This Colcannon recipe is the perfect St. Patrick’s Day dish (or any other day you’re craving true comfort food)!
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish combining creamy mashed potatoes with sweet cabbage and fried onion. It’s the ultimate cozy side.
This dish is great served with corned beef or glazed honey ham.
What is Colcannon?
When we think of cabbage recipes we often go to cabbage rolls, coleslaw or fried cabbage but this Colcannon recipe will quickly become a favorite!
Colcannon is a traditional dish from Ireland made with fried cabbage and onion (or scallions or leeks) fried until tender and gently folded into rich and creamy mashed potatoes (I sometimes add a little bit of bacon too).
You can use kale instead of cabbage, but I personally prefer the softer and sweeter taste of cabbage. Colcannon is traditionally topped with melted butter – because let’s be honest, mashed potatoes and butter are a match made in heaven.
Potatoes – You’ll need a good starchy baking potato. Our favorite choices are Russet or Yukon gold potatoes. Once boiled, mash them with lots of butter, light or heavy cream. While it’s not traditional, you can also add sour cream or cream cheese to taste.
Cabbage – Green cabbage becomes tender and sweet when fried with butter. However, you can substitute curly kale (about 1lb) or savoy cabbage if you prefer.
Onion – Fried onions pair beautifully with mashed potatoes. Use a white onion, or green onion, or try using leeks for an extra special dish. Leeks are mildly flavored and look like extra large scallions.
Butter & bacon – Could anything be better?! I love the flavor bacon adds although it’s not a traditional addition. If I have it on hand, I add it but if I don’t this colcannon recipe is equally delicious with just butter.
How To Make Colcannon
To make homemade colcannon:
- Cook the potatoes in a large saucepan until fork-tender and drain well per the recipe below. Mash the potatoes with cream and butter.
- Soften onion or leeks and cabbage in a skillet.
- Taste and season with salt and black pepper. Stir the cabbage mixture into the mashed potatoes and top with lots of butter.
Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley, chives, and/or crisp bacon.
What To Do With Leftover Colcannon
Store Colcannon 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge in a container or covered. To reheat it, place it on the stovetop with a little cream to keep the consistency of the mashed potatoes.
Leftovers can be used to top shepherd’s pie or turned into crispy potato patties.
More St. Patrick's Day Favorites
Did you love this Colcannon Recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Colcannon Recipe (Cabbage and Potatoes)
- 3 pounds Russet or baking potatoes peeled & quartered
- ½ cup cream warmed
- ¼ cup butter melted, more as needed
- 1 white onion or 2 leeks
- ½ head cabbage (approx. 6 cups)
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until fork-tender.
- While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the onion or leeks, and cabbage. Dice the white onion into ½-inch pieces or slice the white and light green parts of the leeks thinly and rinse well. Cut the cabbage into 1-inch pieces.
- Melt ¼ cup of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion or leeks and cabbage in the butter until the onion is translucent and the cabbage is tender.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and return them to the warm pot. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher, adding cream and butter as needed to reach a smooth consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
- Gently fold the mashed potatoes, cabbage, and onions together.
- Top with additional melted butter if desired.
- Gently fold together mashed potatoes, cabbage & onions. Top with additional melted butter if desired and crumbled bacon if using.
- If you love bacon, cook 4-6 slices of bacon in a pan until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the bacon drippings.
- Cook onion or leeks and cabbage in the bacon drippings until the onion is translucent and the cabbage is tender.
- Mix the bacon, cabbage, and onions with the mashed potatoes per the recipe above.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
© SpendWithPennies.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.
Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!
I often change it to an entree by adding diced leftover corned beef…or browned hamburger…
I don’t see where I am supposed to add the cream?
Sorry for the confusion, the cream is added in step two to the mashed potatoes.
Can’t wait to try it! New cabbage fan here (isn’t it funny how our tastes change…suddenly discovering I DO like cabbage at 57 years old!) Could I use red cabbage for this? Would there be a big taste difference?
I have not tried using red cabbage so I can’t say for sure but I think it would taste great Denise! If you try it be sure to let us know how it turns out!
Would radishes work in place of potatoes for a lower carb version? I’m diabetic.
We haven’t made this recipe with radishes but I don’t see why not, Rachael. I think that would work well.
Sorry I didn’t see the potato info until after I posted my question and didn’t know how to delete the question.
No worries, Lorraine! We hope you enjoyed the recipe :)
I am making this tomorrow. Just curious what type of potatoes you used?
As mentioned in the post Lorraine, our first choices are Russet potatoes or Yukon gold! Enjoy!
Amazing! Thanks for the great recipe!
I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this before.
Made it with cabbage rolls.
That was supposed to be five stars!
So happy that you loved it so much!
Have you ever tried using the potatoes and cabbage that cook with the Corned beef in your slow cooker recipe?
I haven’t, that sounds like a delicious idea! Let us know how it goes!
That’s the only way I make it – mash the potatoes (I make extra just for this dish) and fold in any leftover cabbage, then add the fresh fried cabbage and onions
Sign me up!
Can you leave out the rice? No cauliflower rice either. Would it effect the taste too much?
This recipe does not contain rice Sharon.
Can you freeze the left overs?
Ginny, I have never tried freezing this recipe