Irish Colcannon

In a time when we all need a healthy dose of comfort food, this Irish side dish is as comforting as it gets.  Who doesn’t love mashed potatoes mixed with soft, steamed cabbage, scallions, cream, and butter? It’s Irish cuisine at its finest.  I like to serve it with Oven-Baked Corned Beef And Roasted Cabbage and Sauteed Haricot Verts.

Bowl of the Irish side dish, Colcannon, which is mashed potatoes, steamed cabbage, scallions, and parsley. It is garnished with butter.


Colcannon is a traditional Irish side dish of mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale, butter, and milk or cream.  Because it’s a cheap dish that can be served year-round, colcannon has become a staple recipe. It’s such a staple that every cook has his/her own version, as do most of the pubs.


You want to choose higher starch potatoes to make this dish or any mashed potato dish.

Russet or Yukon Gold makes the fluffiest, smoothest mash.

Waxy potatoes, like red or small white will become gummy when mashed.  Never a good thing.

Bowl of the Irish side dish, Colcannon, which is mashed potatoes, steamed cabbage, scallions, and parsley. It is garnished with butter.


  • Use fresh ingredients.  The potatoes should be smooth, not wrinkled, and free of ‘eyes’ or green spots.  They should also be Russets or Yukon Gold potatoes for the best result.
  • Allow the butter, half and half, and sour cream come to room temperature.  Even though we are going to warm them before mixing them into the potatoes, allowing them to come to room temperature helps prevent scorching when you warm the ingredients. 
  • Use a hand masher to mash the potatoes.  You don’t want pasty, gummy potatoes.
  • Don’t make them too far in advance of serving.  Up to 2 hours before works if you put the mashed potatoes in a slow cooker on low, but they’ll lose their flavor if you make them overnight and rewarm them.


Comfort food always makes us feel better.  Here are a few more for you to try:

  • Meat Kreplach – for that steaming bowl of chicken soup.  It isn’t called ‘Jewish Penicillin’ for nothing!
  • Pasta Carbonara – what’s more comforting than a big bowl of noodles?
  • Philly Cheesesteak Hoagie – delicious and we’re socially isolating.  You deserve this.


This Irish side dish is the ultimate comfort food.  Buttery mashed potatoes mixed with soft, steamed cabbage and scallions make this dish so flavorful, creamy, and satisfying.

  • Author: Eats By The Beach
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: Irish



1 small head of cabbage, chopped into small dice

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 sticks salted butter, room temperature

4 scallions, finely chopped – both white and green parts

1 cup hot half and half

¼ cup sour cream, room temperature

Freshly ground black pepper, more if needed to taste

1 teaspoon salt, more if needed to taste

2 tablespoon butter, room temperature, as a garnish

2 scallions, finely chopped

Minced fresh parsley for garnish


Add the cabbage to a large Dutch oven, fill with enough water to cover the cabbage, plus one inch.  

Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam the cabbage until very tender – about 20 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to remove the cabbage to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to dry out. Reserve the cooking water.

To the cabbage water, slide in the quartered potatoes.  Add more water if needed to completely cover the potatoes. Cover the pot and boil the potatoes until soft – about 20 – 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter.  Toss in the scallions and allow to sweat for about a minute.  

Pour in the half and half and whisk in the sour cream.  Bring to a simmer, but do not boil. Allow to simmer for about 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

Drain the potatoes completely.

Add the potatoes to a large serving bowl.

Using a hand masher, mash the potatoes to the desired consistency.  Stir in the cabbage and cream mixture until well combined and the potatoes are creamy.  Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.

Using the back of a spoon, make a dent in the top of the potatoes.  Lay the 2 tablespoons of butter in the indentation.

Sprinkle with the remaining 2 minced scallions and parsley.

Serve immediately.

Keywords: Irish side dish, mashed potato recipes, cabbage recipes, comfort food