Gluten Free Irish Colcannon | Recipes to Nourish (2024)

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Gluten Free Irish Colcannon is pure comfort food! This Irish dish is full of creamy mashed potatoes, cabbage and crispy bacon instead of the traditional ham.


Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish full of creamy potatoes and cabbage.

Yum, yum, yum!

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I feel the need for a "traditional" disclaimer here. This is NOT an authentic colcannon, but it’s pretty close.

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My gluten free Irish colcannon version uses sour cream, an authentic one does not.

Normally the potatoes in a traditional colcannon will be steamed, then peeled. My version includes two different versions for cooking the potatoes - boiling or cooking and steaming in the Instant Pot.

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Typically colcannon will have ham in it, usually cooked the day before. Ham is absolutely delicious in this dish, in fact, it's my husband's favorite! I just usually use bacon instead because I often have it on hand and find it a it easier to make this way.

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By all means you can substitute cooked, cubed or diced ham instead of the bacon if you prefer.

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The best part about these "gourmet-ish" mashed potatoes is you can simply enjoy them by the spoonful OR you can serve them as a side with tons of different meals.

It's so versatile and pairs well with grass-fed corned beef, roasted chicken,meatloaf, grass-fed lamb chops, pork chops, or even sustainable salmon.

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This delicious side dish is the perfect addition to any St. Patrick's Day meal.

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Gluten Free Irish Colcannon

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Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Gluten Free Irish Colcannon is pure comfort food! This Irish dish is full of creamy mashed potatoes, cabbage and crispy bacon instead of the traditional ham.This is a wonderful dish for St. Patrick’s Day, but perfect for any other occasion too.


  • 3 pounds organic potatoes, washed and peeled (I prefer Yukon Gold or Red)
  • 9 tablespoons grass-fed butter, divided
  • 1 cup organic organic milk, preferably from pastured cows
  • 8 oz. organic sour cream
  • 1 teaspoonCeltic sea salt(<--this is my favorite sea salt)
  • 1 head green cabbage or Napa cabbage, cored and finely shredded
  • Filtered water
  • 1 - 8oz. package pre-cooked crispy bacon, crumbled (optional)


  1. Wash and peel the potatoes. If using Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into quarters, otherwise cut potatoes into about 1-inch chunks.
  2. Add potato chunks into a large stockpot. Cover with just enough water to cover the potatoes (literally just enough, do not pour too much water into the pot). Bring to a boil uncovered. Once boiling, reduce to a low boil for about 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender (will fall apart easily when poked with a fork).
  3. In a medium-size saucepan, heat the milk over low heat.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, wash and prep the cabbage. I used Napa cabbage, removing the tougher white bottom, then julienne the green leaves. If using regular green cabbage, quarter, remove the core, and finely shred/chop the cabbage. [Note: I prefer shredded/julienned pieces in the Colcannon, but if you prefer smaller pieces, make sure to chop/dice the shredded cabbage.]Set aside.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked, pour the potatoes into a colander over the sink. Add the strained potatoes to a large bowl or a 9x13 casserole dish (I use a casserole dish, I find it’s much easier to mash potatoes large quantities of potatoes). Add 8 tablespoons of butter to the potatoes. Slowly add the warmed milk and sour cream. Using a potato masher, mash all of the potatoes, stirring to combine ingredients, until there are no lumps anymore, or until desired consistency.
  6. Add the shredded cabbage into the same stockpot, cover with just enough water to cover the cabbage. Bring the water to a boil, then boil for about 1 minute or until the cabbage turns a bright green color. When the cabbage is bright green, remove from the heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter, stir and cover for 1-2 minutes. Strain through a colander and add the cabbage to the mashed potatoes. Stir to combine.
  7. Add ¾ of the crumbled bacon to the Colcannon and stir to combine.
  8. Serve hot, topped with extra grass-fed butter and crumbled bacon pieces.


Instant Pot Cooking Instructions:Follow step 1 except leave the potatoes a bit larger, either halved or quartered. Skip step 2 - instead add 1 cup of water to your Instant Pot. Add a steamer insert to the pot. Top the steamer with your potatoes. Secure the Instant Pot lid. Press "STEAM" and cook for 9 minutes. When the cook time is up, quick release the pressure, using caution open the steam valve with an oven mitt. Follow steps 3, 4 and 5. For step 6, keep the water that is already in the Instant Pot and press "SAUTE" and bring to a boil, then follow the rest of step 6, 7 and 8.

Storage:Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.It’s wonderful heated up the next day.

Vegetarian Option:Omit the bacon.

