Cabbage and potatoes - classic mashed potatoes just got an upgrade! This dish is a delicious combination of starchy potatoes mashed together with lots of butter, milk, kale, leeks, and a good amount of seasoning. It is a nutritious and delicious dish without the overpowering flavor of kale.
These Irish mashed potatoes are an absolute favorite for Saint Patrick's Day, they are unique in every way - you'll never want to go back to traditional mash again.
Love cabbage recipes? These recipes are tasty, and nutritious and require only a handful of ingredients!
⭐ Try our Cabbage Rolls, Cole Slaw or easy Fried Cabbage With Bacon or Sausage!
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- Recommended Equipment
- What is Colconnan?
- 🥗Make It Healthier
- Origin of these Irish Mashed Potatoes
- Serving Suggestions
- Freezing And Storing Instructions
- What To Do With Leftover Colcannon
- Hearty Cabbage Recipes
- Cabbage and Potatoes (Colcannon - Irish Mashed Potatoes)
My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
- Potatoes - ideal potatoes for mash are starchy potatoes aka ‘’floury potatoes’’. In the US these are Russet Potatoes or all-purpose Yukon Gold potatoes (strong potato flavor and are a combo of starchy and waxy). For best results use starchy ones and avoid fingerling, white or red potatoes.
- Cabbage - traditionally Irish recipe is made with white-headed cabbage but now other popular variations include using: curly Kale (or Tuscan kale), Swiss Chard, young green cabbage, napa, or savoy cabbage (I love the crunch of both of these), and less popular spinach.
- Milk - or you can use half and half or heavy cream for extra creamy flavor. Milk and butter add depth and richness to potatoes. For a healthier mash, reduce the butter to the level you feel comfortable with, or use olive oil instead.
- Seasonings - you don't need much here but I'd recommend using seasoned salt and a generous amount of black pepper. For more flavor add more leeks, green onions and fresh or garlic powder, onion powder.
- Butter - there is enough butter here that helps with the creamy smooth texture and great flavor. If you want to make it healthier cut the butter in half or more or use olive oil instead.
- Leeks or you can use brown onion or white onion from the spring onions.
📋 JULIA'S TIP As we are making our own version of cabbage and potatoes, you can use any cabbage you like. You can either slice it thinly like for coleslaw or into medium chunks.
Place the potatoes into a large pot or dutch oven and cover with water, about an inch.
Let it come to a boil, season with 2 teaspoons of salt, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are quite soft. Drain and set aside.
Return the same pot to the stove over medium heat. Melt the butter and saute leeks for a couple of minutes until softened.
Add kale and cook until wilted but still bright green in color. About 4 minutes.
Return the potatoes, pour in milk, and black pepper to taste. Stir everything together and let it come to a gentle boil. Remove from heat.
Mash the potatoes until creamy, I like to leave mine a little chunky.
Serve with green onions and a pinch of black pepper.
No fancy equipment is needed. Here are the basics:
- Airtight containers
- Potato Masher or Hand Blender
- Dutch Oven Pot
- Measuring cups and spoons
What is Colconnan?
It is a St Patrick's day favorite! Irish mashed potatoes are made with kale or cabbage and plenty of butter for an indulgent creamy flavor and texture.
It is often served as a side dish alongside corned beef or ham.
🥗Make It Healthier
Reduce the amount of butter in the recipe for a healthier mash. OR omit the butter completely and use a combination of extra virgin olive oil and sour cream or yogurt instead.
Use low fat milk or plant-based milk instead.
Use more kale and add more leafy greens in the recipe.
Increase your veggie intake by replacing half of the Russets with cauliflower or sweet potatoes.
Serve these potatoes and cabbage with a lighter meal, steamed or roasted in oven/air fryer fish, chicken breast or turkey.
The texture and flavor of the mash will change after replacing the ingredients. However potatoes will still have lots of flavors but will not be as creamy when using the original ingredients.
- Typically large leafy green varieties such as Kale holds its shape after cooking, unless it is slow cooked for long time. These potatoes have some chewiness and crunch to them. If you want kale to be softer, steam it before adding to the pot (see recipe instructions).
- Not a fan of kale? I get it, use young green cabbage sliced thinly or cubed. Or even spinach however it is not so sturdy and crunchy as kale.
- Potatoes: whereas starchy potatoes are best suitable choice here, any other potato will work too. With a good amount of butter and milk, you can make a delicious mash even with waxy potatoes.
- Cut the potatoes in similar chunks so that they cook evenly.
- For mashing I prefer a hand blender (immersion blender), it is quick and results in the best creamy potatoes (or leave them chunky with potato masher!).
Origin of these Irish Mashed Potatoes
Colcannon or from the Gaelic cál ceannann has been a staple in Ireland since 1700s. The dish became famous as it was cheap and easy to throw together and kept working men fulfilled for long hours.
