There are so many reasons to try traditional Irish recipes.
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Many Americans descend from Irish immigrants, and while most of us are aware of this, how much do we really know about our Irish heritage? There’s so much more to Irish culture than St. Patrick’s Day, shamrocks, and leprechauns. One of the best ways to learn a culture is through its food.
First of all, like most of the world’s cuisines, traditional Irish food is delicious. But you may have personal reasons for wanting to try Irish cuisine.
Perhaps you’re hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party, or maybe your DNA test has proven once and for all that your ancestors immigrated from Ireland. There’s no better way to get back to your roots than by eating the food that your ancestors cooked every day.
Irish cuisine is steeped in history and tradition, offering a diverse array of delicious and hearty dishes that have been passed down through generations. From flavorful stews to comforting potato-based meals, Irish recipes are perfect for gathering with family and friends or simply enjoying a cozy night in.
One of the key aspects of Irish cooking is the use of simple, fresh ingredients that are readily available and often locally sourced. Potatoes, cabbage, root vegetables, and quality meats play a crucial role in many traditional dishes, while flavors like parsley, thyme, and mustards add depth and dimension. This creates a unique combination of tastes and textures that truly embody the essence of Ireland.
When you begin to explore Irish meals, the first thing you cook might be a traditional corned beef and cabbage dish as a main dish with a side of Irish barmbrack bread. Or maybe you want to go with an Irish potato soup.
However, there is so much more to Irish food than just potatoes, corned beef, and cabbage.
For truly authentic and easy Irish recipes, you have to dive deeper. From traditional Irish colcannon, boxty, and Irish soda bread to something simple and well-known such as shepherd’s pie, there’s something on this list of Irish food recipes for everyone.
Fancy an Irish stew? We’ve got it! How about Irish scones or Irish coffee? Check! And yes, we’ve got your classic Irish corned beef and cabbage, too.
Are you ready to jump into Irish cuisine? Below, we’ve listed our 31 favorite Irish dinner ideas, Irish desserts, Irish food side dishes, Irish breakfast, and more.
Fish is an important part of traditional Irish dishes. Ireland is an island, after all.
Popular in Northern Ireland, a fish stew is a comfort food staple in Irish households.
This particular recipe is from a cookbook author named Rachel Allen, who lives in the village of Ballycotton in the Republic of Ireland.
Serve your stew with Irish soda bread or brown soda bread.
A super fun way to get children into the Irish St. Patrick’s Day spirit is making shamrock cookies.
These gorgeous little cookies will get gobbled up, whether you take them to work with you or send them to school with the kiddos.
We love how easy these cookies are. Believe it or not, you need just four ingredients: a white cake mix (yellow cake mix works, too), eggs, green food coloring, and shortening.
Are you looking for healthy Irish recipes? Well, allow us to present the shamrock salad made with fresh greens.
To make a shamrock salad, you need broccoli florets, snow peas, asparagus stalks, green bell pepper, green olives, avocado, green peas, and edamame.
For the dressing, you can use your favorite salad dressing or use the one that’s in this recipe. The ingredients are fresh lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard, and black pepper.
With all of the delicious sauce and gravy in traditional Irish recipes, you need plenty of good bread to soak them up.
Traditional Irish brown bread is a quick bread that’s made with rolled oats, whole wheat flour, and buttermilk. Other ingredients in Irish brown bread are sugar, salt, baking soda, unsalted butter, baking powder, and eggs.
When you knead this bread, be gentle with it.
As a nation of immigrants, most families have their own beloved potato soup recipe.
This Irish potato soup recipe gets us back to our Irish roots and transports us dreamily to the Emerald Isle.
To make this Irish potato soup, you need Idaho potatoes, garlic cloves, celery, chicken broth (or chicken stock), onion, parsley, butter, flour, whole milk, sour cream, and sharp cheddar cheese.
Garnish your steaming bowl of Irish potato soup with shredded cheddar cheese and chopped chives. Serve this potato soup with warm bread.
OK, we confess that Baileys French toast isn’t exactly a traditional Irish recipe, but it’s so delectable that we had to add it to this list of Irish recipes.
This Baileys French toast is the perfect treat (for adults!) for St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, or any day you want to create something special.
