Top Mashed Potatoes With Mushroom Stew For A Hearty Bite

Creamy mashed potatoes make for a delicious side dish paired with nearly anything from fried chicken to grilled steaks. You might like to spruce up your mashed spuds by topping them with crunchy fried garlic slices, crispy bacon pieces, or shredded cheese for more flavor and texture. There are also ingredients you can add to mashed potatoes to turn them from a side dish into a complete meal, like hearty mushroom stew for an umami-packed, vegan-friendly meal.

If you've never made a stew with flavorful fungi, we have an original recipe for hearty mushroom stew from Tasting Table recipe developer Miriam Hahn. In this stew, Hahn uses a combination of dried porcini, cremini, and button mushrooms with vegetables like green beans and carrots. "The combination of the mushrooms and vegetables in this stew is very satisfying and filling," says Hahn.

The stew is full of flavor from herbs like thyme and spices like paprika and black pepper, and nutrient-rich from those many green vegetables. All of those ingredients will balance the creamy and rich ingredients in mashed potatoes like heavy cream, butter, and cheese. And you can also skip those dairy-rich ingredients in your potatoes if you want to keep the meal vegan-friendly.

How to add mashed potatoes to mushroom stew

The stew works so well paired with mashed potatoes because it has a thicker consistency compared to a brothy soup. When you're topping mashed potatoes with mushroom stew, those spuds will soak up any broth like a traditional gravy. If you are following our recipe, Hahn suggests pairing it with mashed potatoes so the consistency should work fine but if you're using another recipe, or it turns out watery for some other reason, use a slotted spoon to drain off a little of the broth. Just make sure some of the broth makes it to the plate because it's loaded with flavor. You can also use a bit of cornstarch or all-purpose flour to thicken the stew if it's too liquidy by dissolving a couple of tablespoons in warm water and then stirring it into the pot before topping the potatoes.

And if you can't fathom eating a meal without meat, make a beef and mushroom stew to serve over mashed potatoes instead. You can also just use sautéed mushrooms with shallots, onions, or garlic if you want the umami without putting in the effort to make a stew from scratch. Either way, it makes for a complete meal on its own or you can serve the mashed potatoes topped with mushroom stew with a green salad or garlic bread.