The Cheesy Ingredient To Try On Twice-Baked Potatoes

Have you ever met someone who didn't like potatoes? It seems almost impossible that someone doesn't like them fried, scalloped, baked, mashed, steamed, pancaked, hashed, roasted, souped, or chipped. It is because of this massive versatility and the potatoes' affordability — not to mention its deliciousness — that makes this tuber a fan favorite worldwide. You can find the potato cubed into Indian curry, turned into a Japanese potato salad, or blended into a traditional Irish Colcannon. Whatever the case may be, potatoes are internationally beloved foods.

Additionally, when you serve them with their skins, potatoes supply the body with numerous vitamins and minerals it needs to survive, making it a nutritious and filling food to have at your dinner table weekly (via Healthline). And, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, potatoes are currently the fourth most important food crop in the world and are considered the most produced vegetable in the United States. It is remarkable to think about how much we consume potatoes and how many ways they can be eaten, but a sorely underrated potato dish that needs to see the light of day more often has to be the twice-baked potato.

But what is a twice-baked potato and how can you amp up its flavor?

Mascarpone makes everything better

Twice-baked potatoes are potatoes, baked twice. Honestly, there isn't a better way to describe them. Food Network's Ree Drummond says that after fully baking your potatoes, you should cut them in half and scrape out their centers to place in a mixing bowl with crispy bacon bits, sour cream, cheese, and seasoning and mix them together to make mashed potatoes. Next, place the mixture back into the potato shells and bake again until warm. You're basically making little baked potato boats stuffed with all the lovely toppings we like on traditional baked potatoes. But there is a secret ingredient to add to that mashed potato filling to make it extra cheesy and creamy, and that is mascarpone.

Mascarpone is an Italian cheese similar to cream cheese, but a bit sweeter and acidic (via Allrecipes). Creamy and rich in flavor, Salon suggests blending it into your twice-baked potatoes because it is buttery and cheesy, which are both qualities you want to be paired with your potatoes. Mascarpone is also very light in texture, meaning it won't weigh down an already heavy potato dish. 

So, next time you're planning your next great potato dinner, snatch some mascarpone out of the cheese aisle and blend it in for a show-stopping secret ingredient.