I try to sneak kale into as many dishes as I can. I didn’t eat a lot of kale in my pre-vegan days, probably because I assumed it was something only vegans eat. Now, as a vegan, I eat it all the time. I guess I was right!

Everyone should eat more kale, vegan or not. When I was trying to figure out the least painful way to add it to my diet in my first, uncertain weeks of veganhood, I decided to slip it into mashed potatoes. As if I was trying to trick myself into eating it, I cut it up really small, steamed it until it was very tender, and mixed it into salty, creamy mashed potatoes.

And it was good! Turns out I accidently invented a dish the Irish have been fond of for about three hundred years: colcannon.

Food historians generally agree that colcannon was traditionally made with cabbage, not kale. Modern recipes online will call for one or the other, so use whichever green you favor more. I always use kale.

I added little bits of seitan to this to take the place of salt pork. But just as you can make non-vegan colcannon without the pork, you can make this vegan version without the seitan. I only toss it in when I happen to have it on hand.

If you want to make a different amount, I find these proportions work well: 4 parts potatoes, 4 parts uncooked, chopped kale, 1 part seitan.

Serves Four as a side dish

4 Cups Chopped Potatoes, I like Yukon Gold
4 Cloves Garlic, minced (optional)
3 Tbs Earth Balance Margarine
4 Cups Chopped Kale
1 Cup Chopped Seitan
1 tsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Nutritional Yeast (optional)
2-4 Tbs Soy Milk or Soy Creamer, warmed
3 Sprigs Thyme, leaves leaves only (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Chop your potatoes into 1″ cubes and bring them to a boil in some salted water. You can peel your potatoes if you like, but I keep the skins on for added flavor, texture, and nutritional value. Meanwhile, add Earth Balance and garlic to the bottom of a pot. Cook until the margarine is melted and the garlic is fragrant, then add kale and toss well to coat. Add seitan and soy sauce and cook over medium heat until kale is tender and reduced in size. If you think it’s cooked enough before the potatoes are finished, reduce heat to the lowest setting to keep the mixture and pot warm. When it comes time to add the potatoes, the warm pan will ensure they won’t get cold while finishing the dish.

Kale and Seitan for Colcannon

Drain potatoes when they’re fork tender but not waterlogged. Add well-drained potatoes to the warm kale and seitan mixture. Mash as you usually would. You can also rice or mill your potatoes directly into the warm pot; this prevents lumps if you worried about that kind of thing.

Mix in the nutritional yeast (if using), herbs, and 2 Tbs of the warmed soymilk. Add more if needed for a smooth and creamy texture, but not so much it loses its fluffiness. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.



  1. Eric

    Most excellent. Jen and I are looking for more and more recipes like this one, combining our veggies, starches and proteins all in one dish.

    Looking forward to seeing your cookbook!

  2. VeggieGirl

    I too looooove kale, now that I’m vegan – never had it before then. this Colcannon looks like yet another way to enjoy my favorite leafy green!!

    I’m SOO glad that you’re able to post more frequently again – your recipes and food photography are truly a feast for the eyes :0)

  3. Rural Vegan

    I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never tried kale. I had no idea what to do with it, and until now, it looked very scary! When I’m feeling brave I think I’ll try your trick of sneaking it into the mashed taters!

  4. Angela

    This looks sooo comforting and wonderful! I definitely need more kale in my life! I think I would use tempeh or fakin’ bacon instead of the seitan – I’m just not a big fan =)

  5. Rachel

    Yum! Leafy greens and potatoes…two of my favorite things in the world, combined. Maybe I’ll make this for my omnivorous family for Thanksgiving.

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  7. Jen

    Yum. I learned to make colcannon (or “rumbledethumps” if you’re Nordic) with my veg cooking club in college. So good. I’ve only made it with cabbage, but I’m going to try it with kale immediately! that looks amazing!!

    You should check out the paraphernalia at so you can represent the kale love all the time!

  8. jenmoocat

    Found your blog via Tastespotting. And what a weird coincidence! I had kale and mashed potatos tonight for dinner!! If I concentrate very hard can you figure out how many fingers I am holding up?

  9. bikerides

    My mom makes colcanon! Which is weird because we’re Jewish as can be. It’s delicious though, right?

    I have a count down on my desktop to the book coming out. Fuckin’ COUNT DOWN. Yurmmmmmm.

  10. Anastasia

    This recipe is so delicious & easy! It will definately be put in regular rotation at my house. I can’t wait until your book comes out.

  11. Mihl

    Lolo, thank you so much for your recipe! I love kale and potatoes. I made this yesterday ommiting the seitan but still enjoying it very much. This is one of my new favourites now.

  12. viedma

    I made your colcannon recipe this weekend and it was absolutely perfect, thank you for sharing it. I can’t wait to purchase your book when it comes available!

  13. ballookey

    I seriously can’t wait for your book to be complete. We had been eating plain steamed kale last week when you posted this. Mid-week I stopped and got some golden yukons and gave this a try. It really went together quick and now we have a new favorite side dish. Thanks!

  14. lulu

    could you make this with chard as the green or would that be too weird for the overall taste? this recipe looks delicious, can’t wait to try it!

  15. Lesley

    This was a big hit with the fam, and a perfect way to use up seitan (I use the RFD recipe) that’s been sitting in the fridge a few days.

  16. Sarena

    This looks absolutely incredible! I love kale and mashed potatoes. How could you go wrong mixing them together. I will definitely have to give this a try soon! Thanks for the great recipe!

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  18. Jana

    My husband brought home kale and potatoes and my daughter in law turned me on to your site. Made it tonight and it was a big hit with us, but we ate it as a main course with sliced fresh tomatoes. What else do you need?!

  19. dorishairstylist

    Kale is really healthy for you. It helps build your immune and helps
    prevent other things …good choice…more greens and there is so many ways you can fix it..God Bless

  20. Roger Mellon

    The dutch have a similar dish called Hutspot. Try boiling carrots with the potatoes and add the Kale, mash and finish like your recipe.

    Yum. Just like mama used to make.

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  25. BillinDetroit

    While in Ireland recently I bought a recipe book with this in it … and a variation your readers might appreciate — creamy colcannon. To make the creamy (soup) style, simply add more vegetable broth* and run the whole of it through a blender. This immediately became my wifes’ favorite soup!

    Serve with a hearty bread and you’re home free!

    *We make our own, not knowing where to buy it. Since it’s from scraps, the only clear cost to make it is the price of a canning jar lid. And we like the home-made well enough that it’s not likely we’d be willing to pay more for it in the store.

  26. Naomi

    I just tried this recipe and it was a delicious! I was trying to find a recipe that used items that I already had on hand (except I did have to sub spinach for the kale) and am so happy I did. Thanks!

  27. Jayme

    I have been vegan for nearly 7 months now and have recently started giving myself food challenges every week to mix it up. This week I chose kale. I made some excellent pesto but needed something more significant since kale is sold in such large bulks. This is the first recipe I found; I love it! I made it right away and it is delicious! I made it using red potatoes (skin on) and did not include any soy milk/cream. I kept the kale wet with the starch water, and it remained very smooth. Thanks so much. This one is going on permanent file!

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  31. Katie

    I just made this tonight, since your recipe was the first that came up on Google and it looked delicious. I modified a little — I added leeks and mushrooms, and did a mix of cabbage and collards since they were my have-to-use vegetables this week. But I never would have thought to do the nutritional yeast and thyme and splash of soy… In my opinion, it made the dish. Big hit with the non-vegan housemates too. Great!

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