Easy Traditional Irish Champ

Easy Traditional Irish Champ

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
165 Calories
9g Fat
20g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 165
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 74mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 3g
Calcium 51mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Irish love potatoes and there are numerous traditional recipes utilizing the spuds. Champ, like colcannon, can be a great way of using up potatoes either fresh or leftover. This Irish champ recipe shows just how easy it is to make from scratch, even if you don't have leftover cooked potatoes lying around.

Champ was originally made with stinging nettles instead of green onions, but over the years the onions have become standard. The scallions add nice flavor to the dish and the greens decorate the top. Floury potatoes like russets are best for this dish—avoid waxy potatoes like Yukon golds and red potatoes for the best possible texture. If you're using leftover cooked potatoes, simply heat them with the butter and milk and mash.

Champ is a great side dish that can be served as-is or treated like bubble and squeak—with a runny fried egg on top. Serve alongside roast beef, sausages or bacon, or other vegetables like cabbage. A little gravy on the side is a nice touch.


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  • 22 ounces/675 grams potatoes (floury potatoes like russets, peeled and quartered)
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 cup green onions
  • 2 to 3 ounces/50 to 75 mL milk
  • 2 ounces/55 grams salted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Easy Traditional Irish Champ ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and lightly salt the water. Simmer the potatoes until cooked through (when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, the potato should be soft in the middle). This will take about 20 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.

    potatoes in a pot of salted water

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Finely chop the white parts of the green onions and roughly chop the green parts. Set aside.

    chopped green onions on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Drain the cooked potatoes in a colander. Add the milk and butter to the empty pot and heat gently until melted.

    butter in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Add the potatoes back to the pot and mash until smooth and creamy. Be careful of over mashing as the potatoes can end up gluey.

    mashed potatoes in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Add the finely chopped white part of the onion and mix well. Season well with the salt and pepper to taste.

    mashed potatoes with scallions and salt an pepper

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Serve warm topped with the sliced green parts of the onions.

    Easy Traditional Irish Champ in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.

Recipe Variations

Champ is a simple and delicious dish all on its own, but it can be embellished if you like:

  • Fold in sautéed kale, cabbage, or sautéed, sliced leeks after mashing for a dish similar to colcannon.
  • Add peeled, roasted garlic to the potatoes, butter, and milk and mash together.
  • Add a sprinkle of cooked, crumbled bacon just before serving.
  • Swap half of the potatoes for rutabagas, turnips, or sweet potatoes.