Delicious Colcannon Recipe: An Irish Classic Dish

Are you ready to treat your taste buds to a delicious and traditional Irish dish? Look no further than this recipe for Colcannon, also known as Irish Mashed Potatoes.

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to indulge in some classic Irish cuisine. Colcannon is a side dish made with creamy mashed potatoes enhanced with bits of kale or cabbage, onions, and herbs. It’s a hearty and flavorful addition to any meal that will leave you feeling satisfied and comforted.

But this dish is not just for St. Patrick’s Day – it can be enjoyed any time of year, whether you’re looking for a cozy weeknight dinner or a side to bring to your next potluck.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your potatoes, butter, and milk – let’s get started on this savory and satisfying journey in traditional Irish food.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon)
Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon)

If you’re in the mood for a traditional Irish dish, you’ll absolutely adore this recipe for Irish Mashed Potatoes, AKA Colcannon! There are so many reasons why you will love this recipe.

Firstly, mashed potatoes are already delicious on their own – creamy, buttery and fluffy. But what sets Colcannon apart is that it includes an unexpected mix of ingredients that elevates the dish to something incredible: fresh kale and sautéed onions mixed in with the mashed potatoes themselves!

The addition of tender kale leaves giving the dish a pop of vibrant color and unique flavor. It’s like taking your taste buds on a trip to the Emerald Isle. This recipe is perfect for any occasion – from a warm winter dish to a St Patrick’s Day celebration.

Secondly, Colcannon is such a versatile dish. You can serve it as a main course or alongside other entrees. You can even customize it to match your personal taste preferences. Some people like to add crispy bacon bits or leeks to their Colcannon!

Thirdly, this recipe is incredibly easy to make. All you need is the classic mashed potato fixings – potatoes, butter & milk. And then, some chopped kale and onions quickly sautéed on the side beforehand added into the mix when mashing those spuds. It’s quick and simple but packs such fantastic flavors.

Overall, Colcannon delivers a punch of potato goodness that will impress any food lover who tries it; making it satisfying both to cook and to eat! So why not give it a try today? Trust me – your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredient List

 A heaping pile of creamy Irish mashed potatoes, perfect for a cozy night in
A heaping pile of creamy Irish mashed potatoes, perfect for a cozy night in

To make this traditional Irish dish, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 head of cabbage or curly kale, coarsely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk or half-and-half
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional add-ins:

  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 onion or leek, chopped and sautéed.

Note that you can use either cabbage or kale for this recipe. While cabbage is more commonly used in the traditional Irish dish Colcannon, some people may prefer the softer texture of kale. You can also add bacon or onions for added flavor.

The Recipe How-To

 Slices of crispy bacon add a salty crunch to the dish
Slices of crispy bacon add a salty crunch to the dish

Now that you have all the ingredients, it’s time to get cooking! Here’s how to make Irish mashed potatoes (colcannon) from scratch:

Step 1: Boil the Potatoes and Kale

First, place 2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks, and ½ pound of kale in a large pot. Cover with water and add a teaspoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Step 2: Cook the Onion

While the potatoes and kale are simmering, heat 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, around 5-7 minutes.

Step 3: Mash and Mix Everything

Once the potatoes and kale are cooked, drain them well and return them to the pot. Add half a cup of milk, 1/2 cup of sour cream, and 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Mash everything together using a potato masher or fork until smooth. Then add in the cooked onion mixture and stir everything together.

Step 4: Add Seasonings

Season with salt, to taste, and some freshly ground black pepper. Mash and stir again until you have creamy mashed potatoes.

Step 5: Serve Hot

Serve hot as a side dish on St. Patrick’s Day or any other day! You can also top it with extra melted butter or crisp bacon bits for extra flavour.

Enjoy your creamy traditional Irish colcannon mashed potatoes!

Substitutions and Variations

 The rich green color of the kale adds a healthy touch to this indulgent dish
The rich green color of the kale adds a healthy touch to this indulgent dish

As with any recipe, there are always options to make it your own. Here are some variations and substitutions for the traditional Irish mashed potatoes (colcannon) recipe:

– Cabbage/Kale: While traditional colcannon includes cabbage, you can substitute it with curly kale or even Swiss chard. This will add a unique flavor and texture to your dish.

