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Colcannon: Irish Cabbage and Potato Mash

Serve this easy version of the traditional recipe on St. Paddy’s Day with your corned beef. Comfort food at its best!

March 13, 2017

There are as many recipes for colcannon as there are cooks in Ireland. Serve this easy version of the classic cabbage and potato mash with your corned beef this year. Comfort food at its best!

Serves eight or more. 


  • 2-and-1/2 pounds potatoes (any kind), peeled and cut into large cubes
  • 4–6 slices bacon
  • 1 16-ounce bag coleslaw mix
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped, or 1 and 1/2 cups sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup hot milk
  • kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (optional)
  • minced fresh parsley for garnish


In a large saucepan, place potatoes with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large saute pan until crisp. Set bacon aside, reserving the drippings. In the same pan, add cabbage and onions. Cover and let cook until soft, stirring occasionally. If using green onions, add them in at the end, after the cabbage is cooked.

Drain cooked potatoes, and in a large bowl, mash with milk and season with salt and pepper. Add in the cabbage mixture and fold in evenly. Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

Recipe variations:

  • Make a double batch and use the leftovers as a topping for Shepherd’s Pie.
  • Try it with chopped kale instead of cabbage, or use both.
  • Without the bacon, the recipe can be bland.
  • One way to liven up the annual boiled dinner is to drizzle a nice horseradish sauce over the corned beef and the colcannon. For a mild horseradish sauce, mix a half-cup of sour cream with 3 tablespoons horseradish, and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If needed, tone it down with a little extra sour cream.


There are 4 comments

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There's nothing in the recipe which tells us what to do with the bacon.

I crumbled the bacon up and added it as a topping.  But yer right, Nancy!  There's no actual instruction.  The photo was a help. though.  :)

I don't like cabbage. But I want to try this. I've always been a fan of mashed potatoes. 

Trust me, there was no "coleslaw mix" involved in the making of an authentic Colcannon.

The Irish used cabbage. You should use cabbage. Part of the fun of Colcannon is the squeak of the cabbage. This was a hot meal that was used to feed a large family on a small budget.

No coleslaw, Ruth