Colcannon potatoes are an Irish mashed potato recipe with greens and scallions and LOTS of butter and cream. You can't go wrong with this green-filled dish on St. Patrick's Day!

Colcannon (Irish mashed potatoes) in a white bowl topped with butter

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

What Is Colcannon?

Have you ever had colcannon? A St. Patrick's day favorite, colcannon is an Irish potato recipe, a mixture of creamy mashed potatoes and usually kale or cabbage.

I first encountered colcannon potatoes while doing research on traditional Irish cooking. Not surprisingly the Irish have all sorts of ways of cooking potatoes, with festive names like champ, bruisy, pandy, boxty, and this one, colcannon.

Colcannon Irish Potatoes with Melted Butted in Serving Dish

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

Irish Mashed Potatoes

In the following colcannon recipe, we mix the mashed potatoes in with chopped cooked kale, green onions, milk or cream, and lots of butter.

To serve, make a depression in the middle of the mashed potatoes and put a knob of butter in it. To eat it, you dip a forkful of the potatoes in the melted butter.

If ever there was a recipe to get one to eat one's greens, this is it!

More Favorite Recipes for St. Patrick's Day

Learn More About Irish Cooking

By the way, if you are looking for books on traditional Irish cooking, I can recommend two excellent ones. The first is Irish Traditional Cooking by Darina Allen, of the Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork.

The second is The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews, which won the James Beard award for cookbook of the year in 2010.


Watch How to Make Colcannon


Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

For a variation, sub out half of the potatoes with parsnips. Can add chives, leeks, or bacon too.


  • 4 russet potatoes (2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

  • Salt, to taste

  • 5 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for serving

  • 3 lightly packed cups chopped kale, cabbage, chard, or other leafy green

  • 3 green onions, minced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 cup milk or cream


  1. Boil the potatoes:

    Put the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, and bring to a boil.

    Boil until the potatoes are fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander.

  2. Cook the greens and the green onions with butter:

    Return the pot to the stove and set over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the pot and once it's hot, add the greens.

    Cook the greens for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are wilted and have given off some of their water.

    Add the green onions and cook 1 minute more.

  3. Mash the potatoes with milk or cream and greens:

    Pour in the milk or cream, mix well, and add the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium.

    Use a fork or potato masher and mash the potatoes, mixing them up with the greens.

    Add salt to taste and serve hot, with a knob of butter in the center.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
378 Calories
26g Fat
33g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 378
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 16g 82%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 129mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 25mg 124%
Calcium 70mg 5%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 877mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.