Cauliflower colcannon is a healthy and keto-friendly twist on the traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes and cooked greens. No one will notice that the potatoes have been replaced with creamy puréed cauliflower—they’ll just scoop up seconds and thirds!

Two hands are holding a bowl filled with cauliflower colcannon. A yellow badge says "includes Instant Pot instructions." There's a red banner on the bottom that says paleo, keto, whole30, and vegan.

What is colcannon?

Colcannon is a traditional Irish recipe combining mashed potatoes with cooked greens like kale and cabbage and tons of cream and butter. It’s a terrifically comforting and decadent side dish for a tasty, meaty entrée, but I don’t eat it anymore because it spikes my blood sugar and I can’t tolerate cow dairy. Still, after creating a delicious Garlic Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” recipe years ago, I figured I could rejigger it to make a tasty paleo cauliflower colcannon!

A paleo, keto, Whole30, and vegan-friendly cauliflower colcannon!

Unlike the potatoes in traditional colcannon, steamed cauliflower is naturally not starchy, so you don’t need to add any cream or other liquid when you blitz it up. If you don’t eat ghee, you can substitute extra virgin olive oil for a dairy-free and vegan colcannon. Ta-da! I’ve got solutions for eaters of all stripes!

A hand is scooping paleo cauliflower colcannon from a gray bowl. The colcannon is white pureed cauliflower with flecks of green kale and scallions in it. There is melted ghee on top.

Instant Pot colcannon instructions!

This recipe doesn’t require an Instant Pot, but if you have one, you can use it to quickly steam the kale and cauliflower to make this cauliflower colcannon.

An overhead shot of an open Instant Pot filed with cauliflower florets in a streamer.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Pour 1 cup of water into the metal insert and place a steamer on top. Place the kale in the steamer insert, sprinkle on some salt, and cook on high pressure for 1 minute. Release the pressure manually and take out the cooked kale.
  2. Toss in the cauliflower florets into the steamer insert and salt everything liberally. Lock the lid and cook under high pressure for 3 minutes. Release the pressure manually.
  3. Now, proceed with the rest of the recipe described below, starting with the step where you add the cooked cauliflower to the food processor.

Can you make this ahead?

Yes! You can make cauliflower colcannon ahead of time and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can reheat it in the microwave or in a covered pot over low heat on the stove.

Let’s make cauliflower colcannon!

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly torn
  • 1 large cauliflower, about 2½ pounds, cut into florets
  • 4 scallions
  • 4 tablespoons ghee (or extra virgin olive oil if you want to make this vegan-friendly), divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Equipment

All my favorite kitchen tools are listed here. This is my favorite Instant Pot model.

Method

If you’re cooking this dish on the stovetop, fill a large stock pot with water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.

A hand is putting a lid on a large stockpot filled with water on a stovetop.

When the water is at a rolling boil, add a large pinch of salt.

A hand is adding a large pinch of salt into a pot of boiling water on a stovetop.
Place the kale leaves in the boiling water and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until tender.

A hand is adding curly kale into a open pot of salted water on stovetop.
Drain the cooked kale in a colander.

Pouring blanched kale from a stockpot into a colander in a sink.
Fill the now-empty stock pot with 2 inches of water. Place a steamer insert inside, cover the pot, and bring to a boil on high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the florets and salt liberally.

A hand is sprinkling salt into an open stockpot filled with cauliflower in a steamer.

Replace the lid, and steam the cauliflower until the florets are easily pierced with a paring knife, about 10 to 15 minutes.

A hand is using a paring knife to pierce a pice of steamed cauliflower in an open stockpot to see if it is ready.

While the cauliflower is cooking, squeeze out the excess liquid in the cooked kale in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth.

Two hands are wringing the liquid out of the cooked kale wrapped in a piece of cheesecloth.

Finely chop the cooked kale and scallions and transfer them to a large bowl.

A person in a gray apron is transferring chopped kale and scallions with a bench scraper into a large glass bowl.
When the cauliflower is done cooking, transfer the florets  into a food processor.

A person in a gray apron is adding cooked cauliflower florets into an open food processor.
Plop in 3 tablespoons of ghee (or extra virgin olive oil if you’re making a vegan colcannon).

Someone in a gray apron is adding ghee to an open food processor filled with cooked cauliflower florets.
Process until smooth.

An overhead shot of an open food processor filled with smooth, pureed cauliflower.
Add the cauliflower purée to the bowl with the greens and fold to combine.

Using a white spatula to spoon cauliflower puree into a large bowl filled with chopped kale and scallions.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

A woman in a gray apron is sprinkling salt on a big bowl filled with cauliflower colcannon
Plop the remaining tablespoon of ghee on top (it’ll melt!) and serve!

A hand is pushing a dollop of ghee into a bowl of cauliflower colcannon.

Serve with something meaty, and dinner is done!

Two hands are holding a gray bowl filled with cauliflower colcannon with a swirl of melted ghee inside.


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Cauliflower Colcannon

4.79 from 23 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings 6
Cauliflower colcannon is a healthy and keto-friendly twist on the traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes and cooked greens! Plus, you can make it in the Instant Pot!

Ingredients 
 

  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt 
  • 1 bunch kale stemmed and roughly torn
  • 1 large large cauliflower cut into florets
  • 4 scallions
  • 4 tablespoons ghee or extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions 

Stovetop Cauliflower Colcannon

  • Fill a large stock pot with water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water is at a rolling boil, add a large pinch of salt.
  • Place the kale leaves in the boiling water and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until tender.
  • Drain the cooked kale in a colander.
  • Fill the now-empty stock pot with 2 inches of water. Place a steamer insert inside, cover the pot, and bring to a boil on high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the florets and salt liberally.
  • Replace the lid, and steam the cauliflower until the florets are easily pierced with a paring knife, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • While the cauliflower is cooking, squeeze out the excess liquid in the cooked kale in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth.
  • Finely chop the cooked kale and scallions and transfer them to a large bowl.
  • When the cauliflower is done cooking, transfer the florets  into a food processor. Plop in 3 tablespoons of ghee (or extra virgin olive oil if you’re making a vegan colcannon) and proces until smooth.
  • Add the cauliflower purée to the bowl with the greens and fold to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Instant Pot Cauliflower Colcannon

  • Pour 1 cup of water into the metal insert and place a steamer on top. Place the kale in the steamer insert, sprinkle on some salt, and cook on high pressure for 1 minute. Release the pressure manually and take out the cooked kale.
  • Toss in the cauliflower florets into the steamer insert and salt everything liberally. Lock the lid and cook under high pressure for 3 minutes. Release the pressure manually.
  • Follow steps 6 throuhgh 9 above.

Video

Notes

You can make cauliflower colcannon ahead of time and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can reheat it in the microwave or in a covered pot over low heat on the stove. 

Nutrition

Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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11 Comments

  1. Oh this looks amazing! We add bacon to colcannon too – so I will be adding that – and when we have had left over colcannon in the past (made with potatoes!) I usually warm it up and top with fried eggs with corn beef on the side – I guess I will be doing that this year too – but with this yummy variation! 💖

  2. 5 stars
    This is a new favorite of mine! I use spinach instead of kale, but it is sooooo good. Such a delicious way to get my daily vegetables.

  3. Have you thought about making a Vegan Cookbook? Whole Food Plant Based. No salt or oils. I have your previous cookbooks. But I am totally Vegan Nutritarian now.

  4. 5 stars
    This has become a staple in our house! It’s so easy with my Instant Pot. And, as a bonus, Leftovers freeze really well — if there are any!