– Bacon: Adding bacon to the dish will give it a smoky and savory taste. You can fry and crumble the bacon before incorporating it into the mashed potatoes.

– Leeks: Use leeks as a substitute for onions to give your dish a milder taste. Soften them in butter before adding to the mashed potatoes.

– Herbs: What about throwing in some herbs to enhance the flavor? Parsley, thyme, or chives can be used to give a delicate freshness to the dish.

– Buttermilk/Sour Cream/Milk: While half-and-half is traditionally used in colcannon, buttermilk or sour cream can also be used for tanginess. Also, milk can be used to achieve creamy consistency if you prefer a milder flavor.

– Potatoes: You can use different types of potatoes if you are looking for variations of texture and flavor. From new potatoes to red bliss, these substitutes will provide new dimensions of taste and texture.

These are just some variations that come to mind when making Irish mashed potatoes (colcannon). Be adventurous and see what works best for you!

Serving and Pairing

 Mix it up with some scallions for an extra burst of flavor
Mix it up with some scallions for an extra burst of flavor

This traditional Irish dish is incredibly versatile and can be served as a side dish alongside any main course. It pairs perfectly with classic Irish fare such as roasted lamb or beef. Colcannon also makes a great accompaniment to grilled or roasted chicken, pork, or fish.

For a vegetarian option, serve colcannon with sautéed mushrooms or grilled tofu. You can also add crispy bacon lardons for a non-vegetarian option.

To complement the creamy mashed potatoes in this dish, I suggest pairing it with a crisp green salad dressed with a tangy vinaigrette, or some lightly steamed green vegetables such as broccoli and green beans. The earthy flavor of kale complements the dish well and can be easily incorporated into a salad, braised side dish, or roasted vegetable medley.

When serving colcannon for St Patrick’s Day festivities, pair it with your favorite Irish beer or whiskey for an authentic experience. A pint of Guinness is an iconic choice that pairs beautifully alongside the rich flavors of the colcannon. Serve this delicious and hearty dish on your table, and watch it become a crowd favorite!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The comforting aroma of freshly mashed potatoes will fill your kitchen
The comforting aroma of freshly mashed potatoes will fill your kitchen

It’s always helpful to have a recipe that can be prepped ahead of time and stored for later use. Colcannon is one such traditional Irish dish that can sit happily in the fridge for a few days or even be frozen for longer storage. If you’re planning on making colcannon for a special occasion like St. Patrick’s Day, then it’s a wise move to make it ahead so that you have more time to enjoy the festivities.

To make-ahead, prepare the dish as per the recipe and let it cool completely. Once cooled, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. When you are ready to serve, reheat gently in the microwave or on the stove over low heat. Add an extra splash of milk or cream if needed to loosen up the consistency.

If you have leftover colcannon, then this dish takes on a whole new dimension when reheated. It can be made into savory bubble and squeak patties by shaping into rounds and pan-frying with some bacon or leeks until crisp and golden brown.

For longer term storage, freeze the colcannon in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to three months. Allow it to defrost overnight in the fridge before reheating as above. Just remember, freezing may alter the texture of kale slightly but it won’t diminish its flavor.

In summary, colcannon is a dish that keeps well and can be made ahead of time without losing any of its quality or flavor. Whether you choose to whip it up the night before or store what’s left after dinner, this comforting Irish side dish is ideal for busy weeknights or easy entertaining, particularly when served alongside your favorite Irish main courses like corned beef or shepherd’s pie.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Nothing pairs better with a hearty meat dish than a side of colcannon
Nothing pairs better with a hearty meat dish than a side of colcannon

When it comes to making the perfect Irish mashed potatoes, or colcannon, there are a few tricks and tips to ensure success. As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I have experimented with various techniques over the years and found the following tips to be helpful in achieving a delicious and perfectly textured colcannon.

1. Don’t Overwork the Potatoes

When mashing the potatoes, it is important to not overwork them. Overworking can result in a gummy texture that is unappetizing. Once the potatoes are mashed, stop stirring and leave them be.

