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

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish


  • 4 russet potatoes (2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Salt
  • 5 to 6 Tbsp unsalted butter (with more butter for serving)
  • 3 lightly packed cups of chopped kale, cabbage, chard, or other leafy green
  • 3 green onions (including the green onion greens), 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 3-4 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.

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  • Frank

    Very good!
    Finn McCool really liked it!


  • Malerie

    Delicious flavor and texture!


  • Colleen

    I threw in 6 cloves of garlic into the potato’s and boiled and mashed together. I also used bacon fat (and butter) to saute the greens YUMMY!!


  • Kimberly

    Yum! Lots of room for variables too.


  • Denise

    made this tonight and it was so yummy!!! Only thing I changed was I added some bacon when sauteing the cabbage, cuz, you know… Bacon, lol


  • Chip

    Colcannon is a gateway food to Ireland

  • Kelly

    This recipe was amazing! Made it for St Patrick’s Day and served it with grilled lamb loins. Will make it again!


  • Jessica

    In Holland we call this stampot boerenkool (kale). We also add small pieces of bacon. A good healthy meal on a cold winter day

    • Hermien

      Yes Jessica, it was on the menu at our house once a week in the winter. Always delicious, with a small piece of sausage. Fed a family of 10☘️

  • Barb Ivory

    I change the green onion to roasted garlic. 2 bulbs cut off top roasted whole with oil in tin foil 1 hour at 350 degrees Then squeeze out yumminess.

  • terina

    sounds lovely but surely it couldnt be that much salt

    • Nee

      Terina, That 2 TB of salt is added to the Boiling Water. The water is poured off. It adds little salt to the ingredients. In fact, salt (and Pepper ) will need to be added t the Potatoes as they are mashed and folded with the other ingredients. Nee

  • Boston

    I decided to go the healthy way : 4Tbsp of butter was more than enough to cook the greens, and i didn’t have milk or cream at hand, so i saved a bit of the cooking water for the patotoes, drained the rest, sprinkled them with dried parsley and chives and then poured back about half a cup of cooled potato water while mashing them up. This is the traditional way to mash potatoes, to get the real, genuine potato taste. Ask a french cook! Of course, he’ll say you need to add in some fat, butter or oil, but you have the greens that you sauté’d in with… Just Add ‘Em Up And Voila! Mine were perfect like so. A touch of spice-infused oil when serving would be nice too. This is good for people alergic or intolerant to milk and/or nuts. Another tip : while cooking your cabbage/kale, sprinkling over some lemon juice or vinegar will help your stomach digest it, plus it gives a bit of a tangy taste to the meal. Adding a bit of ground cumin makes it extra special! …And so on!

  • Franny D

    This recipe is a keeper. I slowly sauté sliced regular yellow onions along with the cabbage til caramalized. Mixed with mashed potatoes it’s Devine!


  • Rev. RB

    Most traditional Colcannon recipe I’ve found – truly luscious. Many others I found added bacon or ham when the poor Irish that ate this wouldn’t have had either.


    • Elise Bauer

      I’m so glad you liked it!

    • Irene obrien

      My mum would add the cabbage to the boiled bacon water at the last min . Mash would have the spring onions milk and she would crack a raw egg into the mash black pepper .. st Patrick day special boiled bacon & cabbage mash

  • Rachel

    I made these for our St. Patrick’s day meal. They were a big hit! I followed the recipe exactly. They were pretty easy to make and very tastey. I used Irish butter to make it extra special. Highly recommend.


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Rachel, Irish butter makes everything taste better, doesn’t it? So glad you liked the colcannon.

  • Donna Mitchell

    Too funny..Without even knowing I have been making a traditional Irish dish for years…kale and mashed potatoes.. My boys love it ! I am of Irish descent but had no one to turn to for recipes..must be in my blood !! Haha

  • melpy

    Made this twice. It is a great recipe. Tonight I had both kale and collard greens that I wanted to use up and the combination was great.


  • SylverWinged

    I made a single batch of this yesterday, tasted it, and immediately went to the store to get ingredients for a second batch. So. Good. I used heavy cream instead of milk. How did I ever live without this?!

  • sueb

    It’s not traditional; but I make Colcannon and then add crumbled cooked breakfast sausage to it…my family, including my very finicky son, can’t get enough of it!

