Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes)

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Colcannon is a traditional Irish recipe of mashed potatoes, cabbage & leeks that’s perfect for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!

Serve this Colcannon recipe with other St. Patrick’s Day inspired favorites like Irish Soda Bread and Reuben Slider Sandwiches.

A large bowl of Colcannon - Irish Mashed Potatoes with Leeks and Cabbage.


There’s nothing more delicious on St. Patrick’s Day than corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes. Colcannon is the ultimate combination of Irish flavors – creamy mashed potatoes, caramelized leeks, and cabbage! The best part about this recipe is that doesn’t take any longer than regular mashed potatoes, but it has so much more flavor!

If you’ve ever been a little leary about cabbage, this recipe is a great stepping stone to learning to love this vegetable. The cabbage is cooked just until tender and the garlic gives it an amazing flavor. Once added to the mashed potatoes, the cabbage becomes a comforting side dish the whole family will love. And not just for the holidays! They’ll be asking you to serve this Colcannon up along your favorite meals through out the year!

Colcannon - a traditional Irish recipe of mashed potatoes, cabbage & leeks for St. Patrick's Day.


Actually, it’s both! Colcannon is a traditional Irish and Scottish mashed potatoes recipe with greens like kale, leeks or cabbage and mixed with milk, butter and seasonings. Some recipes include bacon for texture, which is completely option but also totally delicious.


  1. Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling water that has been seasoned with a generous helping of salt. Potatoes should be cut into evenly sized chunks and will take about 20 minutes until they are fork tender.
  2. While the potatoes are boiling, cook the leeks in a large skillet with some melted butter until they are softened and caramelized around the edges.
  3. Add garlic and cabbage to the skillet with the leeks and let cook until the cabbage is a bit wilted and soft. Keep warm while the potatoes are cooking.
  4. Mash the cooked potatoes until almost all of the lumps are gone, then stir in milk or cream, butter, salt and pepper.
  5. Add the vegetables to the potatoes and stir until they are combined.
  6. Taste and season with more butter and salt is desired.

Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon) In a large bowl.

Hungry for more?

A plate of Irish potato bites

Potato Leek Soup | Irish Potatoes Bites | Roasted Cabbage with Bacon

Don’t forget the St. Patty’s Day desserts! 

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Colcannon is a traditional Irish recipe of mashed potatoes, cabbage & leeks that's perfect for celebrating St. Patrick's Day!


5 from 3 votes
Colcannon is a traditional Irish recipe of mashed potatoes, cabbage & leeks that's perfect for celebrating St. Patrick's Day!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Servings 4 servings
Calories 513kcal


  • 3 pounds russet potatoes about 6-7 potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 3 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or more milk if you prefer
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 thinly sliced green onion for garnish


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the leeks are tender and are slightly caramelized around the edges.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the cabbage and stir to combine. Cook for another 6 to 8 minutes (stirring often), or until the cabbage has wilted a bit and is tender. Reduce heat to low and keep warm while you finish the potatoes.
  • Mash the cooked potatoes until almost all of the lumps are gone. Add the ¼ cup cream to the potatoes and stir to combine. Add more cream as needed until your desired consistency is reached. (You made need more or less than ½ cup. It depends on how you like your potatoes.)
  • Pour everything from the skillet into the potatoes and stir to combine.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste (you can be generous with the salt). Top with a little more butter and let it melt into the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with green onion, if desired. Serve immediately


If you're a bacon lover, you can stir in ⅓ cup cooked & crumbled bacon once everything is mashed together. Sprinkle a little more on top for garnish too!


Calories: 513kcalCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 10gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 45mgPotassium: 1626mgFiber: 7gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1584IUVitamin C: 45mgCalcium: 117mgIron: 4mg

A large bowl of Colcannon with the recipe title written on it.

Julie Espy

Food nerd. Cocktail enthusiast. Carboholic. Bacon addict. Basset nuzzler. Boy mom. Come eat something delicious with me at Bread Booze Bacon!

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  1. Absotively, Posolutely Scrumditilylumpcious! First time making Colcannon. Thank You so much !

  2. I think you’re the first blogger that I’ve ever seen who knows about colcannon! Growing up, my mom would make it on St. Patrick’s Day to honor our Irish roots. We’d have Irish cheese on the side, but I can’t remember what kind. Our colcannon was made with onions, so I’m curious to see how it tastes with leeks. Thanks for sharing your recipe!