This classic Irish Colcannon Potatoes recipe combines creamy red-skinned mashed potatoes with sautéed cabbage, crumbled bacon, and green onion. This dish is far too delicious to save for St. Patrick’s Day!
Do you cook a special meal for St. Patrick’s Day? I love holidays that involve cooking and really, just food in general, so this whole special meal deal is right up my alley.
I’ve always done corned beef and cabbage with carrots and potatoes in some form or another every single year of my adult life. I rotate between the simply wonderful Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage, quick Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage, or my highly flavorful stovetop version of Guinness Corned Beef (love!).
But, last year I departed from my one-pot routine and made this traditional Irish Colcannon recipe to serve with my corned beef and holy smokes-good-gosh-almighty, my friends! I am 100% in love with this delicious dish.
Table of contents
What is Colcannon?
The word “colcannon” comes from the Gaelic term cal ceannann, or “white-headed cabbage.” In the 17th and 18th century, cabbage and potatoes were abundant and readily available to the population of Ireland so this tasty combination became a popular choice.
There are a ton of variations of Colcannon but they always include potatoes combined with either cabbage or kale. It’s not uncommon to find scallions (green onions) and bacon in many recipes.
- Potatoes – I use un-peeled red-skinned potatoes. You get to skip the step of peeling (yay!) and the skin adds nutrition and gorgeous color contrast. You can substitute Yukon gold potatoes, if you’d like.
- Cabbage – About half a good-sized head of green cabbage. After roughly chopped, you should have about 5 to 6 cups.
- Seasoning – Onion powder, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Minced garlic
- Milk – I always use 2% milk which is what I keep on hand. Whole milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream would make them even creamier.
- Bacon – Cooked and crumbled bacon adds amazing smoky flavor.
- Green onions – The potatoes are garnished with thinly sliced green onions.
How to Make Colcannon Potatoes
- Place the quartered red potatoes in a large pot or Dutch oven. Cover them with cool water by about 1-inch, add a couple of teaspoons of salt, cover, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat under the pot as needed to bring the water to a low simmer and boil for about 15 to 20 minutes. The potatoes should be tender when pierced with a sharp knife, but not falling apart. Drain the potatoes well and transfer them to a bowl.
- Sauté the garlic in butter in the empty pot until fragrant. Add the chopped cabbage and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until softened. Season with a little salt and pepper and remove the pot from the heat.
- Return the cooked potatoes to the pot with the cabbage. Add about half of the milk, the onion powder, the remaining salt and butter. Use a potato masher to smash the potatoes to a slightly chunky consistency (they should not be completely smooth), adding additional milk as needed.
- Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
- Garnish the Colcannon with the crumbled bacon and thinly sliced green onions.
Storage and Reheating Tips
Transfer leftover Colcannon to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
These potatoes reheat very well. Just transfer them to a microwave-safe container, splash in a little additional milk, and microwave for a couple of minutes, stirring halfway through. You can also reheat them in the same manner in a pot on the stove, if you’d like.
You can serve leftover Colcannon for breakfast by smashing it into patties and frying them in a little butter or oil in a skillet. So good with leftover corned beef!
Colcannon Potatoes and corned beef recipes are a match made in heaven BUT I highly recommend trying these potatoes anytime of year. They basically go well with anything you would normally serve with mashed potatoes.
We had two batches of this glorious dish on hand this week as I wrote this recipe and filmed our video. I served it one night with cast iron steaks and roasted asparagus. Flat out fabulous. Here are some more ideas to take this recipe beyond St. Patrick’s Day
Irish Colcannon Potatoes
- 2 ½ pounds red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed clean and quartered
- 3 teaspoons salt, divided, plus additional to taste
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ of a good sized head of green cabbage, roughly chopped (about 5 to 6 cups)
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, plus additional to taste
- ½ to ¾ cup slightly warmed milk, as needed
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- Add potatoes to a large pot or Dutch oven and cover with cool water by about 1-inch Add 2 teaspoons salt, cover, and turn heat to HIGH. Watch closely and when water reaches a boil, reduce heat to MEDIUM and cook at a low boil for 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, but not falling apart. Remove from heat and drain well. Transfer potatoes to a bowl and set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons butter to dry pot, place over MEDIUM heat and when melted add garlic. Sauté until fragrant and add chopped cabbage. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat.
- Add cooked potatoes back to the pot with the cabbage. Add about half of the milk, onion powder, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Use a potato masher to smash the potatoes to a slightly chunky consistency (they should not be completely smooth), adding additional milk as needed.
- Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, as desired. Crumble the cooked bacon and sprinkle over the potatoes. Garnish with green onion.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.