Add comforting Irish colcannon to your St. Patrick’s Day menu

Homemade Irish Potato Colcannon

Fluffy, starchy potatoes are delicious and comforting in so many forms. They can be prepared in many ways and are delectable whether they’re fried, baked, smashed, formed into pancakes or made into a salad.

But who would be a better expert on making a savory potato dish than the Irish? Ireland was the first European country to grow potatoes on a large scale. And even now, more potatoes are eaten there than in most countries worldwide.

So, if you are always on the lookout for a satisfying, flavorful side dish with potatoes as the star, you will want to give colcannon a try.

Colcannon is a time-honored potato dish that typically includes garden-grown cabbage or kale and is a staple in Irish kitchens. It is such a traditional food that there are even children’s songs about it on the Emerald Isle. In addition, Colcannon has been referenced in writing as far back as 1735.

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Betty Streff shared a recipe for classic Irish colcannon on her blog, Yey Food. The dish, which she calls a new favorite for her family, is simple and inexpensive to make. Along with “floury” potatoes, such as Russets, you will need white cabbage, bacon, yellow and green onions, butter, milk, salt and pepper.

While Streff quotes Irish chef Richard Corrigan, who says there really isn’t a “recipe” for colcannon, as it is “something that is put together with love, not measurements,” she offers easy-to-follow instructions.

The recipe begins with boiling the potatoes and frying the bacon, followed by sautéing the cabbage and onions in the remaining grease. Then, you simply mash the potatoes and add the remaining ingredients to the dish for mouthwatering results. It’s best as a hearty side with some corned beef, as shown below, or another entree.


According to the Farmer’s Almanac, “colcannon” comes from the Gaelic term for white-headed cabbage: “cal ceannann.” Traditionally, the Irish enjoy it on Halloween, when it is prepared with small trinkets tucked inside. Whatever object you find in your potatoes is said to predict your future.

However, you don’t have to wait for any holiday to enjoy this comforting dish. We predict that you’ll love it whenever you make it.

Food, Holiday & Seasonal

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About the Author
Tricia Goss
Tricia Goss is a Texas-based writer and editor with nearly two decades of experience. She is passionate about helping readers improve their skills, gain knowledge and attain more happiness in life. When she’s not working, Tricia enjoys traveling with her husband and their dog, especially to visit their five grandchildren.

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