Parmesan Mashed Potatoes with Quick Sausage Ragu
I recently had the chance to attend a potato harvest tour in Idaho. I got to see the full “life cycle” of a potato, from learning about planting, to harvest, to processing, to plate.
As you can imagine, we were given delicious potatoes to eat at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You’d think that I’d come home and want a break from potatoes for a bit, but that wasn’t the case at all.
In fact, I had blue cheese mashed potatoes with my dinner the very next night after arriving home, and made mini shepherd’s pie soon after that.
Mashed potatoes and my simple gravy recipe are my ultimate comfort food. I want them when I’m sick, when I’m recovering from any medical procedure, and when I’ve had a bad day. They make good days even better. Even potato cakes have a place in my heart.
Basically, I just want mashed potatoes all the time, all year ’round.
Today, I’m bringing you a “let’s eat a big bowl of mashed potatoes and call it dinner” recipe. This meal starts with a helping of mashed potatoes, spiked with a generous amount of sharp Parmesan cheese.
While the potatoes are cooking, you have plenty of time to whip up a quick ragu using a combo of sweet and hot Italian sausage (or use all sweet, or all hot, if you prefer), some aromatic vegetables, tomato paste and milk.
The milk is super important here, as it helps make the sausage super tender, super fast (making the ragu taste like you’ve simmered it all day, when you really haven’t).
Ladle the dreamy ragu over the creamy Parmesan mashed potatoes, and you have my dream dinner!
Psst – if you like Italian sausage, you should check out my Sausage Pasta Skillet Dinner. If you just love mashed potatoes, please refer to my Twice Baked Potato Casserole.
Parmesan Mashed Potatoes with Quick Sausage Ragu
- 1-1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 1/2 medium white onion, finely diced
- 1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed if necessary
- 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed if necessary
- 2-1/2 cups whole milk, divided
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese, plus additional for garnish
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Place potato chunks in a large pot and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, carrot, celery and onion; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are golden brown, stirring frequently. Add sausage; cook 7 to 9 minutes or until browned, stirring and breaking up sausage with side of spoon occasionally.
- Stir in 2 cups milk, tomato paste and ½ teaspoon salt; heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened.
- When potatoes are tender, drain well and place in large bowl. Add cheese, butter, pepper, remaining 1/2 cup milk and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
- Divide potatoes between 6 bowls or plates; divide ragu over potatoes. Serve garnished with parsley and additional cheese.
I’ve made this recipe many times, and it’s a regular feature for our family. Everyone enjoys it! But I must say that I don’t find any of it very ‘quick’ – peeling potatoes, cutting up all the veggies, browning the sausage, thickening the milk, mashing the potatoes. It takes me quite a while to make it, but it’s worth it every time!
Hi Angie! Haha yeah, I have to agree with you. The recipe overall isn’t necessarily the quickest meal. I guess I was referring to just the ragu being quick-ish, when compared to a lot of traditional Italian ragus that will simmer all day long 😉
I also make it longer for myself by cutting all the veggies in tiny perfect mirepoix because I’m finicky like that, and I prefer to hand-mash potatoes rather than using a mixer. If I used a chopper and a mixer for some of those tasks, it would certainly be faster.
This looks so good. I’m going to try this as soon as possible. Thank you.
Thanks Rhonda. Enjoy!
Totally made this the other day for my family, and everyone adored it. Top 5 favorite meals i’ve ever made. so simple, so tasty! My parents are low carb so I put it over spaghetti squash, (not nearly as good as mashed potatoes) but still absolutely delish. thank you!
I am so glad it was such a hit, Kelsey! I think this ragu would be really good over spaghetti squash, but yeah . . . it can’t compare to mashed potatoes 😉
I love the idea of used mashed potatoes as a base for something saucy. This looks so warm and cozy!
I think mashed potatoes are the perfect base for just about anything 😉
You and your mashed potatoes 😀 I was eating mashed potatoes the other day for dinner and was wishing it could be my main dish. With your sausage ragu on top, it could totally be a full meal!
Me and my mashed potatoes is right 🙂
I love that you used sausage for the ragu, mostly because there’s always a few linking hiding out in my freezer and I definitely have potatoes lurking at home. I see a future meal happening.
Oh, there’s always sausage in my freezer, too! It always just seems to end up there, no matter what I do. haha.
This dish is pure comfort. I love the cheesy potatoes and love that quick ragu…yum!
Thanks so much, Brandy!
Fantastic recipe! Warming bowl of comfort food is just what I need right now, totally making this.
Thanks Fabiola! Enjoy.
I’m sure they tasted as delicious as they looked!
Thanks Mom 🙂
I love ragu in the cold months and serving it over fluffy mashed potatoes is genius!
There’s no tiring of mashed potatoes. Seriously, that is one big bowl of deliciousness!
I couldn’t agree more. Thanks Jennie!
Oh, yes, thank you, I believe I will have a bowl of hot delicious comfort food. Make sure it’s a big bowl please! Pinned.
Oh, it’s a big bowl 😉 Thanks Anita!