Sides/ St. Patrick's Day

Irish Colcannon with Bacon

Buttery and warm mashed potatoes with hickory smoked bacon, caramelized onions and tender cabbage is one of our new family favorites.Make this. Like, right now. You don’t have to be Irish, and it doesn’t have to be St. Patrick’s Day. Our take on the classic Irish Colcannon recipe is so good you’ll wonder why you haven’t been eating it your whole life.

A bowl of Irish Colcannon, with mashed potatoes, cabbage, onions and bacon.



Wait, what? You have been eating colcannon all your life? Then I’m totally mad because you didn’t tell ME about it. Amazing recipe. So simple but so satisfying.



A Recipe to Remember – Irish Colcannon with Bacon

Just when I thought I had eaten every version of potatoes + cabbage + bacon. Then this. 

Talk about such a wonderful, homestyle recipe that your family will love. Filling and comforting…buttery and savory. All of the great things about simple country cooking combined into one fantastic recipe.


Cabbage, russet potatoes, and onions on a countertop


To make our version of a traditional Irish Colcannon recipe, you start with affordable ingredients. Russet potatoes, green cabbabge, and onions. These household staples are at the heart of many of our recipes, including this colcannon recipe.

First things first, make your favorite mashed potatoes. Get our recipe at the end of this post, or use your own. A classic buttery mashed potato base is the main part of colcannon. After all, it is an Irish recipe.


A pot of hot potatoes being mashed with butter, milk, salt and pepper


Leave it to me to turn an Irish recipe into something decidedly Southern by adding hickory smoked bacon. I mean, adding bacon to a potato recipe is a no-brainer in my book. The instant addition of savory-smoky flavor to this colcannon recipe is perfection.

Be sure to save all of those bacon drippings. We are going to infuse all of that piggy bacon flavor into our fresh onions and cabbage.

Speaking of the onions, let’s caramelize them first. Sure, you can cook them all at once with the cabbage if you want…but all you are going to get is cooked bland onions. Let the onions simmer and caramelize in the bacon fat until golden for another layer of flavor that will set your recipe apart from anyone else’s.


Love country cooking like this? You’ll love these recipes:

Grilled Bangers + Mash

Cheesy Mashed Potato Casserole

Country Fried Beef Stroganoff

Irish Stew

Southern Style Hushpuppies


A skillet of caramelized onions cooking in bacon fat


When the onions have reached that perfect state of perfection (trust me, you’ll know when it happens…the aroma is amazing), stir in half a head of chopped, fresh green cabbage. You know the one, the cheap cabbage. (I told you this was an affordable recipe.)

Cook and stir until the cabbage is tender and still firm. Do not add any liquid. You want the cabbage to “wilt”, not to turn to mush. This way every bite of Irish Colcannon has that lovely flavor and bite to it.


A skillet of chopped cabbage and onions


To finish the recipe, fold everything together. Taste and add more salt and pepper to your personal taste. Remember, the bacon adds a layer of saltiness, so don’t get carried away.

The buttery mashed potatoes, salty bacon, cooked cabbage and onions…mix them all together and top with extra butter. Serve hot with your favorite main course for an unforgettable side dish.


A vintage bowl of Irish Colcannon topped with crispy bacon


Your family will beg you to make Irish Colcannon with Bacon again (and again).


A bowl of colcannon with a metal plate and potato masher in the background


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Fold the potatoes, cabbage,, bacon and onion together for a wonderful Irish Colcannon.
5 from 8 votes

Irish Colcannon with Bacon

This is our take on a traditional Irish Colcannon recipe. Buttery mashed potatoes with hickory smoked bacon, caramelized onions, and tender cooked cabbage. So. Simply. Good.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 373 kcal
Author Buy This Cook That

Buy This

  • 5 large russet potatoes washed, peeled, cut into large chunks
  • 8 slices bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup bacon drippings
  • 1 onion peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 head cabbage rough chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup milk more as needed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper more to taste

Cook That

  1. Place the potato chunks in a large pot and cover over 1 inch with cold water. Heat to a low boil and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes, and return to the cooking pot. 

  2. Set the pot of potatoes on the stove eye (that has been turned off) for a minute or two to dry the potatoes. Remove from the eye and add the butter, milk, salt and pepper. With a fork or potato masher, mash the potatoes until lumpy. Set aside.

  3. While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon pieces in a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the mashed potatoes. Reserve the bacon drippings.

  4. In the same skillet, cook the sliced onions in the bacon drippings until golden and caramelized. Stir frequently and reduce the heat as needed to prevent burning. This will take about 5 - 7 minutes.

  5. Add the chopped cabbage to the skillet with a pinch of salt and pepper if desired. Stir the cabbage and onions together, and cook and stir until the cabbage is tender, about 10 - 15 minutes.

  6. Fold the cabbabe and onion mixture into the mashed potatoes and bacon. Stir to combine well.

  7. Serve hot with additional butter if desired.

Nutrition Facts
Irish Colcannon with Bacon
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 373 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 38%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 458mg 19%
Potassium 755mg 22%
Total Carbohydrates 30g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 4g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 5.8%
Vitamin C 35.6%
Calcium 7.9%
Iron 8.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  • Reply
    March 6, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Oh wow! I have never heard of colcannon but this sounds delicious! Love the addition of bacon to add a Southern touch to an Irish dish. Will try this soon for sure!

    • Reply
      March 6, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      It is sooooo good. One of those comforting classic foods.

  • Reply
    March 6, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Omg comfort food heaven, literally drooling here!!

    • Reply
      March 6, 2018 at 8:05 pm

      Listen, my family was crazy over this. So simple and affordable, too.

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    March 6, 2018 at 11:47 am

    It just occurred to me that the “corned beef hash” I made yesterday — with shaved brussels sprouts — is more like a colcannon hash… I’m going to have to change the name. This looks delicious!

    • Reply
      March 6, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      This would be divine with brussel sprouts. I’ll have to check out your corned beef recipe. My husband loves it.

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