Real Irish Colcannon is made with Irish butter and and optional Irish cheddar cheese. It doesn’t get more Celtic than this. This is naturally green comfort food and a St Patrick’s Day favorite.

Irish colcannon with large pieces of cabbage and spring onion topped with melted butter

I can’t think of anything more comforting than a big bowl of mashed potato with heaps of Irish cheddar cheese and good Irish creamy butter.  This is why I I call it ‘real Irish’. I know that champ or colcannon traditionally does not have cheese or onion, but I’ve had requests for how much of these can be added so they are listed as optional in the recipe.

Colcannon is similar to its lesser known counterpart Champ. Colcannon is like Champ but with added cabbage.

A closeup of the colcannon showing the melting butter, cabbage and spring onion

The butter and cheese are really the best there is out there. The Irish are very proud of their dairy and so they should be. I’m not being paid to say this, this is just my opinion and if you try them, you’ll agree and are available in most grocery stores here in the U.S.

Why is colcannon called Colcannon?

The name is derived from the word cál ceannann which is Celtic for ‘head cabbage’.

A fork full of colcannon

The colcannon can be made 2 days ahead of time. You can simply reheat in a the microwave for a few minutes, or to a pan over low heat. Add a small amount of milk so it doesn’t dry out and burn on the bottom, stirring often.

Cabbage in Irish Colcannon

The cut of the cabbage is up the to the cook. Sometimes I like it chopped in large pieces for a nice cabbage bite, sometimes I like it finely cut so it mixes in well with the mash. The choice is yours.

There is a debate that seems ongoing and is new to me. Are you team cabbage or team kale? Growing up in England, I only ever had this dish with cabbage, but since moving to the U.S., I see a lot of people using cabbage. Frankly, I think cabbage adds more flavor.

Serving Real Irish Colcannon

Anything Irish of course and what is better than Irish Guinness Stew. This can be a complete St Patrick’s Day meal.

Large pieces of beef, carrots and vegetables in beef stew cooking in a pan

Leftover Irish Colcannon

If you happen to have any leftovers, you can make a classic British dish called Bubble and Squeak. It’s typically made from the leftovers of a Roast Beef Dinner, mainly the mash. See pic below.

Patties on a wood board with gravy

Irish Desserts

Try my Irish dessert ideas too if you want to complete Irish meal. Irish Chocolate Cake with Baileys Buttercream Frosting (picture below) or Irish coffee Milkshake Shooters.

If you’ve made this Real Irish Colcannon, or any other recipe, please leave a comment below. I love to hear from my readers.

Yield: 4

Irish Colcannon

A large bowl of mashed potato mixed with green cabbage, spring onion, Irish cheddar and Irish butter

A creamy and easy side dish with cabbage, spring onion, Irish butter and Irish cheddar.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 2 pounds (907 grams) potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 6 tablespoons Irish butter
  • 2 spring onions/scallions, chopped (optional)
  • 10 ounces (283 grams) green cabbage, chopped * see note
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) whole milk, warm
  • 2 cups (160 grams) Irish sharp cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Fill a large pan, 3/4 way full with water and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until tender.
  2. While the potatoes boil, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the cabbage and cook until softened. Stir in the spring onions, remove from the heat.
  3. Drain the potatoes, add to a large bowl and mash. Stir in the cabbage and onion mix, milk and cheese into the hot potatoes. Season with salt to taste. Serve warm.


You can chop into large pieces for more cabbage bite, or thinly cut for the cabbage to blend more into the mash.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 330Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 63mgSodium 429mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 7gSugar 12gProtein 10g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.