Optional Toppings:Grass-fed Butter, crumbled bacon, lacto-fermented sauerkraut, lacto-fermented kimchi

Equipment: Cutting Board, Knife, Large Stockpot, Medium-Size Saucepan, Large Bowl or Casserole Dish, Potato Masher, Colander

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Are you onPinterest? I pinlots of yummy real food recipes + more there. I have a board just for Sides too!Come follow along.


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About Emily Criswell

Emily Criswell is a chocolate- and sweet treat-loving, holistic-minded mom of 4. She's a 4-time cookbook author -The Art of Great Cooking withYour Instant Pot {ranked in Amazon's top 10 new releases - gluten free recipes}, Amazing Mexican Favorites with Your Instant Pot{ranked as a #1 New Release BEST SELLER!}, Low-Carb Cooking with Your Instant Pot, The Big Book of Instant Pot Recipes, food photographer, homeschooler and the founder of Recipes to Nourish, a gluten-free blog focusing on real food and natural living. She works to empower her readers by showing them that there is a healthier way to eat and live. Her passion is to make healthy, natural living as uncomplicated and enjoyable as possible.Find Emily’s latest recipes and natural living tips atRecipes to Nourish. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram,Pinterest, Twitterand YouTube plus grab her free eBookHolistic Tips to Keep Your Family Healthy. Read more >>About Emily.

Reader Interactions


  1. Hybrid Rasta Mama

    I will be making this come Saturday for sure! Your pictures are gorgeous!


    • Emily Sunwell

      Awww you're so sweet, thank you! I hope you enjoy it!!!


  2. Anne

    I've never had Colcannon. Sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing at Healthy 2Day Wednesday; come back tomorrow and see if you were featured!


    • Emily Sunwell

      It's really yummy 🙂 Thanks for hosting!


  3. Sheri

    This looks delicious! I can't have any mammal meat so I'm thinking sun-dried tomatoes would be great as a topping!

    • Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri

      Thanks Sheri! It's delicious without the bacon too 🙂 I made this for many years as a vegetarian without the meat. I'm sure sun dried tomatoes would be yummy too. Thanks for stopping by!


  4. Patti

    without a print econ, so many good recipes are passed by - donot have time to copy everything, or the ink to print the whole thing - sounds good though - thanks


    • Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri

      Hi Patti - this is an older recipe before I had my blog redesigned and transferred to a self hosted platform. My newer recipes do have the print option ... but I don't have the money or time to go back and redo all of my older recipes and update and add that feature. Hope you'll check out some of my new recipes too.


  5. Dawn @Oh Sweet Mercy

    Oh yum! I wish I could eat potatoes, they are just too hard on my blood sugar so it's best to avoid them. But my family will LOVE this, thanks for sharing!


  6. Beth

    This looks delicious! I'm not a huge fan of cabbage, and this seems like a great way to add more to my diet.


    • Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri

      It's so good in this dish! A nice way to incorporate it ... roasted cabbage is pretty yummy too. Usually those who don't care for cabbage end up enjoying it roasted.


  7. Michelle Childs

    Oh! I have to try this version! Love anything potatoes! Being second generation Irish-American I love passing on recipes that tie us culturally. Now I need to stock up on some potatoes because I am hungry to try this one. Love your topping ideas! You have so many wonderful recipes!


    • Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri

      Thank you Michelle! 🙂 My mom loved colcannon and loved when I made it for her. She loved eating traditional Irish food.


  8. Susan@LearningAndYearning

    I didn't know what Colcannon was - just that it was an Irish dish. But it has a lot in common with the type of food I ate growing up in a Polish home. I guess that "peasant" food is similar in many areas!


    • Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri

      That's very true Susan. And I love that those simple "peasant" foods taste so delicious and comforting. 🙂


  9. Elaina Newton (@TheRisingSpoon)

    Yum! I made some variation of this last year and can't wait to do it again. Pure comfort food, I tell ya! I just bought two organic cabbages that were 99 cents/lb. so this would work beautifully.


    • Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri

      That's an awesome price! I love that about cabbage 🙂


  10. Jolene @ Yummy Inspirations

    Oh yum! I just adore any soup with potatoes, so can't wait to give this a go!


    • Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri



  11. Anya

    I love this recipe, Emily! What's not to love..potatoes + cabbage. 🙂 Thanks for sharing on Simply Natural Saturdays - I'll be featuring this lovely recipe.


    • Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri

      Thank you so much Anya! xo


  12. Buyviagra

    I just found this recipe because I had a lot of red cabbage left. Coincidentally I pretty much had all other ingredients. So I decided to give it a shot. Not disappointed at all! What a tasty dish! Thanks for sharing.


    • Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri

      I'm so glad you enjoyed it!


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