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How to Make Traditional Irish Colcannon

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Irish Colcannon in a white bowl on a brown wood table

I absolutely love corned beef, potatoes and cabbage right along with Shepherd’s Pie for St. Patrick’s Day. Then one year I decided to make Irish Colcannon.

How did I not know about this deliciousness before? Mashed potatoes combined with sauteed kale? Yum!

While it’s traditionally served with corned beef or bacon, I sometimes serve it with boneless chicken instead. It’s good all on its own too for an easy vegetarian meal or side dish.

If you’re looking for a new hit meal to serve this St. Patrick’s Day, give this Irish Colcannon recipe a try. It’s kid friendly too!

Close up of Irish Colcannon (mashed potatoes and kale) in a ceramic bowl

How to Make Irish Colcannon

Learn how to make traditional Irish Colcannon with mashed potatoes and kale in this easy recipe.
5 from 3 votes
Print Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Recipe Servings: 6


  • 3 pounds russet potatoes - or your favorite potato variety
  • Sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter - divided
  • 4 cups ripped kale leaves - stems removed and discarded
  • 1/2 cup green onions - thinly sliced
  • 1 cup whole milk


  • Mixing bowl
  • Fork
  • Strainer


  • Chop your potatoes into small 1-inch chunks. You can peel them if you like, but it's not necessary. I find that leaving the peels on in this recipe gives it a rustic, hearty feel. Add the chopped potatoes to a large pot, then fill the pot with water and a teaspoon of sea salt. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and allow the potatoes to simmer until they are tender enough to easily pierce with a fork. Pour the contents of the pan into a colander and allow the potatoes to drain.
    Potatoes boiling in a pot of water
  • While the potatoes are draining, add half of the butter to the same pot (no need to dirty another!) and heat it over medium until it’s fully melted. Add the torn kale leaves with about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt. Cook until the kale is completely wilted so it’ll stir into the potatoes easily. It usually takes 3-5 minutes depending on the size of your pieces.
    Kale wilting in a pot
  • Add the green onions to the pot, stir to combine and cook for about a minute. Then add the potatoes back into the pot with half of the milk and the other half of the butter (or more if you like!).
    Potatoes added back to pot with kale
  • It’s time to mash the potatoes. I usually just do it with a fork because I mash them with the kale. You can get your hand mixer out if you really want them smooth, but I’d recommend doing that separately from the kale so you keep the texture. Continue adding more milk until you reach the consistency you like.
    Irish Colcannon being mashed in a pot on the stove.
  • Transfer your Irish Colcannon to bowls and serve alone or topped with your favorite meat.
    Irish Colcannon with one Chicken Fingers in a bowl

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 114mg | Potassium: 1242mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4844IU | Vitamin C: 68mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 3mg

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