spuds, so you'll have to take them out a little sooner. Once a fork easily slides in your potatoes, you can take them out and place them in the fridge to cool while you mix mustard, mayo, relish, or whatever else you're using. 

You can also try using your slow cooker to whip up German potato salad, which can include vinegar, broth, onions, and mustard. Instead of covering your potatoes in a layer of water, use chicken or veggie broth, and add sautéed onions in the pot as well. If you want your final product to be hot (as some German potato salads are served warm), you can mix the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker when the spuds are done cooking. Whichever kind you make, you'll end up with a tasty side dish, without working up a sweat.