Traditional Irish Colcannon

November 20, 2013

Traditional Irish Colcannon is a traditional Irish potato dish eaten at Halloween. Its unique and simple recipe has become popular around the world. It usually includes chopped kale, cabbage, or green cabbage mixed with hot floury mashed potatoes. In America, it is often at Irish tables during St. Patrick’s day as part of the Irish American Celebration.

This tasty dish is easy to make and a popular favorite at oíche shamhna (Halloween). This simple recipe is an ideal one to make with the kids. The word colcannon is from the Gaelic cal ceannann,’ which means white-headed cabbage.


Traditional #Irish ColcannonIn the past, similar to barnbrack, charms were mixed in with the colcannon. Depending on what charm you found, it was seen as an omen for the future. A button meant you would remain a bachelor, and a thimble said you would remain a spinster for the coming year.


A ring meant you would get married, and a coin said you would become wealthy. Others filled their socks with colcannon and hung them from the front door’s handle, believing that the first man through the door would be their future husband.





Ingredients needed for the Colcannon Recipe

  • Four pounds of potatoes, or about 7-8 large potatoes (russet potatoes are best)
  • One green cabbage or Kale
  • One cup Cream
  • One stick of unsalted butter, divided into three parts
  • 4-5 scallions (green onions), chopped
  • Kosher Salt
  • fresh ground Pepper
  • Fresh Parsley






Traditional Irish Colcannon

Traditional Irish Colcannon

Colcannon is a traditional Irish potato dish eaten at Halloween. It’s unique and simple recipe has become popular around the world. It normally includes chopped kale, cabbage, or green cabbage mixed with hot floury mashed potatoes.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 378 kcal


  • 4 pounds potatoes or about 7-8 large potatoes (russet potatoes are best)
  • 1 green cabbage or Kale
  • 1 cup Cream
  • 1 stick unsalted butter divided into three parts
  • 4-5 scallions green onions, chopped
  • Kosher Salt to own taste
  • fresh ground Pepper to own taste
  • Fresh Parsley to garnish


  • Peel and boil the potatoes. Remove the core from the cabbage, slice it thinly, and put it into a large saucepan. Cover with boiling water from the kettle and keep at a slow rolling boil until the cabbage is just wilted and has turned a darker green. This can take anything from 3-5 minutes, depending on the cabbage. Test it and don’t let it overcook if anything, it should be slightly undercooked.
  • When the cabbage is cooked, drain it well, squeeze it to get any excess moisture out, then return it to the saucepan. Add one-third of the butter and cover. Leave it covered and in a warm place, but not on a burner, with the butter melting gently into it while you continue.
  • When the potatoes are soft, drain and return the saucepan with the drained potatoes in, to a low burner, leaving the lid off so that any excess moisture can evaporate. When they are perfectly dry, add the milk to the saucepan along with a third of the butter and the chopped scallions if you are using them. Allow the milk to warm but not boil – it is about right when the butter has fully melted into it and it starting to steam.


Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and how ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will be responsible for any loss or damage resulting from your reliance on nutritional information.


Serving: 01Calories: 378kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 7gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 38mgPotassium: 1372mgFiber: 7gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1612IUVitamin C: 73mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Potatoes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!







© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch, 2020-2013 unauthorized use and/or duplication of content/ material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with proper and specific direction to the original content.

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  • Reply
    March 17, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Really in need of comfort food right now and this is perfect! I’ll be making this a lot more than just on Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day.

    • Reply
      March 23, 2020 at 2:09 pm

      Thank you so much, Christina That made my day

  • Reply
    June 18, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    This British girl loves her meat and potatoes and there’s nothing like a good old traditional Colcannon. Could eat a whole bowl just on it’s own. Very nice recipe.

    • Reply
      Heidy L. McCallum
      June 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      Colcannon is one of my husbands favorites. Go figure he’s Irish —and loves traditional Irish foods. Thank you for the compliment.

  • Reply
    Renee's Kitchen Adventures
    March 16, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    I love the idea of kale in this traditional dish and your photo makes it looks so good!

  • Reply
    March 14, 2014 at 4:10 am

    I love colcannon! Thanks for coming by and sharing this recipe at our Weekend Social on… I hope to see you again next week!

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