Colcannon is a traditional Irish mashed potato dish with cabbage that also happens to be a hearty, comfort food classic in Ireland. If you love mashed potatoes and cabbage, this is a simple-to make-dish you will want to try. It makes the perfect side dish for St. Patrick’s Day, or just because!
Colcannon is a year-round staple, although it also makes special appearances at holidays, including St. Patrick’s Day, and most especially at Halloween where sneaky chefs conceal lucky charms or coins within its body.
Traditionally, Colcannon incorporates cabbage or kale into the mashed potatoes.
So loved is Colcannon that it has inspired a traditional Irish song by its own name or by the name, “The Skillet Pot,” and has been recorded by many artists.
“Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?”
“Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I’m to cry.
Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.”
Click here to hear Mary Black sing this tune on YouTube.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both are traditional, so use whichever you prefer or whichever you have on hand.
Anything with a rich sauce, but I like to serve it with this Traditional Irish Lamb Stew made without the potatoes.
Sure, just substitute the butter and milk with your favorite plant based alternatives.
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Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe
- 4 russet potatoes Yukon Gold potatoes work well too
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2/3 cup whole milk or half and half
- 1/2 small green cabbage or small bunch kale shredded
- 4 scallions sliced diagonally
- salt and pepper to taste
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into large chunks and place into a large saucepan. Cover with water and add salt. Bring the potatoes to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook about 15 or 20 minutes or until fork tender.
- Remove potatoes from the simmering water and put into a bowl, and add the shredded cabbage and scallions to the simmering water. Allow it to simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, or until tender.
- Meanwhile, mash potatoes with a hand masher, add salt, pepper (to taste), butter and milk until desired consistency. Then add drained cabbage or kale and scallions. Stir well until light and fluffy. Serve immediately.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.