  • Ann Marie

    I just happened to have all the ingredients (including Kerrygold Irish Butter) on hand. This was awesome! And so easy to make. Thank you!


  • Laura S.

    This is my favorite dish and I look forward to it every year! My dad makes it with cabbage and adds cut up corned beef to it; it’s absolutely fabulous!

  • Ocean Blue

    Otherwise known as Rumbledethumps …

  • Silverthyme

    My great grandmother from County Down always made this with baked potatoes and spinach … and so do I!

  • Maura

    Being Diabetic I cant eat potatoes..Bummer..SO Im going to use my cauliflower mash for this recipe ..Cant wait to try it

    • William McCoy

      Being diabetic shouldn’t keep you from eating potatoes unless you’re allergic to them.. I’m a Type I diabetic using insulin for 50 years and counting. You DO have to learn to count the carbs in anything you eat.

  • caldwell1932

    My grandmother always made this with either leftover corned beef or ham. So yummy!!

  • Tanya

    Tried this tonight and let me tell you. Absolutely amazing doesn’t begin to describe the deliciousness of this dish. It’s so good I made up a word! Made it with bacon wrapped asparagus and pork chops. I could eat this alone, its that good. I will definitely be making this for St. Patty’s, and any other time I can!


  • Kathleen

    This was delicious! I visited Ireland last spring, wondering how the food experience would be because everyone had told me their food was rather bland. But, like the colcannon, Ireland has the BEST comfort food! I gained about five pounds while I was there.


  • Summer

    I made this for a dinner party and it was a big hit! Used half leeks/half green onions and bit more kale than called for. This was a great way to get all those meat/potato people to eat their greens :)


  • Heather

    Elise, I made this for St. Patrick’s day and enjoyed the twist on regular potatoes. I like how adding something as healthful as kale really added to the dish, and having genuine Irish fare at our meal.

  • Judy

    Loved it! There’s a song about colcannon, so I had heard of it but had never seen a recipe and thought it would be something totally wierd. We had a late St. Patty’s day dinner because we were seeing our daughter off to Turkey. This was a big hit, and couldn’t be easier! I made it with kale, and no salt (so we could share some with our homebound neighbor) but along with corned beef, nobody noticed! Thanks for posting this!!


  • maria

    This is a favorite in our house (with cabbage) except we mix left over ham in with it. Try it. YUM!

  • Judy B.

    This sure takes me back, when my Irish grandmother made a similar dish every St Patrick’s Day. I often make it in the winter with Guinness Beef. Nana’s version went like this: saute diced Irish bacon (or any lean, thick-sliced bacon) in Irish butter (I use Kerrygold) until fairly crisp, then add some sliced leeks and shredded Savoy cabbage. Cook until cabbage and leeks are tender and add some freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Make mashed potatoes with cream and butter, then dump everything from the skillet into the potatoes and stir well. I’ve used regular cabbage, as well, and even tossed in some mustard greens (with the cabbage), and my family loves it all. This is a very forgiving dish, so onions, leeks, or scallions all work well, as do different greens, depending on your preference. My friends in England make a similar dish called Bubble & Squeak, primarily potatoes and cabbage as a base and then tossing in leftover cooked veggies and sometimes ham or bacon. However you make it, it’s a soul-warming dish. Try to use European butter if you can. It makes a tremendous difference.

  • Amanda

    I wonder if I could sub coconut milk for the milk/cream? I’m allergic to milk, but I’d love to be able to make this. My other alternative is rice milk (I’m allergic to soy as well), but that’s not nearly as thick and creamy.

    I would use rice milk over the coconut milk which would change the flavor too much. ~Elise

  • Linda

    Parsnip is a must for me – that is the flavour of colcannon. Other counties in Ireland wouldn’t agree, everyone has their own variation.

  • Ann

    Elise, I’d heard of Colcannon but never knew what it was, so I was interested when you posted this recipe. Well, I just had to make it and must say it was delicious. Thanks! Love, Ann

  • Wendi

    I have made this twice since I saw the recipe and it was delicious both times! I used yukon gold potatoes because that’s what I had. The first time I used kale and the second time I used cabbage… So yummy both times! Thank you so much! Next time I am going to try it with Japanese Sweet Potatoes.

