How to Cook a Traditional Irish Colcannon with Kale and Spring Onions?

Let’s embark on a culinary journey to Ireland. You’ll be immersed in the rich culture of this land through one of its most traditional dishes, Colcannon. This hearty and soul-warming dish brings together the simplicity of potatoes and the vibrancy of greens such as kale and cabbage in an aromatic mash that will leave you longing for more. Let’s explore the steps involved in creating this delicious dish, which blends the creamy texture of potatoes with the earthy tones of kale and the sharp tang of spring onions.

Knowing Your Ingredients

Before diving into the cooking process, it’s pertinent to understand the core ingredients that make up this classic dish. Each component plays a crucial role in shaping the final taste and texture of the Colcannon.

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No Irish dish can be complete without the humble potato. It forms the base of the Colcannon and is responsible for its smooth and creamy texture. The choice of potato can greatly influence the outcome of your dish. It’s advisable to use starchy potatoes such as Russet or Yukon Gold, which yield a fluffy and light mash when cooked and mashed.


The greens add a refreshing touch to the otherwise rich mash. In this recipe, we will be using a mix of kale and cabbage. These two greens offer a contrast in texture and flavor. The kale provides a deep earthy flavor and a slight crunch, while the cabbage imparts a mild and sweet taste.

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Spring Onions

Spring onions are another key ingredient in this recipe. They add a hint of sharpness and a touch of color to the Colcannon. Moreover, when cooked with butter, they release a sweet aroma that infuses into the dish, enhancing its overall flavor.

Preparing the Ingredients

This section will guide you through the necessary steps to correctly prepare your ingredients. The right preparation will ensure that your mashed potatoes are fluffy, your greens are thoroughly cooked, and your spring onions add the perfect aroma.


Start by peeling your potatoes and cutting them into uniform pieces. This will ensure that they cook evenly. Once done, place them in a large pot filled with cold water. Add a generous amount of salt to the water and bring it to a boil. Allow the potatoes to cook for about 15-20 minutes or until they are tender.


While the potatoes are cooking, you can prepare the greens. Rinely chop the kale and cabbage. You can adjust the quantity of each according to your preference. Some people prefer more kale for its earthy flavor, while others prefer cabbage for its sweetness.

Spring Onions

For the spring onions, finely chop both the white and green parts. The white parts will be cooked with the greens, while the green parts will be added at the end as a garnish.

Cooking The Colcannon

Now that your ingredients are prepared, it’s time to start cooking your Colcannon. Each step in this process plays a crucial role in bringing out the flavors of the ingredients and ensuring that they blend well together.

In a large pan, melt some butter. Once the butter is foaming, add the white parts of the spring onions. Cook them for a few mins until they are soft and translucent. Now, add the chopped kale and cabbage to the pan. Continue to cook until the greens have wilted.

Add some milk to the pan. The milk will help to tenderize the greens and add a creamy texture to the dish. Allow this mixture to simmer for a few minutes.

By now, your potatoes should be cooked. Drain them and return them to the pot. Add some more butter and begin to mash the potatoes. Once you have a smooth mash, add the cooked greens mixture to the pot. Mix well to ensure that the greens are evenly distributed throughout the mash.

Serving The Colcannon

Your traditional Irish Colcannon is now ready to serve. This dish is best enjoyed hot, with a knob of butter melting over the top. Don’t forget to sprinkle the chopped green parts of the spring onions on top for a pop of color and a hint of freshness.

Cooking a traditional Irish Colcannon with kale and spring onions is far more than following a recipe. It’s an experience, a journey into a culture that values simplicity and heartwarming comfort food. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and prepare to be transported to Ireland, one spoonful at a time.

Adding The Finishing Touches to Your Colcannon

After thoroughly mixing the greens and mashed potatoes, it’s time to add the finishing touches to your traditional Irish Colcannon. These final steps will add even more flavor and texture to your dish, elevating it from a simple side dish to the star of your meal.


Proper seasoning is key to bringing out the flavors of the ingredients. Start by adding salt and pepper according to your taste. Remember, it’s always better to add a little at a time, as you can always add more later.

Sour Cream

Adding some sour cream to your Colcannon can enhance its creaminess and introduce a tangy element that beautifully balances the earthiness of the kale and the sweetness of the cabbage. However, this is optional and can be omitted if you prefer your Colcannon without it.

Corned Beef

For a hearty main course, serve your Irish Colcannon with corned beef. The saltiness of the beef pairs well with the creamy potatoes and vibrant greens, creating a well-rounded meal that’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any chilly evening.

Conclusion: Enjoying Your Irish Colcannon

You’ve now learned how to prepare a traditional Irish Colcannon, complete with all its key components: creamy mashed potatoes, vibrant kale cabbage, and sharp spring onions. Don’t forget the finishing touches: proper seasoning, the addition of sour cream for extra tang and creaminess, and serving it alongside corned beef for a complete meal.

Preparing this dish is more than just a cooking task. It is a delightful culinary journey into the heart of Irish culture, an exploration of a cuisine that may be simple, but is rich in flavor and history. It’s a chance to experiment with textures and flavors, to create a dish that is not just delicious, but also nourishing and comforting.

Whether you’re cooking this Irish Colcannon recipe for a special occasion or as a regular side dish, it is sure to warm your heart and satisfy your taste buds. So, don your chef’s hat, follow these instructions, and in minutes (mins), you’ll have a dish worth sharing with family and friends.

The allure of this traditional Irish dish is its simplicity, the combination of humble ingredients to create a dish that’s greater than the sum of its parts. It is not just about the ingredients but also about the love and time put into preparing it.

So next time you’re in the mood for some comfort food, remember this Colcannon recipe. Whether it’s for St. Patrick’s Day or just a regular weekday dinner, this dish is sure to bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart. Happy cooking!

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