Colcannon Recipe {The PERFECT Irish Mashed Potatoes} (2023)

Published: · Modified: by Sarah Rossi · This post may contain affiliate links.

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Colcannon is a traditional Irish mashed potato side dish, made with spring onions, cabbage, cream, plenty of butter and seasoning, then topped with chives.

This is the ULTIMATE comfort food, and a way to turn your usual mash into something extra (not to mention the benefit of hidden veggies!)

Colcannon has an interesting history, but it’s also a delicious accompaniment to so many main dishes – it’s one we should always have up our sleeve.

Colcannon Recipe {The PERFECT Irish Mashed Potatoes} (1)

What is Colcannon?

Is there anything more satisfying than a heap of buttery, creamy, comforting mashed potato? This recipe is my take on the classic Irish mashed potato side dish, which has been a staple in the country’s ancestral diet for a few centuries.

Colcannon is traditionally made with fluffy, light mash mixed with either curly kale or Savoy cabbage and spring onions (scallions). Often recipes also feature milk, cream and butter, which is added to really elevate that consistency and flavour into something special.

Colcannon has links to Halloween as an Irish traditional dish, but it’s perfect as an addition to a comfort food meal any time of the year. This article in the Smithsonian magazine has an interesting delve into the origins of the dish.

Why you’ll love this recipe

⭐️ Budget-friendly ingredients

⭐️ Simple but special

⭐️ So easy to make!

Colcannon Recipe {The PERFECT Irish Mashed Potatoes} (2)

What to serve with Colcannon potatoes

There are so many dishes that this side dish complements:

Beef Bourguignon

Braised Steak

Toad in the Hole

Marry Me Chicken

Homemade Swedish Meatballs

Steak Pie

Slow Cooker Lamb

Easy Meatloaf

Sausage Casserole

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

Beef Guinness Stew

Slow Cooker Gammon

Colcannon accompanies these side dishes well too:

Cauliflower Cheese

Simple Onion Gravy

Braised Red Cabbage

Ingredients for Colcannon Mash

  • Potatoes – See below for guidance on which type
  • Garlic – Fresh or frozen pre-prepared is fine
  • Butter
  • Cabbage – I like Savoy but choose your favourite
  • Spring onions
  • Single cream
  • Fresh chives
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

How to make Colcannon

Colcannon Recipe {The PERFECT Irish Mashed Potatoes} (3)

1. Peel your potatoes and boil them up with some garlic.

Colcannon Recipe {The PERFECT Irish Mashed Potatoes} (4)

2. When cooked, drain and mash.

Colcannon Recipe {The PERFECT Irish Mashed Potatoes} (5)

3. In a pan, soften your cabbage and spring onions in butter. Add your potatoes, cream and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Colcannon Recipe {The PERFECT Irish Mashed Potatoes} (6)

4. Sprinkle with extra chives and butter to serve.

Hint: If you’re not serving this straight away, you can keep it warm in the oven in an ovenproof dish, and it will get a nice crispy topping.

How to store Colcannon

In the fridge You can keep this recipe in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat fully in the microwave or oven before serving.

Does Colcannon freeze well? Yes! Just wait until it’s totally cold and then put into a freezer proof container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating.

Top tips

Mashing your potatoes

I like to use a potato ricer for mashing my potatoes. I find that this simple piece of kit gives the PERFECT mash every time, as it eliminates the chance of any pesky lumps getting through. Using a ricer also avoids the risk of that DREADED gluey mash potato which comes from too much beating or mashing.

I’ve had my potato ricer for years and use it every single time I make mashed potato. This one – Commercial Grade Potato Ricer – looks slightly different to mine (more sturdy in fact!) and is currently rated as the top choice on Amazon.


Always start your potatoes off in cold water and bring them to the boil, so that the water starts to make its way through them as it warms up. This stops the potatoes getting soggy and overcooked on the outside before they’ve had a chance to cook on the inside.

Colcannon leftovers

Colcannon cakes are made with leftover Colcannon, shaped into patties or even one large cake to fill a frying pan.

