Ireland: Cuisine and Recipes

Country | Ireland Crosses Image

While Ireland was long known as a country of famine and privation — even as a cautionary tale — this proud and poetic nation has recently turned a new culinary corner. Along with this Celtic culinary renaissance has come a reawakening of interest in historical Irish cuisine and a desire to carry it into the future.

Image Creative Commons by infomatique

Irish Recipes


Breads | Barmbrack

(Irish fruit bread)

Barmbrack is a tea bread popular in Ireland, especially around Halloween. This lightly sweet bread, studded with dried fruit, is best served toasted with a good smear of butter and a hot cup of Irish tea. Read more »


Breads | Boxty

(Irish potato pancakes)

Boxty comes from the northern regions of Ireland and goes well with a breakfast of sausages, bacon and eggs or as a side dish to Irish stew. Read more »


(Irish mashed potatoes and scallions, see Mashed Potatoes recipe variations)


Vegetables | Colcannon

(Irish mashed potatoes and kale; see Mashed Potatoes recipe variations)

Irish colcannon is a mixed up mash of buttery potatoes and cooked kale and often scallions. Serve colcannan as a filling cold weather side dish. Colcannon is a traditional food for Halloween in Ireland. Find a recipe for colcannon in the mashed potatoes recipe variations. Read more »

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Meats | Corned Beef and Cabbage Image

(Irish-American braised brisket with vegetables)

Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patricks Day dish for Irish Americans, but not for the Irish themselves. The meal became popular with immigrants to the United States from Ireland in the 19th century. Read more »

Dublin Coddle

(Irish potatoes braised with sausages and bacon)

Dublin coddle, as its name implies, is a warming dish particularly popular in the Irish capital city of Dublin. Often simply known as coddle, this simple and filling mix of potatoes, sausages and bacon often serves as a hearty dinner. Read more »

Irish Coffee

Beverages | Irish Coffee

(Irish whiskey, coffee and cream cocktail)

While coffee cocktails have been around for some time, the Irish coffee is said to have been invented in the 1940s on a cold winter's night at an Irish airport to warm up some recent arrivals. An American imbiber brought the recipe back to the United States, where a team perfected it at the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco. Read more »

Irish Soda Bread

Breads | Irish Soda Bread

(Irish soda-leavened bread)

This is the traditional recipe for Irish soda bread, containing only flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. Soda bread became a popular hearth bread in Ireland in the mid-19th century when baking soda became available as a leavener. A baked loaf of bread is called "cake," while flattened wedges baked on the stovetop are called "farl." Read more »

Irish Stew

Soups | Irish Stew Image

(Irish lamb and potato stew)

Even though this dish — known as ballymaloe, or stobhach gaelach in the Irish language — started out as a meal for hard times, its delicious flavor belies its humble origins. In the old days, this hearty stew was made with simple mutton neck bones and meat scraps for flavor. Sometimes actual mutton or young goat meat was used. In the last few decades it has become much more common to use milder flavored lamb. Read more »

Mashed Potatoes

Vegetables | Mashed Potatoes Image

(Irish and American potato puree)

Mashed potatoes are popular on both Irish and American dinner tables, particularly with meals of roast beef or fried chicken. The basic recipe arrived on American shores with Irish immigrants in the 1800s. Mashed potatoes are often served topped with a dollop of butter or a richly flavored pan gravy. Read more »

Shepherd's Pie

Meats | Shepherd's Pie

(English-Irish meat pie with mashed potato topping)

Shepherd's pie is a traditional and satisfying British and Irish meal of meat and vegetables topped with creamy mashed potatoes and baked until bubbling and browned. The dish is called "shepherd's pie" when made with ground lamb. Use ground beef and it becomes "cottage pie." Read more »