Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe

This Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe is a welcome addition to any dinner! Mashed potatoes and kale mixed together make a nutritious and delicious side dish!

Where does Colcannon come from?

 Colcannon is a traditional potato dish from Ireland. It is commonly served on Halloween and contains a token or charm that is meant to tell the fortune of whoever finds them. A coin meant prosperity was coming, a stick signified an unhappy marriage and a rag meant poverty.

The first mention of colcannon was in a 1735 diary entry of William Bulkely, a traveler from Wales who had the dish on Halloween night in Dublin. He called it ‘Coel Callen’ which is thought to be an old Gaelic version of white cabbage.

What is Colcannon

Colcannon is a filling and delicious side dish of potatoes, butter, milk, and either cabbage or kale. Leeks or spring onions are also sometimes added. If the only addition is leeks or onions, the dish is called Champ.

Colcannon is the perfect side dish for any dinner and I especially love to serve it to picky eaters. It makes it easy to get some green vegetables into their diet when it is mixed into buttery, creamy potatoes!

The Irish are known for eating potatoes in all forms and this is by far one of my favorites! The potatoes can be mashed until completely smooth or left chunky – however you prefer them!

Authentic Irish Colcannon Recipe

What Kind of Potato should you use in Colcannon?

A dry and fluffy potato is best for Colcannon and any other form of mashed potatoes. Go for the Russets or Yukon Golds here and you will end up with the best result.

Russets and Yukons are less starchy than other potatoes and have less of a waxy texture. They are easy to mash and are floury, which is perfect in Colcannon!

Russet potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes are best in this Colcannon recipe

What do you Serve with Colcannon

Colcannon is incredible served as a side dish with any meal! It is easy to make and can be adapted a bit to what you have one hand.

You can swap out the kale in this colcannon recipe for cabbage, leave out the green onions, through in some leeks or any combination you choose!

Colcannon is often served in Ireland with Bangers – Irish sausages. A traditional Irish dish is Bangers and Mash and, of course, you can serve colcannon instead of plain mashed potatoes.

Serve this Colcannon recipe with Braised Irish Stew or Irish Bacon. Colcannon is a welcome and easy side dish for any dinner!

Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe with melting butter on top

What to do with Leftover Colcannon

If you end up with leftover colcannon, it definitely does not need to go to waste!

You can use leftover colcannon to make Potato Cakes by make patties out of the colcannon and frying in a pan with some butter. Cook on each side until crisp and browned.

Another delicious way to use up leftovers from this colcannon recipe is to use it to top a Shepherds’ Pie or Cottage Pie. This would make dinner even faster! Just cook up the filling, top with your leftover colcannon, and bake!

Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe

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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine British, Irish, Northern Ireland
Servings 4
Calories 190 kcal


  • 2 1/2 pounds Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons butter plus more for serving
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups curly kale or cabbage, stalks removed and finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 green onions chopped


  • Put the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add salt, and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and put in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add the butter and the milk to the potatoes and either mix with the paddle attachment or mash by hand with a masher.
  • Boil about 4 cups of water on the stove and get a bowl ready with some ice and cold water and put it next to the stove. Add the chopped kale and boil for 1 minute. Add the chopped onions and boil for 1 more minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately submerge in the ice water.
  • Drain the kale and onions and press down on them to get rid of most of the water. Mix into the mashed potatoes and stir until well combined.
  • Serve with a pat of butter on top while still hot.


Serving: 1gCalories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 2gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 741mgPotassium: 122mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 713IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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