Classic Irish Colcannon Recipe for Vegetarian Delight

Are you looking for a delicious plant-based recipe that will transport you to the green hills of Ireland? Look no further than this mouth-watering Irish Vegetarian Colcannon recipe.

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish made from mashed potatoes, kale or cabbage, onions, and butter or milk. It has been enjoyed in Ireland for centuries, especially around St. Patrick’s Day. While the original recipe calls for dairy products, this vegan version uses plant-based substitutes for a guilt-free and cruelty-free twist on this beloved classic.

The word “colcannon” comes from the Gaelic term “cal ceannann,” which means “white-headed cabbage.” This hearty dish was commonly made using whatever vegetables were in season and could be grown in Ireland’s temperate climate.

In this recipe, we’re using Yukon gold potatoes, curly kale, and savoy cabbage to create a creamy and flavorful bowl of mashed potato goodness. The subtle garlic and onion flavors add depth to this simple yet satisfying comfort food.

Whether you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or just craving a warm and cozy meal, this vegan Irish Colcannon will not disappoint. Let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Irish Vegetarian Colcannon
Irish Vegetarian Colcannon

As a vegan chef, I know that everyone is on the lookout for delicious, healthy and hearty meals. And that’s exactly what this Irish Vegetarian Colcannon Recipe will bring to your plate!

This traditional Irish dish mashed potatoes with cabbage recipe is not only easy but also a versatile plant-based meal perfect for any season. The perfect combination of fluffy mashed potatoes and flavorful kale, savoy cabbage and garlic – this recipe is the ultimate comfort food!

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of this dish is its simplicity. You won’t need to spend hours scouring stores for exotic ingredients or spend late nights preparing sophisticated sauces. Instead, you’ll only need an array of basic plant-based ingredients to pull together a sensational meal everyone can enjoy.

What makes this recipe stand out from all others is how flavorful it is even though it’s dairy-free. Instead of using butter and milk, we’ll be using non-dairy alternatives that don’t compromise on the taste or texture of classic mashed potatoes! This means that anyone who loves traditional Irish dishes but needs to avoid dairy can indulge in this delightfully creamy dish without a worry!

Get ready to impress your loved ones with the most appetizing Vegan Irish Colcannon Recipe that you’ve ever made! This dish holds a special place in Irish tradition and if you’re looking to surprise your friends and family around St. Patrick’s Day or impress them with a comforting side dish, this recipe is definitely the way to go.

Overall, whether you’re looking for ease of preparation, taste versatility or fulfilling nutrition value, this Vegan Irish Colcannon Recipe has it all!

Ingredient List

 Proudly presenting our Irish Vegetarian Colcannon!
Proudly presenting our Irish Vegetarian Colcannon!

Let’s talk about the ingredients that we’ll be using to create our Irish Vegetarian Colcannon recipe. Don’t worry, everything is easy to find and you may already have some of them in your pantry or fridge!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds of Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup of soy milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup (or 4 tablespoons) of vegan butter or margarine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper (or to taste)
  • 3 cups of kale or savoy cabbage, finely sliced

As you can see, this vegan Irish colcannon recipe calls for simple ingredients that come together to make a hearty and delicious dish that will please everyone. Don’t hesitate to adjust the seasoning and quantities according to your taste.

The Recipe How-To

 This hearty and healthy dish is perfect for a cozy fall evening.
This hearty and healthy dish is perfect for a cozy fall evening.

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, let’s start cooking! This vegan Irish Colcannon recipe is honestly so easy to make and will only take roughly an hour.

Preparing the Potatoes

  • Begin by peeling and chopping 4 russet potatoes roughly into 2-inch cubes.
  • Rinse them in cold water and place them in a large pot with just enough water to cover them.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  • Cook the potatoes until tender, for about 25 minutes.

Preparing the Cabbage and Kale mixture

  • While the potatoes are boiling, chop 1 cup of kale and 1 cup of savoy cabbage.
  • In a separate pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter (or margarine for a dairy-free option) over low to medium heat.
  • Add in two finely chopped cloves of garlic, and sauté for one minute.
  • Stir in your chopped kale and cabbage mixture. Then add 1/2 cup of water, cover the pan, lower heat to low, and allow it to steam for around 10 minutes.

Mashing the Potatoes

  • Once your potatoes are fully cooked, drain them well.
  • Next, add 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine (for a dairy-free option) along with 1/2 cup soy milk.
  • Mash it using a potato masher until there are no big lumps left.
  • Keep aside.

Combining Cabbage/Kale Mixture and Potatoes

  • Once your veggies are steamed nicely, they should be looking vibrant green.
  • Combine this veggie mixture with your mashed potatoes while everything is still hot.
  • Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper according to taste.

