Skip to Content

Hearty Colcannon Recipe (Irish Mashed Potatoes with Kale or Cabbage)

Sharing is caring!

This website may contain affiliate links and advertising so that we can provide recipes and guides at no additional cost to you. Learn more

My colcannon recipe is herby, creamy, and buttery soft. This take on an Irish staple mixes potatoes, milk, butter, and chopped scallions with kale. Enjoy it with grilled sausages, garden veggies, winter stews, and so much more.

Colcannon (Irish mashed potatoes with kale).

A Quick Word About Colcannon

This is hearty Irish fare at its finest. While typically made with four core ingredients: potatoes, milk, butter, and some type of cabbage, the regional variations of colcannon are wild and varied.

I’ve closely followed traditional colcannon but added my own personal preferences to this recipe. I am in no way claiming this to be a ‘traditional’ colcannon. You’ll find many colcannon recipes throughout Ireland, adding everything from leeks to laverbread.

What we can all agree on, I’m sure, is that this is incredibly satisfying food! Colcannon characterizes the rawness and beauty of rural Ireland and is warm and filling.

Ingredients

To make my Colcannon, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Ingredients for Colcannon (Irish mashed potatoes with kale).
  • Potatoes – 2 pounds of potatoes (900 grams)
  • Milk – 1 cup milk
  • Butter – 4 tbsp unsalted butter, plus 2 tbsp more to serve
  • Scallions – 1 bunch (about 1/2 cup chopped)
  • Kale or Cabbage – 3 cups (packed) chopped Kale or chopped cabbage (I used Cavolo Nero, a variety of kale from Tuscany)
  • Salt – salt, to taste

When it comes to cabbage or kale, here are three types I was able to pick up at my local supermarket you could use:

Cabbage or kale options for Colcannon (Irish mashed potatoes).
  • White Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Kale)

I’ve tested recipe variations with cabbage, regular curly kale, and Cavolo Nero. The Cavolo Nero is the best, in my opinion. But you can try the different variations and let me know what you prefer!

Additional ingredients you could add include:

  • Chopped Sautéed Leeks
  • Bacon Crumbles (Bacon Bits)
  • Chopped Chives

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Peel and cut the potatoes into thick, relatively even slices.

Slicing the potatoes

Step 2 – To a large pot, add the potatoes, about 1 tbsp of salt, and cover with cold water (about 1-2 inches over). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat (about 10 minutes), and then simmer the potatoes for about 15 minutes until tender.

Boiling the potatoes.

It took me 25 minutes total time (using Maris Piper potatoes cut into relatively large pieces) – 10 minutes to bring to a boil and 15 minutes of simmering time.

You can check if potatoes are fully cooked by inserting a pairing knife through the middle, and if it goes in easily and slides out easily, it’s done!

Step 3 – While the potatoes are boiling, wash and chop the kale (or cabbage if using that instead). For kale, make sure to remove the hard stems.

Step 4 – Chop the spring onions/scallions.

Chopping spring onions.

Step 5 – While the potatoes are boiling, warm up the milk and 4 tbsp of butter (over the stove, over low heat, takes about 3-4 minutes).

Melting butter and warming up milk in a small pot on the stove.

You can also warm up the milk and butter in the microwave in 30-second increments.

Step 6 – Drain the potatoes and mash them well with a potato masher or potato ricer.

Draining the boiled potatoes.
Mashing potatoes.

Step 7 – Once the potatoes are mashed, add the hot milk-butter mixture a bit at a time while continuing to mash with the potato masher to incorporate the liquid into the mashed potatoes.

Adding melted butter and warm milk to mashed potatoes.

Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt (to taste).

Adding melted butter and warm milk to mashed potatoes.

Step 8 – To a pan, over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of butter. When the butter has melted, add the chopped kale. Sauté the kale until wilted, about 5-6 minutes (stirring from time to time). Season with a pinch of salt.

