Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon) (2023)

Published: · Modified: by Colleen 17 Comments

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Irish Mashed Potatoes are creamy, fluffy and delicious mashed potatoes combined with sweet cabbage, leeks and lots of butter and cream. This traditional Irish dish is a delightful side dish that the whole family will love!

Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon) (1)

What is Colcannon?

Colcannon is the proper name for these Irish mashed potatoes. It's a thoroughly Irish dish, which is typically made with cooked and shredded cabbage, or sometimes kale, combined, along with butter and cream in mashed potatoes.

This Irish potato recipe is so popular in Ireland, that there's even a song about it!

Don't confuse Colcannon with Irish champ, another Irish potato dish. Champ is essentially the same dish, made with mashed potatoes and spring onions, but without the addition of cabbage.

Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon) (2)

Why You'll Love This Recipe

This is creamy, fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes taken to a new level! The cabbage gives this side dish a texture and sweetness that's "magically delicious"

If you are If you are a potato lover, (who isn't?) you're going to be instantly hooked on this deliciously Irish version.

This is an easy-to-make and simple recipe using just a few ingredients.

The main ingredients; cabbage and potatoes are vegetables that keep for a while, so you can always have them on hand.

Colcannon is a perfect side dish any day of the year. But it's especially perfect forSt Patrick's Day. Try it as a side for another Irish recipe, like or Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage. And don't forget a toast with an Irish Mule Cocktail!

It's economical, hearty, and a perfect everyday tasty side dish for chicken, beef, or pork.

Here's What You Need to Make It

Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon) (3)

Potatoes: For mashed potatoes choose floury potatoes, which have the right amount of starch, rather than a waxy variety like new potatoes. My favourite is Yukon Gold, but russet potatoes or red potatoes will also work perfectly for this recipe.

Cabbage: Because of its dense leaves and sweetness, this recipe works best with regular green cabbage. If you want to try it with other cabbage varieties you may have to shorten or even eliminate the cooking time for the cabbage.

Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon) (4)

Leeks: Leeks are in the onion family, but have a milder, sweeter flavour which doesn't overpower potatoes and cabbage. Use only the white and light green parts of the leeks.

Milk: Buttermilk is traditional but you can use whole milk or a non-dairy alternative. (our favourite is oat milk). You can also make these Irish mashed potatoes a little richer by replacing ½ of the milk with cream.

Butter: If you have unsalted butter, use it. If you use salted butter, be sure to taste, and reduce the amount of added salt if necessary.

Scallions: (Or green onions). These are perfect for garnish while also adding an extra flavour element. Feel free to omit them, or use parsley or chives.

How To Make It

  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are fork tender.
Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon) (5)

2. Sautee cabbage, leeks, and garlic in butter until softened

Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon) (6)

3. Add cooked potatoes, milk, and butter to the pan and mash.

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4. Combine mashed potatoes and cabbage mixture.

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5. Garnish with scallions and more butter and serve steaming hot.

Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon) (9)

Pro Tips For Delicious Results

Cut potatoes into evenly sized chunks before boiling them. Don't cut them too small or they can end up waterlogged. Quartering the potatoes works best.

Shred the cabbage quite finely so that it softens in about 5 minutes when cooked.

Don't overboil the potatoes. Cook just until they are easily pierced with a fork, then drain immediately in a colander.

After draining the potatoes, return them to the still-warm pot that they were cooked in. Put the pot on very low heat and allow the potatoes to dry out completely, shaking the pan a few times. You can skip this drying step, but it removes excess water, making for fluffier mashed potatoes.

Warm the milk and butter before adding them. The warmed milk and butter will be quickly absorbed by the potatoes without having to cook them further.


Can I make Irish mashed potatoes ahead?

Colcannon potatoes are best if eaten right away. However, you can make the whole dish ahead, refrigerate, cover in foil and then reheat in a low oven.

Is this dish gluten-free?

Yes, all mashed potatoes are usually gluten-free.

Can I make this recipe vegan or dairy-free?

You can make this a vegan and dairy-free recipe. Replace the milk with a non-dairy milk (oat milk works especially well). Replace the butter with extra-virgin olive oil.

What is the best way to mash potatoes?

A simple potato masher works great for mashing, and you can also use a ricer or a food mill. Don't use an electric mixer as this can cause gluey potatoes.

What can I do with leftover colcannon?

