Mashed Potatoes, Carrots and Cabbage (Colcannon)

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St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and since I am a carbaholic and kind of steer clear of much meat, I am bringing this dish to my son and DIL’s party.  It’s simple, humble ingredients and can be made vegan (although I added a bit of ham/bacon just to keep it close to the original). It makes a great potluck dish and is cheap!

A couple of tips and notes about the making of this dish. First of all, I added carrots, because, well, I love carrots and it’s a winter root vegetable so why not?  Just note, it is not traditional.  Nothing I do is traditional as you will learn if you stick around here very much!  But there is one tip that I learned from an Irish woman who learned it from her mother who learned it from her mother and I will share it here. The tip is to steam the potatoes in their skins rather than peeling and boiling. It helps to keep some extra nutrients in the potatoes. I used red potatoes, which are most like those used in Ireland.  But, another way I strayed from tradition, is that I left the skins on the potatoes. Mostly because I’m lazy, but also because I like the texture it gives to the dish.

I used warmed almond milk but you can use whole cow’s milk instead. I also used the bacon fat in addition to some butter and I cut the amount of fat added, just because eaters can add more butter if they like and I don’t like it overwhelmed with butter.

That’s about it. With the addition of cabbage (or kale!), it doesn’t make it a healthy dish, but not as bad as eating just mashed potatoes and butter!

So, enjoy your St. Patty’s Day…  May happiness often enter your gate and stay very late. May pleasure walk with you; May luck smile upon you; and May joy be at home in your heart.

Mashed Potatoes, Carrots and Cabbage (Colcannon)

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: cabbage, potatoes, sides
Servings: 7
Author: Kiki Simpson, Healthy Sexy Kitchen


  • 1/2 lb cooked ham or bacon save bacon fat is using
  • 3 lbs red potatoes scrubbed
  • 4 medium carrots peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 head green cabbage cored and finely shredded or chopped
  • 1 stick butter more for serving, if desired
  • 1 cup almond milk warmed
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped for garnish


  • Cook the ham or bacon to desired doneness. Cut or break into bite-sized pieces. Reserve bacon fat, if using bacon. 
  • Steam potatoes (in their skins) and carrots until tender (about 30 minutes). Remove skins from potatoes if desired (I left mine on) and chop.
  • While potatoes are steaming, boil cabbage until it turns darker color. Add 2 tablespoons of butter (for tenderizing), cover and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Drain and then chop into smaller pieces, if needed. 
  • Mash potatoes and carrots, adding remaining butter (and bacon fat) as you go until desired consistency. Gradually add warmed milk, continuing to mash and stir. Add black pepper.
  • Add cabbage, and ham or bacon and stir in gently.
  • Serve with a bit of butter and a sprinkle of parsley on top. Salt, if desired. 


Typically sliced scallions are added along with the cabbage and ham in step 5. I didn't have any on hand so I omitted that ingredient.  Feel free to add is you like.

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