Irish Brown Bread on a board

Recipe for Traditional Irish Colcannon (Mashed Potatoes & Cabbage)

You'll usually find a potato served at every meal in Ireland. They could be boxty (a traditional potato pancake) at breakfast, a side of fat chips at lunch, and mashed or roasted for dinner.

Colcannon is a dish traditionally associated with the feast of Samhain (Halloween). During the feast to celebrate the end of the year and the entry into the ‘dark half' of the season, many foods were used to tell fortunes.

Small charms were placed in the potatoes predicting what the coming year would bring.

Though charms would vary by location these types were common: drawing a coin foretold wealth in the coming year, finding a thimble meant you would remain a spinster or bachelor, and a ring meant that you would be married within the next year.

Looking at the meal practically, the cabbage probably needed to be used up in late October and mashing them in with potatoes added vitamins and nutrients to the dish.

Banger and Colcannon with Guinness Gravy

Easy Colcannon Recipe

A recipe for colcannon isn't truly necessary. It's a very simple dish of boiled potatoes and boiled cabbage, mashed together with beautiful golden butter.

When I can't find a nice head of cabbage I will make colcannon with collard greens. You can also add scallions, chives, or bits of bacon for flavor and color.

Traditional Irish Colcannon

A surprisingly easy and tasty dish. Try these in place of your regular mashed potatoes! Add extra flavor with scallions, chives, or bacon.
Cuisine Irish
Keyword Colcannon, Irish food, mashed potatoes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 192kcal


  • 1 nice sized head of cabbage
  • 5-6 peeled potatoes use floury, baking type potatoes. Russet potatoes are perfect.
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • Lots of butter at least a stick preferably Kerrygold
  • Salt & pepper
  • Optional:
  • Chives
  • Chopped cooked bacon


  • Wash and cut the cabbage and potatoes into chunks.
  • Wash & chop the scallions.
  • Put all into a large pot, cover with water, and boil.
  • When potatoes are fork tender (check at 20 minutes and then again every 5 until done) remove from heat & mash.
  • Add butter, salt & pepper to taste.
Jody Halsted
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