Recipes

baked potatoes with wild mushroom ragù

Prior to last week, I only liked baked potatoes two ways and the first was so weird, I usually had the decency to keep it to myself. Many years ago, I had an internship a couple blocks from a lunch place with a baked potato sub-menu, full of odd and awesome topping combinations. My favorite involved a marinated tomato-pepper salad, avocado, cheese and — yesss — ranch dressing and it was amazing and wonderful and stop looking at me like that because I have missed and longed for it since. The second way I like baked potatoes is equally troublesome, the classic with “the works” involving heaps of cheese, butter, sour cream, bacon, chives and blood pressure medication. I no longer eat them the first way because the sandwich shop is 250 miles from here and also it has since closed; I usually resist eating them the second way because if I’m going to have all of the fat and calories of a golden, glistening and salted pile of French fries, I’d rather have them in said French fry format.


what else you'll need
cook the mushrooms down

But last Monday, me, my 3 month-old and 73 month-old fell for some gorgeous 18 hour-old oyster mushrooms at the Greenmarket and, on a hunt to do something special with them, I came across a recipe for a baked potato with mushroom ragù in Food & Wine that sounded delicious and a little fancy and I had to.

wild mushroom ragù
slit the potatoes
fluff with fork

The recipe was about 15 ways a headache — 4 pounds of mushrooms and adding onions near the end to a dry pan were among my grievances — that I was too sleep-deprived to see coming, but the results made a fine and a little luxurious weeknight meal with crumbled goat cheese and a bonus broccoli roast on the side. I’ve adjusted the steps and volumes to something that would have worked better the first time, which will come in hand the next time, which will be soon, because jacket weather calls for jacket potatoes, don’t you think?

piling on the mushrooms
baked potatoes with wild mushroom ragù

Baked potato iterations, previously Twice-Baked Potatoes with Kale and Baked Potato Soup

One year ago: Homemade Harissa
Two years ago: Lazy Pizza Dough + Favorite Margherita Pizza
Three years ago: Apple Mosaic Tart with Salted Caramel
Four years ago: Cumin Seed Roasted Cauliflower with Yogurt
Five years ago: Cauliflower and Parmesan Cake
Six years ago: Apple Cider Doughnuts
Seven years ago: My Family’s Noodle Kugel and Meatballs and Spaghetti
Eight years ago: Gluten-Free Chocolate Financiers
Nine years ago: Wild Mushroom and Stilton Galette

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Maple Pudding Cake
1.5 Years Ago: Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms
2.5 Years Ago: Bee Sting Cake
3.5 Years Ago: Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe
4.5 Years Ago: Heavenly Chocolate Cake Roll

Baked Potatoes with Wild Mushroom Ragù
Adapted a little generously from Food & Wine

4 baking potatoes (about 2 pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, wild are wonderful, but sliced cremini or white mushrooms will also work
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup white wine or vermouth, or 1/4 cup sherry or marsala (optional)
1/2 cup vegetable or beef broth, plus a splash or two extra if needed
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
4 ounce-log soft goat cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives or flat-leaf parsley, to finish

Heat oven to 425°F. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork and rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place on rack and bake for 1 hour, or until tender in center when pierce with a skewer.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened, about 8 minutes. Turn heat to high, add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms brown, then release their juices and cook them off, about 10 minutes. Add wine, if using, scrape up any bits stuck to pan. Cook until evaporated. Add broth and thyme and bring to a simmer. Stir in final tablespoon of butter until melted. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Slit the potatoes and fluff the insides with a fork. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, a few goat cheese crumbles, a ladleful of the mushrooms and chives. Serve with extra mushrooms and goat cheese on the side.

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92 comments on baked potatoes with wild mushroom ragù

  1. margie s

    No comments! Wow! You’re right about the jacket weather – this morning was downright rude. And I love me a loaded baked potato. Add mushrooms? Swoon.

  2. SallyT

    LOVE it! Perfect for this freezing weather. And, I just have to give yet another shout-out to your s’mores pie, which was TRULY stupendous. Thank you!

  3. Alison

    OMG! Love baked potatoes and have a ton of mushrooms (overbought at Costco — no judging please) so these will be a perfect way to use them up. Also, nothing strange about loving salad on your baked potato. I like adding a butter lettuce salad with some goat cheese or feta and a mustard vinaigrette to the top of mine. It makes for a delicious lunch.

