What Is Colcannon?

I ate plenty of colcannon on travels through Ireland and it has a special place on an Irish dinner table. It’s a hearty side dish made of creamy mashed potatoes mixed with cabbage, kale, chard or other greens, and a generous slab of butter. And while it’s commonly associated with St. Patrick’s Day, I’d say a bowl of buttery mash and greens is always welcome!

But if you ask different Irish regions how they make it, you might come across a few variations. Chopped cabbage and a sprinkle of green onions is pretty common. While others may add in kale, leeks, chard, or chives and other herbs. In my version, you’ll find freshly chopped kale and loads of green onion!

But how do you pronounce it? It’s one word that’s actually pronounced much like it’s spelled, it’s col-cannon (yes, cannon like the old artillery gun). Now that that’s established, let’s get cooking!

Ingredients For The Best Colcannon

You’ll love how a handful of leafy greens lends a pop of flavor and color to one of your favorite side dishes. Here’s a few things you’ll need. 

Potatoes: The answer to a fluffy and creamy texture is using starchy potatoes! I’m using Yukon Golds in this recipe, but Russets works too.Milk: Traditionally, these are made super creamy with dairy milk. But you can use a nut milk as well! They all work great.Butter: Opt for a great Irish butter like Kerry Gold, or swap in ghee if you’d like.Kale: For a beautiful deep green, I’m using Tuscan kale, but curly kale works as well. Green Onion: A few green onions gives that mild oniony flavor that’s really quite delicious.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How To Make Colcannon

Boil the potatoes. Place them in a large pot with cold water (about an inch over the potatoes), bring it to a boil, and cook for about 15-20 minutes, until fork tender.

Cook the greens. In a separate large pot, melt the butter and add in the chopped kale. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then stir in the green onions and saute for another minute.

Get mashing! Drain and add the potatoes to the pot of greens. Then pour in the milk, season with salt and pepper, and mash everything together until perfectly fluffy. 

Serve it up. Scoop it into a large serving bowl and top it off with a sprinkle of green onions and extra buttery goodness.

Serve Colcannon With…

A hearty main! You can go the traditional Irish route and serve it with a glazed ham or grilled lamb chops. But here’s a few other ideas to complete your dinner. 

Best Baked Salmon: An easy, flaky fish baked with garlic herb goodness.Lemon Garlic Spatchcock Chicken: This roasted chicken will add bright lemony flavor to an overall savory meal. Cabernet Braised Short Ribs: Juicy, tender ribs are a no-brainer pairing with colcannon.Slow Cooker Whole Chicken: For an easy, super juicy chicken recipe, this one is it! 

More Comforting Irish Recipes

Whether you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or just looking for hearty, Irish meals, you can’t go wrong with any of these options!

Shepherd’s Pie (St. Patrick’s Day favorite!)Fried CabbageIrish Lamb StewGarlic Herb Roasted PotatoesCabbage Soup

If you make this colcannon, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes)

5 from 13 votes Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 25 minutes Total: 40 minutes Servings: 4 servings Author: Lisa BryanPrintPinReviewSaveSaved


Colcannon is an Irish favorite that’s a comforting blend of creamy mashed potatoes, warm, leafy greens, and a slab of buttery goodness.


2 pounds Yukon gold or Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks6 tablespoons unsalted butter, or ghee4 cups (lightly packed) chopped kale or cabbage3 green onions, thinly sliced½ cup milk, any type workssalt and pepper, to taste


Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water, with about an inch of water above the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until fork tender. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a separate large pot over medium heat and add the chopped kale. Cook the kale for 3-4 minutes, until wilted. Add the green onions (reserve a small amount for garnish) and stir together for another minute. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then add them to the kale. Pour in the milk, and season with salt and pepper. Mash the potatoes with the greens until fluffy and well combined. Transfer the colcannon to a serving bowl and top with a light sprinkle of green onion and a pat of butter.


Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 2146mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 24254IU | Vitamin C: 330mg | Calcium: 394mg | Iron: 5mg Course: Side Dish Cuisine: Irish Keyword: Colcannon, Colcannon Recipe

Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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