Colcannon Pie

Colcannon is a traditional Irish combination of potatoes, cabbage, greens, and milk. This fun recipe turns the side dish into a main meal: here, the cabbage and greens are braised with onion and turned into a baking dish, topped with potatoes and cheese, and baked to make a hearty, warming one-dish supper.

We may not have access to a peat fire to bake it in, but Colcannon Pie evokes the flavors and appeal of the Irish countryside with every creamy, mineral-rich bite. Here is the recipe.



4 large potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar
3 scallions, green parts only, chopped
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste


1/2 stick butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 head cabbage, core and tough outer leaves removed, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup vegetable broth
3 cups lightly-packed greens, such as kale, turnip greens, spinach, or parsley, or a combination
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add potatoes, cooking 45 minutes or until very tender. (The Irish often steam their potatoes in a steamer basket over boiling water. You can try this method instead, if you like.)

2. Drain potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add some of the milk and cheese and mash together with potatoes using a potato masher. Continue to add milk and cheese until all is incorporated, then add scallions and salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Mixture should be creamy and smooth. Set aside.

3. Melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and add onion, stirring to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until onions are golden, then add cabbage and broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes, then add greens and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Place greens mixture evenly in the bottom of a baking dish, draining off any excess liquid. Top with the potato mixture and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until bubbly and golden. Serve hot.

Serves 6 to 8.

By Cait Johnson, inspired by Vegetarian Celebrations by Nava Atlas (Little, Brown and Company, 1996).


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