Vegan Kale Colcannon

This is a fully loaded, vegan kale colcannon! It’s made with cooked kale and has the option of vegan meat for added protein and satisfaction. It’s super easy to make and the best comfort food.

A ceramic bowl is filled with a creamy vegan version of colannon, studded with kale and plant-based sausage.

Today’s dish is in honor of St. Patrick’s Day!

Colcannon is simple, rustic food at its best. It’s a mashed potato dish made with cabbage or kale, though the cabbage variety is more traditional.

Depending on how fancy you want to be, you can add chives, sour cream, butter, leeks, or vegan meat to the dish. I used to prefer a plain version, just potatoes with kale.

Now I nearly always add a vegan meat, which turns the vegan kale colcannon into more of a complete meal.

The perfect comfort food

Is there anything better than loaded mashed potatoes? Honestly, I could eat them just about every night and be perfectly content.

Sometimes mashed potatoes, some kind of beans, and my quick vegan gravy for Food52 are dinner. Sometimes I get a little fancier, and I make either mashed potato bowls or mashed potatoes with chickpeas and mushrooms.

Mashed potatoes are everything. They’re filling, comforting, and nutritious. White potatoes are sometimes framed as being non-nutritive foods, but nothing could be further from the truth. They’re rich in a lot of micronutrients, and they’re great sources of the electrolytes magnesium and potassium.

A round, white ceramic bowl has been filled with mashed potatoes, green vegetables, and sausage slices.

Vegan colcannon ingredients

It’s worth saying that this isn’t an entirely traditional colcannon recipe. There are no leeks or cabbage, and I’m guessing that vegan bacon isn’t a standard addition.

But I hope that the recipe evokes the spirit of colcannon, even with a few idiosyncratic touches. Here’s what you’ll need to make it.

Potatoes

I like to use russet potatoes for this vegan kale colcannon, but Yukon gold potatoes will also work well. You’ll need about 2-2 1/2 lb potatoes. For me, this is about 3 large russets.

Vegan milk

You can use oat, soy, almond, or cashew milk in the vegan kale colcannon. Just be sure to choose a non-dairy milk that’s unsweetened, since this is a savory recipe.

Vegan butter

Any vegan butter you like is fine here. Choose one that works for your budget, taste preferences, and needs.

If you don’t have vegan butter at home, I recommend olive oil as a substitute. But the butter will taste better, and more traditional!

Kale

Kale adds nutrient density and color to the colcannon. I simply steam the kale before adding it to the mashed potatoes.

Feel free to use any other leafy green here. Beet greens, chard, spinach, or mustard greens will all work. Green cabbage will keep the colcannon traditional. Chopped cauliflower or broccoli florets would be wonderful, too.

Vegan meat

Vegan meat is optional in this recipe. If it’s not your thing, feel free to skip it.

Honestly, though? I think it adds a ton of flavor! Vegan meat adds protein, too, which transforms the colcannon from more of a side dish to more of a main.

There are two types of vegan meat that I like to use in this recipe. The first is vegan bacon. I usually add about 5 slices, which I chop.

Vegan sausages, as pictured here, are also delicious in the kale colcannon! I usually slice a couple links of vegan sausage crosswise, sear them lightly in a frying pan, and then fold them in. The make the vegan kale colcannon so wonderfully hearty.

Recipe steps

The toughest part of this recipe is steaming kale and boilng sweet potatoes side by side. The nice thing about the recipe is that you don’t have to sauté anything, unless you’re searing sausage pieces. After you take care of the boiling/steaming, you really just need to fold everything together.

I use a handheld potato masher for mashing the potatoes in the colcannon. For regular mashed potatoes, I really like to use a potato ricer. But this recipe is better, I think, with some texture. The handheld masher gets the perfect consistency.

A white and gray ceramic, stoneware bowl is resting on a white surface. It contains a mashed potato and vegetable mixture.

Storing vegan kale colcannon

Whenever I can, I mash the potatoes, fold the colcannon together, and then eat the recipe while it’s hot and freshly made.

With that said, the leftovers of the kale colcannon keep nicely. You can store them in an airtight container for up to four days.

If the mashed potatoes get a little gluey, you can reheat them in a pot, over low heat, and fold in a little non-dairy milk to loosen them up.