Leftovers are a bonus! Shape leftovers into patties and fry them, or mix them with salmon and make Salmon Cakes

Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon) (10)

More Delicious Cabbage or Potato Recipes

  • Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls
  • Slow Cooker Red Cabbage Apple Braise
  • Cabbage Stir-Fry Recipe
  • Classic Potato Salad Recipe
  • Potatoes Au Gratin


Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon) (11)

Irish Mashed Potatoes

Colcannon is a traditional Irish mashed potato dish. Creamy, buttery mashed potatoes combined with sweet cabbage. The perfect dish for St Patrick's Day!

5 from 29 votes

Print Pin RateSave Recipe

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: Irish

Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes minutes

Servings: 6

Calories: 334kcal

Author: Colleen Milne


  • 2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • ½ Green cabbage shredded, about 5-6 cups
  • 2 leeks white and pale green parts, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • salt & black pepper
  • 2 scallions sliced


  • Put the quartered potatoes in a large pot and fill it with enough cold water to cover the potatoes by one inch. Add 2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, 12-15 minutes

  • Drain potatoes in a colander. Immediately return the drained potatoes to the still-warm pot. Put the pot over low heat and shake until the potatoes are dry. Remove from heat.

  • While potatoes are cooking, heat 2 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic, leeks and cabbage. Cook, stirring, until the cabbage is softened; about 5 minutes.

  • Heat the milk and butter together until the butter is melted and the milk is hot but not boiling.

  • Add the potatoes, milk and butter to the cabbage mixture and mash until potatoes are smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir so that everything is combined.

  • To serve, make a well in the top and add more melted butter if desired. Garnish with scallions and serve hot.


To prep this recipe ahead: peel and quarter potatoes and cover with water until ready to use. Shred the cabbage and slice the leeks. Keep everything refrigerated until ready to cook.

If you are using a potato ricer or a food mill to mash the potatoes, do this before adding them to the cabbage mixture along with the milk and butter.

Shred or slice the cabbage fairly thin for this recipe's cook time. If you prefer to have chunkier cabbage, you will need to sautee it for a longer time to soften it.

If you are using salted butter, take and adjust when adding salt.

You can replace the milk with ½ cream or half & half for a richer dish, or buttermilk to add some tang.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 206mg | Potassium: 869mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1240IU | Vitamin C: 62mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 2mg

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Reader Interactions


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  1. Aleta

    What a cool spin on mashed potatoes. I can just imagine how delicious they are with the cabbage and leeks!


    • Colleen

      They really are delicious, Aleta! I hope you give them a try!


  2. Erin

    I love that puddle of butter on top! I just want to dive right in. I had potatoes colcannon for the first time this year and was surprised by how tasty they are.


    • Colleen

      Hi Erin! I was surprised the first time I tried these too. But now I love them!


  3. Alex

    I love that you added leek! I've never done that with mashed potatoes. I definitely need to try these soon!


    • Colleen

      Hi Alex, Leek is delicious with potatoes, and I agree that you really should try these soon!


    • Loreto and Nicoletta

      I have to be honest. I adore mashed potatoes, and to think that you added cabbage, scalions, milk, garlic and leeks has my mouth just watering, and my craving has hit an all time high for some of these mashed potatoes. Well done and thank you so much for sharing this!😋😍👌


      • Colleen

        You're so welcome you two! Enjoy!

  4. kushigalu

    Drooling over these mashed potatoes. So Creamy and delicious. I will soon try your recipe.



    I love potatoes and cabbage, but never thought I could mash them together. I love this recipe to the classic potato mash as it uses more veggies. This is going to be on our menu next week.


    • Colleen

      I hope you love it as much as we do! Enjoy!


  6. Tristin

    Sooo, I'm a bit of a mashed potato addict so I had to make this Colcannon recipe. Did not disappoint and I got my potato fix!


    • Colleen

      Hi Tristin, good to know there are other mashed potato addicts out there! I'm so happy that you loved this.


  7. Kathryn

    The cabbage and potatoes work so well together in this recipe! Love the hint of garlic too!


    • Colleen

      Kathryn, I'm so happy that you made this, because, yes! for some strange reason, mashed potatoes and cabbage are amazing together!


  8. Tammy

    Believe it or not, I've never had colcannon but it sounds like a great side to try and perfect alongside a variety of dishes. Yours looks so good!


    • Colleen

      Hi Tammy, I hope you do try it, it's so yummy, and yes, it's a perfect side dish for almost anything!


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