Colcannon Recipe with Cabbage and Leeks - Striped Spatula (2024)

My Colcannon recipe combines rich and creamy mashed potatoes with Savoy cabbage, sweet leeks, and a touch of garlic. Drizzle the top with melted Irish butter for an indulgent addition to your St. Patrick’s Day feast!

This time a few years ago, I’d never tasted colcannon. I hadheard about the classic Irish potato dish so many times, and somehow, St. Patrick’s Day came and went every yearwithout any colcannon on my table.

When I finally got around to making it, each buttery spoonful on my plate carried the weight of mixed emotions. (That sounds dramatic, but it’s true.) On one hand, the potatoes were incredible: rustic, hearty, and somehow still fluffy. They were unlike any potato dish I’d eaten.

At the same time, as someone who’s weak in the face of good mashed potatoes, I was thoroughly annoyed with myself for not having made them sooner. To think of all of the St. Patrick’s Day dinners I could’ve zhooshed up with a bowl of colcannon!

I’ve made colcannonseveral times since, testinga couple of different flavor variations. This recipe, with sautéed Savoy cabbage and leeks, has become our favorite. It’s amazing alongside my Beer Braised Corned Beef or Instant Pot Corned Beef,lamb, or even roasted chicken.

Bottom line: whether or not it’s St. Patrick’s Day, if it’s a dinner that deserves a comforting, grab-a-spoon-and-dig-in potato side, colcannon is a recipe to consider!

Colcannon Recipe with Cabbage and Leeks - Striped Spatula (2)

Exactly What is Colcannon?

Colcannon is Irish for “white-speckled cabbage.” Recipes vary by region and cook, but most combine the potatoes with kale, and/or cabbage.

As I’ve sharedmany times before, I’m something of a leek fiend, so exploring a leek colcannon version was high on my list. In the end, the combination of sweet leeks with the tender cabbage and ultra-creamy potatoes won my heart.

Many traditionalcolcannon recipes call for boiling the vegetables with the potatoes until tender, whilevariationsutilize a sautéing or pan-roasting method. After having tried both, I preferto sautéthe vegetables. Thecaramelization that both the cabbage and leeks develop bring a great depth of flavorto the otherwise blank canvas of the mashed potatoes.

Colcannon Recipe with Cabbage and Leeks - Striped Spatula (3)

What Kind of Potatoes Are Best For Colcannon?

Traditionally, colcannon is made with either russet or red-skinned potatoes. I like using russet for their higher starch content and lower moisture. In this particular recipe, I find that they produce the fluffiest base for the caramelized vegetables.

Want to read more about choosing the best potato variety for your recipes? Check out How to Pick a Potato from Kitchn.

For the best texture, make sure your boiled potatoes are drained well before combining them with the rest of the ingredients. I like to return the potatoes to the hot cooking pot after draining, to give them a few minutes to rest and evaporate any residual moisture.

As you mash the potatoes with the half and half, the texture might look too thin at first. It takes a couple of minutes for the liquid to soak in and create that swoon-worthy, creamy consistency.

If you do prefer a thicker, sturdier potato base for your colcannon, you can reduce the half and half to ¾ cup and adjust to taste as they stand.The colcannon photographed in this post was made with well-drained potatoes and a full cup of half and half.

Colcannon Recipe with Cabbage and Leeks - Striped Spatula (4)

Don’t Forget the Irish Butter!

If there’s oneelement of colcannon that’s consistent across recipes (aside from potatoes, of course), it’s butter, and plenty of it.

I incorporate butterboth into the potatoes themselves with the sautéed vegetables, anddrizzle it over the dishbefore serving. As each scoop of colcannon is served, the spoon dips through a well of pooled butter in the center of the bowl.

If you’re able to source it, useIrish butter for an extra boost offlavor, as I did here.It’s a bit softer than other butters on the market with an ultra-fresh, creamy taste, and a beautiful golden color. Many grocery stores are now stockingit regularly in their dairy sections.

Are you hungry yet? Grab a spoon. Thesegorgeous potatoes arewaiting for you.

📖 Recipe

Colcannon Recipe with Cabbage and Leeks - Striped Spatula (5)

Creamy Leek and Cabbage Colcannon

My Colcannon recipe combines rich and creamy mashed potatoes with Savoy cabbage, sweet leeks, and a touch of garlic. Drizzle the top with melted Irish butterand dig in for an easy addition to your St. Patrick's Day feast!

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Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: Irish

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Estimated Calories: 449kcal

Author: Amanda Biddle


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes , cleaned, peeled, and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 2 leeks (white and light green parts only), cleaned thoroughly and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • 3 cups finely-shredded savoy cabbage (about ¼ of a head), packed
  • 1 large garlic clove , minced
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , divided
  • 1 cup half and half *
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • snipped chives (for garnish)


  • Boil potatoes in a large pot of water with a pinch of salt until tender, about 15 minutes. When cooked, a paring knife can be inserted into the centers and removed without resistance. Drain potatoes well and return to the hot pot. Let stand a few minutes to allow any remaining moisture to evaporate.

