How to make Colcannon

Updated February 21, 2017

Colcannon uses those two great Irish staples: potatoes and cabbage. Before you can say "boring," though, know that it really is better than it sounds. You can enjoy it as a side dish for meat (yes, for corned beef) or as a simple vegetarian dinner. Serves six as a side dish or three as a main dish.

Peel the potatoes, cut them into large chunks, and boil them in salted water until tender (10 to 15 minutes).

While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and salt and pepper to taste; cook for a few minutes, until the leeks begin to soften.

Add the cabbage and cook until tender but not flabby, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Drain the cooked potatoes, return them to their pot, and mash with the milk, plus salt and pepper. Stir in the leeks and cabbage. You could eat the colcannon now, but it's better when baked in the oven for a bit - the flavors blend together.

To bake, place the colcannon in a greased casserole dish and sprinkle sweet paprika over the top for garnish.

Bake in a 200°C (400°F) oven until the top is golden and browned in a few places, about 15 to 20 minutes.


You can also use one bunch of kale in place of the cabbage. If you want a little more zip in your colcannon (admittedly, it is not a zippy dish), stir 5g (1 tsp) or so of Dijon mustard into the mashed potatoes (or more, depending on your taste for mustard). You can also substitute plain yoghurt for half of the milk when mashing the potatoes, which adds a tangy taste. For a richer colcannon, add 10 g (2 tbsp) butter when you mash the potatoes.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 large baking potatoes
  • 2 leeks - white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 head cabbages - chopped
  • 240 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 15 g (1 tbsp) butter
  • Plain yoghurt
  • Dijon mustard
  • Potato mashers
  • Sweet paprika (for garnish)
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Casserole dish
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