The best way to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day is by having traditional Irish food with friends and family. Read on to discover the best food ideas for celebrating March 17th.
Traditional Irish food ranges from corned beef and cabbage to Irish stew, soda bread, shepherd’s pie, colcannon, potato cakes, and barmbrack. These dishes bring an air of nostalgia to March 17th while commemorating some of Ireland’s most iconic cuisine. While recipes may vary by region, some staples are available during St. Patrick’s Day. Here is a list of the traditional Irish food described on this list:
- Corned beef and cabbage
- Corned beef and cabbage soup
- Corned beef and cabbage rolls
- Corned beef and sauerkraut sandwich
- Corned beef and cabbage pizza
- Dublin coddle
- Irish champ
- Boxty (Irish potato cakes)
- Shepherd’s pie
- Fisherman’s pie
- Skirt-and-kidney pie
- Black pudding
- White pudding
- Irish soda bread
- Guinness brown bread
- Irish pasties
- Full Irish breakfast
- Guinness-cured salmon
- Seafood chowder
- Irish stew
- Irish potato soup
- Sautéed cabbage
- Boiled bacon with cabbage and carrots
- Roasted carrots and parsnips with honey
- Bangers and mash
- Guinness brownies
- Irish oatcakes
Read on to discover more information about each St. Patrick’s Day food idea, including required ingredients and recipe resources. Learn more in the FAQs section.
1. Corned beef and cabbage
Corned beef and cabbage is a staple food in Irish cuisine, usually served around St. Patrick’s Day. Boil corned beef brisket until tender in a blend of spices, which typically includes salt, bay leaves, whole peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. Add cabbage afterward to avoid overcooking as it cooks faster than the meat, and throw in some potatoes, carrots, and an onion for more flavor. When the meat is ready, let it rest, slice it across the grain, and serve with veggies and mustard or horseradish sauce for a kick of flavor.
Visit All Recipes for the complete recipe for this St. Patrick’s Day food, which requires a Dutch oven. It takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to prepare the meal. However, you can safely use a large pot if you don’t have a Dutch oven, as long as you adjust the cooking time.
2. Corned beef and cabbage soup
Corned beef and cabbage soup is a classic dish synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. It adds a lovely twist to the traditional corned beef and cabbage recipe, ideal for people who believe there must always be soup in the house. This soup is economical, savory, and hearty, great for large gatherings of family and friends. It consists of slow-cooked corned beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, and cabbage simmered in a flavorful broth made from beef or chicken stock. When the corned beef is tender, remove it from the soup, shred it, and put it back.
Check out Skinny Taste’s take on this St. Patrick’s Day food. It also uses leeks, garlic, yellow pepper, and chopped parsley for garnish. The recipe has instructions for three cooking methods: stove, slow cooker, and instant pot.
3. Corned beef and cabbage rolls
Turn corned beef and cabbage into a St. Patrick’s Day family favorite by making rolls. Creating a large platter with several rolls is a fantastic dinner idea since your guests can serve themselves. Boil corned beef until tender and shred it. Separately boil carrots, parsnips, and peeled potatoes until they are soft enough to mash and combine. Steam cabbage leaves until they begin to tenderize. Assemble the rolls using a layer of vegetable mash and one of corned beef. Place all rolls in an oven-safe dish, surround them with any remaining vegetable mash, and bake until the cabbage is cooked through.
Head to Home Made Interest for more details about this St. Patrick’s Day dish. It takes 30 minutes to prepare and 4 hours and 20 minutes to cook.
4. Corned beef and sauerkraut sandwich
A corned beef and sauerkraut sandwich is a novel St. Patrick’s Day food that puts a twist on the classic corned beef and cabbage by using fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) instead. It’s an excellent idea for breakfast, lunch, or a quick snack since there’s no cooking involved.
Go to The Spruce Eats to learn how to assemble this St. Patrick’s Day sandwich. The recipe calls for sauerkraut, dark rye bread, Swiss cheese, corned beef, and mustard. Add bacon for more flavor and juiciness. Feel free to toast the bread slices or bake the entire sandwich in the oven for a warm meal with melting cheese. If you have fresh corned beef instead of deli, prepare it by slow-cooking, boiling, or oven-braising it.
5. Corned beef and cabbage pizza
Pizza is a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day food idea to convince kids to eat corned beef and cabbage. It’s also one of the shortest recipes that involve corned beef and cabbage since you don’t have to cook it slowly.
