Colcannon is the perfect side dish for St. Patrick's Day, or really any other time of year. It combines family favorite ingredients of potatoes, cabbage, onions (or leeks), cream and butter into a massive comfort food.
Think of this dish as Irish mashed potatoes that takes traditional mashed potatoes to a new level by folding in sautéed cabbage and onions. For more St. Patrick's Day dinner ideas, check out this Irish vegetarian recipes post.Jump to Recipe
- 🤷♀️ What is Colcannon?
- ❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- 🧅 Main Ingredients + Notes
- 🔪 Recommended Equipment
- 📝 Instructions Overview
- 👩🍳 Preparation Tips
- 🥩 For the Meat Eaters at the Table
- 📇 More Irish Recipes You Might Like
- Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes)
- 🌱 Sign up for my emails, and get my 5 tips for easy vegetarian meals!
If you're looking for a new way to make your mashed potatoes, this is it! The combination of sautéed cabbage and onions with creamy mashed potatoes is the BEST. I serve it as a side dish, of course, but it's also great served in a bowl with a vegetarian Irish stew.
🤷♀️ What is Colcannon?
A traditional Irish colcannon consists of mashed potatoes mixed with sautéed cabbage (or kale) and either leeks, onions, or scallions. The mashed potatoes were made with cream and butter.
So where does the name colcannon come from? It comes from a Gaelic term which morphed over the centuries into the word "colcannon", meaning "white-headed cabbage".
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- It's easy enough to be a last minute dish.
- It's hard to go wrong with mashed potatoes with most any crowd.
- Kids and adults alike will love it.
- Use as a side dish to most main dishes.
- No fancy ingredients.
🧅 Main Ingredients + Notes
The secret to faster and easier meals often lies in the ingredients. For example, store-bought items and ingredients you make ahead and store in the refrigerator (or freezer) can turn a 60-minute recipe into a 30-minutes meal or less.
For the all of the ingredients, measurements and directions, go to the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post.
- Potatoes - I use russet potatoes, but you can use Yukon potatoes or even red potatoes. Russet potatoes result in fluffy mashed potatoes, and Yukon gold potatoes make creamy mashed potatoes.
- Yellow onion - Leeks can also be used, and are more traditional, or green onions (scallions). I've used all with excellent success.
- Light green cabbage - Kale is fine in this recipe too, which is a little more healthy.
- Heavy cream - or half and half.
- Unsalted butter
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
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🔪 Recommended Equipment
- Vegetable peeler
- Chef's knife
- Dutch oven or other large heavy bottomed pot - for cooking the potatoes
- Large skillet
- Large Bowl - for mixing the mashed potatoes, and adding the sautéed cabbage.
- Potato masher or potato ricer
📝 Instructions Overview
Detailed instructions for making this colcannon recipe are in the recipe card below, but here's a quick overview!
Cook the potatoes. Peel and quarter the potatoes. Simmer the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain, retaining ½ cup of the water the potatoes were cooked in.
Sauté. Sauté the cabbage and onions over medium heat until softened.
Make mashed potatoes. Mash the potatoes using either a potato masher or potato ricer. Melt the butter in the cream in the microwave oven. Stir into the mashed potatoes. If the potatoes are a little dry, add some of the reserved water from cooking the potatoes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the cabbage. Fold the cooked cabbage and onions into the mashed potatoes.
Check the seasoning, and add salt and / or pepper if needed.
Serve. Scoop everything into a serving bowl, and serve colcannon topped with butter and chopped parsley.
👩🍳 Preparation Tips
Melt the butter in the cream so that both are warm when stirred into the potatoes. This keeps the mashed potatoes from cooling off.
Reserve some of the water from cooking the potatoes. If you want your mashed potatoes creamier, just add some of that starchy water instead of more cream and butter.
🥩 For the Meat Eaters at the Table
Many recipes include fried bacon.
📇 More Irish Recipes You Might Like
Irish Vegetarian Recipes for St. Patricks Day
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Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes)
- 2 pounds russet potatoes
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1 cup diced yellow onion (½ large onion) or thinly sliced leeks
- 4 cups light green cabbage cut into 1-inch pieces (about ½ head of cabbage)
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel the potatoes, and quarter them. Place them in the pot, and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.
- While the potatoes cook, melt 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter in a large skillet, and add the diced onion and chopped cabbage. Toss to coat everything in the butter, and cook until softened, about 15 minutes.Season with salt and pepper.
- When the potatoes are tender, scoop out about 1 cup of the starchy water, and drain the potatoes. Transfer them either back to the pot or to a bowl, and mash them.
- Melt the butter in the cream in the microwave. I use a microwave-safe measuring cup for this. Stir the warm liquid into the mashed potatoes. If you want them creamier, add some of the reserved starchy water from cooking the potatoes.Season with salt and pepper.
- Fold the cooked cabbage into the mashed potatoes, and transfer to a serving dish.
- Serve the colcannon warm, topped with a little extra butter and freshly ground pepper. If you want, garnish with a little chopped parsley.
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