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Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes)

Colcannon, or Irish Mashed Potatoes, is a delicious, creamy mashed potatoes recipe with kale and buttermilk. Easy to make and full of flavor!

Close up image of colcannon in a wooden bowl with a blue striped napkin, a gold spoon and melted butter on top of the potatoes


Also known as Irish Mashed Potatoes, a.k.a. Kale Mashed Potatoes.

As it turns out, there are people on this planet other than me who choose to put kale in mashed potatoes.

St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, and I figured we all need a sweet little side dish to go with our Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Soda Bread.

Wash it all down with a Guinness or Irish car bomb, and you’re in for a wild ride!

Colcannon in a large wooden bowl with butter and a gold spoon. Horizontal photo with blue napkin under bowl of mashed potatoes

Wanna hear something funny?

I have a recipe for kale mashed potatoes in my cookbook, Let Them Eat Kale!, and I had no idea while I was developing the recipe that it’s actually a traditional Irish dish.

Which brings me to my next point…

What is Colcannon?:

Colcannon is a common side dish served in Ireland, and the recipe varies depending on the region.

It is typically made with russet potatoes, cabbage or kale, milk, cream, or buttermilk, and chives or scallions. Served with a fatty dollop of melted butter in the center.

Colcannon mashed potatoes in a wooden bowl with a pat of melted butter on top and a gold spoon

Some folks like to do a twice-baked situation by putting the mashed potatoes in a casserole dish and baking them until browned before serving. If you ask me, this optional step is pretty brilliant.

You can add freshly grated parmesan cheese or asiago cheese for even more flavor.

No matter how you mash it, you’re slated for a delicious carb load!

This recipe serves between 6 and 10 people, depending on how hungry everyone is and whether or not there are other side dishes available. Halve the recipe if you’re serving fewer people or don’t want leftovers.

If you love potatoes, also try my Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan, Pesto Smashed Potatoes, and my Smashed Sweet Potatoes

Close up image of colcannon in a wooden bowl with a blue striped napkin, a gold spoon and melted butter on top of the potatoes

Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes)

Irish mashed potatoes (colcannon) with kale are a rich, creamy, tasty side dish. The perfect side dish for coned beef and cabbage or Irish beef stew!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
6 Servings


  • 1 bulb garlic, roasted
  • 4 pounds large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups loosely packed kale leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Chop the top off of the bulb of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Place in the preheated oven and roast 35 to 45 minutes, until garlic cloves are soft and golden brown. Allow garlic to cool enough to handle, then peel the cloves.
  • Heat a full pot of water to boiling and peel potatoes. Chop potatoes into quarters and carefully drop them into the water. Return water to a controlled boil and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are very soft when poked with a fork. Strain potatoes into a colander and set aside.
  • Heat butter over medium heat in the same pot you used to boil the potatoes. Add the kale, and chopped green onions. Sauté, stirring frequently, until kale has softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat. Add the cooked potatoes, roasted garlic, buttermilk, and sea salt. Mash potatoes using a potato masher or fork until potatoes reach the desired texture.
  • Taste the mashed potatoes and add sea salt to taste. Serve colcannon with butter and enjoy!


Add 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese or asiago cheese if you'd like!


Serving: 1of 6Calories: 320kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 8gFat: 8gFiber: 5gSugar: 4g
Course: Side Dishes & Snacks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: colcannon, Irish Mashed Potatoes, Kale Mashed Potatoes, mashed potatoes for St. Patrick’s Day, mashed potatoes recipe
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 320kcal
Author: Julia

Colcannon Irish Mashed Potatoes collage for social media

Recipe Rating

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Maggie m

Tuesday 15th of March 2016

This looks amazing! I will absoletly be making this, however curious has anyone ever tried this with turnips or rutabaga instead of potatoes?


Wednesday 16th of March 2016

OOh, I bet rutabagas would be awesome...or even cassava. Thinking turnips might turn out a touch watery, but may still work. Let me know if you try the recipe using other veggies!


Tuesday 17th of March 2015

I love it when my greens-eating habit is justified by TRADITION. I think the Irish and i would have a lot in common.

Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health

Saturday 14th of March 2015

i have actually made that dish from your book...who knew.

Stefanie - Sarcastic Cooking

Friday 13th of March 2015

Omg! I never knew this was traditional Irish either! I love greens in my taters! Looove the tip about the measuring cup hahaha


Friday 13th of March 2015

The Dutch do it as well: Boerenkool Stamppot!

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