Twice-Baked Colcannon Potatoes

published Mar 15, 2022
Twice-Baked Colcannon Potatoes Recipe

When it comes to St. Patrick's day classics, Ivy Manning's twice-baked colcannon potatoes even outshine corned beef.


Prep20 minutes

Cook1 hour 30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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twice baked colcannon potatoes on a baking sheet
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

In my Irish American family, colcannon twice-baked potatoes are the star of St. Patrick’s Day. My grandma Manning served our favorite colcannon — buttery mashed potatoes with cabbage and green onions — with everything from leg of lamb to pork roast with apples, hiding a pat of ice-cold butter in the center, much to the glee of her grandchildren. It was especially important on St. Patrick’s Day. 

She used tender, wrinkly Savoy cabbage leaves because they are easier to boil into tender submission than the commonly used kale. She’d often recall her mother’s stories of using wild foraged seaweed in western Ireland instead of cabbage because food was so scarce and seaweed was free. A sobering tale for young ears — times were so tight that potatoes were the food to be stretched. 

So far, I haven’t been brave enough to try seaweed in my colcannon, but I have added my own (admittedly luxe) tweaks over the years. I make it a meal by serving it as twice-baked potatoes. I’ve added Irish cheddar, lots of butter, and sometimes even a little crispy pepper bacon. It ends up being a tasty, filling, fork-and-knife dinner all on its own — no corned beef required. 

My Top Tips for Making Twice-Baked Colcannon Potatoes

  • Oil and season the skins: Rub the potatoes all over with oil and salt before baking. This will help create crispy, tasty skin, so you’ll love eating the whole potato, skin and all. I bake them at 400°F, until they squish easily when squeezed with an oven mitt. This takes about an hour. Don’t rush it, or your colcannon will be lumpy and you’re apt to tear the potato skins while scooping out the flesh. 
  • Brown the cabbage: Let the cabbage and green onions brown in butter just a little; this adds a delicious “sour cream and onion” flavor to the colcannon. Adding a bay leaf and dried mustard also amp up the flavor immeasurably, so don’t skip this bit. 
  • Use a potato ricer: For the silkiest mash, push the hot potato flesh through a potato ricer or food mill. Get out all the lumps; everyone knows lumps rob us of joy.
  • Go slowly with the milk: You might not need all of the milk to make a creamy mash — it all depends on how starchy your potatoes are and how creamy and loose you like your colcannon. 
  • Hide the frozen butter in the center: Once the colcannon is made, pack it back into the baked potato shells, mounding it up slightly to fit it all in. And then it’s time for the best part: plunging an ultra-cold tablespoon of butter into the center of each potato. You’ll leave the top of the butter exposed so it creates a buttery pool as the potatoes bake.
  • Rough up the tops: For a little extra texture, rough up the top of the potatoes with the tines of a fork before they go into the oven. Those craggy edges will become brown and crispy, which makes them look even more enticing and adds a textural counterpoint to the smooth, creamy spuds below. 
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Twice-Baked Colcannon Potatoes Recipe

When it comes to St. Patrick's day classics, Ivy Manning's twice-baked colcannon potatoes even outshine corned beef.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 4

    large russet potatoes (8 to 10 ounces each)

  • 2 teaspoons

    olive oil

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/2

    small savoy cabbage (about 12 ounces)

  • 4

    medium scallions

  • 4 ounces

    sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 cup


  • 1 teaspoon

    dried mustard powder

  • 1

    bay leaf

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Prick 4 large russet potatoes all over with a fork. Rub the potatoes with 2 teaspoons olive oil and then season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Place directly on the oven rack (place a baking sheet on a lower rack if desired to catch any drippings). Bake, flipping halfway through, until cooked through and they squish easily when gently squeezed with an oven mitt, 50 to 60 minutes total. Meanwhile, prepare the filling ingredients.

  3. Cut the core from 1/2 small savoy cabbage, then finely chop the leaves (3 cups). Thinly slice 4 medium scallions, keeping the white and light green parts separate from the dark green parts. Grate 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese on the large holes of a box grater if needed (about 1 cup).

  4. Cut 4 tablespoons of the unsalted butter into 4 pieces and place in the freezer. Place 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a medium frying pan, and let the remaining 2 tablespoons unsalted butter sit at room temperature.

  5. Melt the butter in the frying pan over medium heat. Add the cabbage, white and light green parts of the scallions, and 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cabbage begins to brown and wilt, 5 to 6 minutes.

  6. Add the dark green scallion parts, 1 cup milk, 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder, and 1 bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the cabbage is fall-apart tender, 20 to 25 minutes (the liquid may look curdled). Remove the pan from the heat and let sit covered to keep warm.

  7. When the potatoes are ready, wear oven mitts to protect your hands or using tongs to hold them, cut off the top quarter of the potatoes with a serrated knife. Scrape out the potato flesh from the tops with a spoon into a medium bowl; set the tops aside. Scoop out the flesh from the bottom portion of the potatoes into the same bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell around the bottom and sides. Place the potato shells and tops on the baking sheet skin-side down and put in the oven while finishing the filling.

  8. Pass the potato flesh through a potato ricer or food mill into a large bowl. (Alternatively, mash very well with a potato masher.) Add the 2 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter and stir to combine. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cabbage and scallions to the bowl of potatoes and discard the bay leaf. Stir to combine, gradually stirring in enough milk from the saucepan until you have a silky-smooth mash (you may not need all of the milk).

  9. Add the cheese and stir to combine. Taste and season with kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Remove the potato shells from the oven. Spoon the potato mixture into them, packing it in and mounding it high. (If you have extra filling, mound it into the potato skin tops.) Plunge 1 tablespoon of the frozen butter into the center of each stuffed potato, leaving the top of the butter exposed. Run the tines of a fork lengthwise through the tops of the potato filling to add rough edges.

  10. Bake (switching the oven to convection, if available) until the edges are browned and the filling is hot, 20 to 30 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Potatoes: Buy long, straight, plump potatoes for the easiest re-stuffing. Wash the potatoes well, scrubbing off any dirt on the skins as you’re meant to eat the skins in this recipe.

Bacon twice-baked potatoes: Add 4 strips cooked and crumbled pepper bacon to the mashed potato mixture.

Cabbage: You can substitute regular green cabbage for the savoy cabbage in a pinch.

Vegan: For vegan potatoes, substitute vegan buttery spread for the butter, unsweetened oat milk for the dairy milk, and vegan cheese for the cheddar.

Make ahead: Cool the filled but unbaked stuffed potatoes completely. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Bake at 375ºF for 40 to 50 minutes.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.