No Potato Low-Carb Irish Colcannon

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Imagine the rich, comforting flavors of traditional Irish colcannon, but tailored for your low-carb or keto lifestyle. Our No Potato Low-Carb Irish Colcannon offers just that—a modern twist on a classic dish. This version swaps potatoes for cauliflower, preserving the essence of the original while making it friendly for those watching their carb intake.

Colcannon, a staple Irish dish, pairs well with roasts and stews beyond St. Patrick’s Day. Our lighter take features cauliflower, green cabbage, spring onions, and crispy bacon for added flavor. It’s creamy, satisfying, and designed to fit into a low-carb diet, promising to delight your taste buds and maybe even become a new favorite in your recipe collection.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Low-Carb & Keto: Perfect for diabetics and those watching their carb intake.
  • Nutritious Swap: Cauliflower for potatoes for extra nutrients.
  • Versatile: Great option to serve with roasts and stews.
  • Easy: Simple, straightforward recipe.
  • Comforting: Classic taste, lighter feel.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Heads up: For exact measurements, see the recipe card below.

Making this No Potato Low-Carb Irish Colcannon is simple; you only need a few key ingredients:

  • Lard or tallow: Heat-stable option cooking. Ghee can be used instead.
  • Bacon: Adds a crispy, savory flavor (can be skipped for a vegetarian option).
  • Cauliflower: The low-carb substitute for potatoes, offering a similar texture.
  • Green Cabbage: Also known as spring cabbage, it adds crunch and texture.
  • Spring Onions: For a mild, slightly sweet onion flavor. It’s a lower-carb option for other onions.
  • Cream: Heavy whipping for creaminess.
  • Butter or Ghee: Enhances flavor and adds to the dish’s creamy texture.
  • Salt and Pepper: Seasoning to taste.
  • Parsley (Optional): For garnish and a fresh flavor boost.


Looking to customize this dish to your taste or dietary needs? Here are some easy swaps:

  • Bacon Choice: Both smoked and unsmoked bacon work beautifully in this recipe. Smoked bacon adds a deeper flavor, while unsmoked keeps it lighter.
  • Vegetarian Option: Simply skip the bacon to keep the dish vegetarian-friendly.
  • Onion Swap: Prefer a different onion flavor? Brown onions can replace spring onions for a more robust taste.
  • Low-Carb Potato Alternatives: Besides cauliflower, celeriac or turnips are excellent substitutes, offering unique flavors and textures. For more great low-carb potato swap ideas, check out our Guide to Low-Carb Potato Swaps.

How To Make No Potato Low-Carb Irish Colcannon

Cook the Bacon. Start by slicing the bacon into thin strips. In a large saucepan or deep skillet, grease with lard or ghee, then cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Once done, remove the bacon strips with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Sliced bacon and tallow
Crisped up bacon

Prepare the Cauliflower and Cabbage. Clean and cut the cauliflower into florets. Place these in a steaming basket over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool slightly. Prepare the cabbage by removing the tough stems and slicing into ribbons. Discard the tough stems.

Steamed cauliflower
Removing stems of green cabbage

Sauté the Cabbage and Spring Onions. In the same pan used for bacon, add the sliced spring onion. Stir to coat with the bacon grease, then cover and cook until tender, about a minute. Add the sliced cabbage, cover with a lid and cook for another 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender, before removing from heat.

Spring onion cooked in a shallow casserole dish
Sliced spring cabbage

Blend the Cauliflower. Transfer the steamed cauliflower to a bowl. Add heavy whipping cream and butter (reserve some butter for serving), then process until smooth using an immersion blender or a stand blender.

Combine Ingredients. To the cauliflower mixture, add the sautéed cabbage and spring onions. Stir well to combine.

Mashed cauliflower with butter
Braised cabbage added to cauliflower mash

Add Bacon and Season. Fold in the crisped bacon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, garnish with freshly chopped parsley and a dollop of butter before serving.

Crisped up bacon added to colcannon
Braised cabbage added to cauliflower mash

Tips for Best No Potato Low-Carb Irish Colcannon

  • Don’t Overcook the Cauliflower: To avoid a watery texture, steam the cauliflower until it’s just tender. This ensures a creamy consistency when blended. Also, remove the lid after steaming the cauliflower to allow the vapor to escape.
  • Crisp the Bacon Well: For a delicious crunch and flavor boost, ensure the bacon is well crisped before adding it to the dish.
  • Season as You Go: Taste and season with salt and pepper after adding each component to balance the flavors perfectly. You may not even need to season the colcannon if using bacon.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh cabbage and spring onions add a burst of flavor and color to the dish. If available, choose fresh over frozen for the best taste and texture.
  • Garnish Matters: A sprinkle of fresh parsley not only adds color but also a fresh, herby flavor that complements the creamy colcannon beautifully.

