13 Irish Dishes for St. Patrick's Day

by Mary Dacuma

Overview

St. Patrick's Day isn't just a day to wear green and kiss Irish people. It's an opportunity to celebrate Irish culture. And with these spectacular St. Patrick's Day recipes, you won't need the luck of the Irish to immerse yourself in the spirit of the holiday in the most delicious way.

Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned beef and cabbage, also known as New England boiled dinner, is all but synonymous with St. Patrick's Day. And because this recipe just calls for combining the ingredients in a slow cooker and turning it on, even the most novice chef can enjoy this traditional homemade feast.

Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon)

Irish mashed potatoes, also known as colcannon, is a traditional Irish dish comprised of mashed potatoes, onions and a leafy green (usually cabbage or kale). It's the perfect side dish for anyone who's big on health, but short on time.

Irish Soda Bread

The "soda" in Irish soda bread is not of the beverage variety. Rather, it refers to baking soda, used instead of yeast as a leavening agent, which yields a thicker bread that requires less time to rise. The bread pairs well with Irish stew and shepherd's pie, but is also delectable on its own or with a little butter.

Irish Stew

A traditional Irish stew is made from chunks of lamb or mutton simmered for hours with potatoes, onions and seasonings into a thick, steamy pot of savory goodness. Over time, people have made their own additions and substitutions, such as adding root vegetables. This particular recipe simmers the stew in a crock pot, leaving you with tender, juicy pieces of lamb just in time for dinner.

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's pie is classic Irish comfort food. Creamy mashed potatoes are layered atop seasoned lamb, peas, and carrots for a homey taste in every bite. If you're having trouble finding ground lamb, substitute ground beef to make a cottage pie instead.

Irish Cream

Irish cream is popular sweet liqueur with hints of almond, espresso and vanilla. While it is widely available in the liquor section of your grocery store, homemade Irish cream makes a great gift item, and you can customize it to your taste.

Irish Cream-Soaked Ladyfingers

These ladyfingers infused with Irish cream are sure to have chocoholics dancing a jig. Moreover, they are so easy to make that they require very little prep work. You don't even need to turn on your oven! Serve with coffee or ice cream if you're feeling extra indulgent.

Rainbow Parfaits with a Pot of Gold

Never has a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow tasted so sweet. Food coloring and white cake mix make stunning rainbow cake layers. Make sure the white icing peeks out between each layer to enhance the rainbow effect. And a small bowl of gold-wrapped candies ensures that everyone gets lucky on St. Patrick's Day.

Beer, Chocolate and Irish Whiskey Mini-Pies

The flavors of stout beer and chocolate naturally marry very well, and this recipe is proof of that. With a delicious chocolate drizzle and a crispy graham cracker crust, this is a St. Patrick's Day dessert that is sure to please.

Guinness Beer Milkshakes

Guinness is a popular Irish stout beer with hints of roasted coffee and chocolate. It makes it a great mixer in this milkshake. Top your shake with sweet whipped Irish cream and/or Irish whiskey hot fudge if you really want to treat yourself.

Irish Car Bomb Beer Cocktail

While the name is somewhat controversial, there's no doubt that the Irish car bomb beer cocktail is a popular drink of choice during St. Patrick's Day. The trick is to consume the entire cocktail right away to avoid curdled Irish cream in your glass. The drink does take effect quickly, so drink responsibly.

Irish Coffee

An Irish coffee is comprised of coffee, Irish whiskey, brown sugar and a "float" of frothy cream. When done properly, the drink should resemble a heady glass of Irish stout. It's a great accompaniment to any Irish dessert, but it's also sweet enough to be a standalone cocktail.

Green Food

When in doubt, simply make your everyday favorite recipes and dye them green. While food coloring is always an option, spinach and broccoli can also be natural and healthy alternatives to get your food in the St. Patrick's Day spirit.

Photo Credits

  • Julia Mueller

About the Author

Mary Dacuma is eHow's Money and Food editor. She is a proud USC Trojan who previously worked in communications in the financial industry and created a weekly personal finance column, "Cents and Sensibility," on HelloGiggles.