Check out Food Network’s take on this St. Patrick’s Day dish, which takes 35 minutes to prepare, 1 hour to cook, and 1 hour and 40 minutes inactive time. Make the dough using sugar, active dry year, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and all-purpose flour. For the toppings, use sliced corned beef, sliced green cabbage, thinly sliced potatoes, mozzarella cheese, Monterey jack cheese, and parmesan cheese. You must sautée the cabbage and roast the potatoes before using them as pizza toppings. Use freshly shredded cabbage instead of jarred slaw mix for best results and maximum flavor. To get the desired texture for your corned beef topping, choose thoroughly cooked and diced meat to hold its shape. Serve the pizza with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley or chives.
6. Dublin coddle
The Dublin coddle is a hearty and comforting traditional Irish dish, ideal for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. It consists of layers of pork sausage, bacon, potatoes, and onions. To make authentic Dublin coddle, you need quality pork sausages, pork back rashers (thick slices of bacon), and plenty of potatoes. White onions are preferable, but yellow or red ones are fine in a pinch. The key is cutting all ingredients into roughly equal sizes before slowly cooking them on the stovetop or in the oven so they infuse their flavors with each other. Serve piping hot with fresh butter, soda bread, and Guinness beer.
Check out Wholefully’s take on the Dublin coddle, which uses an oven, a Dutch oven, Guinness beer, and garlic. It takes 15 minutes to prepare and 2 hours to cook.
Colcannon is a traditional and comforting Irish dish to prepare as a side or a main course for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s made with mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage, usually flavored with butter, salt, pepper, milk, chopped scallions, and sometimes bacon. Colcannon is a versatile dish since you can adjust it to your preferences. For example, add finely diced onion or leeks for more flavor or substitute milk for cream for a richer texture.
Head to Simply Recipes for more details about this St. Patrick’s Day meal. The recipe takes 10 minutes to prepare and 25 minutes to cook.
8. Irish champ
Irish champ is a traditional potato-based dish made from mashed potatoes and chopped scallions, which you can prepare as a side for St. Patrick’s Day. Serve it with boiled, fried, or grilled meats. Boil and mix potatoes with butter and milk until reaching a creamy texture, then fold in the scallions. Once mixed, enjoy Irish champ immediately or fry it in a skillet for an extra crispy taste sensation. Add grated cheese, herbs, or freshly squeezed lemon juice to make this meal extra delicious.
Visit The Spruce Eats to check out the recipe for making Irish champ on St. Patrick’s Day. It takes 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook.
9. Boxty (Irish potato cakes)
Boxty is a fantastic Irish dish for potato lovers on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s composed of grated and mashed potatoes formed into a flat cake and served fried or baked. It’s also possible to prepare Boxty as dumplings or boiled cakes. Serve it for breakfast with sliced bacon and cabbage.
Head to Christina’s Cucina for more details on preparing Boxty for St. Patrick’s Day. The recipe calls for all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, mashed potatoes boiled in salted water, grated raw potatoes, buttermilk, and butter for the griddle. It takes 20 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook.
10. Shepherd’s pie
Shepherd’s pie, or cottage pie, is a traditional English dish you can prepare for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s made with minced lamb or mutton, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Cook the meat in an onion-garlic sauce with herbs like rosemary and thyme, then mix it with tomatoes and peas. Spread mashed potatoes over the top and bake the pie until golden brown.
The beauty of shepherd’s pie lies in its versatility; use whatever vegetables you have on hand to add extra color and flavor. Carrots, mushrooms, and zucchini work particularly well. To adapt the pie for vegetarians, switch out the mince for veggie mince or lentils.
Visit The Wholesome Dish and use their take on this St. Patrick’s Day meal. It fills the meat with ground beef or lamb, yellow onion, parsley, rosemary, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, all-purpose flour, tomato paste, beef broth, peas, carrots, and corn kernels. For the potato topping, the recipe uses russet potatoes, unsalted butter, half and half, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. The recipe takes 20 minutes to prepare and 50 minutes to cook.
11. Fisherman’s pie
Fisherman’s pie is a classic Irish dish and an excellent St. Patrick’s Day main course. It typically consists of salted fish (cod, haddock, or smoked whitefish), potatoes mashed and mixed with milk and butter, cheese, and herbs like parsley or chives. For a tastier meal, blend the potatoes with sautéed onions and garlic before baking them in the oven with the fish underneath. Other variations on the recipe involve adding cream to the potato mash, layering a mixture of breadcrumbs and melted butter over the top before baking, or adding extra herbs such as dill or tarragon.
