20 Traditional Irish Side Dishes

Ireland is home to some of the oldest and most well-known recipes in the world. These include the potato dish colcannon (which was originally served at Christmas), and the classic soda bread.

In addition, traditional Irish food has always been known for its rich flavors and hearty portions.

The cuisine is also famous for being relatively low in fat and calories. This makes it perfect for those who want to eat healthily without sacrificing flavor or texture.

20 Traditional Irish Side Dishes

In many cases, traditional Irish foods are often considered healthier alternatives to their

American counterparts. They tend to contain less sugar, salt, and saturated fats. In addition, they are usually lower in calories and cholesterol – and they have the added bonus of being delicious!

Here are 20 traditional Irish side dishes that you can make at home:

1. Colcannon

If you are a big fan of mashed potatoes, then this is the perfect option.

Colcannon, also known as Irish mashed potatoes, is a traditional side dish from Ireland that’s made with mashed potatoes and cabbage. It’s typically served as part of St. Patrick’s Day meals.

Colcannon is believed to have originated during the Great Famine when people would mash leftover potatoes and mix them with whatever vegetables were available.

Colcannon is usually served alongside corned beef and cabbage. However, it goes great with fish too – and has been known to enhance a whole host of main dishes!

2. Soda Bread

Soda bread is another staple side dish from Ireland and is famous for its delicious, soft consistency. A symbol of celebration, soda bread is prepared and baked in huge quantities in the run-up to St Patrick’s Day.

In addition to the wonderful taste, soda bread is also popular thanks to the simplicity of the creation – there are just four ingredients required to bring the bread to life.

Soft wheat flour, baking soda, sour milk or buttermilk, and salt are all combined in a bowl, and placed in the oven to bake.

The shape of the final soda bread will depend on the area of Ireland that you are visiting – regions in the north of Ireland tend to divide the dough into four triangles, cooking each on a flat griddle, while bakers in Southern Ireland use a classic, round shape, and decorate their loaves with a cross on the top of the bread – this act was believed to release the fairies, ward off evil spirits, and protect the household.

3. Champ

Champ is another classic side dish popular across Ireland and bears several similarities to Colcannon.

Champ consists of mashed potatoes mixed with boiled cabbage, butter, and cream. It’s traditionally eaten cold and is often paired with roast lamb or pork.

The popularity of champ as a dish originally occurred as a response to periods of political upheaval and famine – champ was seen as a simple, nutritious, and delicious dish that could be whipped up using the vegetables and foods in season at the time.

4. Colcannon Puffs

We have already explored colcannon on our list, but colcannon puffs are a classic Irish side dish and are similar to potato scones. The difference between the two?

Instead of being cooked like a cake, colcannon puffs get deep fried until golden brown. This makes them crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside and creates a lovely contrast in texture.

5. Mushroom And Potato Soup

Mushroom and potato soup is one of the most common soups in Ireland, and is enjoyed throughout the year. It’s a hearty soup that contains chunks of potato and mushrooms and is typically flavored with onion, garlic, and herbs.

As well as tasting delicious, this soup also happens to be very filling, making it an ideal meal for those looking to avoid overeating and offers a number of health benefits such as containing loads of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

6. Irish Style Coleslaw

Coleslaw is generally made using white cabbage, although red cabbage can sometimes be used depending on what region of Ireland you are visiting.

Slaw is typically seasoned with caraway seeds, vinegar, sugar, and salt, and then left to sit for around half an hour before serving.

Irish slaw is normally served alongside meat, poultry, or game dishes, but it is also incredibly tasty when served as a starter with meats such as sausage rolls.

7. Irish Stew Pie

Stew pie is a traditional stew found in many parts of Ireland and consists of beef, mutton, chicken, or vegetable stewed together with potatoes, carrots, onions, and parsley.

Traditionally stew pies were cooked by placing a layer of stew over a base of shortcrust pastry, however, they are now more commonly baked in individual tins.

Irish stews are perfect for entertaining because they are easy to make ahead of and freeze well too. They are also great for feeding large groups of people without having to worry about running out of food!

8. Irish Pasties

Irish pasties are a mouthwatering combination of savory meat and suet wrapped in pastry.

The meat mixture varies from region to region; however, the most typical variation includes minced steak, bacon, black pudding (blood sausage), chives, and cheese.

Pasties are usually eaten as a snack or light meal, especially during festivals and celebrations. However, they are also incredibly useful for packing along when traveling as they are both inexpensive and compact in size.

They can also be combined with delicious homemade gravy for a truly irresistible combination that will have you returning for seconds, and even thirds!

9. Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread

Oatmeal bread is a soft, sweet loaf of bread that originated in Ireland.

