Irish food has more variety and vegetables than people know!

As North Americans, when we hear “Irish food,” most of us think corned beef, cabbage and potatoes – LOTS of potatoes. But Irish food is so much more than that – Irish people in Ireland don’t even eat corned beef! Meals feature a variety of sausages, lamb, salmon, scallops, clams, cod, ham, turkey, pork and chicken.  The vegetables they enjoy regularly are varied and delicious, with a variety of preparations. The dishes do tend to be hearty and feature lots of root and cruciferous vegetables. Cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, leeks, turnips, radishes, onions, kale, Brussels sprouts, celery and parsnips, and yes, cabbages and potatoes, all have starring roles on Irish dinner plates. Read on for a few wonderful Irish vegetable dishes you can serve any time, plus a bonus recipe for Irish soda bread!

If you want more authentic Irish recipes for dishes like Dublin lawyer, whiskey chicken, coddle, potato cakes and more, check out David Bowers’ Real Irish Food. It’s full of beautiful photos and excellent recipes.

Champ
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Depending on where you are in Ireland, champ may also be known as cally. It’s a dish of extra creamy mashed potatoes made with scallions or chives. If you are making a “traditional” St. Patrick’s Day dinner, try this instead of boiled potatoes. It pairs beautifully with any robust meat dish, including beef roasts, or works as part of a vegetable plate.
Champ
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!
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Depending on where you are in Ireland, champ may also be known as cally. It’s a dish of extra creamy mashed potatoes made with scallions or chives. If you are making a “traditional” St. Patrick’s Day dinner, try this instead of boiled potatoes. It pairs beautifully with any robust meat dish, including beef roasts, or works as part of a vegetable plate.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
8 35minutes 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 35minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 8 large Russet potatoes peeled
  • 3/4 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup butter divided
  • 1 bunch scallions or chives green onions
Servings:
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Ingredients
  • 8 large Russet potatoes peeled
  • 3/4 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup butter divided
  • 1 bunch scallions or chives green onions
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Cut the potatoes into quarters, then halve each piece. Cover with cold, salted water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until tender. Depending on your potatoes, that can take 10 to 15 minutes – test by piercing a couple of pieces with a fork.
  2. Slice the scallions or chives thinly. If using scallions, use both the white and green parts.
  3. Heat the milk and ¼ cup butter together in a small saucepan. Do not let it come to a boil. When hot, add the scallions or chives and let cook over low heat until softened.
  4. Drain the cooked potatoes and set back over the burner on low for a few minutes to dry them.
  5. Mash the potatoes.
  6. Mix in the milk mixture, a bit at a time, stirring well after each addition. The potatoes should be soft, but not at all runny. It’s fine to not use all of the milk, but make sure the scallions or chives are mixed in.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
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Mashed Carrots and Parsnips
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The sweetness of the carrots and parsnips make a wonderful combination when mashed together. Don’t worry about making a completely smooth, cohesive mash. Some texture is welcome! All they need is a little butter, salt and pepper to be a wonderful side to herb roasted chicken or turkey, a seasoned pork roast or roast beef.
Mashed Carrots and Parsnips
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The sweetness of the carrots and parsnips make a wonderful combination when mashed together. Don’t worry about making a completely smooth, cohesive mash. Some texture is welcome! All they need is a little butter, salt and pepper to be a wonderful side to herb roasted chicken or turkey, a seasoned pork roast or roast beef.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
8 15minutes 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 15minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound carrots peeled
  • 1 pound Parsnips peeled
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and ground white pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Heavy Cream optional
Servings:
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Ingredients
  • 1 pound carrots peeled
  • 1 pound Parsnips peeled
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and ground white pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Heavy Cream optional
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Dice the peeled carrots and parsnips. Place in a large saucepan and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Test for doneness with a fork – if they pierce easily, they’re done. Drain well.
  2. Place carrots and parsnips in a large bowl with the butter and optional cream. Mash coarsely with a fork or potato masher. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
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Cauliflower Cheese
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This is one of those vegetable dishes that can be incredible or dreadful and it’s a thin line between the two. At its best, cauliflower cheese is cheesy, rich and comforting - the ultimate low-carb comfort food. At its worst, it’s watery with a lumpy or tasteless sauce and is the bane of children everywhere.

