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Colcannon

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.

Colcannon Ingredients:

Overhead photo of colcannon ingredients.

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 BY STEP PHOTOS AND INSTRUCTIONS:

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 Variations:

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.

Spoonful of colcannon.

Looking for more ways to enjoy cabbage? Try these!

Cabbage Salsa

Southern Fried Cabbage with Bacon

Kielbasa and Cabbage

Asian Cabbage Salad

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.

Colcannon

Colcannon is a classic Irish dish that is pure comfort food. Made with creamy mashed potatoes, bacon, sautéed cabbage and onions you're sure to love it!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Side Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 342 kcal

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices bacon diced into 1 inch pieces
  • 5 medium russet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small head cabbage cored and chopped small
  • 3 green onions chopped (optional)

Instructions
 

  • 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.
  • 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 butter and half and half. Mash with a potato masher. Turn burner to low and cover to keep warm while you prepare the cabbage.
  • 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.
  • Stir cabbage mixture into warmed potatoes. Stir in reserved bacon pieces and green onion, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Notes

I like to cut my bacon with kitchen shears (or dice with a knife) before cooking to get more a more uniform pieces. You can always just crumble afterwords if you like small bacon crumbles mixed throughout. 
You can substitute Yukon gold potatoes for the russets. There would be no need to peel them since their skin is pretty thin. Make sure to peel russets though. 
5 medium russet potatoes equals about 2 pounds of potatoes. 
Nutrition facts for estimation purposes only. 

Nutrition

Calories: 342kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 10gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 87mgPotassium: 1613mgFiber: 10gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 447IUVitamin C: 102mgCalcium: 189mgIron: 4mg
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Keywords: cabbage, Irish, mashed potatoes, side dish

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Recipe Rating




  • Reply
    Essex Portal
    August 24, 2011 at 6:38 am

    I am off to Ireland the end of next month, back to Dublin again on business. Will have a look out for this one. The Irish know how to make a good hearty meal.

  • Reply
    przepisy
    March 18, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Love that kind of things!!! Definitely try this one soon!:)

  • Reply
    Jenny
    March 17, 2010 at 8:52 am

    this will be my dinner now… thank you!! was going to do the traditional corned beef and cabbage but i was kind of dreading it. this looks delish!! thanks and hope you are feeling better!

  • Reply
    Theresa
    March 17, 2010 at 7:25 am

    It’s almost lunch time and I really wish I had some of this colcannon for lunch! I’m making mashed potatoes for dinner though, and that will have to do :)

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.