If you’re like me, you might think of mashed potatoes as holiday-only food. And if you’re like me, you might often wish for more holidays that call for mashed potatoes.
Today, I’m happy to introduce you to one more excuse to eat mashed potatoes. Meet colcannon! Colcannon is Irish mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage.
So, in case you need more justification to pull out your potato masher—these mashed potatoes have vegetables in them.
Did you know that St. Patrick’s Day is coming right up? Let’s make some colcannon!
Colcannon Recipe Notes
I based this colcannon recipe on my great-grandmother’s old-school mashed potatoes. Her recipe calls for cream cheese and sour cream instead of milk (or cream) and lots of butter. I’m obsessed with its tangy flavor and creamy texture, and I don’t want mashed potatoes any other way.
I assumed these ingredients would produce an untraditional twist on colcannon, but maybe I was wrong. I just found an Irish song about colcannon on Wikipedia that mentions “pickled” cream. Apparently pickled cream is buttermilk, which is similarly tangy. Maybe cream cheese and sour cream aren’t such crazy substitutions after all.
Here are the first few lines of the song “Colcannon”, also called “The Skillet Pot”:
Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?
Wondering specifically what to serve with colcannon? Unfortunately, I don’t have any Irish entrées, but this roasted carrot, chickpea and farro dish would pair well with it.
Looking for more St. Patrick’s Day recipes? You definitely don’t want to miss my Irish coffee recipe.
Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! I’m always so eager to hear from you.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Side dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Irish
You’re going to love these Irish mashed potatoes with kale. This colcannon recipe is the perfect side dish for St. Patrick’s Day. So creamy and delicious! Recipe yields 8 modest side servings, or 6 medium.
- 3 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt*, divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for garnish
- 1 large bunch kale, preferably Tuscan/Lacinato, ribs removed and chopped into small, bite-sized pieces (3 to 4 cups)
- 1 medium clove garlic, pressed or minced
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 4 ounces (½ cup) sour cream
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion, divided
- To prepare, pull the cream cheese out of the fridge and let it warm up on the counter while we cook the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into even chunks about 2” in size (see photos).
- Place the potato chunks in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, and enough water to cover the potatoes by 1 to 2 inches.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Continue cooking, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent overflow, until the potatoes are easily pierced through by a fork, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Carefully drain off all of the water and leave the potatoes in the colander for now.
- Return the empty pot to the stove over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Once melted, add the chopped kale. Cook, stirring often, for 2 to 4 minutes, until the kale has wilted and turned dark green. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the drained potatoes. Mash the potatoes and kale until the potatoes reach your desired consistency (I like mine a little chunky, but you can mash them completely smooth if you prefer).
- Add the cream cheese, sour cream, remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mash it together until the mixture is mostly combined, then add 2 tablespoons of the green onions and stir until everything comes together.
- Transfer the mashed potatoes to a serving bowl. Top with a couple pats of butter and the remaining tablespoon of green onions. Serve while warm.
*Salt note: If you’re using regular table salt instead of fine sea salt, scale back a bit. You can always add more salt, to taste, at the end.
Change it up: You can easily substitute chard, collard greens or cabbage for the kale.
Make it dairy free/vegan: I haven’t tried this, but I think these potatoes would be good if you cooked the kale in olive oil, and stirred in 1 to 1 ½ cups vegan sour cream in place of the cream cheese and sour cream combination. Skip the extra butter.