This is my Irish-inspired interpretation of colcannon. While my Fried Cabbage and Leeks with Roasted Smashed Potatoes may not be all that traditional, it is a uniquely delicious side dish for St. Patrick's Day and beyond!
Today's Irish cabbage and potatoes recipe was inspired by St. Patrick's Day. I wanted a side dish to serve alongside my amazing Slow Cooked Corned Beef recipe, and today's recipe certainly hits it out of the park. I know you'll enjoy this fantastic dish every bit as we do here.
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- The ingredient list:
- Ingredient savvy:
- Why this recipe works:
- How to properly clean leeks:
- How to core and slice cabbage:
- How to roast and smash baby potatoes:
- Some health benefits of cabbage:
- Some health benefits of leeks:
- Recommended additions and/or substitutions:
- Top tips for success:
- The step-by-step photo instructions for making this Irish-inspired side dish:
- Additional recipes for St. Patrick's Day:
- Printable Recipe Card
The ingredient list:
*Please note that the exact measurements along with a new "shop the recipe" feature from Instacart is available in the printable recipe card.
The above ingredient image was made using Canva Design. It's one of my very favorite design tools. You don't need to be a food blogger to use Canva. All you need to be is someone who loves designing graphics. Check them out if you're interested and a whole new world of artistic expression will be opened to you.
BUTTER - I like to use sweet cream salted butter for this recipe but feel free to use sweet cream unsalted butter if that's what you have on hand.
OLIVE OIL - Since this oil will be subjected to a high roasting temperature, it isn't necessary to use extra virgin olive oil if you'd prefer not. A good quality regular olive oil will work just fine. Feel free to substitute a canola, vegetable, or avocado oil for this recipe.
SALT AND PEPPER - As I always say, I like cooking with kosher salt. The large grain salt has a slightly milder flavor than table salt. Freshly cracked black pepper is always my preference. Freshly cracked black pepper's flavor beats the pants off pre-cracked pepper sold in the market.
GREEN CABBAGE - This is one of the market's most versatile and cost-effective vegetables. Cabbage can be served raw (as in this Copycat Sunflower Crunch Salad or other coleslaws) or boiled or fried (as in today's recipe). Raw cabbage can sometimes cause digestive issues, whereas cooked cabbage typically doesn't. Learn more about the health benefits of cabbage below.
LEEKS - Leeks are members of the allium family, so they're closely related to garlic, onions, and shallots. Leeks have a sweet oniony flavor which adds a wonderful depth of flavor to many savory dishes. Leeks are also very healthy. You can learn more about the health benefits of leeks below.
BABY POTATOES - (Dutch yellow baby potatoes) Since they are naturally small, waxy, and have very thin skin, they're perfect for roasting whole without needing that pesky peeling. In addition, they have a wonderful buttery flavor and a texture that remains shapely even after cooking...until you SMASH THEM, that is!! Yes, other color baby potatoes may be used for this recipe. And, if you feel like getting wild and crazy, choose the purple baby potatoes because they contain more antioxidants.
HEAVY CREAM - While this recipe only calls for 3 tablespoons of cream, you may be tempted to leave it out, but please don't! The rich cream pulls all the flavors together, making this a flavorful and cohesive side dish.
DIJON MUSTARD - The mustard helps brighten and balance the cream, butter, and oil richness. Even though this dish doesn't have much mustard, it's the ingredient that truly brings it all together.
Why this recipe works:
The flavor of this sautéed cabbage and leek colcannon is outstanding, with the addition of the roasted and smashed baby potatoes being a delightful addition in texture and taste.
Not only is this cabbage and leek dish a delicious side dish that pairs well with just about any protein, but it's also a very healthy dish because of the inflammation-fighting ingredients, specifically the cabbage and leeks (see more below).
How to properly clean leeks:
Leeks tend to be gritty and sandy, especially between their multiple layers. If not appropriately cleaned, that grit will get into your food and make for a very unpleasant eating experience. Always take the time to properly clean leeks before cooking. It's easy to do and only takes a few minutes of preparation.
1. Shown below is a whole leek before cleaning. Washing the outside of the leek is not sufficient alone.
2. Slice off the root end of each leek. Next, cut each leek's white and light green part into pieces approximately 4" long. From there, slice those pieces in half lengthwise. Depending on how dirty the leeks are, you should be able to see the sand and grit between the layers.
