Potato Cabbage and Rutabaga Colcannon

A white plate containing Irish Colcannon; mashed potatoes, cabbage, and rutabaga.

A traditional Irish side dish of creamy mashed potatoes and steamed cabbage with the addition of mashed rutabaga.

Irish Colcannon

Potatoes are a classic Irish ingredient, mainly for historical reasons. While making this dish I tried to think about the reasons why colcannon was so important in the culinary history of Ireland.

It’s most definitely not an elevated dish, no matter how you serve it. It was meant to be cheap and sustaining. I highly doubt it was ever made with copious amounts of butter and cream like modern day versions are.

Personally, I love it as a side dish. It’s delicious but if it was the only dish I had to eat for years, it would lose its charm.

Potato Cabbage and Rutabaga Colcannon

There are many versions of Colcannon on the internet. While making my version I decided to ignore them so that I could create my own. The rutabaga and potato mash adds a unique spin to the dish, as does the ghee. It was both delicious and sustaining.

Cabbage is an Underrated Vegetable

It’s true. Cabbage is often the butt of jokes (see what I did there?) Poor old cabbage. I firmly believe that a spotlight really needs to be shone on this cruciferous vegetable.

In fact, cruciferous vegetables are a whole category of vegetables that don’t get a lot of love, especially in this house. I’ve been a broccoli hater for years but it wasn’t always so…and I blame my mother.

I know she tried her best and she had plenty of other things to do than tend to that boiling pot of broccoli on the stove but I truly believe my hatred of those little green trees began in my childhood.

Many people make the same mistake with cruciferous vegetables; over boiling them until they are tasteless mush. I’ve made a point of always paying close attention to cooking them so I didn’t scar my own children.

With the exception of cabbage which is great for cabbage rolls (lazy and rolled) and sauerkraut. It also happens to be one cruciferous vegetable that is great boiled with a plain smattering of vinegar, salt, and pepper.

So What exactly is a Rutabaga?

Rutabaga. Just what exactly is a rutabaga? You may be surprised to know that this is the FIRST rutabaga I’ve ever cooked. I STILL blame my mother because I had it in my head that rutabagas are just turnips.  I remember her mashing pots and pots of boiled bitter turnips. They were the only vegetable that ever made me gag.

Rutabagas are not turnips, they are actually a cross between cabbage and turnips that originated in Sweden (you may also know them as Swedes).

You can eat the both the tops and the roots, which makes it a root vegetable even though it’s part cruciferous. Throughout Europe they are prepared in several ways; roasted, baked, as a flavor enhancer in soups, uncooked and thinly julienned as a side dish or in a salad.

The most common way to cook them is to boil and mash them.

Irish Colcannon

Potatoes are a classic Irish ingredient, mainly for historical reasons. While making this dish I tried to think about the reasons why colcannon was so important in the culinary history of Ireland.

It’s most definitely not an elevated dish, no matter how you serve it. It was meant to be cheap and sustaining. I highly doubt it was ever made with copious amounts of butter and cream like modern day versions are.

Personally, I love it as a side dish. It’s delicious but if it was the only dish I had to eat for years, it would lose its charm.

There are many versions of Colcannon on the internet. While making my version I decided to ignore them so that I could create my own. The rutabaga and potato mash is something that I thought would add a unique spin to the dish, as well as the addition of ghee, or clarified butter. It was both delicious and sustaining.

I hope you enjoyed this little snippet of traditional Irish cuisine. Potato, Cabbage, and Rutabaga Colcannon is a great little side dish to make in the dead of winter, especially when you’re trying to live frugally.

A delicious Irish side dish made with potatoes, cabbage, and rutabaga. #colcannon #mashedpotates #rutabaga #sides

Tasty Side Pieces from Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen:

Spinach Stuffing Balls 

Kabocha Squash Daal

If you make this Colcannon recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Yield: 6 servings

Potato Cabbage and Rutabaga Colcannon

A white plate containing Irish Colcannon; mashed potatoes, cabbage, and rutabaga.

A traditional Irish side dish of creamy mashed potatoes and steamed cabbage with the addition of mashed rutabaga.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium rutabaga; peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 kg potatoes; peeled and cut into chunks
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup ghee
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/3 head of cabbage; roughly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter; melted

Instructions

  1. Add peeled and cut potatoes and rutabagas to a large pot of salted water. Boil until they are quite soft.
  2. Add sliced cabbage to a large pot with a bit of water. Cover and steam until the cabbage becomes soft. Remove lid and allow water to evaporate entirely.
  3. Season the cabbage with salt and pepper; add some cider vinegar if preferred.
  4. Drain away all liquid from the potatoes and rutabaga. Add ghee and cream.
  5. Mash until no or few lumps remain (depending on how you like it)
  6. Serve the mash over top a bed of the cabbage or mix everything together.



Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 446Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 163mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 6g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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11 comments

  1. Evelyne CulturEatz

    Lots of overboiled veggies in my childhood too. And my mom killed this mashed version too a lot s a kid (not in a good way) but yours is much more tempting, especially with the cabbage too.

    Reply

  2. Wendy

    We love all kinds of veggies in this household but I understand where you are coming from. I never knew vegetables could be so delicious because my Mom, like most of her generation, cooked them until they were mush. I never thought to add rutabaga to colcannon. I’ll bet it was delicious.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I think it’s actually kind of great that we can rediscover these veggies and maybe teach our mother’s something in the process. PS my mother makes GREAT bread so we all have our strengths right?

  3. Tara

    I don’t think I have cooked with rutabaga yet, or if I had then I don’t remember. This looks wonderful!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I think it will be a vegetable that I investigate further! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Tara

    I don’t think I have cooked with rutabaga yet, or if I had then I don’t remember. This looks wonderful!

    Reply

  5. Karen @Karen's Kitchen stories

    I adore cabbage! I’d rather have a cabbage salad over a lettuce salad. This colcannon looks so creamy and divine.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I’m pretty excited because I’ve been searching for a great cabbage salad recipe and recently had one at a nearby restaurant. They were ever so gracious and gave me the recipe!! I can’t wait to try it out.

  6. Nicoletta @sugarlovespices

    I know, very underrated. Not from us though, we love and eat a lot of cabbage, and also rutabaga. Loreto makes a wonderful potato and rutabaga mash. Your colcannon looks beautiful and so tasty! Pinned and yummed!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I’ve been eating so much cabbage this winter, mostly roasted. Is rutabaga big in Italy?

    2. Nicoletta @sugarlovespices

      More cabbage than rutabaga, but lately the organic farmers market carry it!

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