Easy Irish Mashed Potatoes - classic creamy mashed potatoes with cabbage. This potato dish is a delicious combination of starchy potatoes mashed together with butter, milk, kale, leeks, and a good amount of seasoning. It is a nutritious and delicious dish without the overpowering flavor of kale.
This mashed potato recipe is an absolute favorite for Saint Patrick's Day, they are unique in every way - you'll never want to go back to traditional mash again.
- Potatoes - ideal potatoes for mash are starchy potatoes aka ‘’floury potatoes’’. In the US these are Russet Potatoes or all-purpose Yukon Gold potatoes (strong potato flavor and are a combo of starchy and waxy). For best results use starchy ones and avoid fingerling, white or red potatoes.
- Cabbage - traditionally Irish recipe is made with white-headed cabbage but now other popular variations include using: curly Kale (or Tuscan kale), Swiss Chard, young green cabbage, napa, or savoy cabbage (I love the crunch of both of these), and less popular spinach.
- Milk - or you can use half and half or heavy cream for extra creamy flavor. Milk and butter add depth and richness to potatoes. For a healthier mash, reduce the butter to the level you feel comfortable with, or use olive oil instead.
- Seasonings - you don't need much here but I'd recommend using seasoned salt and a generous amount of ground black pepper. For more flavor add more leeks, green onions and fresh or garlic powder, onion powder.
- Butter - there is enough butter here that helps with the creamy smooth texture and great flavor. If you want to make it healthier cut the butter in half or more or use olive oil instead.
- Leeks or you can use brown onion or white onion from the spring onions.
For the full list of ingredients, please scroll down to where you'll find the recipe card.
✅ This recipe is something between an American and an Irish version. When mashing the potatoes you can leave them more chunky and use less milk/butter to make them less creamy.
Place the potatoes into a large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water, about an inch. Cook the potatoes over medium heat and let them come to a boil.
Season with 2 teaspoons of salt, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are fork-tender and quite soft. Drain and set aside.
Return the same pot to the stove over medium heat. Melt the butter and saute leeks for a couple of minutes until softened.
Add kale and cook until wilted but still bright green in color. About 4 minutes.
Return the potatoes, pour in milk, and black pepper to taste. Stir everything together and let it come to a gentle boil. Remove from heat.
Mash the potatoes until creamy, I like to leave mine a little chunky.
Serve with green onions and a pinch of black pepper.
- Typically large leafy green varieties such as Kale hold their shape after cooking, unless it is slow cooked for a long time. These potatoes have some chewiness and crunch to them. If you want the kale to be softer, steam it before adding it to the pot (see recipe instructions).
- As we are making our own version of cabbage and potatoes, you can use any cabbage you like. You can either slice it thinly like for coleslaw or into medium chunks.
- Not a fan of kale? I get it, use young green cabbage sliced thinly or cubed. Or even spinach however it is not as sturdy and crunchy as kale.
- Potatoes: whereas starchy potatoes are the most suitable choice here, any other potato type will work too. With a good amount of butter and milk, you can make a delicious mash even with waxy potatoes.
- Cut the potatoes into similar chunks so that they cook evenly.
- For mashing I prefer a hand blender (immersion blender), it is quick and results in the best creamy potatoes (or leave them chunky with a potato masher!).
Origin of This Irish Potato Recipe
Colcannon or from the Gaelic cál ceannann has been a staple in Ireland since 1700s. The dish became famous as it was cheap and easy to throw together and kept working men fulfilled for long hours.
However now this dish has been made differently throughout countries.
In the traditional Irish mashed potato version the dish is made with less butter and milk, and the end result is thicker and drier mash. It is not as smooth and creamy as in the American version.
- 🍱To Store. Mashed potatoes can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- 🥶Freezing. Freeze leftovers in freezer freezer-friendly ziplock bag for up to 2-3 months. Make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible. Defrost overnight in the fridge.
- 🔥To Reheat. Add more butter, milk, or vegetable broth when reheating the mash over the stovetop or microwave.