3. Fill a bowl with water and add the sliced leeks to the bowl. Thoroughly swish the leeks in the water, separating the different layers with your fingers to allow the grit and sand to fall to the bottom of the bowl.
4. Removed the cleaned leeks to a cutting board and lightly dry them with paper towels before proceeding.
Tip: Instead of discarding the dark green part of the leeks, reserve those to make a chicken, beef, or veggie stock.
How to core and slice cabbage:
I like to shred the cabbage into pretty fine strips for this recipe. The choice is yours if you'd like to slice them into larger strips than the photos show, but take note that larger shreds will take a little longer to cook. And yes, a food processor can be used in place of a chef's knife and cutting board if you prefer.
1. Using a sharp knife, cut a medium size cabbage in half. Place each half of cabbage (cut side down) on a cutting board and cut each half, in half.
2. Lay each quarter cabbage on the cutting board and locate the core on each wedge. Carefully angle the knife to cut the core portion from each quarter and discard. From there, slice each quarter wedge into thin ¼ strips.
Continue the same procedure with the remaining cabbage wedges.
How to roast and smash baby potatoes:
To make cleanup easier, I cover my baking sheet with foil. These potatoes can also be roasted in an air fryer if desired (see the FAQs for more information).
You can use whatever you like to smash the potatoes once they're roasted and soft. A drinking glass with a flat bottom, a measuring cup, or a potato masher would all work. I love using my trusty meat mallet (shown below) to make quick work of the job of smashing and mashing these delicious roasted baby potatoes.
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
2. Roll the potatoes on the baking sheet to cover them with oil. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.
3. Roast the potatoes in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or when they're fork tender.
4. Using firm but moderate force, smash and flatten each potato, leaving some of each potato intact with a visible texture.
Some health benefits of cabbage:
Did you know that cabbage is packed with vitamins and minerals? Cabbage is rich in vitamin C, K and also loaded with beneficial fiber. Cabbage is a low calorie food and is wonderful for reducing inflammation in the body.
Find out more about the health benefits of cabbage.
Some health benefits of leeks:
Leeks are also a very beneficial vegetable when it comes to reducing inflammation in the body. Leeks contain valuable antioxidants that may also improve digestion, help fight certain diseases, and promote weight loss.
Find out more about the health benefits of leeks.
Recommended additions and/or substitutions:
Feel free to use red potatoes instead of the golden baby potatoes shown in the photos. If using the larger red potatoes, cut them into 1½" chunks before roasting and smashing.
In place of the leeks, feel free to use sliced sweet onions (or red onions). You'll need roughly 2 cups of sliced onions.
If you'd like to add protein to this dish, I suggest using cooked and cut smoked sausage, kielbasa, or Polish sausage. Gently stir it into the dish before serving. Cut-up rotisserie chicken would also be an excellent addition, as would cooked and crumbled ground beef or even cooked and crumbled ground lamb.
Garlic is always a great addition to any dish. Feel free to add as much minced garlic to this dish as you like. Unusually, I didn't add it to this recipe, but next time I make this, you better know I will!! Add the minced garlic to the skillet when the leeks are added.
Red cabbage may be substituted (or included) in this recipe if desired, but please note that the color of the finished dish will be considerably different than what is shown in these photos. The completed colcannon will have a noticeable purple hue if using red cabbage.
Half-and-half may be substituted for the heavy cream if desired.
Whole grain mustard may be substituted for the Dijon if needed.
Sure. Coat the potatoes in oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook the potatoes at 400 degrees in an air fryer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove the potatoes and smash them as the recipe instructs.
As written, this recipe makes six - 1½ cup servings.
Approximately 30 minutes. As the potatoes are roasting in the oven, the cabbage and leeks can be sautéing on the stovetop. Dinner won't be long now.
Yes. Allow the dish to cool completely before adding it to an airtight freezer container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Stored in an airtight container, this will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
If previously frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Once thawed, add the colcannon to a skillet with a little bit of oil and sauté over medium heat until hot.
Of course!! Make sure to cook and brown about ¼ pound of bacon in the skillet before adding the shredded cabbage and leeks. If using bacon, feel free to omit the olive oil and butter for the skillet and fry the cabbage and leeks directly in the bacon grease.