  • While potatoes are boiling, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet until foaming subsides. Add cabbage, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until cabbage is just starting to brown, 5-8 minutes.

  • Add leeks and an additional ½ teaspoon of salt. Continue cooking, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, 5-8 minutes more. Add garlic, and cook for an additional minute. Stir in half and half, bring to a simmer, and remove from heat.

  • Stir vegetables and half and half into the cooked potatoes. Use a potato masher to fully combine and mash to desired consistency. Potatoes will thicken a bit as they stand. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • To serve, mound potatoes into a serving bowl, and use a spoon to create a shallow well in the center. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle it over the potatoes, allowing it to pool into the well. Scoop potatoes, catching some of the melted butter with each serving. Garnish with snipped chives.


*Keep in mind that the potatoes may look loose when the half and half is first added, but will naturally thicken as you mash the mixture, and within about 5 minutes of standing. If you prefer your mashed potatoes stiffer, reduce liquid to ¾ cup.

I love using Irish butter in these rich potatoes. I generally use unsalted in the potatoes themselves so I can better control the saltiness of the dish. I’ll often use salted butter in the melted drizzle on top for an extra-luscious finish.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 1193mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1530IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 3.1mg

About our Recipes:Please note that our recipes have been developed using the US Customary measurement system and have not been tested for high altitude/elevation cooking and baking.

Have you made this recipe?Don't forget to leave a comment and rate the recipe below! Take a picture? Tag @stripedspatula and #stripedspatula on Instagram!

Colcannon Recipe with Cabbage and Leeks - Striped Spatula (2024)


How do you push potatoes through a sieve? ›

By pushing the mash through the sieve along with the butter, rather than adding the fat afterwards, the fat molecules can cling to the potatoes' proteins and stop them overdeveloping. We love it when chefs get all science-y.

What is Colcannon soup Wikipedia? ›

Colcannon is an Irish dish made of cabbage or kale and mashed potatoes. Milk, butter, salt and pepper are usually added. It is usually eaten around Halloween.

How do you mash potatoes without a sieve? ›

If so, then you can actually use a large fork on cubed, freshly boiled potatoes drizzled in warm cream and melted butter to break and fluff them up until they're as smooth or as chunky as you like them. With this method in particular, you'll be able to achieve the consistency you prefer.

How do you push food through a sieve? ›

Simply use a spoon to push the mixture through the sieve. Pureeing the mixture beforehand may make things easier. For a creamy and smooth sauce, try leaving some of the vegetables in and pureeing them. The pureed vegetables will act as a bonding agent.

What is the difference between colcannon and Champ potatoes? ›

What is the difference between Colcannon and Champ? Both Irish dishes, Champ is mashed potatoes with chopped spring onions (scallions) and milk. Colcannon is Champ with the addition of cabbage and sometimes some herbs.

Why do they call it colcannon? ›

The word colcannon is derived from the Gaelic term cal ceannann, which means "white-headed cabbage" — the vegetable most commonly mixed with potatoes in this dish. It's often served alongside Irish meats, and is made by combining potatoes and greens (usually cabbage, but kale and other leafy greens are sometimes used).

Who invented colcannon? ›

The name comes from the Gaelic phrase “cal ceannan,” which means “white-headed cabbage”. One of the earliest written references to colcannon comes from the diary of William Bulkeley, who wrote on October 31, 1735 while on a visit to Dublin: “Dined at Coz. Wm.

Can you put mashed potatoes through a sieve? ›

How you mash matters. I love the way mashed potatoes taste when you push the potatoes through a fine mesh sieve. It gives you the smoothest, most luscious mashed potatoes you've ever eaten. But, if you like a slightly chunkier mash, use a potato masher.

What is a potato pusher? ›

A potato masher, tater masher, bean masher, pea masher, masher, or crusher is a food preparation utensil used to crush soft food for such dishes as mashed potatoes, apple sauce, or refried beans.

How do you Destarch potatoes quickly? ›

Starch is the sticky liquid released while cutting or slicing the potatoes and the best way to get rid of that is by soaking chopped or sliced potatoes in a large vessel of water. Make sure the water is cold, washing it once or twice helps in removing the scratch on the upper layer of the flesh.

How do you squeeze potatoes? ›

The most common method is to wrap the shredded potatoes in a kitchen towel, then squeeze to release as much liquid as you can. But that's just one way to get it done. Max had a lot of luck bundling the shredded potatoes in cheesecloth, then threading in a wooden spoon to create a sort of vise to help squeeze.


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