Irish Colcannon with Leeks and Cabbage: pure comfort food! Wonderful as a side dish or a topping for shepherd's pie. #irishfood #colcannon #sidedish via @FlippedOutFood

Irish Colcannon with Cabbage and Leeks

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish with mashed potatoes and greens such as kale or cabbage. This version, Irish Colcannon with Cabbage and Leeks, gets a flavor infusion from aromatics (leeks and garlic) and sour cream for tangy creaminess. Eat it as a delicious side dish, or as a topping for shepherd’s pie or lamb stew.

Servings 6 –8


  • 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes (or other medium-starch potatoes)
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups green cabbage, finely shredded; shreds cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 leek (white and light green part only), cut in half lengthwise and sliced into fine half-rings
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used skim, but you can use whatever kind you like)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced (for serving)
  • 2 tbsp Italian parsley, finely chopped (for serving)


  1. Fill a 7–8 qt. pot 3/4 of the way with water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil gently until a knife slips in and out of the potato pieces without any resistance (15–20 min).

  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks; sauté until softened, but not brown. Add the garlic. Sauté an additional minute. Add the cabbage; stir to combine. Lid the skillet and reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is soft. Remove from heat.

  3. When the potatoes are soft, drain well and return to the pot. Add the butter and stir to combine. After the butter has melted, add the sour cream and milk. Mash to desired consistency with a potato masher (don't worry about getting every lump out: you won't notice them with the cabbage). Add the cabbage and leek mixture along with salt and pepper. Mix well and taste for seasoning, adjusting as necessary. 

  4. Garnish with sliced scallions and chopped parsley. Serve.

Recipe Notes


  1. You can prep the cabbage and leeks the night before. Simply store in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator.
  2. You can also peel and dice the potatoes the night before. Put them in a large container of water in the refrigerator.