Easy Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe (2024)

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This easy and tasty recipe is a perfect comfort food or back pocket recipe that can be made on busy weeknights. A traditional Irish dish, this can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes. It is sure to satisfy even the most picky eaters!

Easy Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe (1)

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Table of contents

  1. More Irish Recipes
  2. Bonus Tip
  3. More Tasty Potato Recipes
Easy Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe (2)

Why I LOVE Irish Colcannon

Back pocket recipes,what a great concept. I recently read this term and realized I needed some of my own. These are recipes that are simple to make with a short list of ingredients.

The type of recipes that you can pop in the market and and buy the ingredients without a shopping list, not because your are lazy but because it’s been one of those days. A simple, homemade, unfussy recipe that will satisfy your insides and your pocket book.

I have ‘back pocket frozen TV dinners’but not recipes. I don’t like reaching for those convenience foods or stopping at a restaurant for a take home dinner. I always regret it, too unhealthy or too expensive, or both!

Of course I am trying to eat healthier, it’s the beginning of the new year and recovery time from the holidays. Home cooking is a must. With home cooking, you can control what goes in your meals and know exactly what you are consuming, which can help you make better decisions while trying to feed yourself and your family.

Substitutions are easy, milk for cream as an example. Reducing the amount of bad ingredients while increasing the amount of good ingredients is simple and smart.

Cooking everyday can be hard, especially if everybody is working outside of the home so back pocket recipes are a great idea. Even if you are a full time domestic engineer, you still have those days. Being mom’s taxi is time constraining. Right when you should be starting to prepare for dinner, the soft ball game goes into extra-innings. Then there is homework, bath time etc. Evenings can be hard.

Irish Colcannon fits the back pocket recipe requirements, simple, easy and easy to remember ingredients. Most people have butter and salt & pepper already, so if you can remember potatoes, cabbage and sour cream, you are golden. I like to use Mexican Creama instead of sour cream. It tastes richer and is already salted. Try this if you haven’t already, I dare you.

What Is Irish Colcannon?

Colcannon is an easy traditional Irish smashed potato recipe with cabbage, or kale, butter, cream, salt & pepper. I have substituted Mexican Crema for milk and used a slaw mix for the cabbage.

I have also added green onions or ‘scallions’ for additional flavor. White onions could work too. Some people add garlic.

In the U.S. we have already shredded cabbage for ‘slaw’, sold in smaller portions than a whole head of cabbage. It also usually has some purple cabbage or carrots in it which is a bonus for color. I have a hard time using a whole head of cabbage, does this every happen to you?

Leave a comment and let us know what you do with the leftover cabbage, I need to know. I hate wasting food.

More Irish Recipes

  1. Traditional Irish Stew
  2. Irish Soda Bread
  3. Boxty
  4. Champ
  5. Irish Coddle
  6. Beef and Guinness Pie

Now on to the pretty pictures…

Easy Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe (3)

Bonus tip

I have learned with this recipe that caramelizing cabbage in butter brings out a distinctive flavor in cabbage, slightly sweet. I have heard Christopher Kimball from America’s Test Kitchen talk about this, now I know what he meant.

Easy Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe (4)
Easy Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe (5)

Lightly smash the potatoes, you want it to be chunky, not creamy.

Easy Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe (7)
Easy Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe (8)

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to rate the recipe and comment below! Take a picture and tag us @FusionCraftiness #FusionCraftiness on Instagram for a chance to be featured in our Insta Stories:)

Easy Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe (9)
Easy Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe (10)

Easy Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe

Yield: 6 Cups

A traditional, easy Irish Colcannon recipe. Your whole family will love!


  • 4 cups of russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of shredded cabbage (I used pre-packaged slaw)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 4 Tbs salted butter, divided
  • 1 cup of sour cream (I used Mexican sour cream)


  1. Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender, drain and return to same pan.
  2. Add sour cream (orMexican Crema) to potatoes, pepper and 2 Tbs of butter, mashing gently to allow for a chunky texture.
  3. While potatoes are cooking, sauté cabbage and green onions in 2 Tbs butter over medium heat untilcabbage is soft and starting to char. Add to smashed potatoes and stir.
  4. Check for seasoning, adding salt as needed.


Make a small well in center of mound, add a pat of butter. Entree serving suggestions include sausage, steak, chicken or by itself!

