Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe (Kale Mashed Potatoes)

Irish Calcannon a traditional, Irish side dish made with mashed potatoes, kale, and cream.


Well, we’ve reached the end of “Luck of the Irish” week! Hopefully you are now prepped with some fun ideas to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day next month.

For our final contribution, Forrest and I decided to prepare a traditional Irish dish called Colcannon. To be honest, until last week, I had never heard of this! However, Google is a beautiful thing, and Forrest found out a little bit about this dish. We prepared it, added our own twist, and now, we’re here to share it with you.

So, what is colcannon? It is a dish that is typically made from mashed potatoes and kale, with milk, butter, salt and pepper in it. You can add other things to it (such as onions, ham, or bacon). It is typically eaten in the autumn when Kale is in season, but when it was first invented, it was a meal used year-round because it was cheap and easily available in Ireland.

Irish Calcannon a traditional, Irish side dish made with mashed potatoes, kale, and cream.

It actually has some more roots in Halloween than it does in St. Patrick’s day, ironically. The Halloween tradition was to hide a ring and a thimble in the colcannon, as well as other little prizes. Personally, I think that I would be scared of eating one of the trinkets…but I imagine this is something children (and adults even) looked forward to.

We thought it would be fun to put the potatoes in little cupcake holders, just to make it a little more kid friendly. It would be perfect to serve at a party! However, in the end, we put the potatoes in a bowl, and added some sun dried tomatoes…no real reason, beyond sun dried tomatoes being delicious!

Irish Calcannon a traditional, Irish side dish made with mashed potatoes, kale, and cream.

And while you eat it, be sure to sing this traditional song about Colcannon; apparently it’s fairly popular and many different singers have done covers of it!

Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?”

Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.

And the more I think about it sure the nearer I’m to cry.
Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet po’

Calcannon Recipe
  • 4-5 large potatoes, (we used Golden Butter potatoes, about 2-2 ½ lbs)
  • Salt (for boiling water, and to flavor to taste)
  • 5-6 Tablespoons of unsalted butter or equivalent cooking oil
  • 3 lightly packed cups of chopped kale, chop to preferred size (relatively small)
  • ¼ cup of onion (green or white)
  • ¼ cup of mushrooms
  • ½ cup or milk or cream (coconut milk worked fine for me)
  1. 1. Add a couple of tablespoons of salt to a pot of water. Add cubed potatoes and boil until fork tender. Drain.
  2. 2. You can use the same pot to at medium-high heat for this step. Add butter or oil. Once the oil is hot add the Kale. Cook the kale for 3-4 minutes, and then add the onions and mushrooms for 1-2 minutes.
  3. 3. Add milk or cream, stir, then add potatoes. Reduce heat to medium and mash it all together. Add salt to taste, and garnish with a pad of butter.

There you have it — Luck of the Irish (which, actually, used to be considered a derogatory term, oddly enough) is over. Be sure to go check out all these other excellent posts from my friends! I kind of want to go watch the Disney movie, Luck of the Irish…did anyone else love that movie (or am I just weird?!)

The Bitter Side of Sweet

Organized Island

From Gate to Plate

The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen

And follow my St. Patty’s Day board on Pinterest:

Follow Katie Clark @ Clarks Condensed’s board St Pattys on Pinterest.


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