Traditional Irish Creamy Colcannon

Traditional Irish creamy colcannon is a great side dish for a dinner. A combination of creamy mashed potato with cabbage or kale. Seasoned to perfection and served warm with a spoonful of Irish butter.

Traditional Irish creamy colcannon serve in a side bowl with a knob of melting butter on top.
Traditional Colcannon

What exactly is traditional Irish Colcannon?

Colcannon (cál ceannann, meaning “white-headed cabbage”) is a beautifully creamy mashed potato mixed with a green vegetable, usually cabbage, kale or leek would be used in the mixture. It is a super handy recipe to have to hand because normally you would have left over potatoes and cabbage from your Sunday dinner. Especially if you were having a traditional bacon and cabbage dinner with potatoes.

As the Irish singer, Mary Black’s song goes:

“Oh weren’t them the happy days
When troubles we knew not
And or mother made colcannon
In the little skillet pot”

What else could I use in Colcannon?

  • Traditionally different parts of Ireland have favored different green vegetables. Cabbage, kale, leeks and even spring onions can be used with your mashed potatoes.
  • If you have a sweeter tooth, use mashed sweet potato instead of white potato.
  • Also, you can add in crispy bacon or pancetta to enrich the potato and cabbage mixture.

What can I pair Colcannon with?

  • For starters: Salmon fish cakes would be perfect. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Can be made the day before.
  • A great main course would be: Beef and Guinness Stew, which would be a perfect dish to have with a creamy colcannon.
  • For dessert: After a decadent main course, finish off with a simple pistachio ice-cream with fruit.
  • Something to drink: Serve with your favorite beer or a sauvignon blanc. The decadence of the butter and cream should be balanced with the wine’s fresh, crisp acidity to help cut through the creamy potatoes.

Serving suggestions for a traditional Irish Creamy Colcannon

I would serve a creamy colcannon with almost anything. The best main courses would be Beef and Guinness stew, bacon and cabbage or even a roast chicken.

How to Store Colcannon

Colcannon can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. It will last 3 to 5 days.

How do you reheat Colcannon?

  • If you are reheating an individual portion then the microwave would be the best option.
  • However, if you are reheating a large amount, you can transfer the colcannon to an oven proof dish. Cover with aluminum foil so it doesn’t burn and reheat at 160°C/140°C Fan or 330°F until hot throughout, about 15-20 minutes.

Can you make traditional Creamy Colcannon in advance?

  • Absolutely! You can make creamy colcannon the day before. Let it cool and wrap it tightly in a sealed container and keep in the fridge until it is needed.

Other Tasty Irish Recipes

Traditional Irish creamy colcannon served in a side bowl with a knob of melting butter on top.

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Colcannon, mashed potato mixed with cabbage in a white bowl

Traditional Irish Creamy Colcannon

Author: Fiona Halligan
Traditional Irish creamy colcannon is a great side dish for a dinner. A combination of creamy mashed potato with cabbage or kale. Seasoned to perfection and served warm with a spoonful of Irish butter.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Servings 4 servings
Calories 271 kcal


  • 1 kg Potatoes washed, peeled and diced
  • 250 g Savoy Cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 75 ml Milk
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Pinch of Black Pepper


  • Add the potatoes to a pot of cold water over a high heat. Cover and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.
  • Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove its outer leaves. These can be disposed of.
  • Wash and chop the cabbage leaves into small pieces.
  • Add the cabbage leaves to a pot of boiling water and cook until tender. This should only take 5-6 minutes. Don't overcook it.
  • When the potatoes are cooked, remove the pot from the heat. Drain them into a colander, then add them back into the pot with the butter and milk.
  • Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy. You can add more or less milk depending on your preference. You can even add in a drop of cream if you want.
  • Add in the cooked cabbage, sea salt and black pepper and stir through with a spoon until evenly combined.
  • Taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper.
  • Serve the colcannon along with your main meal, with a little extra butter on top. Enjoy!


Calories: 271kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 7gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 91mgPotassium: 1223mgFiber: 7gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 835IUVitamin C: 69mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Creamy Colcannon, Irish Colcannon
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