To make this French toast, you add the Baileys Irish Cream to your egg, heavy cream, maple syrup, and cinnamon mixture.
Be sure to use stale thick-cut bread to make this breakfast treat.
When you think of a traditional Irish dish, Irish colcannon might come to mind.
Traditional colcannon is a combination of pan-fried cabbage and creamy mashed potatoes topped with bacon. You can also use kale if you prefer.
The combination of mashed potatoes (with butter!), bacon, and cabbage fried in butter may sound unusual to those of us who are mostly accustomed to American food, but trust us, colcannon is delicious.
To make this traditional Irish recipe, you need green cabbage, crispy bacon, onion, heavy cream, and sea salt and black pepper.
Serve with Irish soda bread or barmbrack bread for a complete meal.
8. Irish Scones
If you love scones, then these Irish scones will be right up your alley.
Irish scones are round in shape, which is different from traditional English scones. These scones are also sweeter than their English counterparts and they’re more cake-like in texture.
You can eat Irish scones by themselves or slather them up with preserves, jam, or honey.
The secret to perfect scones is to freeze your butter and then grate it with a box grater. Then, the dough is rolled out and cut like biscuits.
In a country that is known for its comfort food, you know there’s a delicious Irish oatmeal recipe.
This Irish oatmeal recipe is served with hot butter apples that are flavored with cinnamon.
Irish oatmeal is almost always made with steel-cut oats or pinhead oats.
Irish oatmeal tends to have a nuttier flavor than the oatmeal many of us are accustomed to eating for breakfast. Also, the texture of Irish oatmeal is a bit chewier.
10. Irish Pasties
Another popular Irish pub food is the Irish pasty, a wonderful little hand pie that you can make with meat and/or veggies.
Irish pasties can be made vegan or vegetarian, so this is a very versatile Irish appetizer or Irish snack.
The traditional Irish pasty is dipped in batter and fried, but this recipe calls for ready-made pie crusts that are rolled out.
These Irish pasties are loaded with veggies, including cabbage, red potatoes, onion, leeks, and carrots.
The spices used are thyme and brown mustard. For cheese, you can use shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Ground beef is optional.
The perfect way to get into the spirit of Irish holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day is cooking (and devouring) a traditional Irish dessert such as Irish bread pudding.
This Irish bread pudding is made with a decadent whiskey sauce that is oozing with caramel sauce.
Of course, you should use Irish whiskey to make this caramel sauce. Other ingredients for this Irish pudding recipe include evaporated milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract heavy cream, eggs, French bread, raisins, (or chocolate chips!), and cinnamon.
12. Irish Stew Pie
So you’ve made a big pot of steaming Irish stew and you have leftovers? Well, you’ve got exactly what you need to make Irish stew pie.
This recipe for Irish stew pie has a homemade pie crust, but you can use storebought pie crust or even puff pastry to make your mini pies.
Use your favorite Irish stew recipe or Guinness beef stew recipe. Serve these little pies with a sweet potato or mashed potato.
13. Dublin Coddle
An Irish casserole recipe? Yes, please!
Dublin coddle is considered to be a stew, but it’s cooked like a casserole, and we love one pot meals.
Loaded with sausages, bacon, onions, and potatoes that are layered in your large pot, this Irish dish is cooked until everything is perfectly tender.
Did we mention that this Dublin coddle recipe has two layers of bacon? Yum.
To make a Dublin coddle, you need bangers (Irish sausages), onions, garlic, thick-cut bacon, a stout beer, Yukon gold potatoes or russet potatoes, chicken broth, and parsley for garnish.
14. Bangers and Mash
We love the name of this traditional Irish dish. Bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potatoes, served with rich onion gravy) are lots of fun to cook and eat.
To make this bangers and mash recipe, you need good-quality pork sausage (you can also use chicken sausage or beef sausage), Yukon gold potatoes, butter, milk, and a good onion gravy recipe.
To make sure your mashed potatoes are perfect, follow the tips in this recipe article. For example, don’t overcook or over-mash your potatoes. Also, be sure you drain your potatoes thoroughly.
When you need an Irish appetizer for a St. Paddy’s Day party, this recipe for Irish pub cheese spread will save you.
Pub cheese is made with three types of cheese: cream cheese, sharp white cheddar cheese, and sharp cheddar cheese.