The first key to good cauliflower cheese is to steam it so that it isn’t soaking up water while it cooks. It may still need to be drained, but will definitely be less watery than if it was boiled. The second key is a smooth, rich cheese sauce made with sharp cheese and a bit of strong English or Irish mustard to brighten it up. Colman’s English Mustard is the most widely available and it’s what I used here. If you can’t find it, Dijon-type mustard is acceptable. Although any sharp white cheddar will work, Kerrygold’s Dubliner cheese is exceptional in this dish. It has a nutty flavor missing from some other cheddar-type cheeses.

You can make this a one dish complete meal for meat lovers by baking diced ham into it. Unless you are using leftovers from a ham you roasted, cook the ham first to get any water out of it as well!
Cauliflower Cheese
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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This is one of those vegetable dishes that can be incredible or dreadful and it’s a thin line between the two. At its best, cauliflower cheese is cheesy, rich and comforting - the ultimate low-carb comfort food. At its worst, it’s watery with a lumpy or tasteless sauce and is the bane of children everywhere.

The first key to good cauliflower cheese is to steam it so that it isn’t soaking up water while it cooks. It may still need to be drained, but will definitely be less watery than if it was boiled. The second key is a smooth, rich cheese sauce made with sharp cheese and a bit of strong English or Irish mustard to brighten it up. Colman’s English Mustard is the most widely available and it’s what I used here. If you can’t find it, Dijon-type mustard is acceptable. Although any sharp white cheddar will work, Kerrygold’s Dubliner cheese is exceptional in this dish. It has a nutty flavor missing from some other cheddar-type cheeses.

You can make this a one dish complete meal for meat lovers by baking diced ham into it. Unless you are using leftovers from a ham you roasted, cook the ham first to get any water out of it as well!
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4 30minutes 15minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 30minutes
Cook Time
15minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower broken into florets, or 2 10-ounce packages fresh steamable cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups ½whole milk
  • 10 ounces sharp white cheddar grated
  • 2 teaspoons strong English or Irish mustard
  • Salt and ground white pepper to taste
Servings:
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Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower broken into florets, or 2 10-ounce packages fresh steamable cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups ½whole milk
  • 10 ounces sharp white cheddar grated
  • 2 teaspoons strong English or Irish mustard
  • Salt and ground white pepper to taste
Servings:
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Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 375.
  2. Steam the cauliflower, on the stove or in the microwave. Follow microwave directions for “steam in bag” cauliflower. Steam on the stovetop for 10 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain well.
  3. While the cauliflower cooks, melt butter in a large saucepan. Stir in flour and cook over low heat for 3 minutes to cook off the floury taste. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Simmer sauce until it thickens, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the grated cheese, one handful at a time, reserving two handfuls for the baking dish. You want about 8 ounces in the sauce and 2 for the dish. Stir well after each addition of cheese to keep the sauce smooth. Stir in mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Butter a shallow baking dish, 9 x 9 or 11 x 7 inches in size. Arrange cooked cauliflower in the dish and pour the cheese sauce over all of it. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake 15 minutes, or until browned and bubbly!
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Irish Soda Bread
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Irish Soda Bread
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Servings Prep Time Cook Time
8 20minutes 65minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 20minutes
Cook Time
65minutes
Ingredients
  • Bowl 1:
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Egg lightly beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk full fat is preferable to low fat
  • Bowl 2:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup White Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • -----
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
Servings:
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Ingredients
  • Bowl 1:
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Egg lightly beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk full fat is preferable to low fat
  • Bowl 2:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup White Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • -----
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
Servings:
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Instructions
  1. Whisk the bowl 1 ingredients together. Set aside. Whisk the bowl 2 ingredients together. Stir bowl 1 into bowl 2. Add the melted butter and mix until it comes together. You may need a little more buttermilk, maybe not.
  2. Once dough comes together, turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly so that you have a flat ball. Dust the top with flour. Cut a cross in the top. Place in a pie pan.
  3. Bake at 325 for 55-60 minutes. Check with a toothpick. Bake up to another 10 minutes if needed until toothpick is clean or just has a few crumbs on it. Serve warm or at room temp. Toast leftovers and serve with Kerrygold butter and strawberry or strawberry rhubarb or raspberry jam.
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