Lisa’s Colcannon with Brussels Sprouts is my new favorite family recipe. As the saying goes, “There are as many colcannon recipes as there are cooks in Ireland.” Well, here’s mine and it’s vegan!
I have made colcannon a few times over the years, but had forgotten how delicious it is! With this recipe, I break tradition a little bit and add Brussels sprouts for the greens. So amazingly good! The next time I make it, I am doubling (or tripling) the recipe. We’ll need more colcannon leftovers to make potato pancakes the next morning. One day, I’ll have my routine down!
Colcannon traditionally includes greens like cabbage or kale, along with green onions or scallions. But you can use any kind of greens or green vegetables in this recipe. Some people use collard greens or spinach. When I’ve made it before, I’ve used green cabbage. But, since moving to Florida, we’ve had a problem with only finding bitter cabbage. I had never encountered a bitter cabbage until this year, when I purchased one on three different occasions. Each time, the bitter cabbage made the dish taste pretty awful. I had to throw the food out after eating one serving. I’ve read online that green cabbage is the least bitter when picked after the first frost, so maybe that’s the problem with the supply in such a warm state. I’m glad I have always cooked with cabbage, and loved it, or I would have thought cabbage was just terrible after my recent experiences.
As a result of the bad cabbage supply, I decided to try fresh Brussels sprouts in my colcannon. Boy, am I glad I did. I’ll never make it with any other greens. And what a tasty way to sneak some extra nutrition to your kids!
To prep the Brussels sprouts for this recipe, remove any blemished outer leaves. Holding each Brussels sprout by the stem end, carefully slice it crosswise, in slices about 1/8-inch wide. Then take the circles of cut slices and cut those in half across the center. Once they’re cut in half, you can separate the half circle pieces, resulting in what looks like finely shredded cabbage. If you find some of the Brussels sprout slices of the cores are too hard, just discard those, along with the stem ends.
When cubing your potatoes for this recipe, cut them into small cubes, about 1/2-inch square. They cook faster, so that’s a bonus, plus they’re much easier to mash with the hand masher. To keep them from turning brown before I cook them, I always put my cut potatoes in a mixing bowl of cold water. This will ensure that you have nice white and bright potatoes. Your colcannon will be pretty with no dark spots.
As with mashed potatoes, colcannon can be super creamy or a little bit chunky. The consistency is up to you.
Colcannon is typically made with cream or milk and real butter, plus sour cream. To make a vegan version, I simply used plant based butter, oat milk (almond will work), and coconut milk yogurt in place of the sour cream. The yogurt did not add a tangy flavor, which was one of my fears. The colcannon was rich, creamy, and very satisfying, with a good, buttery flavor.
You might enjoy trying more Irish cuisine recipes!