How to Make Irish Mashed Potatoes

Irish Mashed Potatoes, also known as, "Colcannon," is made using boiled russet potatoes and kale or cabbage. The term "colcannon" translates to "white-headed cabbage," and is traditionally served in Ireland alongside meat or pork. The side dish can be prepared with several adaptations, such as spinach instead of kale, milk instead of buttermilk, and/or shallots or chives instead of green onion.

If you're looking for a side dish to serve on St. Patrick's Day with corned beef and cabbage, colcannon is a delicious go-to. The recipe easily serves 6, but can be scaled up or down to size.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered (2 pounds)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 cups loosely packed kale leaves, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 green onions, chopped

  • 1-¼ cup buttermilk

  • Sea salt to taste

  • Potato peeler

  • Large pot

  • Colander

  • Potato masher or sturdy fork

(Demand Media/Julia Mueller) (Image: Julia Mueller)


Step 1

(Demand Media/Julia Mueller) (Image: Julia Mueller)

Heat a full pot of water to boiling and peel potatoes.

Step 2

(Demand Media/Julia Mueller) (Image: Julia Mueller)

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.

Step 3

(Demand Media/Julia Mueller) (Image: Julia Mueller)

Heat butter over medium in a large skillet or pot. Add the kale, green onion, and garlic. Saute, stirring frequently, until kale has softened and garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Step 4

(Demand Media/Julia Mueller) (Image: Julia Mueller)

Remove pot from heat. Add the cooked potatoes and buttermilk.

Step 5

(Demand Media/Julia Mueller) (Image: Julia Mueller)

Mash potatoes using a potato masher or fork until potatoes reach the desired texture.

Step 6

(Demand Media/Julia Mueller) (Image: Julia Mueller)

Taste the mashed potatoes and add sea salt to taste. Serve colcannon with butter and enjoy!


If you don't own a potato masher, you can use the bottom of a large measuring cup to mash the potatoes.

You can replace buttermilk with regular cow's milk and/or add additional butter.

For creamier mashed potatoes, blend potatoes with the buttermilk in a blender or food processor until smooth (do this step prior to adding the potatoes to the kale mixture).

References & Resources