Visit All Recipes for an easy method to prepare fisherman’s pie for St. Patrick’s Day. The recipe takes 15 minutes to prepare and 1 hour to cook.
12. Skirt-and-kidney pie
Skirt-and-kidney pie is a traditional Irish dish often served during special occasions and feasts, so you can prepare it for St. Patrick’s Day. It has a shortcrust pastry base filled with a savory combination of beef skirt steak and lamb kidneys cooked in a flavorful gravy. Some modern variations add bacon or mushrooms to the filling and substitute beef skirt steak for pork shoulder or other beef cuts. Make the gravy with stock or stout beer, onion, and herbs like rosemary, thyme, parsley, and bay leaves. Top the pie with more pastry and bake it until golden brown. Serve skirt-and-kidney pie with mashed potatoes or boiled vegetables.
Head to BBC Good Food to check out a recipe for making skirt-and-kidney pie for St. Patrick’s Day. It uses ox kidney. The recipe needs 2 hours and 15 minutes for cooking and additional time for chilling.
13. Black pudding
Black pudding, or blood pudding, is a type of sausage you can prepare for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s made from congealed pig’s blood, pork fat, and oatmeal. Pig’s blood is what gives the black pudding its dark color and distinctive flavor. Other ingredients may include onion, rice or breadcrumbs for binding, spices like salt and pepper, and herbs like parsley and thyme. Combine and cook all ingredients until the mixture thickens into a solid mass. Serve black pudding pan-fried, boiled, baked, or grilled with mashed potatoes, colcannon, or with eggs and bacon for breakfast. Alternatively, use it to add texture and flavor to dishes like stews or casseroles. Visit Dinner Dinner Fatman to get the recipe.
14. White pudding
White pudding is a traditional dish from Ireland and Scotland that you can prepare for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s made from fat, pork, suet, onions, oatmeal, salt, pepper, spices, and herbs. Combine all ingredients and boil the mixture in a cloth or a sausage casing for several hours until it becomes solid. Serve the white pudding hot or cold with ketchup or brown sauce. It works as a main course and a side dish for meals like steak-and-kidney pie or bubble and squeak.
Check out Two Guys and a Cooler for the recipe. It uses cooked pearl barley, leeks, whole milk, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, celery seeds, coriander powder, and clove powder. The recipe takes 20 minutes to prepare and 40 minutes to cook.
15. Irish soda bread
Irish soda bread is a must-have for St. Patrick’s Day since you use it for sandwiches, dips, or serving with soups and main courses. It’s a type of quick bread made with baking soda instead of yeast as the leavening agent. Soda bread is soft and slightly sweet with a dense, cake-like texture. To make it sweeter, it contains flour, butter, buttermilk, and raisins. Bake it in a round load and eat it plain or with butter or jam.
Visit Sally’s Baking Addiction for the recipe details for this St. Patrick’s Day essential food item. It shows you how to bake Irish soda bread on a baking sheet, baking pan, or cast-iron skillet. The recipe takes 10 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes to cook. To make the bread denser and richer, use an egg when whisking the ingredients. Score a large X in the center of the bread to ensure the middle part bakes well.
16. Guinness brown bread
Guinness brown bread is a unique and flavorful twist on a classic Irish staple and a fantastic choice for the St. Patrick’s Day food table. It’s a hearty bread made with the signature dark stout beer, featuring a distinctively malty flavor and texture that sets it apart from other bread types. The beer gives the dough a rich, robust taste that perfectly pairs with savory dishes like corned beef and cabbage or cottage pie. You might want to bake this bread often since it’s delicious and an excellent way to incorporate more whole grains into your diet.
Visit Food Network to learn the recipe for making Guinness brown bread. It uses quick-cooking oats, whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, dark brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, Guinness beer, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla extract. It takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to prepare.
17. Irish pasties
Irish pasties are a delicious pastry dish you can whip up as appetizers or a main course for St. Patrick’s Day. Traditionally, they are prepared using a puff pastry dough and filled with various ingredients such as potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, and beef. Seal the pasties into an oval shape and bake or fry them. Visit Fav Family Recipes to learn how to easily make Irish pasties using roast beef, baked or boiled potatoes, purchased or homemade pie crusts, beef gravy, salt, and pepper. The recipe takes 15 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook.