A close up image of a bowl of vegan colcannon, which has been prepared with kale and vegan sausage.
A ceramic bowl is filled with a creamy vegan version of colannon, studded with kale and plant-based sausage.
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Vegan Kale Colcannon

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes (2-2.5 lb)
  • 1 small bunch curly kale, stemmed, washed, and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter (42 g)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened oat, almond, soy, or cashew milk
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 5 slices vegan bacon, chopped, or a loosely packed cup of sliced, cooked vegan sausage (optional)

Instructions

  • Add the potatoes to a pot of cold water. Bring the water to a boil. Cook the potatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are completely fork tender. Drain the potatoes.
  • While the potatoes cook, bring a smaller pot of water to boil and fit it with a steamer attachment. Steam the kale for 10 minutes, or until it's bright green and tender. Set the kale aside.
  • Place the cooked potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the vegan butter, salt, garlic powder, and milk. Use a potato masher to mash everything roughly. I like to leave the colcannon a little more textured than regular mashed potatoes.
  • Add freshly ground pepper to the potatoes, as well as additional salt to taste. Then, fold in the steamed kale and vegan meat. Mix well and serve warm.
An angled photograph of a ceramic bowl holding a vegan kale colcannon recipe. It rests on a white surface.

The real challenge of this vegan kale colcannon is to prepare it without eating half (or more) as you cook. It’s totally irresistible! The combination of creamy potatoes, fresh kale, and smoky plant meat is such a winner.

This is an ideal vegan recipe for St. Patrick’s Day, but frankly, it’s also perfect vegan comfort food for any time of the year. I hope you enjoy it!

xo

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    50 Comments
  1. I see a description and list of ingredients, but no actual step by step Vegan Kale Colcannon recipe. Can you please post it?
    Thanks1

    • I just fixed this, Caron! Apologies, there were some issues with the post that I needed to repair. Enjoy the colcannon 🙂

    • Apologies for any difficulties with the recipe! It needed some fixes. I’ve repaired it, and the print-friendly version is now up 🙂

  2. I can’t do almond milk for mashed potatoes, taste too much like almonds :/ instead I’ve found adding veganaise is REALLY good, just enough with the butter to give it some creamy texture. Not a whole lot though i try to keep it low fat as possible, But if you have the perfect amount it is amazing.

  3. This Recipe is AMAZING! This was my first St. Patrick’s day being vegan,which i thought would be SO hard. I had to cook all my family recipe’s and colcannon typically has meat in it. I used this recipe and about half way through our meal family & friends were digging into my vegan colcannon It was a HUGE success and I didn’t even miss any of the traditional fare im use to every year. I had so much fun turning all my recipes vegan this recipe inspired me. Thanks SO much! – Kristina

  4. wish we had kale more easily available here (melbourne) – I usually end up with plain old cabbage but I like this dish – don’t get your sausages here but often use some smoked paprika for flavour and I have recently discovered some wonderful vegan bacon that is a mix of red beans, buckwheat groats and flavourings – would go very well in this dish

  5. Thanks for the information (and the shout-out) Gena! I always buy nooch in bulk and never looked at the nutritional info- but i am so glad that i did. aloha, andrea

  6. This does look fabulous! However, having read your last comment about raw kale directly after perusing your (more recent) raw mashed potato post, I’m suddenly going all a-whirly about the idea of raw vegan colcannen…

  7. Ooo this looks so yummy! I’m trying to incorporate more savory meals (and by ‘savory,’ I mean not breakfast) into my repertoire and I think I’ll have to take a crack at this one; looks so creamy and comforting!

  8. This looks so good, and I totally agree with you: kale over cabbage, any day 🙂 I had not had much kale until late 2008/early 2009 and now I am obsessed and am confused that I lived so many years without it LOL 🙂

    Have fun in NOLA 🙂 🙂 🙂

  9. Do you have any feelings or suggestions about Vit B supplementation for adults and kids (10 y/o) who try (their best) to follow a similar diet? Thanks!

  10. Looks delicious- nice to see you veganized a classic, unhealthy Irish dish! So simple, yet super wholesome, and not lacking the “yum” factor!
    Have a good day!

  11. This is the first I’ve heard of colcannon. thanks for introducing it to me! I have all the ingredients (except the sausage) on hand now, so this may get made in the next few days. Happy and safe travels to you.

  12. Definitely making this tonight! Two of my favorites-kale and potato-married in the magic of garlic and (vegan) butter 🙂 I really appreciate the nooch insight. I love it and use it on countless salads, but always felt a tinge of worry-will this cause yeast growth? But I have not noticed any negative impact on my diet/health, so its good in my book. Speaking of nooch, I made your tomato tahini dressing two nights ago for a big dinner with my best friend, her new boyfriend and family. Wow-it went over sooo well. Even her dad was raving about the dressing. Thanks again for another amazing recipe Gena 🙂

  13. I’ve never had colcannon…I might have to try it. That cabbage white bean soup sure sounds delicious, though? Do you have a recipe? 😀

  14. Haha this is hilarious. Here in Holland it’s such a traditional winter dish: mashed potato with endive or kale, some butter, milk and salt. We make a little ‘pool’ in the middle for gravy and tradionally eat it with either bacon bits throughout, or a hunk of sausage next to it. We call it ‘stamppot’, something like mashed dish. The Dutch get made fun of because of this dish (ok and maybe our windmills…)

  15. I had never even heard of colcannon until today I’ve seen a few recipes for it. Sounds like a good combo of yummy vegan things.

    ps: when I tried to post this for the first time it failed said to contact the blog owner and have them look into java something and cookies. tech speak.