Serving Up

  • You could either serve it as is or give it an artistic twist as I did by brushing some olive oil on each cavity of a muffin pan.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to plop a good heaping dollop of colcannon filling into each muffin cup.
  • Bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 20 -25 minutes or until it’s piping hot with golden crispy edges.

And voila! Your Vegan Irish Colcannon is all set for your St. Patrick’s day celebration or any other day that calls for comfort food.

Substitutions and Variations

 Who says comfort food can't be good for you? Enjoy our Colcannon guilt-free!
Who says comfort food can’t be good for you? Enjoy our Colcannon guilt-free!

While the classic Colcannon recipe features potatoes, savoy cabbage and kale, there are plenty of opportunities to experiment with substitutions and variations. Here are a few ideas for personalizing your recipe.

– Swap potatoes: Instead of Yukon gold or Russet potatoes, try using sweet potatoes or red potatoes for a different texture and flavor profile.

– Veggies: While kale and cabbage are traditional ingredients in Colcannon, other greens like spinach or Swiss chard could be used as well. Add some extra color by incorporating sliced carrots or peas.

– Dairy-free: For a dairy-free version of this Irish dish, replace the butter and milk with plant-based alternatives such as margarine or soy milk.

– Vegan Colcannon: To make a Vegan edition of Irish Colcannon Recipe simply swap regular butter with margarine and full-fat milk with unsweetened soya milk.

– Colcannon Puffs: To add a modern twist to your Colcannon, turn them into beautiful mashed potato puffs by piping the mashed vegetable mixture into round shapes on a baking sheet before baking.

– Gluten-Free: For those avoiding gluten replace plain flour with gluten-free flour as traditional Irish colcannon is made with wheat flour.

The beauty of this classic Irish dish is that you can make it your own while preserving its delicious integrity. By substituting ingredients or adding vegetables, you can create endless variations to suit your taste buds.

Serving and Pairing

 In every bite of our Colcannon, you'll taste the flavors of Ireland.
In every bite of our Colcannon, you’ll taste the flavors of Ireland.

Now that your Irish Vegetarian Colcannon is ready, let’s talk about the best way to serve and pair it.

Traditionally, Colcannon is served as a side dish with roasted meats or poultry. However, since this is a vegan version, you can serve it with vegan meat alternatives or grilled portobello mushrooms for added flavor and protein. It also pairs well with a fresh green salad dressed in a light vinaigrette.

For those who enjoy a pint of stout, the roasted malty flavor of Guinness complements the creamy texture of Colcannon. Alternatively, you can choose a smooth and buttery Chardonnay to balance out the hearty potato and cabbage flavors.

Another delicious way to enjoy Colcannon is by using it as a filling for savory pastry puffs. Simply grab pre-made puff pastry from your local grocery store, fill each square with 1-2 tablespoons of colcannon filling, and bake according to the package instructions until golden brown.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair your vegan Irish Colcannon, one thing is for sure – its rich flavor will satisfy your hunger and leave you feeling warm and comforted.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Get ready to dig into a bowlful of creamy, dreamy goodness.
Get ready to dig into a bowlful of creamy, dreamy goodness.

Making colcannon is a labor of love that takes time and effort. However, with some careful planning and preparation, you can make this traditional Irish dish ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer for quick reheating later.

To make vegan Irish colcannon in advance, simply follow steps 1 to 4 of the recipe instructions. Once you have mashed the potatoes and sautéed the onions, cabbage, garlic, and kale, let the mixture cool down to room temperature. Transfer the colcannon to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days or freeze for up to three months.

When reheating Irish colcannon from the fridge, take out the portion you need and place it in a microwave-safe dish or saucepan. Add a splash of water or soy milk to loosen it up and heat on medium-high heat until steaming hot. You can also reheat colcannon in the oven by transferring it to an oven-safe baking dish and cooking at 375°F for 20-30 minutes.

If you’re reheating frozen colcannon, let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating using one of the methods described above. Do not attempt to reheat frozen colcannon in the microwave without thawing first as this can lead to uneven heating and a less than desirable texture.

It’s important to note that while storing and reheating colcannon is easy, it may result in a slight change in texture due to moisture loss. To combat this, add a splash of water or milk when reheating or serve with vegan gravy to add moisture back into each bite.

With these tips for make-ahead, storing, and reheating your delicious vegan Irish colcannon recipe, you’ll never have to worry about spending too much time in the kitchen on St. Patrick’s Day again.

Tips for Perfect Results

 With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a masterpiece in your kitchen.
With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a masterpiece in your kitchen.

To ensure that your Irish Vegetarian Colcannon comes out perfectly every time, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Firstly, when boiling the potatoes, make sure to add enough salt to get a good flavor. No one wants bland mashed potatoes! You can add about a teaspoon of salt for every 2 pounds of potatoes.

