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

Mashed potatoes with cabbage in a bowl with a spoon.

Serve this Colcannon recipe with other Irish-inspired favorites like Irish Soda Bread and Reuben Slider Sandwiches. Of course, you can’t go wrong with my Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe!

These Irish Mashed Potatoes are so delicious, you’ll want to have them with every meal!

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Why We Love Irish Mashed Potatoes

  • Colcannon (also known as Irish mash) is the ultimate combination of Irish flavors – creamy mashed potatoes, garlic, caramelized leeks, and cabbage. It’s hearty, comforting, and full of flavor.
  • It’s a super simple dish that anyone can make. Just a few steps and a few fresh ingredients. 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 will make you a believer! The cabbage is cooked just until tender and it really soaks up all that butter and flavor from the garlic and the leeks.

Ingredients For Colcannon

  • Russet Potatoes – These are the best potatoes for making mashed potatoes because they are starchy and have a fluffy texture.
  • Butter – Salted or unsalted is fine.
  • Leeks – A leek are a vegetable that looks a little like a green onion with a white bulb on one end and long green tops. They are part of the onion family with a sweet onion flavor.
  • Green Cabbage – A leafy green vegetable with a crunchy bite and slightly bitter taste. When cooked down, it softens and turns slightly sweet.
  • Garlic
  • Heavy Cream – To make your potatoes nice and creamy
  • Salt and Pepper – Season to your liking.
  • Green Onions – For garnish.

How To Make Irish Mash (Colcannon)

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

Cubes of potatoes in boiling water.

Cook Potatoes – Wash and peel potatoes. Peel and cube, then cook 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.

Sliced leeks in a large skillet.

Cook Leeks – 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.

Shredded cabbage in a black skillet.

Cook Cabbage – Add garlic and cabbage to the pan with the leeks and let cook until the cabbage is a bit wilted and soft. Keep warm while the potatoes are cooking.

Mashing potatoes with a potato masher in a bowl.

Mash Potatoes – Mash the cooked potatoes with a potato masher until almost all of the lumps are gone, then stir in milk or cream, butter, salt, and black pepper.

Mashed potatoes with leeks and cabbage.

Mix Together Add the vegetables to the potatoes and stir until they are combined. Taste and season with more butter and salt as desired. At this point, you can transfer the mixture to another serving dish or serve right from the bowl. Garnish with some scallions on top.


To make your Irish mash even more hearty, consider adding some protein, like crumbled bacon, corned beef, or chunks of ham for extra flavor.

Is Colcannon Irish or Scottish?

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

More St. Patrick’s Day Food


Colcannon aka Irish Mashed Potatoes

5 from 5 votes
Colcannon, aka Irish Mashed Potatoes, is a traditional recipe with potatoes, cabbage & leeks that's perfect for celebrating St. Patrick's Day!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings


  • 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
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  • 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

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.


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. April Driggers says:

    I’ve never heard of such a thing but they sound delicious! Totally going to have to put this on my menu.

  2. Ms Belinda Janet Osborne says:

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

    1. Kristin says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Mary says:

    Can I keep the colcannon warm in a crockpot for a couple hours?

    1. Kristin says:

      I think that should be fine.

  4. Karen says:

    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!