Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that screams comfort. With creamy mashed potatoes, bacon, sautéed cabbage and onions mixed together how could it not?!
YOU GUYS. If you are looking for the ultimate comfort food (not to mention a tricky way to get the kiddos to eat cabbage) look no further than this Colcannon recipe.
This traditional Irish dish combines creamy mashed potatoes with sautéed cabbage and onions. To up the deliciousness, I decided to add come bacon to the mix. It adds a nice contrast in texture, not to mention a smoky salty flavor that works so well in this dish.
It is decadent. It’s comforting. It’s everything a good side dish should be. And you’re going to love it.
RUSSET POTATOES: I prefer to use russets for mashed potatoes because of the higher starch content. You can also use Yukon Gold.
BUTTER: Use unsalted so you can control the final salt content of the dish. Remember we are adding bacon which is salty.
HALF AND HALF: To make the potatoes even more decadent, you can use heavy cream.
BACON: You’ll cook this first so that you can use the bacon fat to sauté the cabbage and onions.
ONION: Yellow onion works the best.
GARLIC: Just a few cloves is all you need.
CABBAGE: Cored and cut into bite sized pieces.
GREEN ONION: Optional but it adds a touch more green and a slight oniony flavor. Parsley is also an option if you’re just wanting more green.
STEP #1: Brown bacon in a large skillet. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Remove pan from heat and reserve 1 tablespoon of pan drippings.
STEP #2: Meanwhile, place potatoes in a pot with the water just barely covering the top. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender. Drain. Return to pan and add 1/4 cup butter and half and half. Mash with a potato masher. Turn burner to low and cover to keep warm while you prepare the cabbage.
STEP #3: Return bacon pan to stove and heat over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and cabbage to reserved bacon drippings. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until cabbage is soft.
STEP #4: Stir cabbage mixture into warmed potatoes. Stir in reserved bacon pieces and green onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.
Colcannon is traditionally made with cabbage, as it is in this recipe. If you want to switch things up a bit and add even more green you can use kale instead.
If you’d like to make this vegetarian, and perhaps a little more traditional, don’t use the bacon and instead use a tablespoon of olive oil.
Looking for more ways to enjoy cabbage? Try these!
Note: This recipe was originally written and published in 2010. It was republished with new photos, step by step photos and a slightly modified recipe in 2022.