St. Paddy's Day Recipe From a Mercy Dietitian

March 14, 2024

Colcannon Recipe

Created by Mercy dietitian, Jessica Gebhart MA, RD, LD

Colcannon is an Irish classic featuring fluffy potatoes and greens rich in nutrients and color. This recipe departs from tradition with the addition of green onions and reducing the saturated fat but keeping all the flavor. Recipe serves six.


  • 3 pounds Russet potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped greens, such as spinach, kale, or swiss chard
  • 4-5 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Mercy doctor's coat Colcannon recipe


1. Peel and quarter the potatoes. Place them in a large pot of cold water and add two teaspoons of salt. Bring the potatoes to a boil & cook for 12-15 minutes, until tender enough that they can be pierced by a fork easily.

2. Reserve 2 cups of cooking liquid, then drain and set the potatoes aside to dry.

3. In the same pot you boiled the potatoes in, add the butter & olive oil. Heat them over a medium low heat. Once the butter has melted add the chopped greens & green onions. Cook until the greens & onions are wilted & soft, about 5-7 minutes.

4. Add 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid & bring to a simmer.

5. Lower the heat. Add the potatoes. Mash the potatoes with a fork or masher. Mash and mix until the colcannon reaches your desired consistency. Add more cooking liquid if they seem too dry. Finish with salt and pepper to taste, then serve.


  • Dry potatoes! Letting the russets dry while draining ensures they will soak up all the butter and olive oil. Russets are also the best for this dish because they are starchier than a new potato or yukon gold.
  • If you are looking to gain weight or increase calories go traditional and use milk or heavy cream in place of the reserved cooking liquid.
  • Try cabbage! Many versions of colcannon use cabbage in place of the greens.
  • Top with crispy onions or fresh herbs.
  • Keep the peel for added fiber and nutrients.

Nutrition Highlights:

  • Get your energy! Potatoes are a great source of potassium, B vitamins, and carbohydrates needed for energy production.
  • Leafy greens are nutrient dense power houses with an abundance of vitamins A, C, & K, folate, calcium, and antioxidants.
  • Using olive oil for half the butter not only brings a rich grassy flavor, but also increases heart healthy unsaturated fats, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • Using the potato cooking liquid in place of the traditional milk or cream, reduces the saturated fat and calories in this dish.

For a serving of about 1.5 cups there are roughly 295 calories, 43 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 6.5 monounsaturated fat, 6 g protein, 1.1 g potassium, 1 g sodium.