  • Dorothea

    Here’s a Dutchie living in Ohio. I’m repeating the dutch responses. Very common in Holland, not only with kale but also with carrots and onions called “Hutspot”. Nothing fancy, just weekly meals especially eaten in the Winter.
    Also great, with endive (not Belgian though!) and little pieces of bacon mmm..!

  • Hayley

    This was amazing with cabbage. I would put more greens than the recipe calls for next time.

  • Bee

    This was so good! Never tried kale before, the color is lovely and so creamy. Can’t possibly wait a year to make it , I think is going on the regular rotation. And I want to try something similar other veg, I bet it would be delicious with asparagus (for those of us with way too much asparagus!!)

  • Lulu

    Made this for St. Paddy’s day and we loved it. Because of cholesterol issues, I had to lighten it up. I used 2% milk instead of the cream and olive oil in place of butter and added some crushed garlic as I sauteed the kale.

    I’m sure this dish is amazing with all that butter and cream, but I’m here to say that a low cholesterol version still comes out really delicious.


  • Janet

    Best mashed potatoes I have ever had, and my guests agreed. I used Swiss Chard instead of Kale and lots of Irish butter.

  • Karen Puccio

    The recipe I have followed calls for sliced leeks in place of the onions. Such a lovely flavor!

  • Mari-lynn

    I made this St. Patricks day – although I basically just made mashed potatoes then mixed in the sautéed cabbage and green onions. (I separated some mashed potatoes for my 3 year old who refuses to eat food mixed together). I am a HUGE potato fan, and this is one of the most delicious ways I’ve eaten them. The green onions totally made this dish for me. I also made an Irish stew and used that rather than the butter in the middle of the potatoes. Yummy!!!

  • Guylaine

    I’m not Dutch, neither Irish, just old plain French Canadian and a mash potatoes lover and start to add cooked swiss chard with oignons and spice to my mashed potatoes, my mom always did with carrots, I thought I could do it with any vegies I like, little to know that this is a recipe in other countries.
    I may just start using the name now :)

  • Katie

    I took this to a dinner party last night – yum, yum, yum. Everyone loved it and we decided that the benefits of eating kale offset the butter. Ha! As much as I love my hostess, I was a bit sad to leave the leftovers behind. A perfect lunch for a rainy windy day in NorCal.

  • Maura

    I made this last night with kale and it was wonderful. My daughter said that she liked it better than American mashed potatoes. I could not wait to attack the leftovers this morning.

  • Linda

    For those with lactose intolerance like my family, using soy milk instead of the cream or milk, makes the potatoes just as creamy and wonderful as the original ingredients. Awesome recipe!

  • Becky

    I’ll be honest. I made the corned beef and cabbage plus the soda bread for dinner, and I had some kale and cream in the fridge, so I decided to be a good sport and try this out. I fully expected to hate it, but it was the best part of the meal! (well, how could it not be, with all that butter and half-and-half?) What i really liked was the subtle green onion flavor though.

    It made more than the four of us could eat, so I’ve got the leftovers waiting for meatloaf. Thanks again for a delicious treat!

  • sharleen

    Elise, I am a huge fan and never a commenter, but I’ve made three of your recipes this week (pulled pork, Soda biscuits and this recipe) and they were all beyond awesome. Thanks so much for posting such high quality and wonderful recipes. My stomach is forever grateful.

    You’re welcome Sharleen! Glad you liked them. ~Elise

  • martina

    Just to know: the author of “The country cooking of Ireland” is named Colman, not Coleman…
    lovely recipe btw

    Thanks for the correction! ~Elise

  • Liane

    Hadn’t had mashed potatoes for awhile and was craving them. Then I saw this recipe. What?? I can add greens to them? I was sold. I made it last night with spinach and pancetta – reduced the butter a bit to account for the fat – and shallots because those were on hand. It was great. Will follow the recipe when I have a chance to get to the store.

  • Esther

    I also make the Dutch version of this (boerenkool) with a smoked sausage and mustard. Leker! Next time I will try adding the green onions in with it. Thanks!

  • willeke

    You can also make this with saurkraut instead of kale or regular cabbage. Drain or rinse the kraut depending on how sour you like it. Yum!

