Margot Wilson, Co-op Member Owner

March 15, 2017

Colcannon, or ”white-headed cabbage,” is a classic Irish mashed potato dish. It exemplifies the use of basic ingredients. Frugal cooks will also notice the great nutritional value of these simple ingredients. You can eat colcannon on its own, as a simple meal, or use it as a side dish. It is typically served with corned beef or lamb chops.

You can substitute ingredients to suit your dietary needs or make it the traditional way.

Basic Colcannon


  • 6 large potatoes
  • 3-6 scallions
  • 1-2 leeks
  • 1/2 cup milk (you can substitute cream, kefir or yogurt)
  • 1-5 cups cooked cabbage or kale
  • 1/4 cup butter or olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of mace or nutmeg


Boil the potatoes, whole or chopped, depending on how much time you have. Or, for the fluffiest mashed potatoes, you can wrap each potato in foil and bake it at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

Chop the leeks and fry in 2 teaspoons of the butter (or oil). Add the chopped cabbage (or kale) and stir fry until wilted. Add the rest of the butter and the milk and mix.

Mash the potatoes in a food processor, or by hand, until they are smooth. Mix in cheese and parsley. Combine with the veggies. Add salt, pepper to taste and a pinch of mace.

Serving Suggestion

Colcannon is traditionally served with a well of melting butter in the center of the dish – take spoonfuls from the outside of the dish and dip in the butter as you eat.