The next time you have a potato in your pantry and are wondering what to do with it.

Think about Colcannon.

It’s a traditional Irish potato dish that will make your tastebuds dance a jig.


The Background of Colcannon

The name, “colcannon”, comes from a Gaelic word, “cál ceannann”, which means “white headed cabbage”.

It’s a classic Irish dish that’s made with potatoes and cabbage.

These ingredients were widely available and cheap.

Colcannon’s Irish roots date back as far as the 1730s.

It spread to England in the 1800s and became a favorite dish for the upper class.

People of every class and background had their own adaptation of this tasty dish.

It was like a link between two worlds.


What’s so Special about it?

Colcannon was traditionally eaten on Halloween night.

But it wasn’t to keep monsters and spirits away.

It’s part of a group of foods known as “fortune telling foods”, which have been served on this night in particular for ages.

Colcannon specifically would have small charms placed inside of it on October 31st, like a ring, coin, or rag.

Should a prospective bachelorette be lucky enough to find a ring, it would be considered a marriage proposal.

The other trinkets were thought to predict your future, as well.

A coin meant upcoming wealth.

A rag meant impending poverty.

This may sound strange, but it’s the same concept as say, reading the fortune from a fortune cookie.



Colcannon is super simple to prepare and super delicous. In addition to potatoes and cabbage, my version includes leeks, garlic, and bacon.  And almost every recipe of colcannon includes a good amount of butter.

Mash your drained potatoes with butter, and slowly add in warmed milk and cream.

Once mashed, stir in the cabbage, leek, and garlic mixture that has been sautéed in bacon grease.

Garnish with the bacon and bit of melted butter.

You’ll feel the luck of the Irish with this dish.


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  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x


A delicious twist on a traditional Irish dish with the inclusion of leeks, garlic, and bacon. Your tastebuds will dance an Irish jig!


  • 3 lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled and chunked
  • 1 small head of cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 3 strips of bacon, cut into small squares
  • 2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced in half lengthwise and
  • thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 stick of butter, cubed, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup milk + 1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed
  • kosher salt
  • pepper


  1. Cover the potatoes in a pot with cold, salted water.
  2. Bring the potatoes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Fry the bacon in a skillet. Once browned, remove it from the skillet leaving the grease.
  4. Add the cabbage and leeks to the hot skillet with the bacon grease. Season with salt. Sauté over medium-high heat until tender and lightly browned. Add the garlic at the end of the browning process. Sauté an additional 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant.
  5. Once the potatoes are tender, drain. Return the drained potatoes to the pot and mash with 1 stick of butter.
  6. Gradually add the warm milk and cream while stirring the potatoes.
  7. Stir in the sautéed cabbage, leeks, and bacon.
  8. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  9. Transfer to a serving bowl. Form a well in the center and fill with butter.


Garnish with chopped green onions if desired. You may or may not need all of the milk and cream mixture. So add it a little at a time until the potatoes are the consistency you desire.


  • Calories: 680.55 kcal
  • Sugar: 12.91 g
  • Sodium: 1579.53 mg
  • Fat: 34.19 g
  • Saturated Fat: 18.74 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.95 g
  • Carbohydrates: 83.64 g
  • Fiber: 10.26 g
  • Protein: 15.54 g
  • Cholesterol: 81.19 mg
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