Pinable Image for Irish Colcannon, a delicious mashed potatoes side dish.

Colcannon is amazing! It’s a traditional Irish dish that comes in many variations. A delicious twist on mashed potatoes that adds some extra nutrition and flavor. Creamy, buttery mashed potatoes are mixed with kale, or another leafy green, such as savoy cabbage or spinach. It’s a great way to add some nutrient packed dark greens into your dinner in a side dish that everyone will love.

Irish colcannon with sausage and green beans

This dish has been served in Ireland and the surrounding areas for hundreds of years and has a lot of history. And for good reason, it’s delicious. There’s even a traditional song about it!

Mashed potatoes have always been one of my absolute favorite side dishes. I used to eat several pounds of it every Thanksgiving! But I had never heard of colcannon until recently, when Heather pointed it out, and just had to try it. We both loved it.

spinach and green onions for colcannon

Colcannon and Irish Traditions

Colcannon has several interesting historical Halloween traditions in Ireland. For some reason, this dish was closely associated with marriage divination. One tradition was to hide small charms like thimbles and coins in the dish. Finding the charm was said to be a good sign of impending marriage. In another tradition, young women would put spoonfuls of colcannon in their socks and hang them on the handle of their front door. The first man to come through the door was supposed to be their future husband!

mixing cooked spinach and onion into colcannon

My Version

With so much history, it’s no surprise that there are a thousand variations of colcannon. For my version, I had to use spinach instead of kale. We just couldn’t find kale here in Playas del Coco. (Of course, we found some a few weeks later! Produce here is much more random than in the states.) I also add some sliced green onion for an extra kick of flavor and texture.

Since our kitchenware still hasn’t arrived yet, I did have to pick up a potato masher at the store. I would have preferred one like this Mix N’Masher, but I just picked up something cheap. It got the job done. If you don’t have access to a masher, Roasted Potatoes are also an extremely delicious side dish that I make often.


You’re welcome to, as always, Chef Around and use whatever combination of kale/savoy cabbage/spinach and green onion/chive/leek you like or can find. The idea and preparation are the same and the result is sure to be delicious!

For this colcannon recipe you will need:

Print Recipe
A traditional Irish variation of mashed potatoes. Creamy, buttery mashed potatoes are mixed with greens and green onions.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
  1. Cover peeled potatoes with water and heat over high heat. Boil until potatoes are tender enough to be easy pierced with a fork.
  2. While your potatoes are cooking you can cook the greens. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat until fully melted. Add your shredded kale/spinach and sliced green onions and cook, stirring frequently until greens are just starting to wilt. Remove from heat.
  3. When potatoes are ready, mash them and mix in the cream and butter and flavor with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Fold in your cooked greens until mixed throughout. Serve topped with butter.
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  1. Miz Helen says:

    Your Colcannon looks delicious! Wishing you a bountiful Thanksgiving and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday.
    Our Party for this week will start Tuesday Morning at 8:00 am CST.
    Hope to see you then!
    Miz Helen

    1. Thanks for the info Miz Helen! We’ll see you then!

  2. Alice says:

    This. Sounds. Amazing. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this dish until now! This would be perfect as part of a Thanksgiving spread!! Great post 👏

    1. Thanks! It’s soo delicious! I’m sure it would be great on Thanksgiving!

  3. lau says:

    interesting recipe! I am very lazy in the kitchen but love to try new foods!


    1. You will love this one! It’s simple so you won’t have to work very hard at all. Plus, you can make a big batch and then have leftovers to eat throughout the week!

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