If you have not made Colcannon before, what are you waiting for? It’s rich and silky creamy mashed potatoes with chopped kale and an ultimate buttery taste; it is the perfect Irish side dish! It calls for simple ingredients and can be made also with leeks or cabbage.
This recipe is a traditional Irish one that has been adored since the 17th century and has since then gotten different variations. Colcannon is often served for St Patrick’s Day or Halloween, but truthfully, this is a great comfort side dish you can make all year round. If you liked the Irish Nachos and our Potato Pancakes, you will love this one!
What is Colcannon?
Colcannon is a buttery mashed potato mixed with cabbage or kale topped with spring onions. The potatoes are mashed with butter, milk, and cream to get a silky texture. The recipe can be easily adapted to your liking or what you have on hand.
Prepared by the Irish since the 17th century, this recipe has been a classic as the ingredients were really common.
Colcannon gets its name from the Gaelic term “cal ceannann”, which means white head cabbage.
What is Colcannon made of?
When a recipe uses simple ingredients, it is a keeper! You will need a few ingredients to make a perfect colcannon that you most likely have at home:
- Potato: You can use the Russet or Yukon gold like I did which is the main type used for mashed potato recipes.
- Kale: Use the most popular one found in stores for salads.
- Heavy cream and milk: I chose to do half of each but if you don’t have one of them, feel free to do only milk or only cream. However, I find it to be a great balance for a perfect creaminess.
- Butter: Ah. Very important and debatable. Really, you measure this with your heart but I’ll help you anyway (see recipe card). I use salted butter but unsalted works too.
- Green onions: This ingredient could be optional but adds a nice peppery flavour to your colcannon.
Variations of the recipe:
The kale can be substituted by different shredded greens:
- Cabbage: traditionally, this was the vegetable used in the Irish recipe
What do you need to make it? Nothing you do not have in the kitchen, and again, the simplicity is what makes it amazing!
- A large pot
- A potato masher
- A pan
How to Make Colcannon
There are only a few steps to make this creamy side dish.
First, in a large pot, bring some water to a boil, enough that it will cover the potatoes. In the meantime, wash, and peel your potatoes. Then, cut the potatoes in similar sizes to allow uniform cooking. Once the water is boiling, add the potatoes and cover them. Cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Tip: Remember to add some salt to your water after boiling, not before.
Next, thoroughly rinse the kale, remove the stem, and, using a sharp knife, chop it into small pieces. Strain the water from the potatoes and put them back in the pot (discard the water); using a potato masher, mash them. Then, add the milk, cream, and butter. Keep mashing until all is well incorporated.
Place a pat of butter in a large saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter and cook the kale for 2 minutes until slightly wilted.
TIP: This step is optional but cooking the kale in some melted butter adds flavor to your Colcannon.
Lastly, add the kale to the mashed potatoes and stir until well combined. Top with some chopped green onions and serve while hot. Season to your liking with salt and pepper.
Extra toppings ideas:
- Bacon bits
- Sauteed onions
- Herbs: parsley, chives
What’s the difference between champ and colcannon? Champ consists of mashed potatoes and green onions, while colcannon has cabbage or kale too.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time and freeze it? Yes! Make a double batch and freeze one! Keep it labeled in an air-tight container in the freezer for 3-4 months. You can also keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days if you have some leftovers.
Could I keep the skin on the potato? Absolutely! The skin adds texture and color to your side dish. It contains fiber and nutrients, so if you are feeling lazy, this is a good way to go!
What to Serve With Colcannon?
If you are trying to stay in the theme of Irish food, here are a few ideas:
Pin it HERE!!
Pin it HERE!!
- 2 pounds of potatoes
- 6 tablespoons of butter + 1 Tbsp for the kale
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups of chopped kale
- 2 green onions, chopped
In a large pot, bring some water to a boil, enough that you will cover the potatoes in water.
In the meantime, wash and peel potatoes.
Cut the potatoes in similar sizes to allow uniform cooking.
Once the water is boiling, add the potatoes and cover with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender.
Wash the kale, remove the center stem, and using a sharp knife, chop it into small pieces.
Once the potatoes are cooked, strain the water and put them back in the pot. Using a potato masher, mash them.
Gradually add the milk, cream, and butter. Keep mashing until all is well incorporated and smooth.
In a pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and cook the kale for 2 minutes until slightly wilted.
Add the kale to the mashed potatoes and stir until well combined. Top with some chopped green onions and serve while hot.
Tip: Make a double batch and freeze one!
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Gotham Steel 5 Quart Multipurpose Pasta Pot with Strainer Lid & Twist and Lock Handles Nonstick Copper Surface Oven/Dishwasher Safe Tempered Glass Lid, Graphite
DOWAN 9" Porcelain Serving Bowls, Large Serving Dishes, 36 Ounce for Salads, Side Dishes, Pasta, Oval Shape, Microwave & Dishwasher Safe, Good Size for Dinner Parties, Set of 4, White
Zulay Kitchen Non-Scratch Potato Masher Kitchen Tool - Durable Stainless Steel Wrapped In Premium Silicone Mashed Potatoes Masher - Versatile Masher Hand Tool & Potato Smasher (Red)
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 443Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 187mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 7gSugar: 5gProtein: 8g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.