Top tips for success:
Add the shredded cabbage to the skillet in two batches and allow the first batch to cook down before adding the second batch. Covering the skillet will make this process faster.
After adding the roasted smashed potatoes to the skillet with the cabbage and leeks, stir the mixture gently to ensure the integrity and texture of the potatoes.
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The step-by-step photo instructions for making this Irish-inspired side dish:
Roast the baby potatoes in a preheated 425 degree Fahrenheit oven until fork tender (see instructions above).
1. Cut the cleaned and washed leeks (see above) into ½" slices. Set aside.
2. Core and slice the cabbage (see above) into ½" slices. Set aside.
3. Add the oil to a large skillet over medium/high heat.
4. Add the butter and allow to melt.
5. Add half of the shredded cabbage to the skillet along with the leeks.
6. Stir well to combine, and season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
7. Remove the lid from the skillet, stir, and add the remaining sliced cabbage.
8. Stir well, and season with additional salt and pepper. Cover and Cook for 5-7 minutes.
9. Remove the lid, and stir in the heavy cream.
10. And the Dijon mustard. Stir well to combine. Taste to adjust seasonings (if needed).
11. Remove the roasted and smashed potatoes from the oven (see above).
12. Add the smashed potatoes to the skillet and stir gently to combine. Cook for an additional few minutes to heat through.
Top the colcannon with parsley (if desired), and add to a serving bowl. Serve hot.
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Additional recipes for St. Patrick's Day:
Say goodbye to tough and tasteless corned beef. This Slow Cooker Corned Beef is tender, flavorful, and super easy to prepare. It's the very best corned beef recipe you'll ever make!!
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a classically stuffed boxty. An Irish Corned Beef Boxty is a potato pancake stuffed with tender corned beef and lots of melted Swiss cheese.
This rolled traditional Irish Shortbread is rich and buttery. It's simply the best-tasting cookie that requires only four simple ingredients. This must be your lucky day!
This Traditional Irish Coffee recipe will open your eyes with hot brewed coffee, deliciously smooth Irish whiskey, and a touch of creamy sweetness from the whipped cream.
⭐If you've made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to leave it a star rating on the recipe card, along with a comment if you're so inclined. Thank you. 🙂
Printable Recipe Card
Fried Cabbage and Leeks with Roasted Potatoes
- paper towels
- meat mallet optional
- aluminum foil optional
To roast and smash the potatoes:
- 1½ pounds baby yellow potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
To fry the cabbage and leeks:
- 3 cups sliced leeks (2 medium leeks) (white and light green parts only)
- 1 medium cabbage, (about 6 cups sliced cabbage) cored and shredded into ½" shreds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
To roast the potatoes:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius, or 200 degrees Air Fryer)
- Add the potatoes to a rimmed baking sheet.
- Drizzle the olive oil onto the potatoes and roll the potatoes in the oil to cover. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Roast the potatoes for 25 minutes in a conventional oven (or 20 minutes in an air fryer), or until fork tender.
To fry the cabbage and leeks:
- Meanwhile, clean and slice the leeks, and core and slice the cabbage.
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, high-sided skillet, over medium/high heat.
- Add half of the prepared cabbage and all of the prepared leeks to the skillet. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Remove the cover, and add the remaining cabbage to the skillet. Stir well. Cover again and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.
- Remove the cover and add the cream and Dijon mustard. Stir well to combine. Continue cooking while preparing and smashing the potatoes.
- Remove the roasted potatoes from the oven and smash them using a meat mallet, flat bottom glass or flat bottom measuring cup. Use enough force to flatten the potatoes, but not pulverize them.
- Add the smashed potatoes to the cabbage and leeks, and stir gently to combine but to still keep the chunky texture of the potatoes. Taste to adjust the seasoning (if needed). Stir gently to heat through before serving.
- Serve hot and top with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
Thank you so much for visiting me today in my Kudos Kitchen. I hope you found something you'll love and that you'll come back and visit me often. There is always room for you around my table!
Should you have any questions or comments regarding anything you've seen here on my blog, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. It is always my distinct pleasure to respond to you just as soon as I possibly can.
Claire G. says
Absolutely delicious Renee! We just had this for dinner and we are stuffed and smiling!
Stuffed and smiling is always a good thing! 🙂
Thanks for letting me know how much you enjoyed this recipe, Claire, and also for the 5-star rating!
You're a sweetheart!