The Melting Pot: Colcannon

Kamille Ritchie, Cactus Editor

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish eaten on Halloween, also known as Oíche Shamhna. It features a staple ingredient of Ireland. Potatoes. A beautiful of mashup of mashed potatoes, butter, and leafy greens, it is carbolicious!

The origin of “colcannon” comes from Gaelic calceannan, which literally means “white-headed cabbage.” Traditionally, charms were mixed into the colcannon, each item had a different meaning. Buttons meant you would remain a bachelor. Thimbles meant you would remain a spinster in the coming year. Ring meant you would get married. Coins meant you would come into wealth. Others believed if you filled your socks with colcannon and hung them on the handle of the front door, the first man through that door would become your future husband.

Overall, the process to make colcannon is very simple. Think of it as making mashed potatoes with an extra step thrown in. You can literally be done in an hour.



4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks


5-6 Tbsp unsalted butter (more butter for serving)

3 lightly packed cups of chopped kale

3 green onions, minced (about ½ cup)

1 cup of milk


  1. Put potatoes in medium size pot and cover with cold water. Add two tablespoons of salt, and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil potatoes for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain pot in colander; leave potatoes in colander.
  3. Return pot to stove and set to medium-high heat. Melt butter in the pot and then add the greens.
  4. Cook greens for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are wilted and have given off water.
  5. Add green onions and cook 1 minute more.
  6. Pour milk in pot, mix well, and add potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium.
  7. Use fork or potato masher and mash potatoes, mixing them with the greens.
  8. Add salt to taste and serve hot, make a well and put a pat of butter in center. Enjoy!