Irish Colcannon

Colcannon is an Irish winter vegetable casserole enjoyed by many. This is a low carb version that fits well into a Trim Healthy Mama Lifestyle. #THM #LowCarb #Irish #Colcannon

Colcannon is one of my favorite side dishes. It is a staple in our home in the winter months because it is budget friendly, tastes great and feels like grandma’s house to me.
I’ve remade the family recipe for Colcannon into a lower carb version as I no longer eat white potatoes. This version uses turnips which is actually still authentic in this winter vegetable casserole.
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Every year since I started this blog I have shared Irish cuisine in honor of my Dad. Saint Patrick’s Day was his birthday and is my Sister’s as well. It was a big deal in our house, this is my way of carrying that tradition on. So bear with me a bit while we talk about Colcannon.

What is Colcannon?

Colcannon is an Irish winter vegetable stew. It hails from Northern Ireland and is traditionally made with potatoes, milk, cabbage, kale and butter. It is SUPER budget friendly. Many times families will add bits of bacon or ham allowing the vegetables to stretch the meat so that everyone is satisfied by the end of the meal. My grandma normally served Colcannon as a side with roast beef or ham steaks. But it pairs well with just about anything.

My dad wasn’t a fan of colcannon as he liked his potatoes plain with butter and only ate limited veggies. us kids however loved dishes like this because we rarely got them.

How I Made This Colcannon Lower in Carbs

I changed her recipe up a bit to lower the carbs by using turnips. You can use cauliflower or even rutabaga if that is what your family prefers. Rutabaga is a bit higher with natural carbs so be mindful of your serving size if that is your choice. My Colcannon in this photo is a bit yellower than when you use just turnips as I was using a mixture of turnips and rutabaga for my potato substitute.

I switched out the regular milk for a combination of unsweetened almond milk and heavy cream. You can use spinach in place of the kale in the recipe card if you like and I added a bit of sunflower lechithin to help everything get creamy.


Low Carb, THM S, Colcannon

My husband prefers turnips when I am replacing potatoes, I’m not sure why but for him it is a texture thing. If you are like us then you may want to check out this article on How to Prepare Instant Pot Turnips. It’s a great way to save time in the kitchen. 

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Irish Colcannon (THM S, Low Carb, Diabetic Friendly)

Irish Colcannon Recipe

Irish Colcannon
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 12
  • Calories: 63
  • Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Sodium: 252mg
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 12mg
Prep time: 
  • 1 pound turnips (peeled and cubed)
  • 1 pound cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 cup kale (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup onion (sliced)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
  • ⅛ teaspoon sunflower lecithan (optional)
  • 1½ teaspoons himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet. Saute onions and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add Cabbage and Kale and cook until soft. Set aside.
  2. Cook turnips until soft and mashable. Mash turnips with almond milk, cream and butter, adding the lecithin if using.
  3. Season turnip mixture with salt & pepper.
  4. Stir in cabbage and kale mixture.

12 thoughts on “Irish Colcannon

  1. Looks delish! I have been using a lot of cauliflower in place of potatoes and turnips will be a nice change.
    So tell me about Sunflower Lecithin. Why do you use it and what else do you use it in? This is one of the specialty items I’ve never tried.

  2. As far as I’m concerned, this recipe only is enough for one. Lol! Oh my word! It is SO good!! I actually cut it in half, but very seriously could have eaten the entire portion on my own – I felt obligated to leave some for my husband though. You’ve written that it serves 12, which means that half would serve 6, but there is no way I could have stopped with such a small helping.
    I made a commitment at the beginning of the year to up my veggie intake and to try new ones. I bought one lone turnip and one little parsnip a week ago with plans to figure out what to do with them once I got home. Earlier today I decided to finally look for a recipe before I lost them. I am so very glad I found this post! thank you, thank you, thank you! 🙂
    Tomorrow won’t be too soon to make it again, will it??

    1. I am so happy you enjoyed it. I honestly eat more tahn 1 serving myself. In all honesty I see nothing wrong with having lots of veggies with my meals. And yep tomorrow is a great day to make this again

  3. Judy – WOW! this is amazing!!!! I used turnips and rutabaga and made both in the Instant Pot. But seriously….this recipe as written is supposed to serve 12??? I guess my appetite is wayyyyy overboard because I ate nearly half of it. I would have eaten all of it, but I waited to make it after I saw your Bubble and Squeak recipe ( because I wanted the “leftovers” to use for that dish. It was just so difficult to put down my fork. I truly would have eaten the entire batch if I didn’t want to make the Bubble and Squeak so badly. Will let you know how that went for me in a couple days. Thank you so very much for ALL your fabulous recipes (and the time it takes to perfect them).

    1. I am SO happy you enjoyed this… I will correct the serving size as this is tje second one saying it needs to be larger. My husband agrees with you!!! He loves this

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