This colcannon recipe is a mix of mashed potatoes, sauteed cabbage and bacon, all combined to form a hearty and savory side dish. Colcannon pairs perfectly with chicken, beef and pork, and also happens to be super easy to make.
Mashed potatoes are the ultimate side dish, whether they’re cooked as a loaded mashed potato casserole, as crock pot mashed potatoes or with cabbage in this traditional Irish dish.
Have you ever tried colcannon? If not, you’re missing out. This recipe is delectable blend of cabbage, potatoes and bacon, all mashed together for a creamy and satisfying dish. It’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any other time of the year!
- Potatoes: Russet potatoes are a classic choice for this recipe.
- Cabbage: Any variety of green cabbage will work fine, and you can either thinly slice or coarsely chop it.
- Bacon: Feel free you use your favorite brand of bacon in this dish.
- Dairy: Cream and butter add richness and flavor to the potato mixture.
- Seasonings: I make my potatoes extra delicious with the addition of garlic, salt, black pepper and green onions.
How do you make colcannon?
You can make colcannon by boiling peeled potatoes until they are tender. While the potatoes are boiling, it’s time to cook up the rest of the dish. Bacon goes into a large saucepan and cooks until crispy and browned. The bacon is removed from the pan, and cabbage is sauteed in the remaining bacon fat. The potatoes are mashed with some butter and cream until smooth, then the bacon and cabbage mixture are stirred into the potatoes. Add some fresh herbs for garnish, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for the perfect side dish
- Cut your potatoes into similar sized pieces. This helps to make sure that all the potatoes finish cooking at the same time.
- You can use a potato masher, a hand mixer, or potato ricer to mash your potatoes. Don’t use a food processor, it will make the colcannon gummy.
- This recipe can be made up to 3 days in advance. Reheat your colcannon on the stovetop or in the oven.
- You can freeze this dish for up to 2 months in an airtight container.
- Use a mandoline to finely shred the cabbage. You can also buy a bag of pre-shredded cabbage to save on time.
Colcannon is an Irish recipe made with just a few simple ingredients. This side dish always contains potatoes, butter, some type of greens and herbs. Russet potatoes are most commonly used, but Yukon Gold potatoes are also a good option. The greens typically consist of either shredded cabbage or kale. There are often other ingredients added into the mix such as leeks, green onions, parsley or bacon.
The basic recipe for colcannon was developed sometime during the 1600’s and 1700’s. During that period, potatoes and green vegetables such as cabbage were very common foods enjoyed in Ireland and other parts of Europe. These veggies ended up being put together to create this dish.
The word “colcannon” comes from the Gaelic words cál ceannann. Cál means cabbage and ceannann means white-headed or white-faced. Put them together and you have the term cál ceannann meaning white-headed cabbage.
This dish is often served as an accompaniment to meat. Some great options include sausages such as Irish Bangers, or ham. You can also spoon Irish stew over the top of your potatoes for an extra special treat.
This recipe is fabulous as written, but you can switch up the ingredients to customize this dish to your tastes.
- Meat: Instead of bacon, try using pancetta or even ham for a totally different flavor profile.
- Greens: Skip the cabbage and substitute in sauteed kale, spinach or Swiss chard. You can also add in some thinly sliced leeks.
- Garlic Lover’s: Increase the amount of garlic to 1 tablespoon, or use 1/4 cup of whole roasted garlic cloves instead.
- Dairy: Try this recipe with sour cream or cream cheese instead of heavy cream.
- Cakes: You can make colcannon cakes by mixing an egg and a cup of flour into 3 cups of chilled colcannon. Form the colcannon into patties and pan fry them until they are golden brown on both sides.
Whether you’re looking for an easy and unexpected side dish, or searching for a recipe to accompany your St. Patrick’s Day corned beef, this colcannon is sure to hit the spot!
More cabbage and potato recipes you’ll enjoy
- 3 pounds Russet potatoes peeled and quartered
- 6 slices bacon diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 4 cups shredded cabbage
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup green onions thinly sliced
- 1 cup heavy cream can also use milk
- 1/4 cup butter cut into slices
- additional butter, bacon and green onions or parsley for garnish optional
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the potatoes for 15-18 minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, place the bacon in a pan over medium heat. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until bacon is crispy.
- Remove the bacon from the pan.
- Add the cabbage and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until cabbage is wilted. Stir in the green onions and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.
- Place the potatoes back in the pot. Add the heavy cream, butter and salt and pepper to taste. Mash until smooth.
- Pour the cabbage mixture and bacon into the mashed potatoes. Stir to combine.
- Serve immediately, topped with butter, bacon and herbs if desired.
- You can use a potato masher, a hand mixer, or potato ricer to mash your potatoes. Do not use a food processor, as it will make the colcannon gummy.
- This recipe can be made up to 3 days in advance.
- You can freeze this dish for up to 2 months in an airtight container.
I’ve never heard of this dish but I am so excited to try it! Sounds wonderful and full of flavor.
your recipe is so easy to follow and super tasty! the added bacon is so good with the potatoes and cabbage. thanks!
This might be my new favorite side dish. I think this would be amazing for Thanksgiving too. I am glad I didn’t wait that long, though!!! SOOO GOOD!!!!
I’ve never had this dish but I have heard of it. I love all the flavors that come together to create this delicious dish. We will definitely be trying it soon!
First time I made colcannon and loved it! Completely new to me but a new favorite!
I love cabbage but never thought to add them to mashed potatoes! I can’t wait to try this yummy side dish 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
I’ve never heard of Colcannon before but having read this post I can’t wait to try it. It seems like right up my street.
I made this last week and it was delicious! Thanks
I had never heard of this dish before but found it on Pinterest and we loved it!
This looks delicious! I have had a very good colcannon recipe for years but it doesn’t have bacon in it! So I will definitely give this a try. Can you tell me why there are 2 different measures for garlic? There is a 2 teaspoon and a 1teaspoon, but in the instructions there is only one time garlic is used. Unless I missed it🤷♀️
So many delicious flavors all in one dish! So good!
I’m loving the sound of mashed potatoes and cabbage! This looks so creamy! And let’s not forget that bacon! YUM!
I can already tell this is going to be a recipe on repeat for my family! Yum!!
I can’t wait to make this – what’s not to love with bacon, cabbage and potatoes?? Yum!
I’ve never made this type of dish before but it looks absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to give this a go.
So many great flavors for a perfect side dish!!
Where has this dish been hiding?! My family is going to love this one. Bring on the bacon.
The tips really do help and also thank you for a new cabbage recipe! I was wondering the other day what I could make, but really had no idea.
Thanks for all of your time saver tips. This looks like a great dish to celebrate the upcoming holiday.
I’ve never had this dish before, but this is like an upgrade to the more usual mashed potato. Really delicious. 🙂