Vegan Irish Colcannon with Leeks and Garlic

, , ,

Pile On The Cabbage And Mash

This Vegan Irish Colcannon with Leeks and Garlic is such a comfort food. With caramelized leeks and garlic it is hard to resist. A St.Patrick’s Day must have for dinner. It is not very green but with a full belly of this magic dish you will feel lucky ? Plus, more lucky if you have seconds because this recipe makes 12 servings.

Vegan Irish Colcannon with Leeks and Garlic. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

A Little History of Irish Colcannon

I am sure Irish colcannon goes back much further then the history that is written about it. As information flows it is written that William Bulkeley wrote about the Irish dish back on October 31, 1735 when he was visiting Dublin. The meaning of colcannon comes from a beautiful Gaelic word phrase “cal ceannan,” meaning the “white-headed cabbage”.

This tasty dish is made with potatoes (or Praties as the Irish call them), cabbage or kale with onions and milk. It became a work mans staple food in Ireland as a hearty dish to keep the men full and satiated for a long period of time. Being that all these ingredients were all heavily grown in Ireland it became a well known dish in all households.

History dips further into this Irish recipe and it is known that colcannon is a traditional dish to eat on Halloween night. To each persons serving of surprise and luck a ring was hidden in the colcannon in hopes of being the fortunate one to get it. Whoever was to find it was highly possible to be married in the upcoming year. How fun! Definitely not something we have as tradition in America. I’d prefer this potato and cabbage dish over the candy for Halloween in this country.

Whatever the holiday may be, this is a worthy dish to make at any time of the year. I hope you like this version I have make for you today.

This is a photo of a red bowl full of Irish Colcannon with Leeks and Garlic.
Vegan Irish Colcannon With Leeks And Garlic. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

How To Make Vegan Irish Colcannon with Leeks and Garlic

This is a dish that I have been wanting to share for awhile but decided to wait until closer to St. Patricks Day. I only wish I had a beautiful giant green bowl to make it fit the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. As you can see in the photos the garlic is lusciously poured over the top of this dish. If you love garlic, potatoes, cabbage and leeks this is the main dish of the night.

I use 6 large russet potatoes to make my mash potatoes. It is really nothing fancy to make these mash potatoes. (You can use an electric hand mixer or a potato masher.) I save some of the reserved water that the potatoes were cooking in and use instead of milk. Although, you can use any plant based milk you enjoy in mash potatoes.

The only thing really different is that I use vegan butter which taste so close to real butter that you really can’t tell the difference. Especially after I add the nutritional yeast. It may look like a lot of nutritional yeast in the recipe but trust me it’s not. I have used even more than the 3 Tablespoons that I list in the recipe to use. It really leaves a very nice buttery flavor. So if you want this dish to taste full of butter then add more to your desired taste.

I use a half of a large head of cabbage to fry up in a pan with extra virgin olive oil. I add the leeks to this mix as well. It has to cook down and get a little brown to have that wonderful full rich cabbage and leek flavor. Together they help enhance one another with their amazing mingled taste. I do add a little of Trader Joe’s Onion Salt. It is a wonderful blend of granulated onion, granulated garlic, minced onion, kosher salt, green onion and dried chive. So it is optional, but if you can not get it then you can add some of these ingredients to your dish if you want.

How To Make Vegan Irish Colcannon with Leeks and Garlic. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan.

The Finishing Touches To Vegan Irish Colcannon with Leeks and Garlic.

After you mix together the mash potatoes and fried caramelized cabbage and leeks then comes the best part. Yes! You guesses it! The garlic! This is where you have a choice in wether to use olive oil or vegan butter again to cook the garlic in. In the YouTube video I use olive oil but that is up to you. The vegan butter really gives the mash potatoes that extra butter zip, but the olive oil really carries the garlic flavor all on its own. As you can see in the photo and video I try not to over cook the garlic so that it doesn’t burn. You have to pull it away from the burner as soon as it starts to turn light brown. Then let the frying pan sit off the burner in a cool area so that the pan stops heating. Then I pour it all on top of the Colcannon instead of mixing it in.

