Colcannon is an Irish dish made by mixing mashed potatoes with kale. And lots of butter. I put even more butter on top. Try this for St. Patrick’s Day.
Colcannon is the perfect side dish for St. Patty’s Day. Or any day that you are trying to jazz up your mashed potatoes because this traditional Irish side dish has greens and plenty of butter added.
This colcannon recipe only takes a couple extra steps from regular mashed potatoes but it makes your meal extra special. Read more about this dish below or click here to head straight to the recipe.
What Is Colcannon?
Colcannon is a mixture of mashed potatoes, green onions, and sautéed kale or cabbage that basically exists as an excuse to eat butter. You see, there’s not just butter mashed into the potatoes. To serve colcannon you smear butter onto the top of each serving so that it melts into a golden puddle that is soooo delicious.
Colcannon originally was an Irish dish served at Halloween. I like to serve it for St. Patrick’s Day though, because that seems like the perfect occasion for potatoes with some green to them.
What Kind Of Potatoes to Use?
Since this is a variation of mashed potatoes, the best kind of potatoes to use are russet potatoes, sometimes labelled in the store as baking potatoes. They are easy to peel and prep, plus they get wonderfully fluffy which is definitely what you want in mashed potatoes.
You could also use Yukon gold potatoes or a combination of the two varieties if you prefer. Yukon golds have a great creamy quality, but they aren’t quite as starchy or fluffy as the russets.
How To Make Colcannon
Remember, you’re essentially making mashed potatoes with a couple extra ingredients. So you’ll start the same way, with peeling and cutting your potatoes and and boiling them. Once the potatoes are cooked and tender, drain them and leave them in the colander for a few minutes.
In that now empty pot, melt a couple tablespoons of butter and then add your kale (or cabbage if you prefer). Sauté and stir occasionally for a few minutes, until the greens are wilted. Add in green onions (you may know them as scallions) and let them quickly cook for 30 seconds.
Next, it’s time to put your drained potatoes back in the pot to mash! Add some milk and salt, then taste and adjust until it’s moist enough and well seasoned.
To serve, top each portion with a pat of cold butter. It’s so amazing to get some melty butter in each bite of this traditional Irish colcannon.
What To Serve With Colcannon
These buttery mashed potatoes are a perfect side dish for Corned Beef and Cabbage or alongside ham or pork.
If you like this recipe, I think you’ll also love these Potatoes with Lots of Dill.Print
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Irish
Colcannon is a buttery blend of potatoes and kale with a lot of butter. And then some more butter. It’s a traditional Irish dish and is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day (and any other time you need an excuse to eat butter).
Listen to learn how to make this recipe, along with some great tips from Christine:
- 3 lbs. potatoes (about 5–7 medium baking potatoes)
- 2 Tbsp. salted butter, plus more for serving
- 4 cups roughly chopped kale*
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- ½ – ¾ cups milk
- Peel the potatoes an cut them into 2 inch chunks. Put them in a large pot with 2 teaspoons of salt and enough cold water to cover them. Partially cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat.
- Remove cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and leave them in the colander.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of butter to the pot and put it over medium heat until it melts. Add the kale and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Use tongs to stir it until it is well-wilted, 3-4 minutes.
- Add the green onions and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Add the drained potatoes and mash them. Stir in 1/2 cup of milk. Taste. Add more milk to make it moister and more salt if desired.
- Transfer to soup bowls and dot each portion with a slice of cold butter.
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*Green cabbage can be used in place of kale, if you prefer.
This post originally appeared in March 2015 and was revised and republished in February 2023.
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