Colcannon (or Irish potatoes) is pure traditional Irish comfort food at its absolute best. Nothing beats a good Irish potato recipe, especially one that combines those potatoes with lots of garlic, leeks, green cabbage, butter, and spring onions. This is one traditional Irish dish that will make it back to your family table time and time again.
For more traditional Irish food try out this Irish apple cake.
I grew up in Northern Ireland, and to this day, once the rain starts pelting down, all I want is a steaming hot bowl of colcannon to eat while wrapped up in a blanket watching the rain.
Not as fun these days living in Australia and our pelting down rain days are usually in the form of a summer storm on a 30C afternoon.
But it is what it is.
Comfort food at it's best, this is the perfect bowl of potatoes to enjoy on a cold day or if you want to serve some traditional Irish food, instead of some weird green-dyed concoction.
How Is Colcannon Different From Mashed Potatoes?
I mean it is a big bowl of buttery potatoes....but it's also so much more.
You have the added loveliness of:
- chopped scallions (otherwise known as spring onions or green onions)
So much flavor in one little bowl right there!
You can also add other leafy greens like curly kale, or parsley.
Try to get your hands on some good quality Irish butter if you can, it makes the world of difference.
When it comes to the potatoes you can choose from red potatoes (I use these as I love the pop of color), russet potatoes, or Yukon gold potatoes.
Anything that is good for mashing.
If you find you have celebrated a wee bit too much come St Patrick's Day, keep this recipe in your back pocket.
Or even better, make it ahead of time so you can heat it first thing in the morning for breakfast because Colcannon happens to be the best hangover cure.
I don't know why, but it works every time.
a lot of experience in my college years).
Serving Up and Storing Leftovers
I love nothing more than a big bowl of Colcannon all by itself, and will happily eat it as a main dish.
However, if you want to have yourself a big Irish feast, then serve the Colcannon as a side dish with some corned beef, Irish stew, or some lovely grilled lamb chops for a satisfying main course.
Who has leftover Colcannon?
I mean seriously?
If you do somehow manage to have any leftovers, they will store well in the fridge for about 3 days if kept in an airtight container.
Simply use a little bit of milk to loosen them up a bit when you reheat them in the microwave and you will be good to go.
They can also be frozen, however, I find the texture of the cabbage can be a little soggy once thawed and reheated, so keep that in mind if you are weird about textures.
You can also use your leftovers to make some of these Colcannon Tater Tots or flatten them for some colcannon cakes (like a potato cake but different), or as a topping on some shepherd's pie.
They are a quick and easy way to use up those leftovers and I can guarantee that the whole family will devour them straight from the oven.
A real crowd-pleaser with the kids.
I hope you love this classic Irish dish!
Looking for some more Irish food inspiration for your celebrations? Check out these recipes:
- Creamy Irish Mushroom and Potato Soup;
- Instant Pot Potato Soup with Cheddar and Leek;
- Pillowy Potato Biscuits using Leftover Mashed Potatoes
Do you have any plans for St Patrick’s Day this year?
Make sure you enjoy some creamy Colcannon and a Guinness for the occasion 🙂
Colcannon Irish Potatoes
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- 2 lbs potatoes of choice washed well and cut into large chunks
- 2 whole cloves of garlic peeled, not minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large leek white and light green parts only, sliced thinly
- ½ head cabbage sliced thinly
- 3 spring onions sliced thinly
- salt to taste
- 4 tablespoons good quality butter cubed. Plus more for serving
- ½ cup milk plus extra as needed
- extra butter to serve
- Put the cubed potatoes and whole garlic cloves in a medium pot and cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add 1 tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Boil at medium-high heat until tender, about 15-20 mins (see notes).2 lbs potatoes of choice, 2 whole cloves of garlic
- Once cooked, drain over the sink in a colander.
- While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Once hot, add in the leeks and cabbage and cook until wilted, and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 4 mins. Remove from heat and set aside.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 large leek, ½ head cabbage
- Pop the drained potatoes back into the medium pot, add in the cubed butter, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher, slowly adding the milk until the potato mix is really smooth and creamy.3 spring onions, salt, 4 tablespoons good quality butter, ½ cup milk
- Add in the cooked greens, and the spring onions and salt to taste and mix well.
- Serve hot. Use a spoon to make a small hollow on top and add a knob of butter.extra butter to serve