Colcannon Recipe


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Enjoy traditional Colcannon, an Irish mashed potato with kale recipe, that’s a St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween favorite.

Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes)

This recipe may be a staple for St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween, but this delicious Irish side dish is the kind of comfort food I love to enjoy year round. It’s delicious as-is, but I think it’s the best with the addition of a couple of cloves of garlic. Either way, it’s tasty, quick, and easy (so basically all the things I love in a recipe).

Irish mashed potatoes in a white bowl.

How To Make It

This is a really easy potato recipe! It’s essentially the same instructions as a plain mashed potato recipe, except it has the added step of sautéing the kale and green onions.

A process collage showing potato chunks being cooked until fork tender.

The most important part is to start cooking the potatoes in plenty of cold salted water (the potatoes should be covered by at least an inch of water).

A process collage showing kale and green onions being cooked in butter.

Starting with cold water makes sure that the chunks will cook evenly. If you start with hot water, the outside will become mushy while the inside is undercooked and crunchy.

Salting the water seasons the potatoes from the inside out, so your finished dish will be much more flavorful.

It’s also important to make sure you saute the kale long enough. It should have wilted down significantly and lost its moisture.

A process collage showing potato chunks being added to cream with greens.

What’s It Made Of?

Colcannon is a creamy Irish mashed potato dish with kale and green onions.

What’s The Difference Between Champ and Colcannon?

Champ is a creamy mashed potato dish with green onions, and colcannon has the addition of either kale or cabbage.

What Do You Eat It With?

I love having this as a side to my family’s favorite Mulligan Stew, but it’s most popular served with corned beef and cabbage (especially if you decide to make your own corned beef seasoning – it’s SO good!). It’s also great served with sausage, ham, bacon, or lamb.

How To Use Up Leftovers

This dish is so delicious, that I’ll honestly be surprised if you have leftovers! If you do, you can turn them into colcannon cakes or use it as the topping for a colcannon shepherd’s pie.

Optional Alterations

There are four common adaptations for this recipe, and all of them are delicious!

  • Instead of butter, cook bacon, then set the bacon to the side and use the bacon grease to cook the greens. You can either chop up the crispy bacon and add it in after the potatoes have been mashed, or you can sprinkle it on top.
  • Any hearty green will work in this recipe, though curly kale is my favorite. Cabbage is another popular option (and I think savoy cabbage is a great option here), and so are leeks.
  • Feel free to add in your favorite fresh herbs! I also love adding in diced garlic – I just saute it in the melted butter for about 30 seconds after I saute the green onions.
  • You can use whole milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream in this recipe (depending on how rich you like your mashed potatoes). I use half-and-half because it’s what we keep on hand and is rich without being too rich, but any of them will work.
  • Once you’re finished cooking it, be sure to taste it and season with salt and black pepper to your taste preference.
  • Russet potatoes are the best potato for this recipe, but you can use Yukon gold potatoes if you don’t have russets.
Colcannon mashed potatoes in a white bowl.

Colcannon Pronunciation

Colcannon is pronounced: kowl-ka-nuhn. You can listen to a correct pronunciation of it here.

How To Make It In The Instant Pot

To make this in the Instant Pot, follow the instructions in the recipe card, except you’ll cook the potatoes like this:

  • Add the potatoes, 1 cup water, and salt to the Instant Pot and set it to the Manual mode and cook it on high pressure for 3 minutes (be sure to set the release valve to the sealing position).
  • When the potatoes are finished cooking, turn the pressure release valve to Venting for a quick release.
  • After draining the potatoes in a colander, you can follow the recipe as it is written using the Saute function on the Instant Pot.
Colcannon mashed potatoes in a silver pot.

Is It Gluten Free?

Yes, this recipe is gluten free as it is written.

How To Make It Vegan

To make this vegan, you’ll need to replace the butter with plant based butter and the cream with plant based milk. I’d recommend using the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks and the WestSoy Unsweetened Soy Milk.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

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A Pinterest pin image of Irish mashed potatoes with title text.

Side Dish Recipes

If you love this recipe, be sure to check out our entire side dish category! We’ve got tons of recipes that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

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Yield: 6 servings

Colcannon Recipe

Colcannon potatoes with kale in a white bowl.

Enjoy traditional Colcannon, an Irish mashed potato with kale recipe, that's a St. Patrick's Day and Halloween favorite.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 6 Tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 3 cups loosely packed curly kale (deveined and sliced into 1/2” thick strips)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (green parts only, about 4 green onions)
  • 1 cup half-and-half (10% cream)


  1. Place the potato chunks into a large pot. Add cold water until the potatoes are covered with an inch of water. Add 1 - 2 Tablespoons of salt to the water (depending on taste preference).
  2. Bring to a boil, and boil until the potatoes are fork tender (roughly 15 to 20 minutes). Drain the potatoes in a colander.
  3. Return the pot to the stove over medium heat, and melt the butter. Add the kale and saute until tender and wilted (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the green onions and saute for an additional minute. Pour in the half and half, and stir to combine. Turn the heat off.
  4. Add the potatoes, and use a potato masher to mash. Stir to mix the mashed potatoes with the greens.
  5. Taste and adjust salt to your preference. Serve hot with a dab of butter.


This tastes amazing with a bit of garlic added in. If you’re going to add garlic, add it after the green onions, and saute for 30 seconds (or until the garlic is fragrant) before adding the half and half.

In lieu of kale, you could also use cabbage, chard, or leeks.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 310Total Fat: 15.8gCarbohydrates: 37.7gNet Carbohydrates: 34.7gFiber: 3gSugar: 4.2gProtein: 5.6g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


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Try making colcannon mashed potatoes – it’s the ultimate Irish side dish recipe!

Colcannon potatoes with kale in a white bowl.

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