Next, be careful not to overcook the kale and savoy cabbage. You want them to retain their texture and color, so don’t leave them in for too long. About 4-5 minutes should do the trick.

Thirdly, to avoid a watery colcannon, make sure to drain the cooked kale and cabbage properly before mixing it with the mashed potatoes. Any excess water can cause the dish to become mushy.

Fourthly, if you prefer a chunkier and textured colcannon, mash the potatoes using a potato masher rather than a food processor. This ensures that you mix in the cabbage and kale properly.

Lastly, feel free to adjust the seasoning according to your taste preference. Add more salt or pepper as needed to bring out the flavors of this traditional Irish dish.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a delicious Irish Vegetarian Colcannon that will win over hearts at any St. Patrick’s Day feast or any time of year!


As with any recipe, you may have some burning questions before diving in. Fear not, for I have assembled a list of frequently asked questions about this Irish Vegetarian Colcannon recipe for your convenience. From substitutions to preparation tips, these answers will set you up for success and ensure that your vegan version of this traditional Irish dish is nothing short of outstanding. So, without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the most common inquiries that may arise while preparing this side dish.

What is the difference between colcannon and champ?

One Irish dish known as Champ consists of mashed potatoes seasoned with milk and chopped spring onions. On the other hand, Colcannon is like Champ but includes cabbage and occasional herbs.

What is Irish colcannon made of?

The classic recipe for Colcannon typically consists of a simple combination of boiled potatoes, butter, milk, and either cabbage or kale. This traditional Irish dish has been defined as a mixture of mashed potatoes blended with butter and milk, along with chopped up cabbage or other pot herbs.

Why is it called colcannon?

The origin of the term “colcannon” can be traced back to the Gaelic phrase cal ceannann, which literally translates to “white-headed cabbage.” During the 17th and 18th centuries, potatoes, cabbage, and leeks were considered staple foods of the working-class people in Ireland.

What is colcannon in English?

Colcannon, a traditional Irish dish, is made by combining mashed potatoes with greens. The name is derived from the Gaelic term cal ceannann, which refers to the white-headed cabbage that is commonly used in the recipe. While cabbage is the most popular green used in colcannon, kale and other leafy greens can also be used as a substitute. This dish is typically served alongside Irish meats.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Irish vegetarian colcannon recipe is a flavorful and filling dish that appeals to anyone looking for a hearty yet healthy meal. It’s a versatile recipe that can be tweaked with a variety of substitutions and variations, making it perfect for any dietary preference. Whether you’re vegan or not, this plant-based dish tastes just as good as the original recipe! With fresh kale, savory cabbage, and creamy mashed potatoes, this dish is sure to please everyone around the dinner table.

Let the Irish vegetarian colcannon be your go-to side dish this St. Patrick’s Day, or any day of the year! Don’t hesitate to experiment with different ingredients and methods to put your own twist on this traditional Irish favorite. So gather some friends and family, pour yourself a pint of Guinness, and indulge in this delicious plate of comfort food. Sláinte!

Irish Vegetarian Colcannon

Irish Vegetarian Colcannon Recipe

There are as many variations of colcannon as there are households in Ireland, usually it has milk in it, with this vegetarian/vegan version the milk is omitted. For a variation form the colcannon into patties and fry for breakfast. If you eat eggs, crack open eggs into small pockets on top of the colcannon and bake until cooked covered. This is a very satisfying, inexpensive dish to serve
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Calories 199 kcal


  • 2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon butter or 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 1 teaspoon butter or 1 teaspoon margarine
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed (not really Irish) (optional)
  • 4 cups washed, shredded savoy cabbage
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3 -4 cups green kale, washed,stalks removed and shredded
  • salt & pepper


  • Boil the potatoes until tender (20-30 minutes).
  • Remove potatoes from water and save 1 cup of the liquid.
  • Mash the potatoes, add salt& pepper and as much liquid as needed to make the potatoes fluffy.
  • While the potatoes are cooking put 1 tbsp butter (marg) in a skillet and saute the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent (10 min) over medium heat.
  • Add savoy cabbage and 1/2 cup water.
  • Cover and cook until the cabbage is tender.
  • Heat oven to 350F degrees.
  • In another skillet add 2 cups water and cook the kale until tender, 4-5 minutes, Drain well.
  • Mix everything together, Season well.
  • Place mixture in a casserole dish top with the 1/2 teas butter, bake for 15-20 minutes to reheat.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 278gCalories: 199kcalCarbohydrates: 40.4gProtein: 5.2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1.7gCholesterol: 6.8mgSodium: 54.7mgFiber: 5.3gSugar: 4g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breakfast, European, Free Of..., Healthy, Inexpensive, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Lunch, Oven, Potato, St. Patrick's Day, Stove Top, Vegetable, Weeknight
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