Irish Colcannon Recipe [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 5 reviews

Cabbage Holiday Food Recipes Side Dishes St. Patrick's Day

Cook time Cook time: 40 minutes

Colcannon Recipe is a traditional, Irish version of mashed potatoes, everyone’s favorite side dish! Buttery cabbage, crispy bacon, and herbs take your usual creamy mashed a notch higher.   

We’ve got the Irish to thanks for some of the most delicious dishes to grace our tables! The Best Irish Lamb Stew is terrific with a side of fresh-baked Irish Soda Bread. Of course, we can’t talk about Irish food without mentioning Corned Beef and Cabbage which you should definitely try making at home!

Irish Mashed Potatoes

Colcannon Recipe became an instant favorite the first time I tried it. Perfectly Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Bacon-Fried Cabbage are already awesome on their own, but together? HEAVENLY. The garlic, dried herbs, and splash of lemon also add a warm zing to the dish. It’s so good, I swear you’ll be licking your bowl clean!

What does Colcannon mean? 

It comes from the Gaelic words for cabbage (cál) and leeks (caineann). It also translates loosely to “white-headed cabbage.”

Where does it come from?

Historically, this dish used to be popular among Irish peasants

because it was filling and cheap. Nothing like potatoes after a hard day’s work! Today, it’s one of Ireland’s most iconic dishes, served all year long and enjoyed by all. 

What is Colcannon made of?

The traditional version has mashed boiled potatoes mixed with dairies like heavy cream and butter. Then, veggies like cabbage, spring onions, and kale are folded through.  

For my version, I added crispy bacon, herbs, and a splash of lemon to cut through the richness of this dish.

What do you need to make the Colcannon recipe from scratch?

  • For the mash: Peel and quartered starchy potatoes, butter, and heavy cream
  • Herbs: We’ll be using a blend of dried Italian herbs and oregano
  • Cabbage: Use Savoy or regular green, chopped
  • Bacon: Around 12 slices, chopped
  • Lemon: Adds zest to the dish
  • Aromatics: Mince some garlic and dice a white onion
  • Garnish: Melted butter and chopped green onions
  • Seasonings: Salt and pepper

How do you make homemade Colcannon recipe?

  • Cook the bacon: Crisp it up until it renders fat. Set aside. To save time you can actually use pre-cooked bacon.
  • Boil: Cook potatoes in boiling water and make them very soft.
  • Sauté. Use the bacon fat to sauté the aromatics. Add veggies, lemon juice, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mash.  Crush the potatoes with the dairy until fluffy and smooth. Here again, make sure you taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
  • Fold. Gently stir in the cabbage mixture and crispy, chopped bacon.
  • Serve. Spoon melted butter on top and sprinkle with more bacon and roughly-chopped green onions. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations:

  • Use other veggies: Try it with kale, leeks, chives, or baby spinach instead of cabbage.
  • Make Champ: Champ is another Irish dish similar to Colcannon but blends green onions or fresh chopped scallions instead of cabbage. 
  • Use sausage bits: Instead of bacon (or along with it!), fold in small slices of kielbasa.
  • Make it Cheesy: You can never go wrong by adding some cheese into your mashed potatoes. We love a good shard cheddar, gouda, fontina cheese, or a nice Pepper Jack cheese.
  • Vegetarian: Skip the bacon altogether and make this dish vegetarian. I highly recommend using tempeh if you omit the bacon.
  • Loaded version: Grate some white cheddar, and fold it in and also add some dry Ranch seasoning mix. Shred more cheddar on top and your Irish mashed potatoes will be the bomb.
  • Add corned beef: Make this recipe even more hearty and delicious by adding leftover cooked corned beef into the mix!

What can you serve with Colcannon?

Old-fashioned pairings for Colcannon include:

But you can actually pair it with anything you’ll eat mashed potatoes with, such as roasted or fried chicken, pot roast, crispy pork chops, or steak.   

What potatoes are best for the Colcannon recipe?

Use starchy potatoes like Russet, Idaho, and Yukon gold. The high amount of starch in these varieties is key to fluffiness. 

What cabbage is best for Colcannon?

Regular green cabbage or crisp Savoy are excellent options. Their mild, slightly sweet taste complements the mashed potato while making the vegetables shine.

How to store:

Cool the leftovers before transferring them into a tightly-sealed container. Consume within 3 days.

Can you freeze it?

Sure! What I do is scoop the cooled dish onto a baking tray in single-serve portions. Then, I freeze them. Once frozen, I put them in a baggie or air-tight container, making sure to consume them within a month or earlier.

To reheat, bake for 20 minutes in a 350F oven. This way, they maintain their texture.

More Cabbage Recipes:

Recipe Tips:

  • If you like texture in your mash, leave some chunks behind.
  • For a subtle, delicious tang, stir some sour cream into the dish.
  • Flavored butter will give this dish a serious boost of flavor!
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5 from 5 reviews

Colcannon Recipe

Colcannon Recipe is a traditional, Irish version of mashed potatoes, everyone’s favorite side dish! With buttery cabbage and crispy bacon!

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes Total time: 1 hr




Nutrition information

Calories: 332 Carbohydrates: 8 Protein: 8 Fat: 30 Saturated Fat: 10 Cholesterol: 41 Sodium: 437 Potassium: 269 Fiber: 2 Sugar: 4 Vitamin A: 598 Vitamin C: 30 Calcium: 68 Iron: 1
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Amber Myers

This looks good! I admit, I had never heard of colcannon before today but I'm sure I'd like it.



Colcannon is such a great dish. I've made it a few times, and it's always a hit with the family. I can't wait to try this one.


Pam Wattenbarger

I've never had colcannon before but one of my friends who is Irish just sent me a recipe! I want to try your recipe too!



I don't think I've ever had anything like this. It looks and sounds delicious.


Briana Baker

I'm an Irish Catholic and a former Irish dancer and I want this SO badly right now! If I could eat corned beef and colcannon everyday I would!


Monica Simpson

My mom, brother and I found out we're part Irish thanks to our Ancestry test. So we've all been wanting to celebrate and make some Irish food!


Nikki Wayne

All my favorites in one scrumptious dish. Super love this.😘


Melissa Dixon

This looks amazing. I would love to try it out. I bet my whole family would love it.



This is a new dish for me, but I think my family will love the vegetarian version. It looks amazing.


Farrah Less

Im drooling by just looking at this dish. I love trying different food from all over the world.



Okay this looks so good! Currently putting on my recipe list to try ASAP


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