Well this dish is not the most colorful of dishes to serve up so it needs a little help. I like to use a little smoked paprika to give it a little color and added flavor. The parsley is that green spark that I am looking for for that St.Patrick’s Day flair. Add whatever you want to create the charm to entice people to the dish. Once they have some they will definitely come back for more. I hope you enjoy this wonderful dish as much as we do.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Vegan Irish Colcannon with Leeks and Garlic

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Spicy Saucy Vegan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Irish
  • Diet: Vegan


This is a beautiful tasty dish to enjoy year round but also a fantastic add on to your Irish St. Patrick Days dinner. Do not let the vegan scare you away. There are some vegan tricks that make dishes taste amazing so give it a little look-see and see for yourself. The brewers yeast is the big taste of butter in this green day dish. The leeks are bursting with flavor and the garlic is the rich pop at the end. Really balanced and one of our favorites! Enjoy!


Units Scale

Mash Potatoes

  • 6 large Russet Potatoes, (pealed and quartered)
  • 2 cups Reserved Water from Boiled Potatoes or Oat Milk, (only use enough to soften up the mash like you would use milk)
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Butter
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast, (add more if desired)
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp Trader Joe’s Onion Salt, (optional, ingredients to onion salt is in the blog)
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Cabbage and Leeks

  • 1/2 large Head of Cabbage, (cut into 2 inch cubes)
  • 1 large Leek, (cut into 1/4 inch slices)
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Trader Joe’s Onion Salt, (optional, ingredients to onion salt is in the blog)

Garlic Topper

  • 6 medium Cloves of Garlic, (minced)
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Vegan Butter
  • Smoked Paprika, (to decorate top of Colcannon)
  • Parsley, (to decorate as garnish)


  1. Peal and quarter your potatoes. Put into a large pot to boil them in. Cover the potatoes with water and boil until soft, check by to pocking with a fork. About 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes are boiling clean your leek. Make sure to check for dirt in the cresses of the leak. Clean very well. Cut into ¼ inch slices. Set aside.
  3. Clean your cabbage with water and dry. Cut the cabbage in half. Use only half of cabbage. Cut into 2 inch cubes. Set aside.
  4. Clean the garlic and mince. Set aside.
  5. When the potatoes are done boiling save about 2 cups of the hot water that the potatoes were boiling in to add latter to the mashed potatoes. (you may need less then 2 cup of the water) Drain the potatoes. In a large bowl add the boiled potatoes, ½ cup of the hot reserved boiled potato water or heated oat milk, vegan butter, (more Trader Joe’s onion salt if desired about ½ tsp.) sea salt and black pepper. Mash the potatoes together with the potato masher add more of the hot potato water or hot oat milk as needed. (If you are using oat milk, make sure it is heated in the microwave so as not to cool down the mash potatoes)Set aside and cover to stay warm.
  6. Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Then add the leeks and cabbage. Top the cabbage with Trader Joe’s onion salt, black pepper and sea salt. Let the cabbage and leeks cook for about 1 minute and flip. Do this every minute until the cabbage and leeks start to turn a little brown. (Should take about 10 minutes) If there are hard cabbage pieces add about 2 Tablespoons of water to the cabbage and cover so that the steam will finish cooking the cabbage. (Like I do in the video) Don’t burn it. If it starts to burn really bad then turn down your heat. (Watch how the color of the cabbage looks in the video with this recipe then you will know it is done.)
  7. Add together the mashed potatoes into the large hot skillet of fried cabbage and leeks. When you are done mixing put mixture of mash potatoes, cabbage and leeks into a large serving bowl and cover to stay warm.
  8. On medium heat in a small skillet add the ¼ cup of olive oil or vegan butter. Heat until butter is melted or oil is hot. Add the minced garlic. Cook the garlic until it starts to just turn very light brown. Do not burn! As soon as the garlic starts to turn light brown take it off of the heat and set the skillet on a cold burner. The garlic will finish cooking off of the burner. This way the garlic won’t burn.
  9. When you are done top the Irish Colcannon with the cooked garlic and all of the olive oil or vegan butter it was cooked in.
  10. Garnish with smoked paprika and parsley. Serve hot! Enjoy!

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


Dive into a world where flavor knows no bounds, by joining me on my YouTube channel! Let's embark on a delightful culinary journey together, unlocking the secrets of vibrant and sumptuous vegan cooking.

visit my channel