Cook Your Own Colcannon

Master the mix of potatoes and greens with this traditional Irish dish

For many people, there is no wrong way to eat a potato. They can be enjoyed boiled, baked, fried, or creamed. However, the Irish have long been known for adding a bit of flavor to this popular vegetable. Depending on the occasion, the menu, the seasonality, and the availability of herbs, numerous versions of colcannon—a dish of boiled potatoes and cabbage—have been created. And, the consensus seems to be this: there’s no wrong way to make colcannon. Here’s our recipe for a tried-and-true version.

Traditional Colcannon


5 small- or medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled
2 cups of cabbage or kale, finely chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1 cup of milk (add or reduce based on desired consistency)
1 stick of butter, quartered + 4 pats for serving
salt and pepper to taste



Place the potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Allow them to boil for 20 minutes or until soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

While the potatoes are boiling, prepare a second pot to boil the cabbage. Allow it to boil over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until soft. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.

Use a potato masher to crush the potatoes to your desired size and consistency. While the potatoes and cabbage are still warm, combine with all other ingredients in a large bowl—adding the milk slowly based on your desired consistency. If necessary, add more milk.

Scoop a serving of colcannon into a bowl and serve with a pat of butter pushed into its center.

Do you add other spices, herbs, or vegetables? Tell us how you make your version of colcannon.

8 thoughts on “Cook Your Own Colcannon”

  1. My favorite recipe uses cabbage, leeks instead of scallions, and adds a bIt of mace to the seasonings.

  2. I make colcannon often. A couple of suggestions concerning your recipe: 1) throw the chopped kale or cabbage onto the top of the cooked potatoes and cover for 5 minutes–this saves another pan to wash; 2) I add several (or LOTS of) roasted garlic into this dish–takes the flavor to a new level.

  3. I’ve been making Colcannon like that for years. It is a family favorite! If I’m a little short on time, I use cole slaw mix from the produce section of the grocery store. It usually has shredded carrot with the cabbage, and my family loves that version, too!

  4. I fry bacon crisp, crumble and set aside. Fry the cabbage, onion and seasonings in bacon grease. Combine with mashed potatoes and bacon pieces.

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