13 mouthwatering Irish recipes Americans are missing out on

shepherds pie
Shepherd's pie is a classic Irish meal.Joe Gough/Shutterstock
  • Irish culture is known for its hearty cuisine, from stews to potato pancakes.

  • Colcannon, for example, is a twist on traditional mashed potatoes that's made with butter and cream.

  • Irish soda bread is one Irish food you can find in the United States around St Patrick's Day.

Dublin coddle is a warm stew made up of leftovers that makes for a perfect comfort dish.

irish coddle stew in a black pan
Dublin coddle is a traditional Irish stew.Nickola_Che/Shutterstock

Dublin coddle is a traditional Irish stew that derives its name from the hours of "coddling," or simmering, of ingredients in a pot during its preparation. This dish normally comprises leftovers like sausage, bacon, potatoes, and onions.

Irish soda bread is a staple in Irish homes, especially around St. Patrick's Day.

irish soda bread slices on a wooden board
Irish soda bread is one of the most famous foods from the Emerald Isle.Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Despite what its name implies, Irish soda bread actually has the consistency of a scone or a biscuit. This is due, at least in part, to the fact that Irish soda bread is leavened using baking soda rather than traditional yeast.


The bread was an easy and affordable staple for people living in poverty-stricken Ireland during the mid-19th century, according to The Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread. However, Native Americans were actually responsible for the recipe, ultimately inspiring Irish immigrants who took it back to Ireland.

While traditional recipes use flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk, other varieties incorporate honey, sugar, fruit, seeds, or even Guinness.

Boxty is an Irish take on potato pancakes.

fried irish boxty on a white plate
Boxty is traditionally cooked on a griddle.freeskyline/Getty Images

Boxty is often eaten as part of a traditional Irish breakfast. The starchy item is made with finely grated raw potatoes and served fried.

Colcannon is a twist on traditional mashed potatoes that's made with butter and cream, as well as kale, cabbage, or scallions.

irish colcannon in a wooden bowl with wooden spoon
This filling side dish is chock-full of leafy greens.vm2002/Shutterstock

Most colcannon recipes recommend making a well in the center of the mashed potatoes and filling the indent with butter before you serve the dish.

Champ is another Irish variation on classic mashed potatoes.

champ potatoes with butter in the middle
This rendition of mashed potatoes is made with scallions or green onions.Lyudmila Mikhailovskaya/Shutterstock

While colcannon is made with kale, cabbage, or scallions, champ recipes call for the addition of spring onions or scallions.

Like colcannon, champ is also typically served with a generous helping of butter in the middle of the dish.

Since Ireland and Northern Ireland are surrounded by water, there's an abundance of fresh shellfish and seafood.

a person shucking an oyster
Enjoy fresh oysters on the Emerald Isle.Joerg Beuge/Shutterstock

Oysters, prawns, scallops, and lobsters are just some of the shellfish varieties you can find. There are even festivals throughout the year to celebrate plentiful seafood hauls.

Boiled bacon and cabbage is the traditional Irish dish that corned beef and cabbage is based on.

boiled bacon and cabbage on a red plate
This isn't the breakfast-style bacon you're probably used to.Fanfo/Shutterstock

Thick cuts of salted pork are boiled alongside heaps of cabbage to produce this delicious Irish meal.

This dish is such a classic, in fact, that Irish-Americans have turned it into their own St. Patrick's Day staple of corned beef and cabbage.

Irish cuisine typically includes two types of sausage: white and black pudding.

white and black pudding in a frying pan
White pudding is a common part of a traditional Irish breakfast.Joerg Beuge/Shutterstock

Typically made with pig's blood, pork fat, and cereal, black pudding is a popular meat item in many parts of Europe.

White pudding is made with almost everything black pudding is, except the blood.

Barmbrack is an Irish fruitcake typically served with afternoon tea.

Many Irish people shorten the name of this treat to "brack."D. Pimborough/Shutterstock

Barmbrack, or brack for short, is an Irish dessert bread. Filled with raisins and spices and then soaked in tea and whiskey, this delicious treat is a staple for Halloween.

Following tradition, the Irish fill their barmbrack with coins and other trinkets. Whatever you end up biting into — be it a coin, ring, pea, rag, or stick — is said to reveal what your year will bring.

Many pubs and restaurants serve carvery dinners.

a person carving meat
This is a must-try for meat lovers.Casco222/Shutterstock

Many eateries across Ireland and Northern Ireland are famous for their carvery dinners, where diners can get roasted meat to order. The meal also typically includes mashed or roasted potatoes, vegetables, and gravy.

Traditional Irish stew is a staple you'll find everywhere on the Emerald Isle.

irish stew
Meat and potatoes comprise the bulk of this dish.Robyn Mackenzie/Shutterstock

Traditionally made with mutton, this signature Irish dish is now commonly made with lamb.

Irish stew is a fairly standard comfort meal, complete with meat, potatoes, onions, and carrots. However, some chefs have been known to add Guinness to mix things up.

Shepherd’s pie has made its way stateside, but the hearty meal is a classic across the pond.

shepherds pie
Shepherd's pie.Joe Gough/Shutterstock

This filling but delectable meal features mashed potatoes layered on top of ground meat.

Traditional Irish recipes include ground lamb as the base, but Americans often use ground beef or turkey as a substitute.

Bangers and mash is a quintessentially British dish, but it's also popular in Ireland.

bangers and mash
Bangers and mash.Joe Gough/Shutterstock

Bangers and mash might be more closely associated with British culture, but the Irish also love this traditional pub food. Consisting of sausages and mashed potatoes, or even colcannon, you're likely to find this dish in pubs across the country.

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