A plant-based spin on a traditional Irish dish, this vegan colcannon is the perfect side to make on St. Patrick’s Day or any time you’re feeling particularly Irish.

vegan colcannon in white bowl with three russet potatoes and kale in background

If you’re looking for a delicious, vegan, hearty side dish for St. Patrick’s Day, you’ve come to the right place!

I love colcannon. According to AllRecipes.com, the word colcannon is derived from the Gaelic term cal ceannann, which means “white-headed cabbage” – the vegetable most commonly mixed with potatoes in this dish. It’s a traditional Irish dish made with potatoes and cabbage.

This version uses kale instead of cabbage and uses almond milk and vegan butter to make it vegan friendly! If you’re not vegan or craving a plant-based dish, just substitute regular milk and butter! 

I also included instructions below for how to substitute cauliflower for potatoes if you want to pack in more veggies!

This side dish is easy to make in just under 30 minutes. Serve it alongside my Irish Vegetarian Stew and you’re set for a St. Patrick’s Day dinner!

For a quick step-by-step, check this recipe out in Web Stories!

Ingredients You’ll Need

ingredients for vegan colcannon laid out on white marble board

Notes on Ingredients

Almond milk: Unsweetened almond milk is my non-dairy milk of choice for recipes but feel free to use another unsweetened nondairy milk instead. I like that almond milk is more flavor neutral, which lends itself well to cooking and baking.

Potatoes OR cauliflower: Choose one or the other – you don’t need both!

Kale: Grab a small bunch but you won’t use it all. You could also substitute cabbage for kale if you want to go the more traditional route or happen to have cabbage on hand.

How to Make Vegan Colcannon

step by step instructions for making vegan colcannon in a pot with potatoes, leek and kale

Step 1: Boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 15 minutes.

Step 2: Drain the potatoes in a colander.

Step 3: In the same pot, sauté leeks in olive oil until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Step 3: Stir in kale and water. Cover and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.

Step 4: Remove cover and turn down heat to low. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Let kale cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Step 6: Add potatoes, almond milk and vegan butter to the pot and mash potatoes until creamy and combined with kale. Serve with more vegan butter.

If you’re using cauliflower instead of potatoes…

Step 1: Steam the cauliflower until fork tender, about 6-7 minutes.

Step 2: Meanwhile, sauté leeks in olive oil until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Step 3: Stir in kale and water. Cover and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.

Step 4: Remove cover and turn down heat to low. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Let kale cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Step 5: Transfer cauliflower to a food processor.

Step 6: Add almond milk and vegan butter and pulse until smooth and creamy.

Step 7: Transfer to a bowl and fold in kale mixture. Serve with more vegan butter.

close up of vegan colcannon in white bowl with three russet potatoes, kale, butter

Recipe FAQs

What do you eat colcannon with?

Colcannon is traditionally served with boiled ham or Irish bacon but I think it would be delicious alongside my Irish Vegetarian Stew!

I’m vegetarian. How can I make this dish not vegan?

You can use regular cow’s milk instead of almond milk and regular butter instead of vegan butter!

What greens can I use instead of kale?

You can substitute cabbage or any leafy green for the kale.

What’s the difference between colcannon and champ?

Champ is mashed potatoes with green onion and colcannon adds in kale or cabbage!

I don’t like leeks. Can I use something else?

Yes! You can use green onion instead.

vegan colcannon in white bowl with three russet potatoes, kale, green napkin in background

For more Irish recipes, check out mine below!

If you like this recipe, please be sure to give it a 5 star rating below. If you make it, share it on instagram and tag me @karalydonrd and I’ll re-share it with my followers! If you want to save this recipe for later, be sure to pin it on Pinterest!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
close up of vegan colcannon in white bowl with three russet potatoes, kale, vegan butter

Vegan Colcannon


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

  • Author: Kara Lydon
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A plant-based spin on a traditional Irish dish, this vegan colcannon is the perfect side to make on St. Patrick’s Day or any time you’re feeling particularly Irish.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 small to medium russet potatoes (about 2 lbs), peeled and cut into large chunks (about 5 cups)*
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 2 cups sliced)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 lightly packed cups kale, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegan buttery spread, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

Instructions

  1. Add potatoes to a medium pot. Cover with cold water so potatoes are covered by an inch of water. Salt the water (about 1 tablespoon).
  2. Bring potatoes to a boil and boil until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain in colander.
  3. In the same pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add kale and toss to coat. Add water, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove cover and reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally. Cook until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  5. Add potatoes back to pot along with vegan buttery spread and almond milk and mash until creamy and combined with kale mixture. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish and create a well in the middle of the potatoes to add remaining 2 tablespoons buttery spread to.
  7. Serve immediately.

Notes

If substituting cauliflower for potatoes…

  1. You’ll need 1 medium head of cauliflower or 6 cups cauliflower florets. Use 1/3 cup almond milk instead of 1/2 cup.
  2. Place cauliflower in a steam basket or colander in a pot. Add enough water to pot to cover bottom about 1/2 inch. Cover cauliflower with lid and bring water to a simmer to steam until cauliflower is fork tender, about 6-7 minutes.
  3.  Meanwhile, sauté leeks in olive oil until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. Stir in kale and water. Cover and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove cover and turn down heat to low. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Let kale cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer steamed cauliflower to a food processor. Add almond milk and 2 tablespoons buttery spread and pulse until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl and fold in kale mixture.
  8. Create a well in the middle of cauliflower to add remaining 2 tablespoons buttery spread to.
  • Category: Side dish
  • Cuisine: Irish

Keywords: vegan colcannon, cauliflower colcannon, vegan irish recipe

This recipe was originally published March 2016. It’s been retested and reshot to give you the most delicious (and beautiful!) content! 

Leave a Comment

Note: Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

22 Comments

  1. This came out so good! I actually cooked the potatoes in the instapot while everything else cooked. For like 15-20 minutes of cooking my family was surprised with how tasty everything came out . Thanks for the great recipe 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your comment Zack! I’m delighted that you and your family enjoyed the recipe 🙂

  2. This was such an easy recipe. And so tasty! I can’t wait to try more from your blog.

  3. My mouth is truly watering at these pictures!! This looks absolutely delicious. Totally saving the recipe.

  4. Love love love this idea! I want to dig in right now! Yum, I’ll be trying this soon.

  5. YES! This year I’m going to make this St Patty’s Day dish. Have cabbage, have potatoes…hope mine turns out as pretty as yours!

  6. Creamy, dreamy deliciousness! Can’t wait to try this Kara!! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day 🙂

  7. I’m not a vegan, but I want to become one. I love this recipe. I’ve been on a cauliflower kick, it seems, for years. Must try this recipe!

  8. I’d never heard of Colcannon before but it sounds delicious! Love your veggie-packed, vegan version!

  9. You would never know this was vegan <3 Perfection!

  10. I had never heard of colcannon, but it sounds amazing. And I love how you lightened it up here because I’m sure it’s just as good. I may have to try this out next week!

  11. i have not heard of this dish…but i could see how deliciousssss this is!