Irish Colcannon, A Halloween Tradition

Irish Colcannon, A Halloween Tradition

. 2 min read

If you’re looking for something nourishing and delicious to make this Halloween, consider Colcannon.

Colcannon is an Irish Halloween tradition. The Celts celebrated Halloween as Samhain, when the dead returned to the mortal world. The celebration marked the end of summer and the start of the winter months.

During the eighth century, the Catholic Church designated the first day of November as All Saints Day or “All Hallows”. This was a day of commemoration for those Saints who did not have a specific day of remembrance. The night before was known as “All Hallows Eve”  which, over time, became known as Halloween.

Well did you ever make colcannon,
made with lovely pickled cream
With the greens & scallions mingled
like a pitcher in a dream
Did you ever make a hole on top
to hold the meltin’ flake
Or the creamy flavoured butter
that our mothers used to make

— Mary Black

Irish Colcannon


Green cabbage or kale (1 lb)
Potatoes, russet (1 lb)
Leeks or green onions (2)
Heavy cream, from grass-fed cows (1 cup)
Butter, grass-fed (1/2 cup) — where to buy grass-fed butter
Sea salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
Optional: Ground mace




1. Remove the core from the cabbage and roughly chop.
2. Bring a pot of salted, filtered water to a boil and add cabbage. Cook until tender. Drain and set
3. Peel and cube potatoes. Cook potatoes in filtered water until tender.
4. Meanwhile, bring cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
5. Clean the leeks or green onions, and chop. Cook the leeks in the cream until soft.
6. When the potatoes are done, drain and return to the pot. Season to taste with sea salt, black pepper and optional mace.
7. Add in the cream and leeks. Mash until fluffy.
8. Stir in the cooked cabbage.
9. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
10. Serve the colcannon by making a mound on individual serving plates. Make a well in the middle of each portion and pour melted butter evenly among servings, filling each well.
11. Dip each bite of colcannon in butter before eating.