This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. Full Disclosure Policy.
A classic Irish favorite, packed with cabbage, bacon, and pure comfort. Super easy to make and super yummy to eat!
Traditional Irish Colcannon is a tasty dish of buttery creamy mashed potatoes mixed with sautéed cabbage and topped with butter.
Step by step photos and instructions below!
This easy Colcannon recipe is so good, you’ll make it year round versus waiting for St. Patrick’s Day!
This is a classic combination of buttery potatoes, bacon and cabbage. The whole family will enjoy this tasty side dish alongside their Irish meal!
It couldn’t be easier to make, just cook and mash potatoes, cook some bacon, then using the same skillet, cook the cabbage. Combine it all and stir some green onions through and top with lots of butter.
My family really loves this and it’s a great way to get my kids to eat green vegetables. Tell them it’s Irish, and they’re in!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Very easy to make only a few more steps than regular mashed potatoes
- Only a few pots/pans. You cook the bacon and the cabbage in the same skillet.
- Easy to find, simple ingredients. Just potatoes, bacon, cabbage, butter and seasoning. And some green onions and extra butter to lift the flavor at the end.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is a traditional Irish dish of mashed potato, cabbage, bacon and onions. Sometimes leeks are used, as well as or instead of scallions.
It’s an Irish thing, thought to come from the gaelic word “cal ceannann” which means white-headed cabbage.
What to serve with Colcannon Potatoes
I have included step by step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Potatoes. I use Yukon gold potatoes, but russet potatoes or red potatoes work well too. Mashed potato is traditionally made from floury potatoes, although there are chefs who say waxy potatoes give a better, smoother mash.
- Milk. Any kind of milk you like will be fine. I use 2% milk or whole milk most of the time, or half and half if that is what I have around. Sour cream can also be used.
- Butter. We use butter in 3 places, so make sure you read all the way through. We use it to mash the potatoes, cook the cabbage and the add the last 2 tablespoons of melted butter to the finished dish.
- Bacon. I use a thick cut bacon, but if you have a thinner cut – you might add a few extra slices to the recipe.
- Cabbage. This is a green cabbage that has been cored and sliced into ribbons. To help you choose a cabbage, we’ll need about 6 cups raw. Cabbage cooks down a lot so it will look like a lot, but it really isn’t, I promise.
- Salt and pepper. As always, seasoning is to taste. Start with ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper and add more if you need it.
- Scallions. These are also known as green onions, or salad or spring onions depending on where you live!
How to make this recipe
Scroll for Recipe
The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks. Divide the butter into 4 tablespoons, 2 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons for use in mashing, cooking the cabbage and serving.
Cook and mash the potatoes
In a large saucepan, place the potatoes and enough water to cover the potatoes by about an inch.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer, and cook until tender (about 15 minutes).
Drain the potatoes in a large colander and let them sit 5 minutes to get rid of excess water, which will make for a fluffier mash.
Add the drained potatoes back into the pot, add the milk, 4 Tbs butter, salt and pepper and mash until smooth.
Cook the bacon and cabbage
In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. In the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons butter and cook the cabbage or kale (see notes) until soft and wilted.
Combine the mashed potatoes, sautéed cabbage, and bacon together.
Stir the scallions through.
Test for seasoning and add salt and black pepper if desired.
Serve with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
What to do with leftovers
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat until it is piping hot!
Curly kale can be used in place of the cabbage if you prefer, and some people use spinach! I like it the traditional way, but I’m also all about using up what you have on hand.
Ham or bacon can be used in this recipe. Irish bacon is amazing if you can find it, but it’s very similar to Canadian bacon (but it has more fat on it). I use regular thick cut bacon found easily in United States stores.
This recipe can be frozen after cooking. Allow to cool completely then place Colcannon in a freezer bag. Seal, label and freeze. To use, thaw and reheat and add butter at the end.
More delicious potato recipes:
- Easy Scalloped Potatoes. There’s a video on this one, showing how EASY this is to make!
- Twice Baked Potatoes. A drool-worthy side dish, these Twice Baked Potatoes are SO good! Make a lot and freeze some for another day (instructions included for freezing below!)
- Roasted Baby Potatoes with Honey Mustard. Tossed with a homemade honey mustard sauce, and roasted in the oven until crispy and perfect. An excellent side dish for pretty much anything!
- Mashed Potatoes. Creamy, dreamy and decadent, these creamy mashed potatoes will make your side dish dreams come true!
Colcannon Recipe (just 6 ingredients)
- Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks. Divide the butter into 4 tablespoons, 2 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons for use in mashing, cooking the cabbage and serving.
Cook and mash the potatoes
- In a large pot, add the potatoes and enough water to cover them by about an inch.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer, and cook until tender (about 15 minutes).
- Drain the potatoes in a large colander and let them sit 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes back into the pot, add the milk, 4 Tbs butter, salt and pepper and mash until smooth.
Cook the bacon and cabbage
- In a skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- In the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons butter and cook the cabbage until soft and wilted.
- Combine the mashed potatoes, cooked cabbage, and bacon together.
- Stir the scallions through.
- Test for seasoning and add salt/pepper if desired.
- Serve with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.