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Irish Colcannon Recipe

This recipe for Irish Colcannon includes kale, bacon and a hefty dose of butter. It’s the perfect side dish for St. Patrick’s Day or anytime!

A bowl of colcannon on a tan napkin over a wood table

Colcannon is a mashed potato lover’s dream food.

What is colcannon?

Colcannon is an Irish dish made with mashed potatoes, mixed with cooked greens (such as cabbage or kale), scallions then loaded up with cream and butter.

Bacon isn’t a common addition, but since this is my colcannon recipe, I decided to add it. Everyone knows bacon makes everything better! Feel free to leave it out as it’s still amazing without it.

It’s really the addition of the greens that makes the dish special. I’ve made it with cabbage, kale and even leftover garlic spinach. You can’t go wrong with creamy mashed potatoes and flavorful, seasoned greens.

When I make traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage, I’ll often make colcannon the next day with the leftover cabbage and potatoes. Saute the potatoes in butter, breaking them up as you go, then stir in chopped leftover cabbage.

A cropped shot of bowl of colcannon on a tan napkin over a wood table

The difference between Colcannon and Champ

I asked an Irish friend to clarify this difference. According to him, who considers himself an expert in Irish cuisine, these two dishes are almost identical, with Champ being made with only green onions and colcannon with cabbage or kale. Colcannon may also include green onions.

Can Colcannon be frozen?

Yes, it can be frozen! The butter and cream help keep its texture and ensuring it stays that way when reheated. Make sure it’s at room temperature before freezing and that it’s in an airtight, freezer-safe container.

What to serve with this Colcannon recipe

If you’re serving a traditional Irish meal, Corned Beef is an obvious – and perfect – choice for the main dish. Roasted carrots (even turned into soup) is an easy and tasty side dish, and don’t skip the Irish Brown Bread! Bread pudding is perfect for dessert and, since it’s make-ahead, it’s also stress-free.

A bowl of colcannon on a tan napkin over a wood table with a spoon
A bowl of colcannon on a tan napkin over a wood table

Irish Colcannon

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 3 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 cups lightly packed kale or shredded cabbage
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/3 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)


  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover completely with cold water. Bring them to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender (about 15 minutes). Drain the potatoes in a colander.
  2. Place the pot back on the stove over medium heat. Melt 6 tbsp of the butter, then add the greens. Saute the greens for 4-5 minutes, then add the green onions and cook another minute or so.
  3. Return the potatoes to the pot and add the cream. Mash the potatoes right in the pot, then stir to incorporate the cream and greens. Season well with salt, adding more if necessary. Stir in the bacon if you're using it.
  4. Place the Colcannon in a serving dish and make a small well in the center. Put the remaining butter into the center and serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 954Total Fat: 59gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 1311mgCarbohydrates: 84gNet Carbohydrates: 73gFiber: 11gSugar: 8gProtein: 26g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
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