Other ingredients are an Irish beer (naturally!), hot sauce, garlic, ground mustard, smoked paprika, and chopped chives to use as garnish.
You can serve Irish pub cheese spread with crackers, chips, breadsticks, salami, pretzels, or veggies.
16. Irish Shortbread
Irish people have been making traditional Irish shortbread since the 1500s, and these shortbread cookies are perfect for tea or an after-school snack.
According to legend, Irish shortbread cookies were a favorite of Queen Victoria.
Irish shortbread cookies are crispy on the outside, but tender on the inside.
Best of all, you need just four ingredients to make Irish shortbread cookies: salted butter, granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, and salt.
You can use cookie cutters or bake this Irish shortbread in blocks that you break off in pieces.
Boxty is a traditional Irish breakfast food. Essentially, boxty is like Irish pancakes for people who love potatoes.
To make boxty, you combine raw mashed potatoes with buttermilk, and the result is a delicious and surprisingly dreamy meal that’s also super simple.
Boxty is also known as Irish potato cakes, and they’re a popular St. Patrick’s Day breakfast entree in the U.S.
Besides buttermilk and potatoes, you also need baking powder, all-purpose flour, and butter.
18. Potato Candy
Irish potato candy may look different from what we’re used to, but it’s delicious as can be!
This fascinating Irish recipe will surprise you with how tasty and addictive it is. The combination of mashed potatoes, peanut butter, salted butter, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar is amazing!
You can use leftover mashed potatoes to make this potato candy as long as you’ve not loaded them up with too much extra stuff like bacon.
19. Irish Stew
Irish beef stew (also known as Guinness beef stew) is one of the most beloved pub foods in Ireland. In fact, if you can find a pub that doesn’t offer Irish stew or Guinness beef stew, we’ll be surprised.
Irish stew is made with beef chuck, bacon, onions, garlic, waxy potatoes, carrots, celery, parsnip, a bottle of Guinness Extra Stout beer, beef broth (or beef stock), Worcestershire sauce, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and mushrooms.
If you want to make Irish lamb stew, simply substitute lamb for the beef in this recipe.
20. Blarney Stones
For your St. Patrick’s Day dessert, you can make these tasty and addictive little blarney stones.
Blarney stones are bite-sized cakes that are both salty and sweet.
For blarney stones, you make what is basically a pound cake. Then, you cut the cake into cubes, frost the little cake cubes with creamy buttercream frosting, and then roll the bars in crushed peanuts to coat them.
You can use any cake recipe to make blarney stones. Just be sure it’s a dense and heavy cake like a pound cake so that it doesn’t fall apart when you cut it up.
21. Colcannon Soup
What happens when you take a traditional Irish recipe and turn it into a delicious soup? Irish colcannon soup is the savory result!
This cabbage and potato soup is absolutely decadent, and it’s perfect when served with some crusty bread.
The ingredients for colcannon soup are onion, potatoes, leeks, green onions (scallions), garlic cloves, thyme, chicken broth, heavy cream, and cabbage. You can add other things you like, too, such as carrots and even white cheddar cheese.
After your soup is made, sprinkle it with crumbled bacon bits.
With a name like Irish champ, it has to be good.
Basically, Irish champ is mashed potatoes, but this recipe is so much better than just plain mashed potatoes.
To make Irish champ, be sure to use nice starchy potatoes such as Yukon gold potatoes or russet potatoes.
What makes Irish champ so special is loads of salted butter and scallions (green onions).
Other ingredients are whole milk, white pepper, and chives.
When you first see a full Irish breakfast (called an Ulster fry in Northern Ireland), you may be startled at both how much food there is and the wide variety of food on your platter.
To make a full Irish breakfast, you need baked beans, grilled tomatoes, bubble and squeak, bacon, mushrooms, black pudding or white pudding (drisheen), sausage, butter, marmalade, Irish soda bread, and eggs. Whew. That’s a lot of food!
Of course, a full Irish breakfast can be shared with more than one person. That’s a lot of food, after all.
24. Irish Coffee
After you enjoy your traditional Irish meals, you can skip dessert if you like and have an authentic Irish coffee drink.
A more modern Irish coffee recipe calls for Baileys Irish Cream instead of Irish whiskey. You can use that if you like it, and we like to make Irish coffee with both Irish whiskey and Baileys.
