What happens when you bake vegan colcannon? You get deliciously seasoned puffs that are tender on the inside, lightly crispy on the outside.
With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, tonight I couldn’t resist making one more Irish-themed recipe. I had a bunch of kale in the fridge that I needed to use up, so my thoughts immediately went to colcannon, the traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale. Then a conversation about potato pancakes got me thinking of the ones my mother used to make with leftover potatoes, and soon I was contemplating colcannon pancakes.
Sometime between cooking the potatoes and adding the seasonings I decided to try baking the colcannon in small balls. My theory was that my daughter would be more likely to eat a small green ball than a large green patty, a theory that was validated when she saw the potato-kale mixture and declared that I had just ruined a perfectly good batch of mashed potatoes.
Fortunately, she was still willing to give the cooked puffs a try, and after eating all three of the ones on her plate, she announced that they were better than they looked. I’ll take that as a compliment.
Tender on the inside, lightly crispy on the outside, these deliciously seasoned puffs may have your kids eating kale, too!
I served the vegan colcannon puffs with baked tofu with a basic gravy and broccoli. The puffs tasted delicious with a little gravy, too.
For more of my St. Patrick’s Day ideas, check out these recipes:
- St. Patrick’s Day Zucchini Muffins
- Dublin Coddle with Vegan Sausages
- Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew
- Vegan Corned Beef & Cabbage, Roasted Potatoes, and Soda Bread
And here are a few from some other fabulous blogs:
- VeganYumYum’s Colcannon
- Bryanna’s WHAT WE ATE FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY DINNER
- Karina’s Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread Recipe
- Book of Yum’s Awesome Vegan Veggie Pot Pie
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes you can peel if you want, but I didn’t
- 6 ounces kale
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons soymilk or other plant milk
- 2 tablespoons potato starch or corn starch
- Cut the potatoes into small cubes (about 1/2-inch), put them in a large pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender.
- While the potatoes are cooking, remove the center stalk from the kale and slice the leaves into strips. When the potatoes are done, lift them out with a slotted spoon and place in a large mixing bowl. Put the kale into the potato water and cook for 6 minutes or until kale is tender. Remove kale with a slotted spoon to a food processor. Add 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and pulse to chop fine.
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Mash the potatoes and add the kale and all remaining ingredients. Stir well. Using a well-rounded tablespoon, form into balls about 1 inch across. Place them on an oiled baking sheet or, preferably, a baking sheet covered with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully turn over and bake fore 20 minutes more, until lightly browned.
Air Fryer Instructions
- How long you cook them will depend on your air fryer. Preheat it to 390F. Place the balls in a single layer in the hot basket or tray. Air fry for 8 minutes or until they are becoming crispy. Shake the basket lightly to loosen them and turn and air fry another 2-5 minutes or until lightly browned.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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TanyaMarch 5, 2016 at 9:55 am
Love this recipe! Do you think it could be made in a pie dish instead of as little individual pieces? Any idea on how to adjust the recipe for that? Thanks!
JoneenMarch 17, 2016 at 9:05 pm
I just discovered this recipe for St. Patrick’s and it is so easy. I have been looking for a recipe to do mindless eating when I am reading and this fits the bill as a nibblie that is guilt free!
Thank You very much YUM!
kittyMarch 17, 2016 at 9:43 pm
Wow, made these tonight for dinner. They were delicious! I ate a good chunk of them all by myself. Next time, I will use less salt but will definitely make them again! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
CourtneyJuly 23, 2016 at 9:20 am
These look good but can I make this without soy milk? My husband is allergic to soy.
Susan VoisinJuly 23, 2016 at 12:19 pm
Any kind of non-dairy milk will do.
VinMarch 19, 2017 at 3:09 pm
Cut the salt to 1tsp. and this recipe still rocks!
Don’t worry if the puffs don’t allow you to turn them a full 180°, they still come out crispy.
KELSMarch 11, 2018 at 10:28 am
I made these today and they turned out great. Reading the comments, I omitted the extra water. I also used frozen chopped spinach that was thawed and squeezed dry. I added a dash of dry mustard and a squeeze of fresh lemon. They were awesome. Thanks for another great recipe.
graceMarch 8, 2019 at 6:21 pm
Thank you for sharing all of the lovely recipes you post It is truly a god send.
Please keep posting!
Pam WhiteheadMay 10, 2019 at 6:12 pm
These are very yummy! Easy to make. My only concern is how to keep them round. They flattened on both sides so weren’t as pretty as yours!
MargaretFebruary 14, 2022 at 1:53 pm
The recipe ingredients list calls for both nutritional yeast, but the recipe instructions don’t indicate when or how to use it. Any guidance would be appreciated., Thanks.
Susan VoisinFebruary 14, 2022 at 2:34 pm
The nutritional yeast is added in step 3 with “all remaining ingredients.”
AmandaMarch 16, 2022 at 3:20 pm
I make this every year for St. Patrick’s Day and even though it’s a hassle to make all these little balls and wait for my air fryer, my kids ADORE them. It’s the only way they eat Kale.
TavishNovember 19, 2022 at 5:57 pm
I made this and did everything except I had to use actual milk. Will reduce the salt next time, but very tasty. Only problem is that they were very sticky, difficult to make into balls but when I did and went to flip them after cooking halfway they were all almost pancakes, I flipped them an finished. They taste great, but what could I do to keep them stay in ball shape (no air fryer and we cant use plant based milk). Suggestions?
AnnaMarch 17, 2023 at 7:53 pm
I just made these balls and followed the directions exactly. Half the batch I airfried, which ended up taking 3x as long as the directions said. I baked the other half of the batch for the allotted time. All the balls turned out the same. They were crispy on the outside but goey on the inside. The middle was not cooked. I rate the taste a 2/5 but my sister said it was a 4/5 (hence the 3/5 stars). Maybe it would have been better if I did not use the potato/kale water in the food processor…