Colcannon An Irish Classic

Colcannon An Irish Classic is a much loved dish served in Ireland. It is the sequential dish that is the ultimate of comfort foods. For some, is brings back many fond childhood memories of their mothers, grandmothers and aunts making this comforting dish. This Irish dish even has a song written about it. In my research on Irish dishes, it seems most things in Ireland have a song or a story attached to it. Ahh, you gotta love the Irish.

Irish Comfort Food

Irish Colcannon is a true Irish classic dish and comfort food at its best. Colcannon is as simple as it gets and in my opinion is why its so darn good! Mashing together buttery mashed potatoes with cooked cabbage and leeks or green onions for flavoring. Once the mixture is mashed together, it is ready to eat. It’s very common in Ireland to find a recipe for colcannon printed on the back of a bag of potatoes. In Ireland, colcannon is served as a special treat with ham or Irish bacon.



Halloween Treat

Irish immigrants that came to the United States, introduced colcannon to American cuisine. In America, colcannon is more commonly served on Saint Patrick’s Day. The Irish tradition is to serve colcannon as the main dish for Halloween festivities and refer to the evening as “Colcannon Night.” Colcannon is also used for the foretelling of marriages too. Young single Irish women hope to find the ring hidden in their plate of colcannon. She will then likely marry within the year before the next Colcannon Night.
Colcannon is delicious serve on its own or paired with Bangers with Onion Stout Gravy  Don’t forget the Green Beer!




  • 4 pounds or 7 to 8 large
    potatoes, scrubbed (older potatoes or russet potatoes are
    best, waxy potatoes won’t do)
  • 1 head
    green cabbage
  • 1 cup
  • 1 stick
    butter, divided into thirds
  • 4 to 5
    scallions, chopped
  • salt and pepper,
    to taste
  • fresh parsley,
    for garnish

Cooking Directions

  1. Put potatoes in a large pot, cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let potatoes steam until fork tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove potatoes from water, set aside to cool. Do not drain water, bring water to a boil.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, remove the core from the cabbage, slice the leaves thinly, and put into a large saucepan. Cover cabbage with boiling potato water, keep at a slow rolling boil until the cabbage is just wilted and has turned a darker green. This can take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the cabbage. Don’t let the cabbage overcook, if anything, the cabbage should be under-cooked.
  3. When the cabbage is cooked, drain it well, squeeze to get any excess moisture out, then return to the saucepan. Add one third of the butter and cover. Leave it covered and in a warm place, but not on a burner, with the butter melting gently into it while you continue.
  4. When the potatoes are soft, drain the water and return the potatoes to the saucepan. Set the burner to low, leaving the lid off so that any excess moisture can evaporate from the potatoes. When they are perfectly dry, add the milk to the saucepan, along with a third of the butter and the chopped scallions. Allow the milk to warm but not boil, it’s about right when the butter has fully melted and the pot is starting to steam.
  5. With a potato masher or a fork, mash the potatoes thoroughly into the butter/milk mixture. Do Not pass potatoes through a ricer or worse, beat with an electric mixer.
  6. Mix the cabbage thoroughly through the mashed potatoes. Before serving, season with a little salt and pepper. Sprinkle with fresh parsley or chives. Most importantly, make a well in the center of the mound of potatoes and put the last third of butter in the well to melt.


Colcannon recipe lightly adapted from: Irish Central