Storage Instructions

How long will this colcannon last in the fridge?

Properly stored in an airtight container, your low-carb colcannon can last up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Can I freeze this low-carb colcannon?

Yes, you can freeze the colcannon for up to 3 months. Be sure to place it in a freezer-safe container. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

What’s the best way to reheat colcannon?

For best results, reheat in a skillet over medium heat, adding a little cream or butter to maintain moisture. You can also use the microwave, stirring periodically to ensure even heating.

No Potato Low-Carb Irish Colcannon

How to Serve Low-Carb Irish Colcannon

This versatile side dish pairs wonderfully with a variety of mains, making it a perfect addition to any meal. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • With Roasted Meats: The creamy texture and rich flavors of this colcannon complement roasted beef, roast pork, meatloaf, or roast chicken beautifully.
  • As a Side to Fish: Serve alongside grilled or baked salmon, cod, or any fish of your choice for a balanced, low-carb meal.
  • Under Eggs: For a hearty breakfast or brunch, top a warm serving of colcannon with poached or fried eggs.
  • In a Bowl: Enjoy it as is, in a bowl, garnished with extra butter, crispy bacon bits, and chopped parsley for a simple, satisfying meal.
  • Holiday Gatherings: A fantastic side dish for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations or any festive occasion, adding a touch of Irish tradition to your table.

Tools for Low-Carb Irish Colcannon

  • Steamer: For cooking the cauliflower florets until just tender, preserving their texture and nutrients. A steamer insert in a regular pot works perfectly.
  • Blender or Food Processor: Essential for achieving the creamy, smooth consistency of the colcannon. An immersion blender also works well for blending directly in the bowl for fewer dishes.
No Potato Low-Carb Irish Colcannon

No Potato Low-Carb Irish Colcannon

5 stars from 2 votes
A keto twist on classic Irish colcannon, featuring cauliflower, crisp bacon, green cabbage, and spring onions, all smoothed together with creamy butter. Easy to make, budget-friendly, and packed with flavor, this side dish is perfect alongside roasts and stews or as a festive St. Patrick's Day treat.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Print Pin Rate


  • 2 tbsp lard (or ghee)
  • 8 slices bacon (chopped)
  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 1 small green cabbage (sliced and tough stems removed)
  • 4 medium spring onions (sliced)
  • ½ cup cream (heavy whipping)
  • ¼ cup butter (or ghee)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • freshly chopped parsley for garnish (optional)


  • In a large saucepan, heat the lard or ghee over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan.
  • While the bacon cooks, cut the cauliflower into florets and place them in a steamer above boiling water. Cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Then, remove the lid and let it cool slightly.
  • In the bacon fat, sauté the sliced spring onion for a minute, and then add the sliced cabbage. Cover with a lid and cook over medium-low heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the steamed cauliflower to a mixing bowl. Add the heavy whipping cream and butter, then blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternatively, use a stand blender.
  • Stir the sautéed cabbage and onions into the blended cauliflower. Add the cooked bacon, season with salt and pepper, and mix well.
  • Optionally, garnish with freshly chopped parsley and a dollop of butter on top before serving warm.


Calories: 337kcalNet Carbs: 5.6gCarbohydrates: 9.1gProtein: 8.6gFat: 30.7gSaturated Fat: 15gSodium: 568mgMagnesium: 33mgPotassium: 542mgFiber: 3.5gSugar: 4.2g


  • Serving size: about 1 cup (7 oz/200 g).
  • Perfect Texture: The bacon should be crispy, and the cauliflower should not be overcooked. Steam it until just tender to prevent a mushy texture.
  • Seasoning: Taste and adjust salt and pepper before serving for the perfect flavor balance.
  • Serving Suggestion: Garnish with fresh parsley and a pat of butter for a visually appealing and flavorful finish. Colcannon pairs well with roast meats, especially lamb and pork.

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2 thoughts on “No Potato Low-Carb Irish Colcannon”

  1. 5 stars
    You come up with great takes on classics! This recipe hits hard at those potato cravings. If you have the calories to spare, drop a bit of cream cheese into this for a whole next level of creamy goodness. Thanks for providing so much inspiration.

    • Thank you Kellen! I agree, a bit of cream cheese would make it even creamier! You could always skip the butter and use cream cheese instead – this will drop the calories too.

5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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