How to make them: Shape the leftover Colcannon, coat in flour and fry until crispy all over. They are absolutely delicious – please try them if you have any leftovers! They are a bit like Bubble and Squeak and are perfect served with crispy bacon and a poached egg.

You could always use any leftovers to top a Cottage Pie, Shepherd’s Pie, Cowboy Pie or Fish Pie!


What type of potatoes should I use for Colcannon?

I like to use King Edwards or Maris Piper as they seem to give the best and fluffiest mashed potato. Find out more about which kind of potato is good for what on the Love Potatoes website.

What is the difference between Colcannon and Champ?

Both Irish dishes, Champ is mashed potatoes with chopped spring onions (scallions) and milk. Colcannon is Champ with the addition of cabbage and sometimes some herbs.

Is Colcannon gluten free?

Yes! Potatoes, milk, butter, cream and veggies are naturally gluten-free, so go ahead without concern if you need to eat this way.

Colcannon Recipe {The PERFECT Irish Mashed Potatoes} (7)

Colcannon Recipe

Sarah Rossi

Colcannon is delicious, light and fluffy mashed potatoes with spring onions (scallions), cabbage, cream, plenty of butter and seasoning. Topped with chives, this Irish potato recipe is the ultimate comfort food side dish.

4.79 from 14 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes mins

Cook Time 25 minutes mins

Total Time 35 minutes mins

Course Savoury, Side Dish

Cuisine Family Food

Servings (click to adjust) 6 People

Calories 406 kcal


  • 1 kg Potatoes Peeled and cut into large chunks.
  • 4 Cloves garlic See notes.
  • 200 g Butter
  • 300 g Cabbage Finely sliced.
  • 100 g Spring onions Finely chopped (including the green parts).
  • 100 ml Single cream
  • 20 g Fresh chives Chopped finely.
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper Use plenty.

To garnish:

  • A pat of butter and a sprinkling of fresh chives


  • Boil the potatoes with the garlic for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.

  • While the potatoes are cooking, melt 100g of the butter in a small frying pan and saute the cabbage and spring onions for 3-4 minutes until softened.

  • Drain the potatoes and mash (leave the garlic in).

  • Add the cabbage and spring onions (including the butter they were cooked in) to the potatoes.

  • Meanwhile warm the remaining butter and cream until the butter is melted (I do this in the pan I fried the cabbage in). Add to the potato and cabbage mixture.

  • Add the chives and plenty of salt and pepper and stir until throughly combined. Serve immediately with extra butter and chives to garnish.


Garlic: If you’re using fresh, peel and chop. Or use 4 tsp of your pre-prepared equivalent.

TIP: If you’re not serving this straight away, you can keep it warm in the oven in an ovenproof dish, and it will get a nice crispy topping.

Use a ricer: This avoids lumpy mash and stops it from getting too overworked and gloopy.

Start with cold water: Boil up your potatoes in a pan with cold water to start with. This makes sure they get evenly cooked.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 6gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 272mgPotassium: 861mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1360IUVitamin C: 43mgCalcium: 108mgIron: 6mg

Made it? Tag me!Tag @TamingTwins so we can admire your make ⭐️

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  1. Stefania Briganti says

    Colcannon Recipe {The PERFECT Irish Mashed Potatoes} (12)
    I’m Italian, and I’m used to preparing and eating very good food. I liked your receipe of Colcannon, and not only that. I made it and it was delicious indeed! Thank you!


  2. Tricia says

    I am thinking of dating an Irishman who said he had “colcannon and champ” for lunch. It seems to be two separate dishes. Do you think he just put all the ingredients together for both and made it one dish? If you can enlighten me, I would appreciate it.


  3. Michelle says

    Colcannon Recipe {The PERFECT Irish Mashed Potatoes} (13)
    Hello! These potatoes are so incredibly delicious! I’d never had colcannon before, but thought it would make a great topping for our annual St. Patrick’s Day shepherds pie rather than regular mashed potatoes. We were not disappointed. The colcannon worked perfectly and really took the dish to the next level. Thank you so much for sharing!


  4. Dee says

    In Dublin this is made with curly kale! My Mother used to top it with a fried egg. Traditionally eaten on Hallowe’en,small gifts of coins were hidden in it too!


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