Irish Mashed Potatoes are creamy, fluffy and delicious mashed potatoes combined with sweet cabbage, leeks and lots of butter and cream. This is a delightful side dish that the whole family will love!
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 potato and cabbage dish is so popular in Ireland, that there's even a song about it!
Don't confuse Colcannon with Champ, another Irish potato dish. Champ is essentially the same dish, but without the addition of cabbage.
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 a fan of mashed potatoes, (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.
Here's What You Need to Make It
Potatoes: For mashed potatoes, you want to use a starchy potato rather than a waxy variety. My favourite is Yukon Gold, but russets 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.
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 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
- Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are fork tender.
2. Sautee cabbage, leeks, and garlic in butter until softened
3. Added cooked potatoes, milk, and butter to the pan and mash.
4. Combine mashed potatoes and cabbage mixture.
5. Garnish with scallions and more butter and serve steaming hot.
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.
This side dish is best if eaten right away. However, you can make the whole dish ahead, refrigerate, cover in foil and then reheat in a low oven.
Yes, all mashed potatoes are usually gluten-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.
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.
Leftovers are a bonus! Shape leftovers into patties and fry them, or mix them with salmon and make Salmon Cakes
More Delicious Cabbage or Potato Recipes
Irish Mashed Potatoes
- 2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and quartered
- 2 tbsp 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 & 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 tsp 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 tbsp 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.