Colcannon: A Traditional Irish Side Dish

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Irish cuisine is known for its simplicity and tasty ingredients, and Colcannon is a classic example of that. A traditional Irish side dish, Colcannon is a hearty combination of mashed potatoes, cabbage, and cheese.

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day!  Do you have any plans for this Irish holiday?   We usually don’t do too much besides wearing green and eating some Irish food.  I will usually make a chocolate mint dessert as well.

A dish of Colcannon.

In celebrating St. Patrick’s Day I wanted to bring a taste of Ireland to my kitchen and what better way to do that then use Kerrygold cheese and butter!  I decided to make Colcannon which is a traditional Irish side dish.

Surprisingly,  I’ve never made Colcannon.  It’s an Irish side dish made using potatoes and cabbage.  Since potatoes are basically a food group for me and my husband loves cabbage, putting the two of them together into one dish is kind of like a dream come true for the two of us.

Pin Image:   A dish of Colcannon, text title, a cutting board with ingredients on it.


  • potatoes (I use Russet potatoes but you can use your favorite large potato)
  • butter (I prefer to use unsalted in this recipe)
  • sea salt (You can use table salt if you do not have sea salt)
  • black pepper (fresh ground is best)
  • sour cream
  • egg
  • cabbage (I head of green cabbage is best and traditional in this recipe)
  • onion (I like to use sweet yellow onion but use your favorite type)
  • garlic cloves (You can use whole garlic cloves or buy already chopped garlic to save time)
  • chicken bouillon cubes (you can also use chicken broth or stock)
  • Skellig cheese (made by Kerrygold, you can substitute a sweet cheddar cheese if needed)
  • Dubliner cheese (also made by Kerrygold)

To prepare the dish I made homemade mashed potatoes using sour cream, unsalted butter, and boiled potatoes.   I like that I could control the flavor and the consistency of the potatoes by making them myself.

After they were mashed to the proper consistency I pan fried the cabbage with some garlic and onions.   This gave the cabbage a ton of flavor.   Then I mixed everything together and put it in a baking dish.

A skillet with cabbage in it.

What is Colcannon?

It’s an Irish side dish made with boiled potatoes and cabbage.  The basic Irish recipe is potatoes, butter, milk, and cabbage.

Do I have to make the mashed potatoes from scratch?

You do not have to make them from scratch but it is the best way to do it.  If you use a boxed mashed potato make sure to add some sour cream and butter to them and reduce the amount of liquid so that they are thicker but have a lot of flavor.

Do I have to use the Irish cheeses?

You don’t have to but because it is an Irish side dish these Kerrygold cheeses are really the best to put in this dish.  Also, if you aren’t big on cheese (and if you aren’t we cannot be friends) you can leave it out of the recipe as the traditional recipe doesn’t have cheese in it.  But know that the cheese makes it so good.

What cheese can I substitute?

You can use any cheddar cheese in place of the cheeses.   A sweet cheddar is recommended but not needed.  You could also use part cheddar and part Parmesan to get a similar flavor to Dubliner.

My personal favorite part of the whole dish was sprinkling the Irish cheeses on top of it.   It’s not a lot of cheese, just enough to give the potatoes some of the delicious, creamy flavor of Dubliner and a touch of sweetness from the Skellig.   It really added a lot to this already awesome dish.

The potatoes were the perfect side dish to go with our baked chicken.  They would also go great with grilled sausage or corned beef.

More St. Patrick’s Day Recipes:

The colcannon was filling and tasted great.  It was like eating a pumped up version of mashed potatoes with the flavors from the cabbage and onions along with the cheese on top.

My husband and I couldn’t stop eating the potatoes and in fact finished them off for lunch the next day.   I can’t wait to make this again!

If you’ve tried my Colcannon or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:

An uncooked pan of Colcannon on top of the stove.

Colcannon is a traditional Irish side dish made with potatoes and cabbage and topped with Dubliner cheese

Colcannon: A Traditional Irish Side Dish

Bring the taste of Ireland to your table with this traditional potato and cabbage side dish jazzed up with Kerrygold Dubliner and Skellig
4.94 from 31 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Author: Hezzi-D


  • 3 large potatoes peeled and cut into 8 pieces
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 c. cabbage shredded or chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/4 c. Kerrygold Skellig cheese
  • 1/4 c. Kerrygold Dubliner cheese


  • Place the potatoes in a large pot of boiling water. Cover and boil for 20 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.
  • Add the salt, pepper, butter, sour cream, and egg to the potatoes and mash until desired consistency is reached. Set aside.
  • Heat the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add in the cabbage, onion, and garlic. Saute for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the chicken bouillon cubes, stirring until they dissolve.
  • Add the cabbage mixture to the potato mixture and mix until combined.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Pour the potato and cabbage mixture into a large baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with the Skellig and Dubliner cheeses. Return to oven and continue baking for 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot.


Adapted from Allrecipes

A pan of Colcannon right out of the oven.



  1. This is one of my all-time fave recipes. Two of my favorite things together! I love this time of year and its recipes!

4.94 from 31 votes (31 ratings without comment)

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