  4. Caz

    That potato combo is NOT embarrassing. Back when I was 20 and living in Aus, there was this tiny baked potato shop around the corner from us and we ate there way too much considering the toppings we put on those potatoes.
    The concept was: potato + hot topping (chili, curry, broccoli and cheese, mushrooms etc.) + 2 salad toppings + extras.
    What usually ended up happening looked something like this: baked potato + garlic butter + veggie chili + shredded cheese + coleslaw + tuna pasta salad (WTF? but it was delicious trust me) + chives + hot sauce + sour cream. Those potatoes easily weighed a kilo, and had enough calories for 2 days. Ahhhhh to be 20 again.

  5. There’s something so sublime about the combination of potato and ranch dressing I can’t quite describe. Can we talk for a sec about the tomato pepper salad? Slivers of garlic? A tangy marinade? I think I have the ingredients in the house for your dirty little secret, although it’s sweet potatoes and not potato potatoes. I got a little carried away at Costco this weekend and now I have 10 lbs. of them in my pantry.

  6. I was just drooling over this on the food and wine app… Do you have any more good recommendations for food magazines? I moved to NYC from New Zealand a year or so ago and after finally finding all my regular staple ingredients in US form I realised that I miss getting my monthly subscriptions! Not to mention how much cheaper they are here – which totally justifies a few, right?

    PS I am totally with you on this winter business – just going into my second New York winter and I am NOT looking forward to it :(

  7. Christine

    These mushrooms look delicious! And I’m willing to bet a spoonful of grated gruyere over the top would make it acceptable to my husband as a main dish.

  8. Roz

    Deb: The sandwich shop potato sound deLISHous, and I have no doubt that you could re-create it…especially since it is jacket weather, even here in Atlanta, and yes, jacket weather does call for jacket potatoes. I have a wonderful Chicken Paprikash which is served on a baked potato, that came from, believe it or not, an old issue of Cooking Light magazine. I’ll share with you if you can come up with something close to that tomato pepper avocado cheese ranch dressing dream…(of course, I’ll share with you anyway, if you like, because that’s just how I roll, but I can’t get your sandwich shop potato off my mind!)

  9. I rarely have baked potatoes anymore, for similar reasons, but I love this idea. I do a baked sweet potato topped with marinated feta and a sort of crunchy Mediterranean salad of red peppers and red onions and lemon and olive oil and mint (and now that I’m thinking about it, I’m totally going to sprinkle some sumac on top next time). For some reason, I never think about doing something similar with russets.

  10. La

    This looks amazing! Forgive me, I’ve never had a stuffed baked potato before; how do you eat these? with a fork? Like it’s a sandwich?

  11. sbc

    I don’t know if the mythical potato place is in DC, but I walked by the Potato Valley Cafe in Annapolis and it’s gotten good reviews in the Post.

  12. Laceflower

    In the final step, adding the broth, do we want to cook that off as well or do we want a sloppy mushroomy sauce to top the potato?

  13. I love baked potatoes- I usually have a few baked already in the fridge this time of year so I can pull one and stuff it for a quick lunch. I also love mushrooms, so this sounds like the perfect meal for me.

  14. Deanna

    A vegetarian dinner I can get away with serving to my carnivorous, mushroom loving boyfriend. Definitely dinner tomorrow night. I might have to add some blue cheese on the side to really keep him from noticing the lack of meat.

  15. Yum! your favourite way of past years is similar to how we do it at home now: chopped avocado, tomatoes, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice, with ranch dressing if I have it around.

  16. deb

    The lunch place — Was called aka Friscos way up on Wisconsin Avenue by American University in Washington DC. The shop closed ages ago (I guess I wasn’t there to buy ALL THE SPUDS anymore, sorry) but looks like it still exists in Frederick MD. They’ve got a bit of their history on their website. If you poke around their site, sounds like their Sausalito potato is the one I’d get, but it says oil and vinegar, not ranch, which is a shame. :)

    With sweet potatoes instead — Sure, why not?

    Laceflower — It’s not a lot, but should keep the mushrooms a little loose; if it seems too wet, you can cook it off a little but you can see that mine are definitely not sloshy.

    La — Fork and knife. It’s kind of a mess.

    Erin — Hmmm, I don’t have a favorite right now. Gourmet was that, and it closed in 2009. I follow most of the magazines on social media and subscribe to several but the one that stands out the most to me these days is Lucky Peach, especially since I feel like they’re going into fresh territory — street food, random obsessions — and I always learn something new, something I didn’t know I was curious about before.

