Low-Carb Colcannon Recipe with Bacon
This tasty Low-Carb Colcannon Recipe with Bacon is inspired by the famous Irish potato and cabbage dish called Colcannon! And bacon is a traditional Irish food and it’s a great addition to Colcannon.
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This Low-Carb Colcannon Recipe with Bacon combines mashed cauliflower with cabbage, green onions, bacon, butter, and some salt and pepper for a low-carb variation on the famous Irish dish called Colcannon. And even though the recipe isn’t much in the looks department, I hope you won’t let that stop you from making it if you’re even a little bit Irish or you like those ingredients.
And there’s a fun story about this recipe too. Years ago I made Pureed Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese and realized that mashed cauliflower is pretty delicious. And shortly after that I made mashed cauliflower with cabbage and green onions for a blogging event. (See the printer-friendly version of the original recipe at that link.) And then it hung around in the archives for years and years before I finally got motivated enough to improve the horrible photos.
And what inspired me to give this recipe a make-over was the discovery that there are many variations of Colcannon, and that it sometimes has bacon! I couldn’t imagine why bacon wouldn’t be a delicious addition to this dish, and we also improved the recipe by cooking the cabbage and cauliflower separately and then combining them at the end so this Colcannon Recipe is now quicker to make!
What ingredients do you need?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- thick-sliced bacon
- chopped cauliflower
- canned chicken broth (affiliate link), or use water and something like Better than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base (affiliate link)
- chopped green cabbage
- green onions
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
What is Colcannon?
Everyone who celebrates St. Patrick’s Day has probably heard of Colcannon, the traditional Irish dish where potatoes are mashed with cabbage or kale. This recipe is a tasty low-carb Colcannon Recipe with similar flavors!
What if you want low-carb Colcannon without bacon?
The bacon is 100% optional in this Low-Carb Colcannon Recipe! If you’re not a bacon fan or just prefer a more classic version of Colcannon, simply leave out the bacon and use two tablespoons of butter to fry the cabbage. And that will make the recipe even quicker!
Serving Low-Carb Colcannon for a St. Patrick’s Day Meal:
if you’re trying to keep the carbs low for St. Patrick’s Day, this Low-Carb Colcannon Recipe with Bacon would be a great side dish to serve with Slow Cooker Corned Beef or Instant Pot Corned Beef. I would serve either of those with my Creamy Horseradish Sauce that’s included in the recipe!
Want more low-carb cabbage recipes?
You can check out Low-Carb and Keto Cabbage Recipes for a lot more ideas for cooking cabbage, many of which would be great for St. Patrick’s Day! And if the idea of mixing cauliflower and cabbage doesn’t appeal to you, you can’t go wrong with Roasted Cabbage with Lemon for a low-carb side dish for corned beef!
Making Low-Carb Colcannon with Bacon:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Chop cauliflower, then put in a pot, add chicken broth, and simmer until the cauliflower is soft.
- While cauliflower cooks, cut bacon into short slices and cook in a large frying pan until crisp.
- Drain bacon on paper towel. Reserve 1 T bacon grease and discard the rest.
- Chop cabbage while the bacon cooks.
- Heat bacon grease and 1 tablespoon butter, add cabbage and cook about 10 minutes, or until it’s barely starting to brown.
- While cabbage cooks, slice green onions.
- Add green onion to the cabbage and cook about 5 minutes more.
- When the cauliflower is soft, drain well in a colander.
- Add bacon to cabbage mixture and turn heat to low.
- Put cauliflower back into the pot, add 2 tablespoons butter, and mash with a potato masher. (If you want a more pureed texture, you can use an immersion blender or hand beater.)
- When the cauliflower is mashed, stir it into the cabbage mixture.
- Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and serve hot, with more butter if desired.
More Side Dishes for St. Patrick’s Day:
Low-Carb Colcannon Recipe with Bacon
You'll love this low-carb version of the famous Irish dish called Colcannon that has bacon, mashed cauliflower, cabbage, green onions, butter, and salt and pepper. And when you're cooking Corned Beef, this is a perfect side dish!
- 6 pieces thick-sliced bacon
- 5 cups chopped cauliflower
- 4 cups chicken broth (see notes)
- 5 cups chopped green cabbage
- 3 T butter, divided
- 1/2 cup finely sliced green onions (or more)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Start by chopping enough cauliflower to make about 5 cups of chopped cauliflower.
- Put cauliflower into in a pot, add the chicken broth, and simmer until the cauliflower is quite soft, about 15-20 minutes.
- While cauliflower cooks, cut the bacon pieces into short slices and cook over medium-high heat in a large frying pan until bacon is very crisp.
- Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain the bacon on paper towel.
- Reserve 1 T bacon grease from the pan and discard the rest. (We didn't wipe out the pan but you can if you feel it needs it.)
- While bacon cooks, chop up enough cabbage to make about 5 cups chop chopped cabbage.
- Heat the reserved bacon grease and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat, add chopped cabbage, and cook about 10 minutes, or until cabbage is barely starting to brown.
- While cabbage cooks, slice green onions.
- When cabbage is starting to barely brown, add green onion to the pan with the cabbage and cook about 5 minutes more.
