This Irish potato recipe is one of our favorite mashed potato recipes to serve year round. My husband’s family is from Ireland and his Ma taught me some easy Irish recipes, including this nutritious and easy mashed potatoes recipe, affectionately known as Irish Champ.
Serve it with No Knead Bread, corned beef or Baked Ham With Pineapple, cabbage, beef brisket and even use this Irish potato recipe to make Irish Potato Bread (which is like an Irish potato pancake). Champ potatoes are complemented by a cold Guinness beer!
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I like to make this traditional Irish potato recipe for the family. It’s the perfect St Patrick’s Day food!
Hubby tells me of the days when his mom, and some of his brothers, grew up in Ireland and potatoes were always on the dinner plate. As kids, their first order of business in the kitchen to help make dinner was peeling potatoes. Often there were potato peeling races to see who could peel the fastest, without peeling themselves in the process. Ma would be ready with the bandages and iodine!
What is Champ?
Champ is an Irish potato recipe of mashed potatoes, flavored with butter and scallions. It requires only a few ingredients that you are very likely to have on hand (especially if you are an Irish family!): potatoes, milk, butter, and scallions (green onions). You could also use leftover mashed potatoes to make these Irish potatoes.
What Are Scallions?
Scallions are also known as green onions, salad onions or spring onions, and have a less developed bulb than the traditional onion, giving them a milder taste. This is perfect for people that get heartburn from the bulbous onion variety. The difference between scallions and green onions is only how they are labeled in the grocery store or market.
Scallions vs chives is a little different story. Chives are the mildest of the onion family and grow abundantly in your herb garden. They are thinner and more delicate. They would be a good scallion substitute in a pinch.
My husband’s mom used to have a sign in her kitchen that read:
“Bless us with good food, the gift of gab and hearty laughter. May the love and joy we share, be with us ever after! – Irish Kitchen Prayer”
Whenever we make traditional Irish food recipes, I remember the good times we had with her in the kitchen. She would always finish off these scallion mashed potatoes with a pat of extra butter on top, and a sprinkle of scallions.
How to Make Mash Potatoes (Champ)
- Peel and cook potatoes
- Wilt scallions in butter, add milk and seasonings, and simmer
- Mix scallion mixture into the mashed potatoes and serve!
How Long to Boil Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes
The best mashed potatoes recipe uses fresh wholesome ingredients and is super simple. I like to use Yukon Gold potatoes for Champ. They have great flavor and are easy to peel. When making mashed potatoes, cut the potatoes into quarters.
They should boil for 15 minutes, or until fork tender. If the potatoes are cut into smaller pieces, they will take less time to cook, but may break up a little more in the cooking water and your Irish potaotes may be more watery.
Occasionally I use my Instant Pot for Instant Pot mashed potatoes or make crock pot mashed potatoes to avoid boiling the potatoes for mashed potatoes (like when your stove is busy with other dishes, like Irish lemon chicken!). These methods also help to lock in the vitamins and minerals.
A key to success is to make sure you mash the potatoes very well before you add the scallion mixture. Using milk instead of cream reduces the calories in these mashed potatoes and they are still very creamy. But be careful not to continue to mash or over mix the potatoes or they will get gummy.
We always have leftover mashed potatoes because we double this Irish Champ recipe. We create make ahead mashed potatoes to use in Irish Potato Bread or Potato Pancakes. You could even use these mashed potatoes in your colcannon recipe!
Irish Potato Recipe (Irish Champ)
- 2 pounds potatoes peeled and quartered (I use yukon gold)
- 2 scallions (green onions) each with 4-5 green long leaves, chopped
- 8 ounces milk
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes, or until soft. Drain and mash.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet, saute the scallions with the butter for one minute (until the scallions have wilted).
- Add milk and seasonings, and simmer on low, watching carefully so that it doesn't boil over, for 2 minutes, or until scallions are soft.
- Add scallion mixture to the mashed potatoes and mix together. Serve with pat of butter and extra chopped scallions.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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Adapted from An Irish Country Cookbook