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Mashed Potatoes Can Stand In For Polenta When Making Stuffed Mushrooms

Polenta and sausage stuffed mushrooms
Polenta and sausage stuffed mushrooms - Michelle McGlinn / Tasting Table

You might be used to making stuffed mushrooms with a cheesy breadcrumb mixture or polenta, as we recommend in our original recipe for polenta and sausage-stuffed mushrooms. Both renditions make delicious, bite-sized appetizers -- but we think there's a strong case to be made for making stuffed mushrooms with mashed potatoes. The result is a hearty, creamy filling that will make your guests clear the party tray before it's even time for the main course.

Why do mashed potatoes work for stuffed mushrooms? Think about it: The consistency is not much different than creamy polenta, so it will be easy to fill the mushrooms with the mixture. This ingredient also provides contrasting textures between the tender mushrooms and the creaminess of the mashed potatoes, just like the polenta in our recipe.

To convince you further, some home cooks already serve mashed potatoes topped with sautéed mushrooms so using the two ingredients for this dish will lend umami-packed flavor in one bite without needing a fork. This technique also helps prevent food waste if you have a container of leftover mashed potatoes in the back of your refrigerator.

Read more: 23 Types Of Potatoes And When To Use Them

Making Stuffed Mushrooms With Mashed Potatoes

Pot of mashed potatoes on cutting board
Pot of mashed potatoes on cutting board - John Shepherd/Getty Images

When making stuffed mushrooms with mashed potatoes, practically any variety can work. The one exception we think you should avoid is using skin-on mashed potatoes because the chewy texture might be a strange pairing alongside the tender fungi. Remember, we're going for the same creaminess polenta provides in other recipes. Otherwise, you can use leftover mashed potatoes or instant ones to make your life easier. Alternatively, you can choose a cheesy version to add sharpness to the umami of the mushrooms.

To impart more flavor to your filling, mix the mashed potatoes with the rest of your ingredients before filling the mushrooms. Mashed potatoes are a great vessel, capable of blending with many other additions to your recipe; this is part of why they work so well with stuffed mushrooms. We think pieces of bacon, pancetta, or sausage (as our recipe above includes) are ideal for infusing the filling with meaty flavor. Of course, any variety of cheese, like grated Parmesan, shredded cheddar, or Gruyère, will also seamlessly melt into the mixture and add flavor.

To stretch the mashed potatoes even more, mix them with breadcrumbs, the stems of the mushrooms that you removed (another tip to prevent food waste), and even rice, which also makes it more filling. Either way, according to our recipe, you'll only need approximately 1 teaspoon of mashed potatoes to stuff each portobello mushroom.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.