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Twice-Baked Irish Colcannon Potatoes with Bacon, Cheddar & Blue Cheese

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twice baked colcannon pots

 

I just love the month of March!  And not because it happens to be my birthday month, but because the first real signs of spring start popping up after a long, cold, dreary winter! Spring flowers start to bloom, it’s still light out long after the dinner dishes are done, the first robin appears, and you get that one unexpectedly warm day where you can pop the windows and back door open and get some much needed fresh air!

Spring, though it may sound corny, really does make your heart sing! 😀 After one last blast of snow, the rest of this month so far has been terrific! It’s actually supposed to hit 61º today and sunny! I’m crossing my fingers that it actually does. I’ll settle for “even close”! 😉 😀

So since I’ve been in such a happy and festive mood, I decided to go all out for my birthday dinner and revamp my twice-baked potatoes into something especially fun for March! I LOVE cabbage, but the hubs – – not so much. So I wanted to make something that could be easily split up into portions to add what I wanted to mine, without making two completely different items. This could not have been easier!

I had raw cole slaw mix leftover from my Salmon Sliders, and thought, how cool would it be to do twice-baked potatoes “colcannon-style”!  Colcannon potatoes are a traditional Irish mashed potato typically made with cabbage or kale, and sometimes scallions are added, too. During Halloween, it was also tradition to hide a ring and a thimble into the potatoes, and whoever found them won prizes of small coins such as threepenny or sixpenny bits!

There’s even a song written about colcannon potatoes called “The Skillet Pot” or “Colcannon” that goes like this:

“Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?”

The chorus:

“Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I’m to cry.
Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.”

 

These Irish potatoes were typically enjoyed eaten alongside bacon, so I thought to just add that in as well! Along with lots of other goodies…. 😉

You just start with oven-baked potatoes that have cooled and have been carefully hollowed out of their flesh, making nice shells to eventually hold the filling.

 

twice-baked pots start

 

I mashed the potato flesh well with a pastry blender, but you can do all of this with a hand-held mixer if you’d like.

Besides bacon and green onions, I decided to really make them special and added in some garlic, extra-sharp cheddar, tangy blue cheese, and creamy sour cream!

 

twice-baked pots filling

 

I simply sautéed some cabbage mix in a little butter, and added that in, butter and all, for the “colcannon” part! Since my hubby didn’t want the cabbage or the blue cheese, I divided the mixture in half, filled his shells first, then folded in the cabbage and blue cheese to the rest and filled mine with that!

But to make it easy and less confusing for you, I’ve written and made the recipe for all four potato halves to include all of the ingredients. But, this gives you an idea of how easily they can be made “to order”! 😉

 

twice-baked pots filled

 

After they’re filled and piled high with the creamy, cheesy, yummy filling, you just pop them into the oven and bake for 25 minutes, uncovered! 😀

 

twice-baked pots done

 

Remove them from the oven and top them with more cheddar, bacon, blue cheese and snipped green onions, and bake another 5 minutes!

 

twice baked colcannon pots

 

I cannot even TELL you how good these were! If you love twice-baked potatoes, colcannon, blue cheese and bacon – – you will be over-the-moon in love with these! They made for a spectacular side dish to go along with my Restaurant-Style Filet Mignon, and Asparagus with Velvety Orange Cream Sauce, lemme tell ya! 😉 What a birthday dinner! No restaurant could’ve done better if you don’t mind me saying so myself! 😉 😀

So if you’re a Pisces too, or have a special event or holiday party for St. Paddy’s Day coming up, keep these babies in mind! They truly were phenomenal! 😀

Hope you enjoyed today’s recipe and post! Take care all and enjoy your day to the fullest!

Until next time! ~Kelly

 

 

Twice-Baked Irish Colcannon Potatoes with Bacon, Cheddar & Blue Cheese
Yield: 4 servings

Twice-Baked Irish Colcannon Potatoes with Bacon, Cheddar & Blue Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 large russet potatoes, baked until tender, (try to choose ones that are fat and rounded)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 cup + 1-2 tsp. milk for consistency desired
  • 1 tsp. fresh finely minced (or grated) garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 strips lean quality crisp cooked bacon, snipped into small pieces
  • 2 Tbl. butter
  • 2 cups (lightly packed) shredded cole slaw mix with carrots
  • 1/4 cup (lightly packed) grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbl. blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 - 3 green onions, green part, snipped
  • Garnish:
  • 1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbl. blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 strips bacon, snipped or crumbled
  • 2 green onions, snipped, green part only

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400º F. Rinse and scrub potatoes (leave wet), prick skins with a fork, sprinkle with a little kosher salt, wrap each in foil, and bake until very tender, (1 hour plus 15-30 minutes depending on size). Remove from foil, place on rack to cool.
  • When cool, slice potatoes in half lengthwise, carefully scoop out potato flesh leaving a 1/4 - 1/3" shell for sturdiness. (Be careful not to scoop out too much down to the skin. Just take your time.)
  • In medium bowl, mash potato flesh with a potato masher or pastry blender. Stir in sour cream, milk, garlic, salt, pepper, and bacon. *Mix until creamy. (*By hand with a fork or with an electric hand-held mixer.)
  • In small sauté pan, melt butter and add cole slaw mix. Sauté over medium heat for a few minutes until slaw is tender but not browned. Add to potato mixture, butter and all, and stir in well.
  • Fold in cheddar, blue cheese, and green onions.
  • Pile filling into potato shells.
  • Bake, uncovered, in preheated 350º oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, top with garnishes, and bake 5 minutes longer.
  • Let rest a few minutes before serving. Scoop/lift out potatoes carefully with large spoon to a plate.
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