Irish Colcannon

Whether you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at home with family or entertaining friends before heading out to a parade, there’s no better way to feed a cheerful St Patrick’s Day crowd than with a traditional Irish meal.

Decorate your table in green, stack those cans of Guinness in the fridge to chill, and get ready to serve up an Irish classic: Colcannon!

This comforting combination of mashed potatoes and shredded cabbage or kale is a simple, creamy side that tastes fabulous alongside thick slices of tender pressure cooker corned beef or a couple of rashers of cured back bacon. In Ireland, Colcannon is traditionally eaten at Halloween, but both brassicas are still just about in season in March, and it’s an easy and delicious side dish to throw together for your St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Colcannon comes in many much-loved regional Irish variations, but cooked leeks, onions, bacon and chives are all popular additions to the two main ingredients, sometimes with a drizzle of cream. This version keeps things simple, but offers the option of chopped raw scallions to mix in right before serving.


  • Serves 6
  • 2.2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 9 oz Savoy cabbage or kale, finely shredded
  • 7 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Optional: 6 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced

Preparation Instructions

1.Place the diced potatoes in a large pan and cover with cold water; put on the lid and bring to the boil over a high heat.

2.Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through - they should easily slide off the point of a sharp knife. Drain in a large colander.

3.While the potatoes are cooking, melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a skillet over a medium heat and add the cabbage. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.

4.Warm the milk. Add the remaining butter to the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and mash together, slowly adding the milk. Taste as you go - you may decide you don’t need all the butter or milk.

5.Mash thoroughly, until smooth and creamy, then stir in the cabbage until evenly combined and add the scallions if desired.

6.Serve immediately with Bacon or Corned Beef.