Colcannon Irish Recipe for St. Patrick’s Day Menu

Soft, starchy potatoes are delicious and comforting in many forms. They can be prepared many ways and are delicious whether fried, baked, mashed, shaped into pancakes, or made into a salad.

But who would be a better expert at making a tasty potato dish than the Irishman? Ireland was the first European country to grow potatoes on a large scale. And even now more potatoes are consumed there than in most countries of the world.

So if you’re still looking for a satisfying and flavorful side dish with potatoes on the way, you’ll want to try colcannon.

colcanon is an age-old potato dish that typically includes cabbage or kale from the garden and is a staple in Irish kitchens. It’s such a traditional food that there are even children’s songs about it on the Emerald Isle. Additionally, Colcannon has been referenced in writing as early as 1735.

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Betty Streff shared a classic Irish colcannon recipe on her blog, Yeah the food. The dish, which she calls a new favorite for her family, is simple and inexpensive to prepare. In addition to “mealy” potatoes, like Russets, you will need white cabbage, bacon, yellow and green onions, butter, milk, salt and pepper.

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

The recipe starts with boiling the potatoes and frying the bacon, then sautéing the cabbage and onions in the remaining fat. Then all you need to do is mash the potatoes and add the remaining ingredients to the dish for appetizing results. It is best as a hearty side dish with corned beef, as shown below, or another main dish.


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

However, you don’t have to wait for the holidays to enjoy this comfort food. We predict you’ll love it every time you do it.