Colcannon with Leeks and Kale

Side Dish | 5 comments

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner! If you’re looking for a new side dish recipe to add to your St. Patrick’s Day menu, you should give this Colcannon with Leeks and Kale a try.

What is Colcannon?

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Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish created mostly from mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale.

I took some liberty with the traditional ingredients and added mashed parsnips to the mixture and included two types of potatoes for varying flavors and richness.

I also enhanced the flavor with sauteed leeks (love them!), rather than green onions, in addition to the traditional kale.

This Irish recipe was once considered to be a frugal dish that could be served year round, however I did not find that Colcannon tastes “cheap.” It was pure comfort to me.

I loved the flavor and textures imparted by the varying vegetables and I’m pretty sure Eric liked this even better than your basic mashed potato recipe. I think I might have to agree with him.

We served our Leek and Kale Colcannon alongside my favorite Honey Marmalade Mustard Glazed Corned Beef.

What is your favorite food to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with?

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Colcannon with Leeks and Kale

Yield: serves 4 - 6

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3 - 4 medium sized russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
8 ounces red potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
10 ounces parsnips, peeled and sliced
2 bay leaves
5 tablespoons butter
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
4 ounces kale, chopped
1 - 1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste


In a stock pot or cast iron pot, add both potato types, parsnips, and bay leaves. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a slow boil or simmer and cook for 20 - 30 minutes, or until the potatoes and parsnips are tender enough to be mashed.

Once potatoes and parsnips are tender, drain the water and discard the bay leaves. Press potatoes through a potato ricer (I use the OXO Good Grips Potato Ricer). Set aside in a large mixing bowl.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the stock pot or cast iron pot used to boil the potatoes. Saute the leek over medium heat until tender, about 3 - 5 minutes. Add the kale and saute for 2 - 4 minutes, or until tender. Melt the remaining butter and stir in the milk, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium until heated.

Then, pour over the mashed potato mixture and stir until combined. Taste for seasonings and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve with Honey Marmalade Mustard Glazed Corned Beef.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Kathryn - March 14, 2012 @ 6:05 am

    Love the additions of kale and leeks, it sounds simply delicious!


  • 2
    Pili - March 14, 2012 @ 6:39 am

    Sounds super yummy! This one I have to try for sure!


  • 3
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories. - March 14, 2012 @ 7:37 am

    You’d think I was Irish by my name (swear I’m not!), but I will gladly pretend to be if it means I can eat loads of colcannon. I add a little bacon to mine…


  • 4
    Shaina - March 14, 2012 @ 11:26 am

    I love colcannon. It is seriously the only way I’ll eat mashed potatoes these days. I’ve always just used the traditional green onions, though. I like the idea of using leeks instead.


  • 5
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions - March 14, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

    I love your version of this Irish staple!


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