Irish Colcannon

Colcannon | Pinky's Pantry
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish made of mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale. I make this dish only once a year — on St. Patrick’s Day. There was one year where I decided to make something different (i.e. less fattening) for a change and almost had the family in revolt. As my daughter, Spunky said, “We only get to eat this once a year! Don’t take it away!” Needless to say, I never made that mistake again.

When I originally learned to make this dish, I was taught to serve it with a whole cup of melted butter! You mounded the Colcannon in your serving bowl, then made a little well on top that you filled with the melted butter just before serving. It looked like a little volcano. I’ve since altered the recipe by cutting the butter down to 4 tablespoons which I just stir into the whole pot. You’re already using the bacon grease so I don’t think the large amount of additional butter is necessary, but you’re welcome to try it the original way if you feel adventurous. Either way, it’s delicious!


  • 6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 1 pkg. (16 ozs.) bacon, cut in half-inch pieces
  • 1 small or 1/2 medium head of green cabbage, cored and sliced thin
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped, for garnish (optional)
  1. Place potatoes in a stockpot, fill with just enough water to cover, and boil until potatoes are tender. Drain very well.
  2. While potatoes are boiling, fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove crispy bacon from skillet and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, fry the cabbage in the bacon grease until tender.
  5. Mash the potatoes, leaving them still a little chunky.
  6. Stir in milk, margarine, bacon, and cabbage. If mixture seems too dry, add more milk, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Depending on how salty your bacon is, you may not need to add any salt at all.)
  8. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with chopped green onion, if desired.