Irish Champ is a traditional Irish dish made with creamy mashed potatoes, green onions, and lots of melted butter. These Irish mashed potatoes are often served on St. Patrick’s Day with corned beef and cabbage.
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But if you love champ the way my family does, you can make it anytime in place of regular mashed potatoes. All you need for traditional Irish champ is potatoes, green onions, milk, and butter. And it goes hand in hand with a traditional Irish dish like this slow-cooked corned beef making it the perfect side-dish for Saint Patrick’s Day!
Read this section before changing anything in this Irish mashed potatoes recipe. Then, scroll down to the recipe card for exact measurements, serving suggestions, and cooking details. Be sure to print the recipe card or save to Pinterest to find it quickly later!
Potatoes: Peeled and cubed
Whole milk: Any kind of milk will do.
Cream: Heavy cream, sour cream, or Greek yogurt.
Chopped scallions: Chopped green onions or spring onions.
Unsalted butter: If you use salted butter, just omit the salt.
Garlic powder: Adds extra flavor with a kick.
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How to make Irish champ from scratch?
Irish Champ is a delicious and fairly simple recipe!
In a large pot, cook the cubed potatoes in cold, salted water until fork tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, make the green onion infused milk. Simmer the milk, heavy cream, and green onions, stirring frequently being careful not to let it come to a boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes and then set aside.
When the potatoes are fork tender, drain and return to the pot.
Add the garlic powder and mash the potatoes with a hand mixer or a potato masher.
Add the green onion infused milk mixture, four tablespoons of butter, and season with salt and pepper.
Mash until the butter has melted and everything is well combined.
Melt the remaining butter in a small bowl in the microwave.
When ready to serve, pile the mashed Irish Champ on a serving platter or in a bowl and drizzle with the melted butter.
- Fried egg: Serve champ for breakfast with a fried egg on top.
- Hot champ: Add white pepper or cayenne pepper when making Irish champ to make it spicy.
- No green onions: The first Irish champ was made with stinging nettles but has since been replaced with scallions or green onions. But you can try both.
- Herbs and spices: Add other herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, onion powder, and basil. Sweet paprika would also add a lovely flavor.
- Grass-fed butter: For less trans-fat and saturated fat, use grass-fed butter.
- Sweet mashed potatoes: Make this a sweeter dish by using sweet potatoes instead of russets.
How to Store Leftovers
You can store leftover Irish champ in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
You can also freeze Irish Champ mashed potatoes in a freezer bag for up to four months. For best results, thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
To reheat, add a bit more milk and green onions for extra flavor and creamy mashed potatoes.
- Chop green onions roughly so you get the most flavor in your Irish mashed potatoes.
- Add potatoes to cold water before boiling. Then, turn to low heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender.
- Green onion is an essential ingredient. Use one bunch green onions for the most traditional Irish dish.
- For extra creamy mashed potato mixture, use an electric mixer on low speed to combine after using a potato masher or ricer.
- 4 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed, Russet or Yukon Gold
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil.
- Cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
- While the potatoes are cooking, in a small sauce pan simmer the milk, heavy cream, and green onions for about 5 minutes. Do not boil, just maintain a slow simmer, stirring frequently. Set aside.
- When the potatoes are fork tender, drain and return to the pot. To absorb extra moisture you can place a clean kitchen towel on top or turn the burner on low for a few minutes to reduce the moisture content, this makes the mashed potatoes creamier.
- Add the garlic powder to the potatoes and mash thoroughly with a hand mixer.
- Add the green onion mixture, salt and pepper, and 4 tablespoons of butter to the mashed potatoes. Stir until the butter is melted and everything is well combined.
- Melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter in a small bowl in the microwave.
- Pile the Irish Champ into a serving bowl and drizzle the melted butter over the top!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 488Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 190mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 7gSugar: 6gProtein: 10g
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What kind of potatoes are best for Irish Champ?
Choose a type of floury potato with a high starch/low water content like Yukon Gold or Russets. Floury potatoes are the kind that turn thick and fluffy when mashing because have a dry, delicate texture. In Ireland, they would be called King Edward, Maris Piper, or Emerald Isle potatoes. It is best not to use waxy potatoes because they do not get as fluffy.
Why do they call these mashed potatoes Irish Champ?
Traditional Irish champ was originally made to help prevent malnutrition for the Irish who were suffering under British rule and could not afford much food. Irish mashed potatoes are a good source of vitamin C. Some also say it is because the word champ means mashed or pounded in Irish. Whatever the reason for the name, it is still popular in Northern Ireland and Irish communities all over the world.
Do I have to peel my potatoes?
Some of the best Irish recipe champ dishes use unpeeled potatoes. Just make sure you scrub them well before cooking and then mash the cooked potatoes with a potato masher or mixer with the potato skins on. This gives our traditional Irish champ an absolutely delicious flavor and texture for a side dish or with corned beef for a hearty meal.
Whether your celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day or just want to jazz up your everyday mashed potatoes, Irish Champ is a delicious side dish! Try it with these delicious Traditional Irish recipes for the perfect Saint Patrick’s Day Feast!