Just be sure you add a dollop of whipped cream or frothed milk to the top of your Irish coffee.
25. Irish Soda Bread
Traditional Irish soda bread is a staple of Irish cuisine, and this classic bread is surprisingly easy to make.
The dough for Irish soda bread comes together in only five minutes!
The best Irish soda bread has a crumb that’s soft and tender. The texture of this exceptional bread is something like a biscuit.
You don’t use yeast to make Irish bread. The baking soda serves as the leavening that causes the bread to rise.
This Irish soda bread recipe calls for all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, sea salt, baking soda, unsalted butter, kefir or buttermilk, and egg, and your choice of dried fruit (dried cranberries or raisins).
Serve your Irish soda bread with butter.
26. Shamrock Shake
We’re not sure if this is a traditional Irish recipe (probably not), but the shamrock shake sure is pretty to look at and fun to drink!
If you love the shamrock shake from McDonald’s, this is a great copycat recipe.
To make a shamrock shake, you need whole milk, vanilla ice cream, mint extract, green food coloring, and green sanding sugar.
Blend it all up in the blender, then top your shamrock shake with whipped cream, green sugar, and a cherry.
27. Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherds pie is comfort food at its finest! Traditionally, a shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb, and when you make this classic casserole with ground beef, it’s called cottage pie.
Whatever you want to call it, shepherd’s pie is a delicious dish that’s layered with ground meat, creamy mashed potatoes, veggies, and sometimes cheese.
The cheese is totally optional, but if you love cheesy casseroles, add some shredded cheddar cheese on top of the mashed potato layer. Be sure to tent foil over this casserole when you cook it so that the cheese doesn’t scorch.
Do you love cinnamon raisin bread or fruit cake? If so, you will love Irish barmbrack bread. Barmbrack is the Irish language phrase that means “speckled bread.”
What makes barmbrack bread so special is all of the delicious dried fruit. Also, you use strong cold black tea to make barmbrack bread.
Other ingredients are yeast, dried currants, sultanas (or raisins), lukewarm milk, all-purpose flour, granulated caster sugar, mixed spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, butter, lemon zest, candied orange peel, candied lemon peel, and whatever other dried fruits you want to include.
Optional: Add a splash of brandy or Irish whiskey. Serve barmbrack bread slathered with warm butter.
29. Irish Apple Cake
When you want an authentic Irish dessert, you can’t go wrong with the classic traditional Irish apple cake.
Traditionally, Irish apple cake is served with a custard sauce that’s made with egg yolks, granulated sugar, whole milk (or half and half), and vanilla extract. You can also use heavy cream to make the custard sauce extra creamy.
Irish apple cake has a delightful streusel topping that’s made with old-fashioned rolled oats, flour, cold butter, and sugar.
The cake is usually made with Granny Smith apples.
No list of Irish dinner recipes would be complete without
Slow cooker corned beef is also delicious, and the meat falls apart so beautifully. You can also cook corned beef and cabbage in the Instant Pot. If you cook this traditional Irish dish in the slow cooker or Instant Pot, add the cabbage toward the end of the cooking time.
Have leftovers? Terrific! You can use your leftover corned beef to make a tasty corned beef hash.
Can you make a traditional Irish recipe that’s vegetarian or vegan? Of course!
While many Irish recipes have meat, you can make lots of delicious side dishes or main dish entrees without meat or animal products.
Irish potato farls are the perfect recipe to modify for vegan dishes.
Farls are served traditionally at breakfast, but you can make them for any meal, including the main dish.
To make an Irish potato cake, you need peeled potatoes, butter (you can use shortening), oil or butter for frying, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
How about a bonus traditional Irish dinner for St Patrick Day?? Check out this video to learn how to make a delicious Irish farmhouse vegetable soup, one of the most beloved traditional Irish food recipes.
30+ Traditional Irish Recipes (+Shamrock Salad)
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 4 cut asparagus stalks
- 1/2 cup snow peas
- 1 cubed avocado
- 1 green sweet bell pepper slices
- 1/2 cup green peas
- 1/2 cup edamame
- 1/4 cup green olives
- Fresh herbs
- Salad dressing
- Combine all of the veggies and herbs.
- Dress with your favorite salad dressing.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.