Colcannon is an Irish mashed potato salad. This dish is lighter than American versions and features fresh greens like kale, leeks, and cabbage. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any time!
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There’s nothing better than a good potato side dish.
But I often wish there was a way to work in some greens.
But, wow, does Irish cuisine sure solve this problem for me!
Colcannon does this and so dang delicious.
I love it for St. Patrick’s Day with a Corned Beef and Cabbage Skillet and throughout the rest of the year.
What is colcannon?
Colcannon is Irish mashed potato salad.
Basically it is smashed potatoes with butter, cream, veggies, and herbs mixed in.
It’s often served warm with corned beef or salt pork.
To make this, you’ll need:
- Potatoes– Use Russets or another starchy potato. Wash and quarter them, and then steam them until they are tender.
- Butter– For extra richness.
- Cream– Don’t use milk. It won’t be as silky.
- Veggies- Sliced shallots, a sliced leek, a de stemmed and chopped bunch of kale, chopped napa cabbage
- Spices– Salt, pepper, and nutmeg
- Garnish– Sliced green onions and crispy pieces of crumbled bacon
How to Make
This dish is very easy to make. If you can make mashed potatoes, you can make this!
To do it, add the steamed potatoes to a large mixing bowl with 1/4 cup of butter, cream, and salt and pepper.
Smash the potatoes with a potato masher until everything’s evenly combined.
Then, cover the bowl with foil to keep the mixture warm, and set aside.
Melt the rest of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the shallots and leek until they’ve begun to soften.
Then, add the kale to the skillet and toss it until it just begins to wilt.
Repeat with the cabbage, cooking the cabbage until just tender but still crisp.
Season the kale and cabbage mixture with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Then stir the veggie mixture to the potatoes in the mixing bowl.
Serve warm topped with green onions and crispy crumbled bacon, if desired.
How to Steam the Potatoes
I steamed mine in the Instant Pot to save time.
To do it, add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the liner.
Then place the silicone steamer basket in, and added the prepared potatoes to it.
Secure the lid and set to the steam setting for 4 minutes, followed by a careful quick release.
The potatoes will be perfect for this after that.
This dish is best when the leafy greens are tender, but still crisp. Once it sits, especially overnight, they tend to turn mushy. The taste is still great, but for me it’s a texture thing.
I recommend serving this the same day you make it since leftovers don’t hold up super well.
However, if you do have leftovers you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t like or have kale? Skip it or substitute spinach,
- You don’t need to use the Instant Pot to steam your potatoes but it does save time.
- Bacon isn’t a necessity, but does add an extra element of yum to this.
Other Irish Recipes
Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potato Salad) is a favorite way to enjoy a taste of Ireland anytime. Make it and enjoy!
Looking for other Irish recipes? Try these:
- Irish Beef Stew
- Steak & Guinness Pie
- Irish Soda Bread Muffins
- Whiskey Infused Irish Bread Pudding
- Colcannon Potato Soup
- Potato Candy
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Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potato Salad)
- 5 russet potatoes washed, quartered & steamed until tender
- 1/2 cup butter divided
- 1/4 cup cream
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 large shallots peeled & thinly sliced
- 1 large leek halved & thinly sliced
- 1 bunch kale de-stemmed & chopped
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups chopped napa cabbage leaves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- green onions thinly sliced, for garnish
- crisp, crumbled bacon for garnish
- Add the steamed potatoes to a large mixing bowl with 1/4 cup of butter, cream, and your desired amount of salt & pepper.
- Using a potato masher, smash the potatoes until everything's evenly combined. Cover the bowl with foil to keep the mixture warm, and set aside.
- In a large skillet, melt the rest of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots & leek, sautéing just until they've begun to soften.
- Add the kale to the skillet, tossing just until beginning to wilt- about 1 minute.
- Add the cabbage & toss, cooking just until tender but still crisp- about 5 minutes.
- Season the kale and cabbage mixture with nutmeg, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Then add the mixture to the potatoes in the mixing bowl. Stir everything together well to combine.
- Serve warm topped with green onions and crispy crumbled bacon, if desired.
- Don't like or have kale? Skip it or substitute spinach,
- You don't need to use the Instant Pot to steam your potatoes but it does save time.
- Bacon isn't a necessity, but does add an extra element of yum to this.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full Disclosure Policy for details. As always, all opinions are my own.