Irish Colcannon

Irish Colcannon

Irish Colcannon is a traditional dish that dates back several centuries. Colcannon literally translates to “white-headed cabbage”, and is normally made with mashed potatoes and either cabbage or kale, with some regional variations. I made this dish as part of our St. Paddy’s day menu, although in Ireland it is traditionally associated with Halloween.

Irish Colcannon


I had never even heard of Colcannon until I opened up the hubby’s grandmother’s handwritten recipe book. She has a delicious recipe that I am sharing with you all today that has been passed down in the family for generations.

Irish Colcannon
Her recipe is unique; instead of butter like most other Irish Colcannon recipes call for, she uses bacon drippings. I think this really makes it extra special!

Irish Colcannon
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicious twist on mashed potatoes that makes a great side.
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Irish
Serves: 10-12
  • 6 medium russet potatoes, peeled
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ pound bacon
  • ½ head cabbage, shredded (or scallions*)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. fry the bacon, crumble, and reserve the drippings
  2. meanwhile, boil the potatoes until tender, drain, and mash
  3. add milk to the potatoes
  4. add salt and pepper to taste
  5. boil cabbage and onion in a separate pot for 3-5 minutes, drain
  6. combine potatoes, bacon bits, bacon drippings, cabbage, and onion in a saucepan
  7. reheat, stirring constantly until hot enough to serve
  8. add more salt and pepper if needed
*Grandma Devlin used cabbage, and Great Grandma Devlin used scallions. I haven't tried it with scallions yet, but I"m sure it would be great!


Want to make a meal of it?  Serve it with this Shamrock Steak and Dumplings  and Irish Soda Bread that also came from the old recipe book!



6 thoughts on “Irish Colcannon

  1. Machelle

    I make mine with leeks. Its my favorite winter comfort food. I also use the bacon drippings but right before serving i put a small divet in the center and put a pat of irish butter to melt slowly in the center…..ok. running to the store tomorrow for leeks.

  2. Pingback: Irish Corn Bread | Taste of Divine

  3. Pingback: 50 Real Food Fall Recipes - Taste of Divine

Let me know what you think...