Sauteeing kale in a pan.

If using cabbage, sauté the chopped cabbage until tender, which will take longer than the kale (about 12-15 minutes).

Step 9 – Add the sautéed kale and chopped spring onions to the mashed potatoes and fold them in.

Adding kale and chopped spring onions to the colcannon.

Step 10 – Bring this Irish treasure to the table in a big bowl. Optionally, serve with some butter on top (as pictured below). Take a moment to savor its earthy, herby, buttery aroma, and then dig in!

Colcannon with melted butter on top.

If you want to honor Irish tradition, enjoy it with cooked cabbage and corned beef. Beyond that, you don’t need me to tell you what to eat your potatoes with! Greens, grilled meats, pies, sausages, and roasted veggies are all perfect matches for a hefty side of colcannon.

If you enjoyed this dish, please leave a review below. Let me know in the comments whether you used cabbage or kale and what you served it with.

Recipe Card

Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes with Kale or Cabbage)

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Author: Doina Johnson
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: Irish
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of potatoes 900 grams
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch scallions/spring onions about 1/2 cup chopped
  • 3 cups packed chopped kale or cabbage (I used Cavolo Nero kale)
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Peel and cut the potatoes into thick, relatively even slices.
  • To a large pot, add the potatoes, about 1 tbsp of salt, and cover with cold water (about 1-2 inches over). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat (about 10 minutes), and then simmer the potatoes for about 15 minutes until tender. You can check if the potatoes are fully cooked by inserting a pairing
    knife through the middle, and if it goes in easily and slides out
    easily, it’s done!
  • While the potatoes are boiling, wash and chop the kale (or cabbage if using that instead). For kale, make sure to remove the hard stems.
  • Chop the spring onions/scallions.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, warm up the milk and 4 tbsp of butter (over the stove, over low heat, takes about 3-4 minutes). You can also warm up the milk and butter in the microwave in 30-second increments.
  • Drain the potatoes and mash them with a potato masher or potato ricer.
  • Once the potatoes are mashed, add the hot milk-butter mixture a bit at a time while continuing to mash with the potato masher to incorporate the liquid into the mashed potatoes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt (to taste).
  • To a pan, over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of butter. When the butter has melted, add the chopped kale. Sauté the kale until wilted, about 5-6 minutes (stirring frequently). Season with a pinch of salt. If using cabbage, sauté the chopped cabbage until tender, which will take longer than the kale (about 12-15 minutes).
  • Add the sautéed kale and chopped spring onions to the mashed potatoes and fold them in.
  • Bring this Irish treasure to the table in a big bowl. Optionally, serve with some butter on top (as pictured below). Take a moment to savor its earthy, herby, buttery aroma, and then dig in!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: When it comes to cabbage or kale, here are three types I was able to pick up at my local supermarket you could use:
  • White Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Kale)
I’ve tested recipe variations with cabbage, regular curly kale, and Cavolo Nero. The Cavolo Nero is the best, in my opinion. But you can try the different variations and let me know what you prefer!
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nomadparadisefood or tag #nomadparadisefood!

You Might Also Like to Read

Save my colcannon recipe to one of your recipe boards. Whenever you need a hearty side for meat dishes, or a comfort food in the winter, you’ll be able to easily find it.

Colcannon (Irish mashed potatoes with kale and butter).

Authors

  • Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

    View all posts
  • Doina Johnson is a recipe developer and writer. Doina has been cooking for most of her life, and her style draws from many different influences. She cooked with her mother and grandma growing up in Eastern Europe, before adding modern, western influences to her style when living in the United States for about a decade. Then, she traveled full-time for several years, trying food in Europe, Asia, and South America, and bringing those influences into her own cooking. She strives to introduce passionate homecooks to world cuisine, generally by trying the food herself abroad and then recreating it at home and, at times, enlisting the help of local foodies and chefs.

    View all posts

Sharing is caring!

Recipe Rating