However now this dish has been made differently throughout countries.
In the classic Irish version the dish is made with less butter and milk, and the end result is thicker and drier mash. It is not as smooth and creamy as in the American version.
📋 This recipe is something between an American and an Irish version. When mashing the potatoes you can leave them more chunky and use less milk/butter to make them less creamy.
What to Serve With Colcannon?
A hearty and comforting dish that will warm you up from the inside out, and is perfect to serve on st. Patrick's Day alongside your favorite Irish food.
Traditionally Colcannon recipe is served with Shepherd's pie, corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, lamb chops, steak, and sausage dishes.
We like it with our favorite main dish recipes: Pork Chops, Beef Stew, or Baked Trout or Salmon.
Freezing And Storing Instructions
- To Store. Potato mash can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in freezer friendly ziplock bag for up to 2-3 months. Make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible. Defrost overnight in the fridge.
- To Reheat. Add more butter, milk, or vegetable broth when reheating the mash over the stovetop or microwave.
- Substitute kale with cabbage, which is a more classic way of serving these potatoes and will be more budget-friendly.
- Add more green onions or leeks for some extra zing.
- Top the finished dish with crumbled bacon for a smoky flavor.
- If you like garlicky mashed potatoes add 1-2 teaspoon of minced garlic to the mix. Or you could also make the colcannon with leftover mash.
- Add cream cheese insteadof butter which wil ladd richness and flavor as well.
- Like it spicy? Add finely chopped jalapeno slices or green chilies to the potato mixture.
What To Do With Leftover Colcannon
If you have leftover colcannon it will keep in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
To reheat add more milk or warm water to your mash and warm it up over the stovetop or microwave it.
Leftover colcannon can be used in shepherd's pie, potato patties (or colcannon cakes), croquettes, pierogi.
Love cabbage recipes and always have leftovers? Here are some additional ways to use green and red cabbage!
Mashed potatoes will still taste delicious on the next day or up to 3-4 days. You can make them 2 days ahead and on the day reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with some milk or warm water added.
Short on time? The potatoes can be peeled and kept in cold water to prevent browning for up to 4 hours in advance of cooking them.
Red cabbage is not suitable here and will dye your dish into reddish purple mess.
I like the flavor of spinach with potatoes however it's not that hefty and has no crunch compared to kale. For a similar texture, you could try Cabbages, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens or Escarole Lettuce.
Hearty Cabbage Recipes
For all dinner recipes, hop on to our Dinner collection.
💗I hope you'll enjoy this cabbage and potatoes recipe, please leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo of your food and tag me on Instagram @theyummy_bowl. I love seeing your creations! 💗
Cabbage and Potatoes (Colcannon - Irish Mashed Potatoes)
- 2- pound potatoes (Russet, peeled and cut into chunks)
- 2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter + more for serving
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoon scallions (or spring onions, chives, sliced thin)
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 3 cups fresh kale (stems removed and chopped into very small)
- ½ cup leeks (sliced, dark green part removed)
- Place the potatoes into a large pot or dutch oven and cover with water, about an inch. Let it come to a boil, season with 2 teaspoons of salt, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are quite soft. Drain and set aside.
- Return the same pot to stove over medium heat. Melt the butter and saute leeks for a couple of minutes until softened. Add kale and cook until wilted but still bright green in color. About 4 minutes.
- Return the potatoes, pour in milk, black pepper to taste. Stir everything together and let it come to a gentle boil. Remove from heat.
- Mash the potatoes until creamy, I like to leave mine chunky.
- Serve with green onions.
- Can I make Colcannon potatoes ahead of time? Mashed potatoes will still taste delicious on the next day or up to 3-4 days and you can make them 2 days ahead and on the day reheat them in the microwave or on the stovetop with some milk or warm water added.
- Or peel and prep potatoes ahead: The potatoes can be peeled and kept in cold water to prevent browning for up to 4 hours in advance of cooking them.
- Typically large leafy green varieties such as Kale holds their shape after cooking unless it is a slow cooked for long time. These potatoes have some chewiness and crunch to them. If you want the kale to be softer, steam it before adding it to the pot (see recipe instructions), however, it should still have some crunch to it.
- Not a fan of kale? I get it, not everyone is! In this case use young green cabbage and slice it thin or into larger cubes. Or even spinach, although it is not as sturdy and crunchy as kale.
- Potatoes: ideal potatoes for mash are starchy potatoes aka ‘’floury potatoes’’. In the US these are Russet Potatoes or all-purpose Yukon Gold potatoes (strong potato flavor and are a combo of starchy and waxy). For best results use starchy ones and avoid fingerling, white or red potatoes.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)
Julia | The Yummy Bowl
delicious side dish for St Patricks day or any special occasion!