  • Dianne

    The first time I ever had colcannon was at the Rutherford Grille in Napa. We all fell in love with it and now has become a St. Patty’s Day staple. I’ve only made it made with cabbage but your version using kale sounds interesting. I’ll have to try it this year. Thanks

  • Simone

    See I didn’t know this would be traditionally Irish! Mirjam is already mentioning it on the top of the comments, but it looks a lot like our traditional ‘stamppot’ here in the Netherlands!

  • Alena

    I usually bake my colcannon in a casserole topped with herbed bread crumbs and drizzled with melted butter. Just warm it in the oven until the bread crumbs turn golden brown. Although it’s an additional step it is a nice variation.

  • 00hmai0.0

    Oh, I love mash potatoes! This is a good way to get rid of all the collard greens that is taking over my yard. I’m going to make this with honey baked ham and some green bean casserole for dinner this weekend! Yummy!

  • anna

    I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E! made w/pork chops. didn’t even need the pork chops. sooooooooooo good. ;o)
    ps. use heavy cream. treat yourself.

  • Karen

    This is fabulous! I added parsnips and leeks and a touch of sour cream with the milk. OMG – will repeat this! Thanks for St. Pat’s dishes. I’m hoping for more – trying to make something authentically Irish every day this week.

  • Elise R.

    This looks absolutely delicious. I make mashed potatoes pretty regularly, but I’ve never done anything exciting with them, so this is giving me fresh inspiration!

    What meat do you typically like to make the potatoes with?

    They’ll go with anything that would normally go with mashed potatoes. ~Elise

  • Jackie

    This sounds like a tasty version I have to try. Usually I use garlic pretty heavy with the kale, and don’t use green onions. I’m not sure where I came up with that. Then I like to use it to top my shephard’s pie.

  • Gavan 'The Healthy Irishman'

    I grew up eating this and champ as a child back in Ireland and yes, we have a lot of ways to cook potatoes. I like how you kept the integrity of the recipe intact. Looks great.

  • pk87

    I never knew this had a name until a friend had it in a New-Wave Irish Pub(meaning it’s “charm” is planned, not natural like a neighborhood bar/pub). We used to just mash together the boiled potatoes, cabbage and carrots we got with our corned beef right on our plate.And of course we added lots of butter.Learned that from the owner of the Irish bar I grew up nextdoor to. I miss hearing the pipers and smelling cabbage boiling all month long…

  • laura @ alittlebarefoot

    Yum! I made a potato & greens torte once, this looks like a softer version of that. Delicious.

  • randi in canada

    The Dutch have something very similar called boerenkohl which translates roughly into farmers kale/cabbage. It is divine especially with butter. A perfect companion to smoked sausage. Thanks for posting. Haven’t had this in a while.

  • Kathy B

    I, too, found this recipe while looking for traditional Irish recipes. It is an excellent yummy dish. It reminded me of my childhood when I would mix either peas or spinach with my mashed potatoes(which is just as good. My grandmother, a granddaughter of Irish immigrants, would never make this dish, but oh how she loved mashed potatoes!

  • Renee

    Wonderful! I just bought some cabbage but hadn’t decided what to do with it yet.

    Thanks, too, for your recommendations of Irish cookbooks. My sister and I are working on creating a cookbook of our family heritage, and these might just come in handy!

  • Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

    Yes. I love this dish. Sometimes I add greens to potatoes by just putting chopped greens to the hot potatoes right before I mash them, usually swiss chard or spinach, kale is a little sturdy but still good. The lazy cook in me still wants the nutrition!

  • Susan

    This looks like a great alternative to boiling potatoes in with corned beef and cabbage. Though, I suppose you still could then use them to mash in this recipe. I’ll have to think about that. I like the added greens, too. Nice contrast in flavor and color.

  • jo0ls

    Yum. We always have the similar dish, champ, on boxing day. We make mash and put in the leftover sprouts (chopped up) and some spring onions. This mix is then left to brown slowly in a big frying pan. It is the highlight of the boxing day meal.

  • mirjam

    Hi, I didn’t know this was an Irish dish, over here in Holland we have something similar as a traditional winter dish, although we use a double (or maybe even triple) amount of kale to make “stamppot boerenkool”. Potatoes and chopped kale are cooked in the same pot, and mashed together. We like to add some mustard with the butter, and serve it with smoked sausages (which are also typical dutch).
    Served this way, it’s a main rather than a side dish :)