2. Use Room Temperature Ingredients

Using ingredients at room temperature can make all the difference in achieving the perfect creamy, smooth texture. Take your sour cream, milk, and butter out of the fridge at least an hour before beginning your recipe.

3. Season Liberally

Salt and pepper are crucial for bringing out the flavors in any dish. Don’t be afraid to season liberally when making colcannon. Taste as you go and adjust accordingly.

4. Add Creamy Elements Last

After adding the kale or cabbage to the mashed potatoes, wait until it is fully incorporated before adding sour cream or half and half. Adding these elements too early can result in a runny consistency.

5. Keep It Warm

If you’re serving your colcannon as a side dish, it’s important to keep it warm until ready to serve. Place it in a covered dish or bowl inside a larger bowl filled with hot water to keep it from cooling down too quickly.

By following these tips for perfect results, you will have a delicious, traditional Irish dish that will be sure to impress your guests on St. Patrick’s Day or any day of the year!


Before we conclude, it’s worth addressing some common questions that might have come to your mind as you explored this Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon) recipe. Here are some of the frequently asked questions we’ve answered for your convenience.

What is Irish Colcannon made of?

If you’re looking for a classic comfort food side dish, you can’t go wrong with Irish Colcannon. This dish combines savory mashed potatoes with fried cabbage, onions, and crispy bacon, all seasoned to perfection with salt and pepper. It’s a hearty and delicious way to round out any meal.

What is colcannon mash made of?

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that typically consists of just four simple ingredients – butter, milk, potatoes, and cabbage. According to historian Patrick Weston Joyce, it’s a mixture of mashed potatoes with butter and milk, which is then combined with cabbage and various pot herbs.

What is the difference between colcannon and Champ?

Two Irish dishes, Colcannon and Champ, share many similarities but have a distinct difference. While Champ is a mashed potato dish with spring onions and milk, Colcannon includes cabbage and herbs in addition to Champ’s base ingredients.

What is the difference between colcannon and bubble and squeak?

Have you ever tried colcannon? It’s a yummy dish made from a blend of mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale, and sometimes leeks. Unlike bubble and squeak, which is more like a veggie pancake, colcannon has a creamy, mashed potato-like texture with veggies mixed in. Let me show you how to cook it up!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you want to try a truly traditional Irish dish, then making Colcannon mashed potatoes is the way to go. This recipe offers a delicious combination of creamy mashed potatoes, kale, and onion that merges both flavor and nutrition on one plate. With minimal prep and cook time, you can incorporate this classic side dish into your everyday menu or serve it as an impressive addition to your St. Patrick’s Day feast.

Moreover, with some simple variations and substitutions, you can easily transform this recipe into something uniquely yours. Whether you add in bacon or leeks for extra oomph or replace kale with other greens to fit your preferences, this recipe is versatile enough to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

Lastly, don’t forget the tricks and tips that we provided to ensure perfect results every time you make this recipe. From mashing the potatoes properly to reheating them correctly, following these easy directions will take your Colcannon game up a notch.

In the end, with its creamy texture and comforting flavor profile, Colcannon represents Ireland in every sense of the word. So why not bring a little bit of the Emerald Island into your home kitchen tonight? Give our Colcannon mashed potato recipe a try —it may soon become one of your favorite Irish dishes.

Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon)

Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon) Recipe

Not your regular mashed potatoes. These are traditional Irish spuds!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 30 Mins, Christmas, Easy, European, Potato, St. Patrick's Day, Stove Top, Thanksgiving, Vegetable
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Calories 292.7kcal


  • 6 -8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Cook potatoes in water until tender.
  • Drain.
  • While potatoes are cooking; Melt butter in large skillet.
  • Add chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in kale and cook 5 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Mash potatoes, milk, sour cream, salt and pepper with mixer.
  • Stir in kale mixture.


Serving: 357g | Calories: 292.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 52.4g | Protein: 7.7g | Fat: 6.8g | Saturated Fat: 4.1g | Cholesterol: 16.3mg | Sodium: 296.9mg | Fiber: 6.6g | Sugar: 3.4g

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