This post first appeared on Yellow Bliss Road where I am a contributor.
Colcannon combines some of the best Irish food, potatoes, cabbage & bacon, to make the perfect side dish for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!
Why We Love Colcannon Potatoes
- Colcannon is a classic Irish dish that is popular on St. Patrick’s Day but is also perfect for serving any time of the year!
- The combination of cabbage, potatoes, and bacon makes this a hearty and comforting side dish to have with corned beef, lamb, or your favorite roast.
- This dish is very simple to make so regardless of your comfort level in the kitchen, this Colcannon will turn out great! Plus, if you’re looking for a way to jazz up leftover mashed potatoes, this is an incredibly delicious way to go!
- Without a doubt, this dish will make a cabbage lover out of everyone who tries it! The cabbage soaks up the buttery garlic and leek flavors and when mixed with the smooth, creamy potatoes and topped with crisp bacon, there’s no way anyone can not love it!
What is Colcannon
POTATOES: For this colcannon, you will need about 3 pounds of Russett potatoes, which is roughly 6-7 potatoes.
VEGETABLES: Grab a good-sized head of green cabbage and leeks, which are like large green onions that have a sweet, onion flavor, as well as garlic and green onion.
DAIRY: Butter is essential for colcannon. You will need unsalted butter for sauteing the veggies and a couple of pats to put on top of the dish. Heavy cream is also needed for really creamy potatoes.
BACON: Cook up and crumble the bacon before you are ready to start cooking the colcannon.
How to Make ColcannonJump to Recipe
STEP 1 Place the peeled and cut potatoes in a large pot of boiling water and boil for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. Drain the potatoes and pop them back into the pot.
STEP 2 In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the sliced leeks and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until they are tender and lightly caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute and then stir in the chopped cabbage and cook until tender.
STEP 3 Mash the potatoes in the pot. If you like your mashed potatoes a little lumpy, don’t mash them too much. Then stir in 1/4 cup of the cream. Add more cream as needed until your desired potato consistency is reached. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper to your liking.
STEP 4 Once the potatoes are smooth and creamy, add the veggies from the skillet and stir everything together, folding in the crumbled bacon as well. Check the seasoning one more time and transfer the colcannon to a serving bowl. Top with some butter, sliced green onions, and bacon sprinkling them over the dish before serving.
Tips & Tricks
- Hang on to the skillet you used to cook the bacon and use it again to cook the vegetables! Use the bacon grease and butter to add extra flavor to the veggies and enjoy a little less to clean up.
- You may want to add a little more heavy cream to your potatoes, depending on how you like them, so start with 1/4 cup of heavy cream and add a little at a time until you get the consistency you like.
- Cabbage is a classic ingredient in Colcannon and is widely available but if you would prefer to substitute kale instead, you can- simply prepare the kale the same way as the cabbage in this recipe.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days and frozen for up to four months. The Colcannon can be thawed and then reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Colcannon Recipe FAQ
What is the difference between champ and colcannon?
Champ and Colcannon are both classic Irish potato dishes, with a few minor differences. Champ is mashed potatoes mixed with green onions, or scallions, and milk, which is similar to colcannon. The difference between the two stems from the addition of cabbage or kale and bacon or ham in colcannon.
Is colcannon the same as bubble and squeak?
Colcannon and bubble and squeak are like food cousins- they have similar ingredients but are made differently. Colcannon is a soft, buttery mashed potato dish, whereas bubble and squeak is more like a potato pancake. For a traditional bubble and squeak, you can use whatever leftover potatoes you have, either mashed, roasted, baked, and so on, and add them to a skillet of sauteed veggies, where you press everything together, making a large veggie-potato pancake. If you’re having bubble and squeak for breakfast, it’s typically topped with a fried egg for a super-filling meal!
What to serve with colcannon?
Colcannon is a classic side dish that is frequently served with Corned Beef on St. Patrick’s Day. Colcannon is also delicious when paired with lamb chops, roast beef, and Irish Soda Bread. Don’t forget hearty stews and ham that are wonderful to serve with colcannon, especially when you’re looking for ways to turn leftovers into something great!
Other Recipes You May like
- Potato Leek Soup
- Irish Potatoes Bites
- Mini Baileys Cheesecakes
- Roasted Cabbage with Bacon
- Guinness Gingerbread
- Corned Beef Hash
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into ½-inch pieces. Then trim the dark green parts of the leeks you're left with the pale green and white ends. Thinly slice the leeks and then rinse them thoroughly. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
- While the potatoes are boiling, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. (see note) Add the leeks and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the leeks are tender and slightly caramelized around the edges. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant, stirring constantly.
- Add the cabbage to the leeks and stir to combine. Cook for another 6-8 minutes (stirring often), or until the cabbage has wilted and is tender. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm while you finish the potatoes.
- Mash the cooked potatoes until all the lumps are gone. Pour in half of the cream and stir to combine. Add more cream as needed until your desired potato consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the veggies from the skillet into the pot of potatoes along with 3/4 of the crumbled bacon. Stir that all together. Check the seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as needed.
- Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl. Top with a little more butter and let it melt into the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with green onion and more crumbled bacon, if desired. Serve warm.
- I like to leave the grease from cooking the bacon in the skillet and then add the butter to it for cooking the veggies.
- If you prefer to leave the bacon out for a vegetarian colcannon, you absolutely can.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.