  17. Lauren

    mmm….
    So, super weird, but Soy Sauce! Best baked potato topping ever! That’s it, just soy sauce. Nothing else.
    And in that “unhealthy” camp: broccoli and cheese. Or BBQ chopped beef.

    I could alternate those things and eat a baked potato every day.

  18. Rebekah

    This is only slightly off topic, but your desire to spend calories on french fries instead of baked potatoes reminded me of this great weekly special my last employer’s chef did – carne asada fries. Of course, with all the cheese, meat, pico de gallo and guacamole the fries turned soggy too fast to enjoy, but I bet those toppings on a baked potato would solve all my problems (except for fitting into my pants). I wouldn’t say no if that showed up in your recipes, Deb ;)

  19. Mel

    Deb I cannot tell you how THRILLED I am that you posted this recipe!! Mushrooms and potatoes together are one of my favorite things and this looks so delicious, and so perfect for the frigid weather! I can’t wait to make it later this week!
    (P.S. Smitten Kitchen rocks :)

  20. kathy

    A few years ago when I was on vacation, alone, in London I started having dinner at those little stands that sell “jacket” potatoes with various toppings .. I got mine with cole slaw. I’d take it back to my room and have it with delicious cold white wine and I was perfectly satisfied.

  21. Karol

    Aww, I was sure I inspired the mushroom+potato combo with my demand that my mushroom julienne and zharinaya kartoshka arrive together at Glechik.

  22. Regine Franck

    Am with Lauren; soy sauce, sweet butter and a little wasabi. Or good commercial pesto. Green beans with both options. Tomato and arugula, anyone?

  23. june2

    On the topic of a plain soy sauce dressing: soy sauce and butter emulsion. melt butter, vigorously whisk in butter until it emulsifies – takes longer than you think, but keep whisking. Just try it.

  24. Hi Deb. :) I have been having a crappy last couple of days (car died, bank wierdness – nothing major but just crappy) and can I tell you that I was so delighted to see this post in my inbox this morning? Not only because I know that it will be delicious and a viable vegetarian staple that my French honey will actually accept for dinner but…the word “comforting” comes to mind. Not only have you completely changed the way that I cook for the better but reading your posts is just that and always is. I have said it before but thank you so much for being you and all that you have created at SK. It makes a lot of people happy all over zee world…

  25. Bridgit

    We love them with curried lentils and some sautéed kale (some times w a little soy sauce). On a great day we add yogurt cheese, feta, garlic ratia or the like. Mushrooms sounds amazing: too bad I’m the only one in my house that likes them.

  26. Deb,
    Comfort food! This recipe looks incredible, can’t wait to try. One tip I learned in culinary school is to sauté the mushrooms on high (but you will need a bit of olive oil for this), it browns them vs. steams them. You can always add the butter later.
    Nancy

  27. Gardener&Cook

    I am a big fan of Grace Parisi’s recipes on Food & Wine’s website. I look forward to trying your variation of baked potatoes with wild mushroom ragu.

  28. deb

    Sweetpea — Baking on a baking sheet causes flat, tougher bottoms. On the rack directly gives you maximum crispy skins. Baking potatoes should make no mess in you oven. Fork-pricking keeps them from exploding. Sweet potatoes can make a drippy, syrupy mess through the fork holes, however, so I would put those on a tray.

    Kate — Indeed. Been meaning to do a version on this site forever. And also Russian potatoes-with-mushrooms, see….

    Karol — I just got so hungry. And we had a full Glechik dinner over here on Sunday; you’d think I’d need a carbo-rest by now.

  29. Kelly

    This sounds yummy although I may have to wait for my sister to visit to make it as the husband isn’t a mushroom fan. I like to shorten my baking time for the potatoes by following the America’s Test Kitchen trick of microwaving them on high for 9-12 minutes first until slightly soft (turning them over half way through). You then stick them in the oven for about 20 minutes to finish cooking and crisp the skins. You do want to poke several holes in them before microwaving. This would make this recipe basically a 30 minute meal (give or take a few minutes) and I am always looking for those on weeknights.

  30. stephanie

    a baked potato forgotten about in the oven, despite fork holes, will eventually explode, however. i’m just saying…i really like living without roommates.