- When the cauliflower is soft, drain it well in a colander placed in the sink.
- Add the bacon to the frying pan and turn heat to low.
- Put cauliflower back into the pot you cooked it in, add 2 tablespoons butter, and mash well with a potato masher. (If you want a more pureed texture, you can use an immersion blender or hand beater.)
- When the cauliflower is nicely mashed, stir it into the cabbage mixture.
- Season the Colcannon to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and serve hot, with more butter to add the table if desired.
This would be great with homemade chicken stock, but chicken broth in a can or carton will also be fine. Or you can also use water and a little chicken flavor base such as Better Than Bouillon.
Recipe created by Kalyn.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 979mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 9g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Low-Carb Colcannon Recipe with Bacon is a good side dish for any low-carb diet, including Keto. Bacon and butter are not recommended for the original South Beach Diet, but if you’re Irish I’d certainly eat this for a once-a-year treat. And of course you could make a version with turkey bacon and butter-flavored spread if you’re strictly sticking to the rules for South Beach!
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Cauliflower Recipes or Cabbage Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was originally created in 2010 for food blogging event. It was (finally) updated in 2023 with the option to add bacon and better instructions to get it on the table more quickly.
29 Comments on “Low-Carb Colcannon Recipe with Bacon”
I've never thought to combine cabbage with cauliflower, although it's not very pretty. My mouth is surely watering with the idea of some of this under a piece of grilled salmon. Delish!
Mike, glad to hear about your success with the diet. When I was actively losing weight I did a lot of cooking on the weekend and froze things to eat during the week. I'm not 100% sure if this will freeze well, but I'm guessing it will do okay. I would reheat in a pan rather than with a microwave, as you might need to cook off some water when you reheat it. Love to hear how it turns out if you do try freezing it.
Does anyone know if this recipe will freeze well? I'm always cooking for one. Since cooking every single day isn't exactly my favorite thing, I like to cook in batches and freeze stews, soups and chili for later use.
Love the site, it's definitely helped me move away from the daily fast food garbage that I found so convenient. 17 pounds down so far.
I'm going to try this. I made your pureed cauliflower with dill and loved it. With an egg or two added to the mixture, the leftovers made for some great cauliflower pancakes! This would too! Thanks for all the good eating!
Kalyn, I really like this use of cauliflower. It's a really nice change from potatoes.
Thanks so much for alerting me to Neil's World Autism Awareness blogging event. I was honored to be a part of it.
At Christmas time I made mashed "potatoes" using cauliflower instead. I didn't tell my guests (except my Dad who is allergic to potatoes). After dinner I told them and they replied "yeah, I knew something was off"! DOh! Next time I will tell people what it is as it's own dish, because just like you said when you think of it that way it is really good.
I agree with your assertion that this recipe would be accepted better on it's own merits,rather than calling it a substitution for mashed potatoes. I know my kids would probably like this recipe if I called it a new cauliflower side dish but not so much as a mashed potato alternative!
Ohhh¡¡¡ you´re my heroin, hahaha… thanks for so many delicious recipes. This looks soooo yummy¡¡¡
I'm glad people can see the appeal of this dish even though it may not look like much, because it was really tasty!
Tee, I don't know anything about enriching soil; when I made my raised beds I went to the garden center and ordered compost enriched topsoil. I know there are soil mixes you can buy. I'd go to a garden center you trust and ask for their advice if you want to try mixing in compost and other things on your own. Have fun!
Neil, would not have missed it (and how fun to see your picture by the comment!)
Great Recipe for Pureed Cauliflower and i will try it
What a beautiful dish, just love the colour! Thank you so much for joining in, it means alot.
I actually love pureed cauliflower and think it is a great alternative to mashed potatoes, South Beach dieter or not. THis version sounds delicious. So sweet that you are submitting this to Autism Awareness Day. I had never heard of that before, thanks for bringing it to my attention!
This is such a lovely recipe Kalyn!
You have inspired me to grow some of my own veggies this year and cauliflower is among my ridiculously long list of seedlings I have growing right now. Any suggestions/"recipes" for soil? I am building raised beds and not using my native soil. They are about 10 inches deep and I am trying not to break the bank while trying to be as organic as possible. Thanks in advance for your help!
I love pureed cauliflower. When dressed up like this dish, you don't even miss the potatoes. Will definitely add this to my list of great cauliflower recipes!
Now this is a cauliflower dish I'm willing to try! I can't imagine the challenges of feeding a child who will only eat foods of one color, and I didn't know that was an issue with autistic kids until Neil wrote about it on his blog.
I think it sounds wonderful and will try to see if I can sneak it onto my son's plate before he realizes it has cabbage and cauliflower.
I like both cauliflower and cabbage a lot, so this recipe is right up my alley. Thanks for letting us know about Autism Awareness Day.
I bet this is deceptively tasty. Reminds me of a recipe "makeover" I tried recently—instead of mashed potatoes, I made faux mashed potatoes using cauliflower. I liked it, the kids liked it too. My husband on the other hand, not so much 😉
Certainly not a pretty side dish but I'll bet it's delicious. I want to start eating more cauliflower and it paired with the cabbage sounds really good! Thanks for the idea.