It is traditionally flavored with orange peel, which gives it its distinctive aroma, and the oats help to create a craggy, tasty texture that is perfect for sandwiches and can also be used as part of a tasty side dish.

This recipe has been included here because it is so simple to make, yet tastes incredible. There are no special ingredients needed, just flour, baking soda, butter, milk, and oatmeal.

You simply need to mix these ingredients together, add some raisins and currants if desired, and bake away.

10. Irish Potato Bread

Potato bread is another soft, sweet loaf of Irish bread that originated in Ireland and is often flavored with rosemary.

It contains mashed potato, eggs, butter, and salt, and is very easy to make – simply mash the potatoes, combine all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix until smooth, roll into dough balls, and then roll out each ball and fry until done.

You can serve potato bread at breakfast time, lunchtime, dinner time, or even as a snack – this is a great, versatile dish.

11. Dublin Coddle

Dublin coddle is a classic dish originating in Ireland that is once again based on potatoes, and combines these with bacon, sausage, and any other leftovers that may be lurking in the depths of your fridge!

The idea of this dish is to use up everything in the fridge and turn them into one big pot of goodness, and the end result is a hearty, warming dish that is full of flavor.

This can be served as a side dish to accompany roast dinners, but it is equally good served as an appetizer before a main course.

12. Fried Cabbage

Fried cabbage is a traditional dish originating in Ireland that uses shredded cabbage as the base ingredient. This is fried in oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and served alongside boiled potatoes and onion.

The cabbage is first blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes, drained, and then tossed in a batter made of flour, egg, and milk. After frying, the cabbage is sprinkled with chopped parsley and served hot.

This can then be used as part of the main meal, for example alongside roast meat, or as a side dish if desired.

13. Bacon Cheddar Beer Bread

Bacon cheese beer bread is a savory bread that originates from Ireland and is traditionally cooked in a slow cooker. As the name suggests, the bread itself is made using self-rising flour, grated cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and beer.

It is baked slowly for about 8 hours and then served piping hot. This makes it ideal for serving as a starter, or as a side to the main meal.

14. Creamed Spinach

Creamed spinach is a delicious side dish originating in Ireland that consists of sauteed spinach topped with cream sauce. The spinach is usually mixed with onions and garlic and then simmered gently in stock until tender.

Once cooked, the mixture is stirred through a thickened cream sauce, and then served immediately alongside a main meal.

15. Shamrock Salad

Shamrock salad is a traditional green salad that originated in Ireland and is typically made using lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, and coriander, though any greens can really be used depending on the preferences of the diner.

To create the dressing, lime juice, olive oil, and sugar are whisked together and then poured over the vegetables. This is then dressed with a dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

16. Irish Stacked Potato Bites

Irish stacked potato bites are small, crispy potato snacks that originate in Ireland, and are typically deep-fried.

They consist of two thin slices of potato layered with a filling of cheese, chives, and sometimes paprika – and the end result is truly delicious.

17. Shamrock Crackers

Shamrock crackers are a traditional snack originating in Ireland and are often eaten at parties.

These crackers are made by cutting out circles of dough and rolling each circle around a wooden stick. Once rolled, they are cut into triangles, and then deep-fried for a tasty cracker effect.

18. Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole

Unstuffed cabbage casserole is a traditional recipe originating in Ireland that is similar to stuffed cabbage rolls, but without the stuffing.

Combine oil and onion, stir and cook, and then add garlic. Add ground beef, cook until brown, and then add tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, rice, broth, and seasoning.

Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in cabbage, and add broth. Cook for 5 more minutes.

After baking, the cabbage is opened, the potato is removed, and the ends of the cabbage are sealed back up. This is then placed in a pan of simmering water so that the top of the cabbage cooks while the rest remains uncooked.

19. Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed cabbage rolls are another traditional dish originating in Ireland that is very popular during Christmas time. In this version, the cabbage is stuffed with sausage meat and then steamed before being served.

The cabbage is first boiled in salted water for 10 minutes and then cooled down. Next, the cabbage is split lengthwise, and the inside is hollowed out.

Inside the hollowed-out cabbage, the sausage meat is placed, and then the cabbage is closed back up again. Finally, the cabbage is steamed for 20 minutes and then served.

20. Roasted Garlic Bread

Roasted garlic bread is an easy side dish that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes – just mix roasted garlic cloves, butter, and milk, spread on bread, and bake.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for some authentic Irish food recipes, these 20 dishes will definitely help you get started – all you have to do is choose your favorite!

20 Traditional Irish Side Dishes

20 Traditional Irish Side Dishes

Recipe by Jenna
Course: Side Dishes
0 from 0 votes
Follow Me
Latest posts by Jenna (see all)