    ;)

    this looks so good. and even though boyperson hates mushrooms (how could he?! what a monster) this recipe is still great because i can totally stuff his potato with sour cream and mine with mushrooms and then have leftovers for lunch. because it is totally “i could eat potatoes every day” weather, officially. (related: on sunday it snowed here in boston! just for a couple of minutes, but i saw it. it happened.)

    i smiled at the 73 month old comment/link, but then i thought, “you know, when you say it like that it doesn’t seem like he’s been on this earth that long” – which is good, because i’m pretty sure it was just last month you were propping him up against a can of crisco.

  31. Tracy

    Looks delicious, as always! I might try to use it to recreate my favorite appetizer at our neighborhood Italian place: a thin slice of toasted baguette, a smear of fresh ricotta, a wild mushroom sauté, and a drizzle of truffle oil on top. Whether on potatoes or toast, I can’t wait to try this!

  32. Cathy

    This sounds great. I’ll be trying it as soon as I get the ingredients together. A nutritionist once recommended a baked potato with mustard – salt, pepper and mustard. Delish!

  33. Alleira

    Honestly, this sounds great … but I am not a fan of potatoes. I think I will just make the mushroom ragu and eat it on a steak (or solo…). Yes, I could eat a bowl of that solo without any problems.

  34. For those people worried about oven messes and who also don’t want flat-bottomed potatoes, my mother always baked potatoes in the oven with an individual packaging in aluminum foil (like some people only use for camp fires.

    After coating in oil or butter, bring up each of the long sides together, and then roll them together down to the potato and press into a flat seam. Then roll up both of the narrow edges and press flat into a nice smooth package that conforms to the potato.

    To eat, we’d usually just leave the foil in and cut the slit straight through the top. That way we had some support to the skin and it wouldn’t spread out over the rest of the plate as we dug into it. But unwrapping it was also okay.

  35. I heard a commercial or food show refer to potatoes as a vegetable (?!) the other day, and while there are so many things wrong with educating people that way, it allows me to claim potatoes as my favorite veggie and eat them in every possible format, now including this one!

  36. Rebecca

    I have not yet tried this, but I plan on making this at least once a week until next April. Shroom ragu, baked potato, steamed broccoli, maybe an egg or two, & Ovenly pb cookies for dessert. You’ve just simplified my life enormously. Thanks!

  37. Kari

    This looks great! But mostly I have a semi-random question inspired by your response to the magazine question. I too like Lucky Peach, though I mostly read them online… Do you keep your print magazines or just assume you’ll find the recipes in their online archives? If you keep them, how do you organize them?
    My spouse is annoyed that I keep mine, and I will definitely admit I don’t have them organized well. But I fear some kind of paywall coming up, and then I can’t get the recipes anymore, even if I was a subscriber when the recipe originally ran!
    Also, re: your anniversary post a while back with top recipes: I am tempted to go back and comment on all the ones that are my favorites that are not on your list b/c you did it by comment number, not views. I love your cinnamon swirl bread (like the oat bread, very forgiving dough if you leave it in the fridge one too many days!). And also the butternut squash carmelized onion gallete, though I usually use the larger version in your cookbook (which I love).

    1. deb

      Kari — I don’t keep them. I don’t think that any magazine coming out today wouldn’t be properly archived/accessible online, so no need to save most food magazines unless you really prefer reading them in print. I have many old Gourmets, however. I actually have a bit of a Gourmet stash; someone from the ad sales department reached out to me when they shut down and asked if I’d like some from her collection because she wasn’t going to keep them and thought I’d want them. I should really reread them! In my spare time. #goals

  38. aey5

    Maybe someone else has already mentioned this (like your husband or in-laws), but in Russia there is a baked potato chain (used to just be a bunch of carts) called Kroshka-Kartoshka, or “Crumb-Potato.” (Or maybe more accurately “Little Crumb-Potato.”) That place is the bomb. Years ago I used to get baked potatoes with a load of salmon salad on top. Like tuna salad, but with canned salmon. On a potato.

  39. Taylor

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to make it. Meanwhile, though, these pictures have reminded me that I have a bit of leftover mushroom bourguignon – your recipe, but I added some white beans for protein – that is just begging to be poured over a jacket potato tomorrow… :)

  40. It’s truly autumnal in Yorkshire so this was perfect for a chilly October night last night. Didn’t have any goats cheese so threw a sprinkle of parmesan on instead – works well! Also, no thyme, but some tiny basil leaves. Ditto.

