Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe

5 from 22 reviews

This traditional Irish Colcannon side dish is made with creamy mashed potatoes, swirled with fried cabbage, onions, crisp bacon and simply seasoned with salt and pepper. It’s the perfect addition to any comfort food meal.


  • 3 large russet potatoes peeled and cut in to large chunks
  • 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and chunked
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1/2 head green cabbage chopped
  • 6 slices crispy cooked bacon coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan with enough lightly salted water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well making sure to remove excess water. Add 4 tablespoons butter and cream. Cover the pot and let the butter melt.
  2. Meanwhile melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender.  Add cabbage and cook until tender and lightly browned on the edges: approximately 7-8 minutes.
  3. Mash potatoes with a potato masher and gently stir in the cabbage mixture and half of the chopped bacon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining chopped bacon. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cut the remaining tablespoon of butter into pats.  Make a small well in top and add the remaining butter.


  • I use a mixture of Russet and Yukon Gold potatoes for this recipe but you can use one or the other if desired.
  • For aesthetic purposes and for the tradition of the recipe stick with green cabbage.
  • Are you always pushed for time?  Then cook the bacon up to 3 days in advance and store in a sealed zipper bag in the fridge.  The potatoes can be peeled and soaked in cold water up to 4 hours in advance of boiling them.
  • If cooking the bacon at the same time whether it be in the oven or in the skillet.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and use it in place of 2 tablespoons of butter for pan frying the cabbage and onion.
  • This delectable dish reheats very well in the microwave at a reduced power.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • You can freeze these potatoes in a heavy duty freezer bag for up to 3 months.  Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.  Because of the high moisture content in both potatoes and cabbage you may need to rework the mash with some butter, sour cream or cream cheese to get it back to its original texture and consistency.

Keywords: cabbage and potatoes, fried cabbage and potatoes, Irish mashed potatoes, what is colcannon

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