Colcannon is a traditional Irish peasant dish of creamy mashed potatoes combined with some variety of sautéed greens, most commonly kale, leeks or cabbage.
Our version is made with a combination of sautéed kale, sweet onion and scallions, but we’ve also included instructions for making a delicious variation that replaces the kale with sautéed leeks and bits of crispy bacon.Print
Colcannon is a classic Irish side dish that combines creamy mashed potatoes with sautéed greens. We’ve got two versions here for you to choose from – one made with kale, the other with leeks.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- 2-1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
- 1 small bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
- 4 to 5 scallions, chopped
- 1/2 cup cream or half-and-half
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-1/2 inch cubes. Place them in a large saucepan and cover with cold water.
- Bring the potatoes to a boil, add 2 teaspoons of salt and stir to dissolve. Continue boiling for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
- While the potatoes boil, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the kale, a handful at a time and continue cooking until tender and wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the scallions and cook until they’re tender as well, 2 minutes additional. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, drain thoroughly and return them to the heat for about 1 minute to allow all the excess moisture to evaporate.
- Spoon the potatoes into a ricer (see note below if you don’t have a ricer), a few chunks at a time and rice them into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining butter and cream to the pan you cooked the potatoes in. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is liquified (you can also do this in a microwave-safe bowl).
- Pour the heated butter mixture onto the potatoes, add the kale and mix gently with a spatula. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve immediately.
Recipe Variation: Colcannon with Leeks and Bacon
- Omit the onion, kale and scallions from the ingredient list and substitute 2 leeks and 3 slices of thick-cut bacon.
- Reduce the quantity of butter to 5 tablespoons.
- Follow the instructions above for preparing the potatoes.
- While the potatoes cook, fry the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels and discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan.
- Halve the leeks lengthwise, clean thoroughly and slice them into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the bacon fat in the pan and melt over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Crumble the bacon, add to the leeks and stir both into the potatoes in place of the kale mixture.
If you don’t have a potato ricer, transfer the cooked potatoes to a large mixing bowl and mash gently with a fork. Add the butter mixture and, using an electric mixer, whip at medium speed until fluffy. Do not over mix or the potatoes will become sticky.