  41. These look so divine! Always looking for new potato recipes since I get a little tired of the ‘old faithfuls’ sometimes. Next week on my cooking and lifestyle blog I’m going to feature a little baked fingerling potato appetizer!

  42. Anna

    This looks great, I love mushrooms so much. But on the topic of odd food combos – when I was a freshman in college, I would eat at the cafeteria and get from the salad bar a bowl of cucumbers, smothered in ranch, topped with tons of shredded cheese and croutons. So weird! We won’t even talk about my graduate school stress-induced eating habits!

  43. Kate

    A longtime fan of your recipes, I feel so in sync with your kitchen this season – you’re helping working moms with multiple kids put healthy meals on the weeknight table.

  44. Caitlin

    I love recipes like this that use a potato as a base since the baking of the potato is so not labor intensive. One we’ve enjoyed for a while that includes the always delicious sweet potato and a topping of chili is this one: http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/2015/02/chili-style-beans-on-roasted-sweet-potatoes-with-sharp-cheddar.html#more-7932. It’s a tasty, nice, filling dinner. It’s also brilliant for using up left over chili or BBQ lentils, as we found this summer.

  45. Bahb

    You taught me to love pickles and mustards, Deb, so I’m sure you would like this express-potatoes trick:

    Quarter 4 new unpeeled potatoes, smosh around in a small bowl with 2 Tbs. Country-style Dijon mustard, single- layer on a pan, bake @ 475 until done, about 15-18 minutes.

    OR cut a russet into 1/2 inch strips (ala Fries) and do the same thing!

    Speedy, low calorie and surprisingly tasty. Picky-husband approved.

  46. Andi

    Oh my YUM. I made this ragu (with a couple of minor tweaks) and am hooked! Thanks for this incredibly tasty recipe. I used it on top of roast chicken as well as rice. DELICIOUS!

  47. Kate S.

    Deb, AKA Frisco’s is pretty awesome. We live between Frederick and DC. Literally stumbled upon them after touring the Flying Dog Brewery up the street. For all their amazing craft beer, they didn’t serve any food, so the downhill walk to Frisco’s to soak up the alcohol was perfect. Met the owner on a later visit; I never knew they’d been in DC before. Anyway, I’ve loved your blog for years but very rarely commented. Thanks for providing so much inspiration!

  48. Krystine

    This was so good! I made this for my boyfriend and I a few nights ago for dinner and it was awesome. MY boyfriend was a little reluctant to try it at first, calling it “interesting” at first. But a minuet later his plate was clean and he was smiling. It reminded me of a meat and potatoes dinner vegetarian style. Will make again!

  49. Lisa-Marie

    I love mushrooms, made this ragu for dinner with the baked potatoes, everyone loved except my little one who insists she doesn’t like mushrooms, but we all know she does, but says she doesn’t so she is different from the rest of us.
    I had leftover ragu the next day in a simple two egg omelet. Thank you.

  50. Hello! I was looking up baked potato and mushroom recipe for my Holiday cooking when your post title caught my eyes because of Ragù, which I thought was weird. So, I skipped all the top sites that came up in the search just to satisfy my curiosity, but I must admit that it was a worthwhile experience. I have something special to add to my dishes for my family,though I don’t know how my kids would respond.
    I have found a new place for recipes search! Thank you.

  51. Elissa

    I made the mushroom ragu (sans baked potato) with button mushrooms and paired it with crumbed beef schnitzel and steamed broccoli for dinner last night. It was delicious and a nice alternative to sauteed mushrooms which is my usual go to approach.

  52. Rachel

    Made this tonight for dinner as a meatless entree–so good! The goat cheese makes it. I used crimini mushrooms and 1/4 tsp dried thyme instead of fresh. I will definitely be making this again!

  53. Kim

    So delicious. I had my eye on this recipe…well since it was first posted. And didn’t make it until yesterday because…well, life! I’m sad I waited so long, it was delicious! I subbed chicken broth in instead of beef because its what I had, used white button, crimini, and baby portabellas because its what I could find. And still so tasty!

  54. EL

    OMG! I hate marinated peppers, but I read your description of the potato that you felt guilty about and thought it sounded super fantastic! And then a commenter mentioned sweet potatoes and that sounded great as well (no, I’m too old to be pregnant). How about you try to duplicate your potatoes and then give us the recipe? Please? Pretty please?