A hearty and comforting dish that will warm you up from the inside out, and is perfect to serve on St. Patrick's Day alongside your favorite Irish food.
Traditionally Colcannon recipe is served with Shepherd's pie, corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, lamb chops, steak, and sausage dishes.
If you have leftover colcannon it will keep in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
To reheat add more milk or warm water to your mash and warm it up over the stovetop or microwave it.
- Substitute kale with cabbage, which is a more classic way of serving these potatoes and will be more budget-friendly.
- Add more green onions or leeks for some extra zing.
- Top the finished dish with crumbled bacon for a smoky flavor.
- If you like garlicky mashed potatoes add 1-2 teaspoon of minced garlic to the mix. Or you could also make the colcannon with leftover mash.
- Add cream cheese instead of butter which will add richness and flavor as well.
- Like it spicy? Add finely chopped jalapeno slices or green chilies to the potato mixture.
- You can use low-fat milk or plant-based milk in place of regular milk.
- To make it healthier - Reduce the amount of butter in the recipe for a healthier mash. OR omit the butter completely and use a combination of extra virgin olive oil and sour cream or yogurt instead.
- The texture and flavor of the mash will change after replacing the ingredients. However, potatoes will still have lots of flavors but will not be as creamy when using the original ingredients.
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Irish Mashed Potatoes (Easy Colcannon Recipe)
- 2- pound potatoes Russet, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter + more for serving
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoon scallions or spring onions, chives, sliced thin
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 3 cups fresh kale stems removed and chopped into very small
- ½ cup leeks sliced, dark green part removed
- Place the potatoes into a large pot or dutch oven and cover with water, about an inch. Let it come to a boil, season with 2 teaspoons of salt, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are quite soft. Drain and set aside.
- Return the same pot to stove over medium heat. Melt the butter and saute leeks for a couple of minutes until softened. Add kale and cook until wilted but still bright green in color. About 4 minutes.
- Return the potatoes, pour in milk, black pepper to taste. Stir everything together and let it come to a gentle boil. Remove from heat.
- Mash the potatoes until creamy, I like to leave mine chunky.
- Serve with green onions.
- Can I make Colcannon potatoes ahead of time? Mashed potatoes will still taste delicious on the next day or up to 3-4 days and you can make them 2 days ahead and on the day reheat them in the microwave or on the stovetop with some milk or warm water added.
- Or peel and prep potatoes ahead: The potatoes can be peeled and kept in cold water to prevent browning for up to 4 hours in advance of cooking them.
Typically large leafy green varieties such as Kale holds their shape after cooking unless it is a slow cooked for long time. These potatoes have some chewiness and crunch to them. If you want the kale to be softer, steam it before adding it to the pot (see recipe instructions), however, it should still have some crunch to it.
- Not a fan of kale? I get it, not everyone is! In this case use young green cabbage and slice it thin or into larger cubes. Or even spinach, although it is not as sturdy and crunchy as kale.
- Potatoes: ideal potatoes for mash are starchy potatoes aka ‘’floury potatoes’’. In the US these are Russet Potatoes or all-purpose Yukon Gold potatoes (strong potato flavor and are a combo of starchy and waxy). For best results use starchy ones and avoid fingerling, white or red potatoes.
🤷Frequently Asked Questions
It is a St Patrick's Day favorite! These green mashed potatoes are made with kale or cabbage and plenty of butter for an indulgent creamy flavor and texture.
It is often served as a side dish alongside corned beef or ham
Mashed potatoes will still taste delicious on the next day or up to 3-4 days. You can make them 2 days ahead and on the day reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with some milk or warm water added. Short on time? The potatoes can be peeled and kept in cold water to prevent browning for up to 4 hours in advance of cooking them.
I like the flavor of spinach with potatoes however it's not that hefty and has no crunch compared to kale. For a similar texture, you could try Cabbages, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens or Escarole Lettuce.
Red cabbage is not suitable here and will dye your dish into reddish-purple mess.