Mashed potatoes are loaded with kale, leeks, and scallions in this Vegan Colcannon recipe. Based on an Irish classic, it's the ultimate dish to serve on St. Patrick's Day. It's a great side dish for just about any day of the year, though! This easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Vegan Colcannon for St. Patrick’s Day
A few years ago I had a green food themed potluck for St. Patrick’s Day. While I am part Irish, I didn’t grow eating foods that were Irish in nature, and we didn’t eat anything special on St. Patrick’s Day. I had recently read something about Colcannon though, and I wanted to give it a try for the potluck. Winging it, I didn’t use a recipe – I just made mashed potatoes and mixed it with sautéed leeks and cabbage. People asked me for the recipe later, and when I told them that I didn’t have one, they eyed me suspiciously, as if I was refusing to share a well-guarded family secret.
I’ve made Colcannon several times since then, and I’ve finally decided to write down the recipe. I have no idea if this is how it’s supposed to be made, but this is how I make it. Traditionally, Colcannon is made with either kale or cabbage. Since I couldn't decide which one I wanted to use, I've added both.
What is Colcannon?
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes mixed with kale or cabbage. It’s commonly made with milk and butter, but of course, that’s easy to veganize. Onions, leeks, scallions, chives, and sometimes bacon are added. It’s usually served in autumn and winter, as it’s a warming and comforting dish. Here in the U.S. as we tend to eat it to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, although there’s really no reason why we can’t eat it year-round.
How to Make Vegan Colcannon
This recipe is easy to make!
- First, you boil the potatoes until they're fork-tender.
- While the potatoes are boiling, you cook the leeks.
- Next, you add the cabbage, scallions and kale to the pan with the leeks and cook until the kale wilts.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, you drain them and mash them together with the olive oil, nutritional yeast, non-dairy milk, salt, and pepper.
- Finally, you mix the cooked vegetables into the potatoes. Et voila... your colcannon is ready!
I grew up hating mashed potatoes, because it seemed like eating paste to me. I’ve grown to love it by leaving the potato skins on for texture and keeping the mixture kind of lumpy. Go ahead and peel the potatoes, if you like your mashed potatoes a little smoother. You can add a little smokiness to you colcannon by adding some crumbled tempeh bacon.
The Best Potatoes for Colcannon
Yukon Gold is the best type of potato for mashing. Yukons are soft and creamy, and they have a hint of buttery flavor.
I'm going to embarrassedly admit that I used to use russet potatoes in this recipe, but I've since learned the error of my ways. They absorb too much liquid when cooked in water, and they're a little too grainy for mashing. Save them for baking.
- 8 medium-sized Yukon potatoes scrubbed and diced (about 3 pounds)
- 2 teaspoons salt divided
- 1 teaspoon neutral-flavored oil
- 2 leeks chopped and cleaned
- 4 cups cabbage diced
- 4 cups kale chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 4 scallions sliced
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with enough water to cover the pieces with an extra inch or two. Add a teaspoon of salt to the water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat and add the leeks. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt, which will help them caramelize. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the have begun to brown.
- Add the cabbe, kale, and scallions to the pan, and cook until the kale wilts.
- Drain the potatoes, and place them back in the pot along with ½ teaspoon of salt, the non-dairy milk, olive oil, nutritional yeast, and black pepper. Mash until the potatoes reach your desired mashed potato consistency.
- Add the leeks, kale, and scallions to the potatoes and mix it all together.
- Garnish with the parsley and serve hot.
More Potato Recipes You might enjoy include:
- Colcannon Cakes
- Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potatoes
- Smashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic Cream
- Hasselback Potatoes
Other delicious St. Patrick's Day recipes include:
- Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Millet Mash Crust
- Stout, Seitan, and Cabbage Casserole
- Soda Bread
- Shamrock Shake