Colcannon | Cabbage, potatoes and onions, these humble foods make a delish and nutrish side.

How to make Colcannon, a budget lover’s dream!

Humble veggies…cabbage, potatoes and onions simmered and mashed. Colcannon is a budget lover’s dream!

With income taxes due this month, budgets can run a little tight. I’m here to help you stretch your food dollars!

Hot on frozen food

March is National Frozen Food month, so take advantage of specials to stock your freezer with fruits and vegetables. Here are four reasons why I’m hot on frozen foods:

  1. They can keep for months so no need to worry about spoilage.
  2. They boost the savings because you use just the portion you need.
  3. A Michigan 
State University study concluded that frozen or canned fruits and vegetables are cost-effective and provide quality nutrition. YAY!
  4. The plain options, those not in cream sauce or syrup, are the best buy for your waistline and wallet.
Vegetables that keep well

Beyond frozen, certain foods stretch your food dollar. Produce that keeps longer so gives you more time to eat it, so you don’t lose it to old age. Those with a longer life include:

Shredded cabbage and onions

shredded cabbage and onion

How to cook cabbage

The smell of cooking broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and cabbage comes from sulfur compounds that are released with heat. These are the same things that make them super star vegetables. These healthy, humble veggies pack an inflammation-fighting punch. But to avoid a super strong sulfur smell, don’t overcook them.

How to shop for fresh vegetables

When you’re shopping for fresh vegetables,

  • Carrot tops draw moisture from the carrots, so best to trim them. Store in the refrigerator with crisper drawer lever closed.
  • Broccoli should be green with tightly closed buds. Store in the refrigerator with crisper drawer lever closed.
  • Choose cabbage and Brussels sprouts that are heavy for the size and leaves that are tightly wrapped. Store in the refrigerator with crisper drawer lever closed.
  • Potatoes should be firm, without sprouts and not have a green tinge. Store them in a cool, dark spot, not the fridge and away from onions.
  • Onions should be firm, not wrinkled. Store them in a cool, dark spot, not the fridge and away from potatoes. Onions can cause potatoes to sprout.

How to make Colcannon

Cabbage is a March sale item. One of my favorite ways to eat it is in Colcannon. This dish is traditionally made from mashed potatoes and cooked cabbage or kale, with milk, butter, onions, leeks or chives. I think it’s a delicious way to squeak in some savings and some healthy dividends.

mashed potatoes

mash potatoes with butter and milk

cook cabbage and onion until wilted and softened

stir potatoes and cabbage together

In this recipe I use thinly shredded cabbage. Cabbage can easily be shredded with a sharp Chef’s knife, a sturdy box grater, a food processor or a mandolin. I use all of the tools I listed, but for this recipe I used the mandolin. I also use the mandolin to make cole slaw and to slice apples that I dehydrate. Just be careful so you don’t slice your finger!

Pin it for later!

potatoes, onions and cabbage in a bowl

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Humble veggies…cabbage, potatoes and onions simmered and mashed. Colcannon is a budget lover’s dream!

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Vegetable
  • Method: stove
  • Cuisine: Irish, American


  • 5 potatoes russet or Idaho, peeled, diced
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, sliced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place potatoes in a large pan, cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium heat, melt add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil. Add cabbage. Cook cabbage until it is wilted, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. When the potatoes are fork tender, drain the water and return the potatoes to the pan. Add milk to the pan, along with a tablespoon of butter and the green onions. Allow the milk to warm but not boil. With a potato masher, mash the potatoes thoroughly into the milk mixture. Mix the cabbage with the mashed potatoes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 210

Keywords: cabbage, potatoes, how to store vegetables, budget friendly vegetables


  1. Thanks for this information. I do a cooking class at Metro Caring and the students have been wanting cabbage, so this is the perfect recipe. I will be doing it next Wednesday.
    Jo Ann

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