18. Full Irish breakfast
A full Irish breakfast is a traditional and hearty meal to prepare on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day. It consists of several food items that make it unique: bacon slices, sausages, fried or scrambled eggs, fried tomato, black and white pudding, mushrooms, potato bread or toast, and baked beans. Serve a full Irish breakfast with tea or coffee.
Go to Happy Food’s Tube for more information about this St. Patrick’s Day meal. This recipe takes 5 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook.
19. Guinness-cured salmon
Guinness-cured salmon is a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day entrée for fish lovers. It adds a unique twist to the plain cured salmon recipe by using Guinness stout beer in the marinade. Visit Food and Wine to learn more about making Guinness-cured salmon. The recipe calls for fresh skinless salmon, lemon, lime, coriander seeds, salt, sugar, chopped fresh dill, and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. Serve the salmon with Guinness bread.
20. Seafood chowder
Irish seafood chowder is a hearty soup you can prepare on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a traditional dish that contains potatoes, onions, cabbage, and fish in a creamy base of butter, milk, or cream. Make it with any type of fish, such as cod, haddock, pollack, or salmon. It’s best to use a mixture of various fish to obtain the best possible flavor. Add various herbs and spices for extra flavor, such as parsley, bay leaves, thyme, and pepper. Serve it with freshly baked Irish soda bread, buttered Irish Wheaten, or sourdough bread.
Visit Recipes for Men for more details on making Irish seafood chowder for St. Patrick’s Day. The recipe takes 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook.
21. Irish stew
Irish stew is a comforting and hearty dish that works exceptionally well as a St. Patrick’s Day main course. It typically consists of lamb or beef, rooted vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions, together with herbs such as thyme and bay leaves. Slowly simmer all ingredients in a broth made with Guinness beer or stock to create a thick and deeply flavorful stew. To get the most flavor, brown the meat before adding it to a slow cooker or pot; it helps to caramelize the outside of the meat chunks, resulting in a tastier meal. Serve this traditional stew with a side of freshly-baked soda bread and butter.
Visit All Recipes to check out a take on Irish beef stew with Guinness. It uses boneless beef chuck, bacon, onions, garlic, dark beer, tomato paste, carrots, celery, fresh thyme, salt, pepper, white sugar, stock, and mashed potatoes. The recipe takes 30 minutes to prepare and 2 hours and 30 minutes to cook.
22. Traditional Irish potato soup
Traditional Irish potato soup is a classic St. Patrick’s Day dish that’s both creamy and comforting. It’s made with potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, and butter, flavored with cream and parsley. Add carrots and celery for more flavor. Use chicken or vegetable broth as the base of the soup to give it depth and flavor. Boil the vegetables until tender and blend them with cream to create a silky smooth texture. Serve the soup with a swirl of cream, minced garlic, and a pinch of nutmeg.
Visit Irish American Mom for the cooking directions. It requires 20 minutes of preparation and 30 minutes of cooking.
23. Sautéed cabbage
Sautéed cabbage is an Irish classic and a popular side dish for St. Patrick’s Day. To make it, finely chop the cabbage, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, add the shredded cabbage and sauté until lightly browned and tender. Head over to Well Plated for more details. The recipe takes 5 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook.
For more flavor, add garlic, onions, or bacon. Consider using caraway seeds, nutmeg, and aromatic herbs to enhance the taste. Serve the sautéed cabbage hot by itself with a dollop of butter or grated cheese on top or next to corned beef, ham, or potatoes.
24. Boiled bacon with cabbage and carrots
Boiled bacon and cabbage are Irish classics that you can prepare for St. Patrick’s Day, and they particularly pair well with carrots. Visit BBC Good Food to check out the recipe. It calls for smoked bacon, onion, new-season carrots, pointed cabbages, and many herbs tied together, including bay, thyme and parsley stalks. Boil all ingredients, carve the bacon into thick slices, and serve the boiled bacon with cabbage and carrots with buttered new potatoes on the side. Complete the meal by creating a sauce out of bacon sticks, double cream, English mustard, and fresh curly parsley leaves. The recipe takes 20 minutes to prepare and 2 hours to cook. Use any leftovers to make tasty sandwiches.
25. Roasted carrots and parsnips with honey
Roasting carrots and parsnips with honey creates a sweet and earthy food for St. Patrick’s Day. Check out Epicurious for the recipe details. It asks for carrots, parsnips, olive oil, salt, pepper, butter, honey, and balsamic vinegar.
