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Irish Colcannon

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Irish colcannon (cabbage and potatoes) is made with buttery mashed potatoes, sauteed cabbage and onions (or leeks), bacon, and green onions. 

This traditional Irish side dish is great with everything from Irish stew to fried cabbage and sausage. Don’t forget the Irish soda bread, shamrock shakes, and Guinness brownies for dessert!

Colcannon in a serving dish topped with butter.

What Is Colcannon

Colcannon is simply light, buttery mashed potatoes mixed with cabbage.

Onions (or leeks, depending on preference) are sauteed with cabbage until soft. These are folded into the mashed potatoes with bacon and green onions, to create a colorful green side dish that goes with so many mains.

We love serving Irish colcannon all year round. They’re great as a side with air fryer chicken thighs or pan seared pork chops!

How To Make Colcannon

To make colcannon:

  1. Potatoes: cut the potatoes into 1″ chunks and place in a pot. Fill the pot with water until potatoes are covered by 1″. Bring to a boil, and boil for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Add butter, cream, salt, and pepper, and mash.
  2. Cabbage: Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add the onions, and fry until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cabbage, and saute for about 12-15 minutes or until cabbage has softened and turned translucent and tender.
  3. Mix: Once the cabbage and potatoes are ready, it’s time to mix everything together. Add the crumbled bacon, cabbage mixture, and green onions to the mashed potatoes. Fold them in using a spatula until combined.
  4. Serve: Top colcannon with a tablespoon of butter when serving. It’s the perfect finishing touch for this comfort food!

Bacon, cabbage, butter, and mashed potatoes in a bowl.

How To Store Colcannon

Colcannon can be stored for 3-4 days in the fridge. To store it, allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring it to air tight containers.

To reheat colcannon, place it in the oven at 350°F for 12-15 minutes, wrapped tightly with foil. You may need to add a little cream to help soften it again. 

Irish colcannon does not freeze well, due to the potatoes. Cooked potatoes lose their texture when frozen.

Irish Colcannon Tips and Substitutions

  • Cook the cabbage down quite a bit – don’t add the cabbage to the potatoes until they are completely soft.
  • When in doubt, add more butter. This dish is classically buttery, onion-ey, and oh so delicious. You can never have too much butter.
  • Green onions are optional – the green onions add great flavor and texture. If you plan to reheat colcannon, you can leave them out or add them later so they don’t cook while reheating.
  • Vegetarian? Omit the bacon. Bacon makes a great addition to Irish colcannon, but you can easily leave it out for a meat free version of this recipe.
  • For added texture, feel free to leave the potato skins on the potatoes.

Colcannon topped with butter.

More Comforting Side Dishes

Colcannon in a serving dish topped with butter.
Rate this Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Colcannon (Cabbage and Potatoes)

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Bailey
Irish colcannon (cabbage and potatoes) is made with buttery mashed potatoes, sauteed cabbage and onions (or leeks), bacon, and green onions. 
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Tried this recipe?I'd love to hear what you think. Leave a comment and rating below!


  • 6 cups red or russet potatoes 6-8 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
  • ½ cup butter divided
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper each
  • 4 cups cabbage thinly sliced, about ¼ of a head
  • ½ onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 slices bacon cooked, chopped
  • 2 green onions chopped


  • Peel and cut potatoes into 1" chunks. Place into a large pot, and cover with 1" of water. Salt and bring to a boil. Boil potatoes for 12-15 minutes or until fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, add remaining butter to a medium pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and cabbage. Saute for 5-7 minutes or until cabbage is tender and onions are translucent.
  • Drain potatoes. Add ¼ cup of butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Mash until smooth and no lumps remain.
  • Add cabbage mixture to mashed potatoes. Add cooked crumbled bacon, and green onions. Fold to combine.
  • Serve with an additional pat of butter overtop.
Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 689mg | Potassium: 780mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 704IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg

This recipe was inspired by Colcannon from Spend With Pennies.

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Colcannon topped with butter with text overlay.

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