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Colcannon is the perfect comfort food recipe for St. Patrick’s Day. You’ll love these classic Irish mashed potatoes with cabbage (or kale) and the addition of crispy bacon!

Colcannon Irish mashed potatoes and kale with bacon in a bowl

What’s colcannon?

It’s a traditional Irish and Scottish dish made with potatoes and cabbage that are typically boiled and then mashed together. There’s plenty of variations out there (including replacing cabbage with kale). This version adds bacon and scallions!

Colcannon with bacon is a good idea. It reminds me of my favorite comfort food growing up – my mom would fry up some bacon pieces and then mash boiled potatoes into it until it’s all nice and fluffy and the bacon fat is all soaked up. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried it. I still occasionally eat it. It’s probably the most comforting thing on the planet. I think I actually requested it for my birthday dinner this year. I will never grow out of it. 😀

Making colcannon is really easy… it’s basically just mashed potatoes with some extra yummy stuff added. I seriously can’t believe it’s taken me so long to put this recipe on my blog.

You may also like my bacon ranch mashed potatoes.

close-up of Colcannon Irish mashed potatoes and kale with bacon in a bowl with a spoon

How to make colcannon

Boil your potatoes until very tender; drain. Meanwhile, cook the bacon pieces until crispy, then add the kale or cabbage to the skillet and cook until tender. Add the scallions and cook for a minute or so.

Mash the potatoes with the butter and cream. Add the skillet contents and season as needed. Serve with plenty ‘o butter.

Ok, so we’re a bit naughty here and we don’t discard that bacon grease… but damn, does it make those mashed potatoes taste GOOD. 😉

Looking for more easy St. Patrick’s Day recipes? You may also like my Irish whiskey pork chopsmatcha cookies (they’re naturally green), Instant Pot Irish stew, or my grapefruit Irish Mule recipe.

Colcannon Irish mashed potatoes and kale with bacon in a bowl with butter

I really hope you will enjoy this loaded up Irish colcannon recipe! 🙂 I also have an Instant Pot colcannon recipe that’s vegetarian if you’re interested.

Questions? Ask me in the comments below.

This easy colcannon recipe is a traditional Irish side dish that's a great addition to your St. Patrick's Day table.  This version is with kale (or use cabbage) and bacon! Serve with plenty of butter.
5 from 5 votes

Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes) with Bacon

Colcannon is the perfect comfort food recipe for St. Patrick's Day. You'll love these classic Irish mashed potatoes with cabbage (or kale) and the addition of crispy bacon!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2.5 pounds Russet potatoes cut into chunks
  • 1/2 pound bacon cut into small pieces
  • 3 cups kale or green cabbage chopped
  • 1/2 bunch scallions (green parts only) chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter + extra for serving
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Cook the potatoes in a large, salted pot of boiling water until they're good and tender. Drain when they're cooked.
  • Meanwhile, cook the bacon until it's just crispy over medium-high heat in a skillet.
  • Once the bacon is about done, add the kale to the skillet. Cook it until tender (about 4-5 minutes).
  • Add the scallions to the skillet and cook for a minute or two (just enough to take the sharp edge off).
  • Mash the potatoes with the cream and butter. Add the kale mix to the potatoes and mash it in until it's completely incorporated. If needed, add some salt & pepper.
  • Serve with a generous pat of butter on top. Enjoy!


  • Servies 4-6.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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5 from 5 votes (1 rating without comment)

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    Just made this for Cooking Club tomorrow – the theme is Irish fare or something green. I’ve never made it before, and have never even eaten it.
    This dish is AMAZING. Can’t wait to show it off tomorrow.

    1. Natasha says:

      That makes me so happy!! 😀

  2. Robin St Germain says:

    5 stars
    The bacon gives it a nice twist Natasha!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you, Robin!! 😀

  3. Lee Fuller says:

    Nice and simple to make and really tasty 😊

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you, Lee!!

  4. Suzanne says:

    I spent time in Ireland enjoyed Colcannon many times, and brought home an original Irish Cookbook.
    Your Colcannon recipe is not at all like an Irish Colcannon. A traditional Irish Colcannon in Ireland contains—Potatoes, finely diced onion or spring onions, chopped kale leaves, warmed milk, salt + pepper to taste.

    1. Natasha says:

      Actually, many versions use cabbage instead of kale (like I say in the blog post), and the bacon is just a fun twist. 🙂 But thanks for sharing your opinion here and on Instagram. You must feel very strongly that I am doing things wrong in my recipes since you always feel the need to share your two cents.

    2. Robin St Germain says:

      5 stars
      Get a life doll, if you don’t see what you’re looking for, look elsewhere. Give us all a break!

    3. CathyD says:

      5 stars
      I’m sure there are MANY variations of Colcannon. I doubt there is just ONE Irish cooking “Bible”.

  5. Ryne Muller says:

    Do you use the stems of the Kale?

    1. Natasha says:

      I usually just pick the leaves off 🙂

  6. Shauna Basel says:

    5 stars
    This recipe was phenomenal! Thank you. Comfort food at it’s finest.

    1. Natasha says:

      Aww so happy to hear it! Thanks for leaving me a comment, Shauna! 🙂