Colcannon is an Irish dish made from potatoes and cabbage. The Irish often serve colcannon at Halloween, hiding a thimble, a ring, and small prizes inside. There’s also a song based on the dish. There really isn’t one way to make colcannon, so it comes as no surprise there’s a saying that there are as many versions of colcannon as there are Irishmen.

Because it’s almost Halloween, here’s the recipe, followed by a verse from the song! Have fun cooking and singing…and then do it all over again for March 17th.



1 pound Maine russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1 pound Maine red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small head savoy cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and shredded
  • 4 medium scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced and separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth


  1. Boil the potatoes. Place the potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a medium pot and cover with cool water. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat as needed to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, brown the butter.
  2. Brown the butter. Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet (preferable something with a lightly colored interior) over medium-high heat. Bring the butter to a simmer and cook until it browns and smells nutty, about 7 minutes. Pour off 1/4 cup of the browned butter into a small heatproof bowl and set aside.
  3. Cook the cabbage. Return the pan with the remaining browned butter to medium heat and add the cabbage and the whites of the scallions. The pan will be quite full, but the cabbage will wilt, making stirring easier. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook until tender and lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
  4. Mash the potatoes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the cooking pot. Add the milk and mash with a potato masher. The potatoes should retain a few small lumps for texture.
  5. Deglaze the cabbage pan. Add the chicken broth to the cabbage pan and scrape vigorously to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the broth is reduced, about 3 minutes more.
  6. Putting it all together. Add the warm cabbage and greens of the scallions to the mashed potatoes and fold to combine. Transfer the colcannon to a large serving bowl and make a well in the middle of the potatoes. Pour the reserved 1/4 cup brown butter into the well and serve immediately.


Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?


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