Cauliflower Colcannon

By Sally Cameron on March 13, 2017

Gluten-Free, Healing Histamine, Holiday Dishes, Paleo, Side Dishes, the daniel plan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

An Emerald Isle tradition, colcannon is a combination of mashed potatoes mixed with either cooked cabbage or kale. For a healthier, lower-carb version, I’ve swapped out potatoes for cauliflower in this no-guilt cauliflower colcannon for St. Patricks Day. It’s a great way to get your veggies any day of the year.

Cauliflower colcannon |

Cauliflower Colcannon

Who doesn’t love real mashed potatoes? My husband might live on them if I let him. These days you’ll only find the real deal at our house around Thanksgiving or Christmas. But with steamed and pureed cauliflower being so delicious and good for you, we don’t really miss mashed potatoes outside of the holidays (just don’t ask his opinion). In this recipe, cauliflower stands in for the mashed potatoes for a healthy and delicious twist on traditional Irish colcannon.

Cauliflower colcannon |

Prep and Cook the Cauliflower and Kale

Trim a head of cauliflower to just the florets. In a pinch, you can use 24 ounces of bagged florets, but it’s easy to do yourself and fresher. For the kale, strip tough center stems with your hands, then chop the leaves into small pieces.

Cauliflower colcannon |

Bring a pot with a few inches of water to a boil and add a steaming rack. Add the cauliflower florets and steam until soft, 8-10 minutes. While the cauliflower is steaming, cook the kale and green onions in a little butter or ghee until soft, about 4 minutes. When cauliflower is soft, drain and add to a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

Cauliflower colcannon |

Finish the Colcannon

Puree the cauliflower and garlic cloves in a food processor with coconut milk and a tablespoon of butter or ghee. I use the unsalted. Scrape the cauliflower into a medium bowl, add the cooked kale and green onions and stir together. If you want it more smooth, add the kale to the food processor and pulse a few times to refine.

Ingredients Notes

Cream or milk is standard in colcannon, but I used canned coconut milk for richness instead. While pastured, grass-fed Irish butter is also standard, you can use ghee. Ghee is clarified butter with milk solids removed, which many dairy-sensitive people enjoy without a problem. For how to make homemade ghee, see this post. If you want to keep this vegan or are dairy-sensitive, use olive oil or a plant-based butter. Look for Miyoko’s near the butter in refrigerated dairy. 

Last Tips

Cauliflower puree loses its temperature quickly. To serve this hot, either mix and place the bowl in a warm oven or microwave for a few minutes until hot again for serving. Optionally, if you enjoy Parmesan cheese, add a little grated to the final dish before serving. It’s not traditionally Irish, but it sure tastes good!

Cauliflower colcannon |

For Histamine Intolerance

If coconut milk does not work for you, use dairy milk. If neither work for you, this dish might not be safe. If dairy is a problem, use a plant-based butter. I like Miyoko’s. Find it near the butter.

Cauliflower colcannon |
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Cauliflower Colcannon

Cauliflower replaces potatoes in this traditional Irish side dish for a lower-carb, healthier version. I use good Irish pastured butter, you can use ghee, olive oil, or plant-based butter to make it vegan and for those who are dairy-sensitive. Leftovers reheat well.  Serve with roast salmon or chicken. 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cauliflower, Colcannon, kale
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 to 6
Calories 230kcal


  • Food Processor


  • 1 head cauliflower 2 pounds, or 24 ounces bagged florets
  • 1 bunch Tuscan or Lacinato kale
  • 3 green onions or scallions
  • 4 large garlic cloves peeled
  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter, ghee, plant butter divided use
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, preferably white


  • Trim the head of cauliflower into florets; discard center stem. Strip the stem from the kale leaves with your hands, then chop the leaves into small pieces. Chop green onions fine. Save a few of the green tops for garnish and use the rest when cooking. 
  • Fill a large pot (5 quarts) with a few inches of water, add a steamer rack inside and place a lid on top. Over medium high heat, bring the water to a boil with steam coming out of top. Place the cauliflower florets and garlic cloves into the steamer rack and steam until very soft, 8-10 minutes. While the cauliflower is steaming, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium sauté pan. Add the green onions and kale and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
  • Drain florets and add to the bowl of a food processor with a steel knife. Puree the cauliflower and garlic cloves with the coconut milk and 1 tablespoon butter until fairly smooth. 
  • Add the cauliflower puree and kale to a bowl and stir together. Add salt and pepper. Serve hot. Finish with one last tablespoon of butter if desired. If the colcannon has cooled down, microwave to heat or place in a warm oven while you are finishing the meal. For a more refined colcannon, add the kale to the food processor and pulse. 


For Histamine Intolerance

If coconut milk does not work for you, use dairy milk. If neither work for you, this dish might not be safe. If dairy is a problem, use a plant-based butter. I like Miyoko's. Find it near the butter.


Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 273mg | Potassium: 916mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 7008IU | Vitamin C: 154mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 3mg


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