  16. I wrote a colcannon post not too long ago with both kale and cabbage, sweet, and regular potatoes: White, Orange, and Green for the flag! I think it makes up for my not food-celebrating tomorrow.

  17. Colcannon…I had no idea what that WAS til I read the recipe. It definitely looks wonderful and full of flavor and like my hubs would ADORE it.

    Ironically I just posted a potato themed recipes post today in honor of St Paddy’s Day with about 20 of my tater recipes. The funny thing..I don’t even “love” potatoes. They are fine, but I’d rather eat green veggies…and sweets 🙂

    Seriously though, great work on this one!

    And I liked your nooch commentary. I am one of those readers/people who love nooch and only got into it a couple years ago.

    Have fun in the Big Easy!!!!!! Don’t drink too much green beer. (kidding!)
    🙂

  18. Love nutritional yeast! Still trying to get the BF to like it. I have to use such a small amount with him, haha. Baby steps right 😉

    And your Vegan Colcannon looks amazing!!!

  19. I have never heard of this dish before, then a few days ago my business partner was telling me about how she saw a mashed potato dish on the internet that had kale in it . . . but that it was loaded with butter and heavy cream. I immediately put it out of my mind and then you come at me with this! Is it a sign? Do I need to be making some of this yumminess?

    Have an awesome trip!

  20. As usual, your post strikes a chord — for the past few days, I’ve been wondering whether nooch was candida-friendly or not. I’m so tempted to try it now!

  21. I NEVER taste! In fact, I kind of freak out if someone tries to put a spoon in my mouth. Over the years, anyone I’ve cooked with regularly has learned not to dare offer me anything to eat before dinner’s actually being served. Then again, it’s rare for me to make anything with more than four or five ingredients and without a huge margin for error, so it’s not much of a problem. If something’s “off”, I’ll adjust next time I make whatever it was.

  22. Looks so good! like kale mashed potatoes. I haven’t heard of the dish in any form-raw or cooked, but it looks tasty!

  23. Yup, I have similarly acquired a love for the nooch. I’m not making kale chips on a regular basis because they’re just too tempting… I have been experiencing some period stomach discomfort (cramping, bloating, etc), and I have been wondering if the nutritional yeast may be the cause. I’ve cut it (and a few other things like raw sweet potato and squash) out of my diet for a bit just to try and figure out what I’m sensitive too. Anyone else experience difficulties digesting nooch?

    • Yes!!! Been feeling quite uncomfortable lately – and noticed that l have been eating a lot more nutritional yeast, but l have been also eating more tahini lately.
      could not figure out what the culprit was until l read your post – will cut out and see what happens.

    • Yes! I get a “lactose intolerant” reaction from it. I just read a comment above which said it is grown on molasses, which is interesting, because I get the same type reaction when I eat molasses or brown sugar. Who knows.. my body is weird!

  24. This sounds yummy! And I’m glad to hear your opinion about nooch—it would be a big ruin on my anti-candida diet to know I’d been sabotaging myself 🙂

    • That’s the thing Lisa, I think nooch is fine for most people but for me, eating nutritional yeast results in major candida flair-ups. It probably doesn’t help that dishes containing nooch also often contain tahini and/or cashews, which also trigger reactions…sigh, it is super yummy but not good for all people.

      • I just went back to read the post again, and realized that Gina specifically mentions Candida and that she doesn’t think it matters. This has not been the case in my experience at all–of course, the combination of sesame, cashews and nooch might be the culprit, not nooch alone.

  25. I love nooch! Though I get confused – on the packet I have, it says if you heat it above 100degrees C, it loses all its nutrient value – yet basically all the recipes I see with it in have it cooked at much higher heats – like 160-200degrees C. Is it true that it loses its nutrients when heated?
    As for that colcannon – um, yum!
    Have a safe flight tomorrow 🙂

  26. I grew up eating brewer’s yeast (that’s what my Mom called it, and I believe it’s the same thing as nutritional yeast) on popcorn and now as an adult I put it on everything! I’ve seen “nooch” used on blogs but could not for the life of me figure out what it was. Thanks for bringing me up to speed 🙂

    • by the way, Annie: Brewer’s yeast is not the same as nutritional yeast. Nooch is grown on molasses. Brewer’s Yeast is grown on grain. They taste different too.

  27. Nutritional yeast is one of my favorite new foods in the past few months and I’m not even a vegan!

    Vegan Colcannon sounds amazing! I love all the ingredients, even the Field Roast, which is another vegan food that I am fond of. Plants rule!! 😀