Colcannon, also known as Irish potatoes, are creamy, buttery mashed potatoes that are loaded with fried onions, cabbage, green onions, and bacon – because what could be more Irish than a big bowl of potatoes? This traditional recipe for Colcannon uses all of the classic ingredients and is one of Mr Magpie's favorite Irish side dishes. Don't forget to check out our Irish Boxty recipe or our other St. Patrick's Day recipes.
If you're looking for more cabbage recipes, try something from my side of the family and make some Haluski which is fried cabbage and noodles!
Colcannon (Irish Potatoes)
While colcannon might sound like regular mashed potato with some other stuff added, it is actually way tastier than you might expect. Mr. Magpie is a basic meat and potatoes guy (he likes to blame the Irish side of his family for this) but he makes a good Ukrainian husband as well – he LOVES cabbage.
So it goes that we LOVE colcannon. Made from a mix of cabbage, potatoes, and green onions, colcannon has this indescribably homey and comforting flavor that leaves you endlessly satisfied no matter how much you eat.
Plus, despite the fact that it is loaded with cream and butter, it’s got cabbage and onions in it, which means it’s healthy! Right? 😉
Make sure to look at the recipe card at the bottom for the exact ingredients needed.
- Russet potatoes
- Heavy Cream
- White onion
- Green onions
- Cooked bacon
- Salt & pepper
How to Make Colcannon
- Boil the potatoes in a medium pot of salted water for 15 minutes until fork tender
- Drain the potatoes and add to a bowl with the cream and butter
- Fry the onions in butter in a medium-sized frying pan until they are soft and translucent
- Add in the cabbage and fry until softened
- Mash the potatoes, butter, and cream until smooth
- Stir in the hot cabbage, green onions, half of the bacon, and the salt & pepper to taste
- Serve in a bowl and top with the remaining bacon and the fresh parsley
How to Keep Your Colcannon From Getting Lumpy
Just like making regular mashed potatoes, it is sometimes a challenge to end up with smooth, creamy mashed potatoes.
This is because they tend to clump up if you don't mix them properly before you add the other ingredients.
The key to avoiding lumpy colcannon is to make sure you cook your potatoes to the right tenderness. You don't want them underdone because you don't want any hard spots that won't mash properly.
At the same time, you don’t want to overcook them and end up with a weird, almost gummy texture when it’s mixed.
If you have it, a great way to avoid any lumpiness is to break the potatoes up using a potato ricer. This crushes and breaks up the potato into even tiny pieces that then mix together perfectly to form a smooth and consistent colcannon.
Without one, though, you can just make sure to really thoroughly mix your potatoes before adding the other ingredients, ensuring that everything is evenly broken apart, mashed, and the butter is properly emulsified.
How to Serve Colcannon
Colcannon can easily be eaten entirely on its own, but it is far more popular as a side dish for pretty much anything.
Traditionally, this would be served alongside some corned beef and, somehow, another dish of cabbage, but it was also served alongside any kind of pork product like salted pork.
If you want to get really traditional, serve it on Halloween! In Ireland, it is traditional to serve Colcannon with a ring and a metal thimble hidden inside that you have to dig around to find – make sure you don't accidentally swallow them, however!
There is also a cute tradition of hiding other, larger items in with the Colcannon to predict your future life. You could also make it an offering to the fairies by leaving it at the foot of a hawthorn tree.
Or you could just eat it; that’s up to you.
Looking for more tasty Side Dishes? Try these out:
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Colcannon (Irish Potatoes)
- Prep Time
- 40 minutes
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- Side Dish
- Karlynn Johnston
- 5 large russet potatoes peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 small white onion diced small
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped fresh parsley
- Place the potatoes into a medium pot of lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender, but not falling apart. Drain and place into a large bowl along with the cream and butter. Keep warm.
- While the potatoes are boiling, place the butter and onions into a medium sized frying pan. Fry until the onions are soft. Add in the cabbage and fry until softened to your liking. (some people prefer a toothsome cabbage; some prefer it quite soft.)
- At this point, the potatoes should still be hot as you have been cooking the cabbage while the potatoes boiled. Mash the potatoes/butter/cream until smooth.
- Stir in the hot cabbage, green onions, half of the bacon and salt and pepper to taste.
- Place in a bowl and garnish with the remaining bacon and the fresh parsley.
- Feel free to adjust the ratios, you can use more cabbage and less potatoes, more bacon ,etc.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.