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 305Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 6g

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Easy Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe (2024)


What is Irish colcannon made of? ›

Colcannon is an Irish dish that's made of mashed potatoes, shredded cabbage or kale, green onions and tons of butter and whole milk. Sometimes crumbled bacon is added for an extra-succulent, salty flavor.

What is the difference between colcannon and champ? ›

Colcannon is made with cabbage or kale while champ is made by flavoring milk with green onions, then mixing them into mashed potatoes. To finish the dish off, it's mixed with melted butter.

What is the difference between colcannon and bubble and squeak? ›

Colcannon is mashed potatoes and chopped cabbage and usually chopped ham or bacon. Bubble and squeak is mashed leftover potatoes and chopped cabbage mixed up and fried as single round cake, and then sliced and served usually at breakfast.

Why is colcannon important in Ireland? ›

Colcannon is a hearty dish that has been eaten on Halloween night for years. Traditionally, a ring was hidden in the dish, and whoever was to find it would be likely to marry in the upcoming year! Colcannon was even paired with a little poem: Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?

What does colcannon mean in English? ›

Colcannon is a mixture of cooked and shredded cabbage and mashed potatoes. The word colcannon is derived from the Gaelic term cal ceannann, which means "white-headed cabbage" — the vegetable most commonly mixed with potatoes in this dish.

What country is colcannon from? ›

Colcannon (Irish: cál ceannann, meaning "white-headed cabbage") is a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes with cabbage.

What is Boxty made of? ›

Boxty is a thick pancake of mashed and shredded potatoes, flour, baking soda, and buttermilk fried in butter or lard. These are traditionally formed into a circle and cut into quarters or triangles and are usually served as a side dish or appetizer. These are a great way to use up any leftover mashed potatoes.

Who invented colcannon? ›

The name comes from the Gaelic phrase “cal ceannan,” which means “white-headed cabbage”. One of the earliest written references to colcannon comes from the diary of William Bulkeley, who wrote on October 31, 1735 while on a visit to Dublin: “Dined at Coz. Wm.

What do the Irish call spring onions? ›

In Ireland, scallions are chopped and added to mashed potatoes, known as champ or as an added ingredient to Colcannon.

What do they call mashed potatoes in England? ›

Mashed potato or mashed potatoes (American, Canadian and Australian English), colloquially known as mash (British English), is a dish made by mashing boiled or steamed potatoes, usually with added milk, butter, salt and pepper. It is generally served as a side dish to meat or vegetables.

What do British people call potato cakes? ›

Bubble and Squeak (or Potato Cakes) is a British classic, and an easy and flexible recipe. You can make it from scratch OR use up leftover veggies. Flavorful, colorful, fluffy, creamy and so so good.

What do Brits call bubble and squeak? ›

bubble and squeak, a common British dish consisting of vegetables, especially potatoes and cabbage. The ingredients are panfried and served as a side dish.

What did they eat in Ireland before potatoes? ›

Until the arrival of the potato in the 16th century, grains such as oats, wheat and barley, cooked either as porridge or bread, formed the staple of the Irish diet. The most common form of bread consisted of flatbread made from ground oats.

Why did the Irish only eat potatoes? ›

Why were potatoes so important to Ireland? The potato plant was hardy, nutritious, calorie-dense, and easy to grow in Irish soil. By the time of the famine, nearly half of Ireland's population relied almost exclusively on potatoes for their diet, and the other half ate potatoes frequently.

Why do the Irish eat corned beef and cabbage? ›

The Irish immigrants also realized that cabbage was a more readily available vegetable in America than in Ireland, where it was traditionally a fall and winter vegetable. So they combined the corned beef with cabbage to create a hearty, filling meal that was reminiscent of their homeland.

What does colcannon taste like? ›

Colcannon is full of flavor. If you like mashed potatoes, you'll most likely love this dish. The mashed potatoes get tons of flavor from the green onions and a nice texture from the chopped kale. We all love butter and milk in our potatoes, so that is also in this colcannon recipe with salt and pepper to taste!

What do the Irish eat instead of corned beef? ›

According to Regina Sexton, food and culinary historian and programme manager, Postgraduate Diploma in Irish Food Culture, University College Cork, corned beef and cabbage is not a dish much known in Ireland. What the Irish actually eat is bacon and cabbage. "A traditional dinner is bacon, potatoes, and cabbage.

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