26. Bangers and mash
Bangers and mash is an Irish dish that can be enjoyed as part of a traditional breakfast or as a dinner accompaniment. The meal consists of sausages, usually pork or beef served with mashed potatoes. Head to Recipe Tin Eats for the recipe, which calls for sausages, onion, garlic, flour, beef stock, salt, and pepper. It takes 5 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook.
Barmbrack is a traditional Irish fruitcake that you can serve for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s made with raisins, sultanas, currants, and candied peel. Soaking the dried fruits in hot tea overnight before use helps to infuse the fruits with flavor and bring out their natural sweetness. Flavor the dough with spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. If the fruitcake will be enjoyed by adults alone, use whiskey or another spirit in place of water to add complexity to the finished product and create a more indulgent treat. Bake the Barmbrack in a circular shape and serve it sliced and spread with butter next to strong tea or coffee.
Visit Not Entirely Average for more details about preparing Barmbrack for St. Patrick’s Day. The recipe takes 30 minutes to prepare and 50 minutes to cook after soaking the fruits for at least 8 hours.
28. Guinness brownies
Guinness brownies are a delectable treat for beer lovers everywhere and a must-have for St. Patrick’s Day. Made with Guinness Draught, these decadent desserts have a rich, chocolatey flavor that pairs well with the slightly bitter taste of the beer. The classic brownie recipe is usually made with oil, butter, sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, and flour; Guinness brownies get their unique twist by incorporating the creamy stout instead of the oil or butter.
Go to Sally’s Baking Addiction to check out the cooking directions for this St. Patrick’s Day dessert. The recipe takes 45 minutes to prepare and 35 minutes to cook.
29. Irish oatcakes
Oatcakes are a traditional and hearty Irish treat to prepare for St. Patrick’s Day. They are made with oats, butter, flour, baking powder, and salt. The humble ingredients work together to create an incredibly versatile snack to enjoy on its own or topped with anything, such as cheese, chutney, butter, honey, or jam. Mix and cook all ingredients on a griddle or in a pan until the oatcakes get lightly brown on both sides. This snack is tasty, nutritious, simple to make, easy to store, can be served at any temperature, and it’s suitable for vegetarians.
Visit Yep Recipes to learn more about making oatcakes for St. Patrick’s Day. The recipe takes 40 minutes to whip up.
Goody is a sweet treat to prepare for breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s made by boiling bread in milk and adding sugar and spices. Another way to enjoy a goody is by soaking bread in milky tea. Use cocoa powder or chocolate drops to make this dessert sweeter. Goody is a great way to use old bread just before it gets stale. It has the rough texture of cooked oatmeal.
Head to The Gracious Pantry for more details on preparing this St. Patrick’s Day dessert. The recipe uses whole-grain bread, unsweetened milk, honey, ground cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. It takes 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook.
Learn more about St. Patrick’s Day food.
What are some traditional Irish dishes for St. Patrick’s Day?
Traditional Irish dishes for St. Patrick’s Day include corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, Irish soda bread, and colcannon.
Are there any vegetarian or vegan options for St. Patrick’s Day?
Yes. For example, make a vegetarian version of shepherd’s pie using lentils or mushrooms instead of meat. For vegan options, try a hearty vegetable soup or roasted root vegetables.
What kind of appetizers can I serve on St. Patrick’s Day?
Some ideas for St. Patrick’s Day appetizers include Irish smoked salmon on crackers or bread, stuffed mushrooms with Irish cheddar cheese and herbs, or mini shepherd’s pies.
What kind of side dishes should I serve with my St. Patrick’s Day meal?
Classic side dishes to serve with your main course include boiled potatoes with parsley butter, steamed carrots and parsnips, or roasted root vegetables like turnips and rutabagas.
Are there any desserts that would be fitting for St. Patrick’s Day?
Yes, there are many St. Patrick’s Day desserts. For example, try shamrock-shaped sugar cookies decorated with green icing, mint chocolate chip ice cream, or an Irish trifle made with layers of custard, cake, and whiskey-soaked fruit.
In conclusion, St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate with friends and family while indulging in delicious traditional Irish fare. A few of the most popular dishes served on this festive day include colcannon, shepherd’s pie, boxty, and soda bread. Whether you stick to the classics or get creative with your cooking, there’s no denying that a well-prepared meal can make any holiday celebration better.
Learn how to throw a great St. Patrick’s Day party at home to serve these delicious dishes and show off your cooking skills.