Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes)

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Traditional Colcannon is a creamy and delicious recipe for Irish Mashed Potatoes filled with tender cabbage. It’s the perfect side dish to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day or anytime.

Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes) in a bowl

Colcannon Mashed Potatoes Recipe

It’s hard to resist this traditional Irish dish of rich and buttery mashed potatoes. This Colcannon recipe takes mashed potatoes to a whole new level! The cooked cabbage adds extra flavor and texture. I didn’t know the potatoes needed. This pairs perfectly with the caramelized onions. These mashed potatoes are delectably creamy and even my kids love them! If you are looking for a full-flavor potato side dish, then you have to try Colcannon!

Another way that we love to serve this delicious mashed potato recipe is by making Colcannon Cakes. Delicious lightly fried potato cakes with the addition of corned beef for a traditional Irish side dish or appetizer.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe for Colcannon

  • Easy to Make: In 30 minutes you will have the tasty Irish mashed potatoes you’ve ever had without putting in a lot of work.
  • Family Friendly: My entire family loved this recipe, even the kids.
  • Versatile: This recipe for traditional Irish Colcannon is so simple that it pairs well with any protein!
colcannon Irish mashed potatoes on spoon

Irish Mashed Potatoes vs. Regular Mashed Potatoes

The biggest difference is the ingredients. With Colcannon or Irish mashed potatoes, onions and cabbage are added. You still use butter and milk like with traditional mashed potatoes just like with Colcannon. Many Irish dishes include cabbage as a traditional ingredient.

ingredients needed to make colcannon

Recipe Ingredients

Here are the ingredients needed to make Colcannon. For exact measurements, refer to the recipe card provided below. 

  • Potatoes: I use Yukon Gold potatoes for this Colcannon recipe but you can also use Russet potatoes. A good starchy potato makes the creamiest mashed potatoes. 
  • Butter: Unsalted butter is best for these potatoes because you will add salt later when you season it.
  • Onion: One of my favorite ingredients is the onion. It gets nice and caramelized before being added to the mashed potatoes for a hint of sweetness that balances the whole dish.
  • Cabbage: Fresh green cabbage is perfect. Kale can even be used as a substitute as well.
  • Milk: I use and recommend whole milk (or cream) but you can also use low fat. 
  • Seasonings: I use salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Feel free to add additional spices like garlic powder.
  • Scallions: A fresh garnish of chopped scallions or chives lifts the flavors and cuts through the richness of the mashed potatoes.

How to Make Colcannon

These are the directions for making Irish Colcannon. Below you will find more detailed info!

  • Cook the potatoes. Place the peeled and chopped potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Boil for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. 
  • Saute onion. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and add onion. Cook until translucent and start to caramelize.
  • Add cabbage. Next, add cabbage to the cooked onions and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the cabbage is tender.
  • Drain potatoes. Drain the potatoes and place them back in the pot. 
  • Add butter and milk. Combine with remaining butter and milk.
  • Mash. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the potatoes until smooth.
  • Season. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Combine the potatoes with the cabbage mixture. 
  • Garnish. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with chopped scallions.
wooden spoon with colcannon Irish mashed potatoes

Tips for Success

  • Cook long enough. Make sure the cabbage and potatoes are both fork-tender before making this recipe. You don’t want the cabbage to be crunchy or mushy so keep an eye on it!
  • Taste for Seasoning: Potatoes are known for being bland so taste them once all of the ingredients are combined to see if you need to adjust the seasonings.
  • Add-Ins: Some Colcannon recipes include cooked and chopped bacon and ham for even more flavor.
colcannon Irish mashed potatoes in both with butter and green onions

Serving Suggestions

Make a traditional Irish meal by pairing Corned Beef and Cabbage or Guinness Beef Stew with this Colcannon recipe. You can even make it with steak, pork chops or even on top of shepherd’s pie, too!

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers 

  • Fridge. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing leftover Colcannon.
  • Reheat. Leftovers can be reheated on the stovetop in a small saucepan or the microwave.
bowl of colcannon with butter and green onions

More Potato Recipes to Try

Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes) feature
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Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes)

Traditional Colcannon is a creamy and delicious recipe for Irish Mashed Potatoes filled with tender cabbage. It’s the perfect side dish to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day or anytime.
Servings: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes


  • 2 pounds yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 cups cabbage or kale, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • fresh scallions or chives, chopped for garnish


  • Place the potato chunks in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the sliced cabbage or kale to the skillet and cook until it wilts and becomes tender, stirring occasionally. This should take approximately 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Drain the cooked potatoes and return them to the pot. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and milk to the pot.
  • Using a potato masher or a fork, mash the potatoes until they are smooth and creamy. Add more milk if needed to reach your desired consistency.
  • Stir in the cooked onion and cabbage or kale mixture into the mashed potatoes. Season with the ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix well to combine all the flavors.
  • Transfer the Colcannon Irish mashed potatoes to a serving dish.
  • Garnish with fresh chives or chopped green onions.
  • Serve the Colcannon Irish mashed potatoes hot as a delicious side dish, enjoy!

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Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 1091mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 614IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 2mg


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