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Perfect Pairings: 8 BEST Side Dishes for Colcannon

Colcannon’s the perfect dish packed with flavor and nutrients, so it’s fitting to celebrate this delicious Irish dish.

It’s also known as Irish bangers and mash, but that’s not to be taken literally.

An English variation on the traditional recipe includes sausages, where the ‘bangers’ come from.

Colcannon is traditionally made with mashed potatoes mixed with chopped kale or cabbage.

However, chefs have modified this classic dish over time — now you can find versions of Colcanan made with cauliflower or broccoli, or even with pasta or rice.

It’s usually served on Halloween, but make sure to save some room for this flavorful dish at your next dinner party.

So now that you know more about the dish, what should you serve with Colcannon?

We’ve got you covered with 8 of the best side dishes to go perfectly with Colcannon.

Read on to find out more.

Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Colcannon?

why consider serving side dishes for colcannon

One of the most popular Irish dishes served during the week of St.

Patrick’s Day is Colcannon, a mashed potatoes dish that includes cabbage, leeks, and scallions.

While traditionalists will likely always champion eating just Colcannon, considering alternative side dishes can be fun and flavorful.

There are many reasons to consider serving side dishes with Colcannon.

The first, and perhaps best reason, is that because Colcannon already includes cabbage and leeks, it has a very strong flavor profile: relatively bitter and earthy.

While this might be great for some people, others find the flavors equally as strong as those of sauerkraut or Brussels sprouts, which are not particularly popular with many diners.

Because of Colcannon’s flavor profile, it is a good idea to pair the dish with sweeter flavors to create balance.

This is where side dishes can come into play – serving roasted carrots alongside Colcannon will provide sweet, earthy flavors that pair well with the Colcannon flavors.

Overall, the best reason to consider including side dishes with Colcannon is to provide balance.

Many people might prefer lighter flavors when it comes to their main course, so being able to accomplish this simply by serving Colcannon along with different side dishes can be helpful when planning a meal that can accommodate many tastes.

What to Serve with Colcannon? 8 BEST Side Dishes

what to serve with colcannon best side dishes

Here are eight side dishes that work best with Colcannon:

1 – Roasted Carrots

roasted carrots

Another great addition to any dish is roasted carrots.

Roasting carrots brings out their natural sweetness, making them taste even better than raw carrots.

To roast your carrots at home, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut the tops off two pounds of whole carrots before placing them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Drizzle half a teaspoon of oil onto the carrots before roasting them for about twenty minutes.

Once the carrots are finished roasting, top them off with a little salt and pepper to taste before serving alongside your Colcannon dish.

2 – Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce

asparagus and hollandaise sauce

A Hollandaise sauce is another great addition to this dish because it works well with the other side dishes, and it also goes perfectly with the earthy flavors of cabbage and leeks.

The trick to making a good Hollandaise sauce is whisk while slowly adding melted butter into your egg yolks.

Slowly add in fresh lemon juice, white pepper, and salt to taste.

Combine this Hollandaise sauce with steamed asparagus for another delicious side dish to serve alongside your Colcannon.

3 – Braised Kale and Onions

braised kale and onions

Besides the four main Colcannon ingredients, the third-best side dish is braised kale.

There are several ways to make kale, but how you decide to cook it depends on your personal preference.

Try sauteing garlic and onions in olive oil if you prefer a sweeter taste before adding chopped kale leaves.

Cover the dish and allow the kale to simmer for 5-7 minutes before serving alongside your Colcannon.

If you prefer a stronger, earthier taste, try boiling the kale in water with salt before adding onion or garlic.

You can also saute kale with onion or garlic for a more morish taste.

4 – Pickled Beets and Vegetables

pickled beets and vegetables

Pickled beets and vegetables are other great choices for Colcannon side dishes.

To make your own, you’ll need to chop up all of the vegetables and cover them in a jar of white vinegar before adding a teaspoon of sugar and a dash of salt.

Leave this mixture out overnight before placing it into the fridge, where it can be stored for several days.

Once the pickled mixture is ready, top it off with a dash of salt and pepper before serving along with your Colcannon.

5 – Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

caramelized onions and mushrooms

Another great side dish is caramelized onions and mushrooms.

For the best results, slice up your onions and mushrooms before sauteeing them with butter and salt.

If the onion is caramelized but not cooked all the way through, try adding in some cream to make a roux before stirring it into the onion mixture.

This side dish adds a little sweetness to contrast the earthiness of Colcannon.

6 – Buttered Cabbage

buttered cabbage

Buttered cabbage is a classic side dish that has been served in homes across America since the 1960s.

It’s a fairly easy recipe, but it can be time-consuming because you’ll have to slice up your cabbage before boiling it in water with salt and pepper.

Once the cabbage is boiled, add some fresh butter into the mixture before stirring it.

Add in some more salt and pepper to taste before serving alongside your Colcannon dish.

7 – Creamed Spinach

creamed spinach

Creamed spinach is another Colcannon side dish that pairs well with earthy flavors, making it a perfect choice for this Irish cabbage dish.

To make creamed spinach, start by draining one pound of fresh spinach before boiling it in water with salt and olive oil.

Once the spinach is boiled, drain the liquid, return the mixture to the pot, and stir some cream cheese.

Add salt and pepper to taste before serving alongside your Colcannon dish.

8 – Asparagus Risotto

asparagus risotto

Last but not least, asparagus risotto is a great side dish to serve alongside your Colcannon.

This deliciously creamy dish can be made by sauteing onion and garlic before cooking the rice in vegetable broth.

Add in some asparagus tips for extra sweetness and salt before allowing it to cook for 20-25 minutes.

Once the risotto is cooked, add some parmesan cheese and serve it along with your Colcannon dish.

Although this side dish is best paired with salmon, you can also accompany other meats or fish.


In conclusion, Colcannon is a delicious traditional Irish dish perfect for eating for St.

Patrick’s day.

The main ingredient in Colcannon is mashed potatoes, but there are lots of great side dishes you can serve to enhance the flavors of Colcannon.

It’s important to take your time to consider what side dishes will pair best with Colcannon because the flavor of Colcannon can be strong.

If you plan and consider what ingredients are used in Colcannon, you’ll end up making an incredible dinner that all of your family members will enjoy.

what to serve with colcannon

What to Serve with Colcannon? 8 BEST Side Dishes

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Roasted Carrots
  • Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce
  • Braised Kale and Onions
  • Pickled Beets and Vegetables
  • Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
  • Buttered Cabbage
  • Creamed Spinach
  • Asparagus Risotto


  • Choose your favorite recipe from the list of options.
  • Organize all required ingredients and prepare a delicious meal in 30 minutes or less!
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