Colcannon is one of the great signature dishes of Ireland. There are probably as many colcannon recipes as there are Irish cooks.
Potatoes are a favorite and we love mashing them with just about anything. This recipe adds a twist to the traditional colcannon with the addition of parsnips and spinach.
Check out some of the top variations and make your favorite.
Starting with the mashers, if you’re a potato purist, you might just want to ditch the parsnips and stick with straight potatoes. That’s okay.
If you’re adventurous, try your mashers with parsnips. Or perhaps you’ll want to swap out the parsnips for carrots? That’s also a winner! Potato and carrot mash is one of our favorites.
Going the spinach route is quick and easy. Three cups of roughly chopped and loosely packed baby spinach are folded into hot mashed potatoes & parsnips and then covered for a few minutes to wilt the spinach. The lid is removed and the colcannon is briefly stirred and served.
Scratch the spinach if you’re up for cabbage or kale.
The most common colcannon variation pairs mashed potatoes with cabbage. This seems fitting since the word colcannon is from a Gaelic term meaning white-headed cabbage.
Napa or Savoy cabbages are good choices for colcannon. If using Napa cabbage, a good cooking method is to steam the cabbage. Fill a saucepan with several inches of water and bring to a boil. Add three cups sliced cabbage to a steaming basket. Set basket in the saucepan over the boiling water and cover. Lower heat and simmer until the cabbage is tender and crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Fold cabbage into mashed potatoes and parsnips.
If using Savoy, cut cabbage in half and core. Rinse the leaves. Cut crosswise into 1-inch strips and then cut lengthwise, removing thick ribs. Even though all types of cabbage can be steamed, since Savoy is a robust cabbage, it’s better suited to braising and sautéing.
Place three cups of chopped Savoy cabbage in a large skillet and add one cup water, as pictured below. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover skillet and simmer until cabbage is very tender, tossing occasionally for 12 to 15 minutes. Pour out any remaining water from skillet. Fold cooked cabbage into mashed potatoes & parsnips.
Kale is also a winning choice. Clean and remove ribs. Roughly chop leaves into smaller pieces and measure out three cups, firmly packed. Steam for 3-5 minutes, following the above procedure for Napa cabbage. Fold into mashed potatoes and parsnips.
Enjoy colcannon your way and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Yield 6 Servings
Free of: gluten and top 8 allergens.
Colcannon is one of the great signature dishes of Ireland. The most common variation pairs mashed potatoes with cabbage. This recipe adds a twist with the addition of parsnips and subs spinach for the cabbage.
2 parsnips or carrots (8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2-1/4 pounds russet potatoes (about 4-5 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 tsp salt
dash white or black pepper
4 tbsp dairy-free, soy-free margarine, such as Earth Balance buttery sticks
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup vegetable broth
3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped and loosely packed
- Place the parsnips in a small saucepan and cover with cold water by several inches. Cover saucepan and bring to a boil. We are cooking parsnips and potatoes separately to avoid overcooking potatoes, because parsnips usually take longer to cook. If you prefer, you can use all potatoes, or replace parsnips with carrots.
- Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and also cover with cold water by several inches. Cover saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
- As the water comes to a boil for each saucepan, remove the lid and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-20 minutes or until potatoes and parsnips are tender, but not mushy. At 8 minutes, start testing a few of the potato and parsnip cubes for doneness by piercing with tines of a fork. Fork should glide easily through the pieces.
- Drain cooked potatoes over a colander. Do not rinse. Return potatoes to warm saucepan off heat. Sprinkle with salt and dash of pepper. When parsnips are done, drain over a colander. Add parsnips to potatoes.
- About 10 minutes before the potatoes and parsnips are done, melt margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add broth; bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1 minute.
- Pour about a quarter of the hot broth over potatoes and parsnips. Start mashing with potato masher.
- As the potatoes and parsnips break down, add the remaining broth as needed to reach desired consistency.
- Stir in spinach and cover for a few minutes to allow spinach to wilt slightly.
- Serve and enjoy.
Over-mashing potatoes will rupture their starch granules, resulting in gummy potatoes.
Courses Veggies & Sides