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58 St. Patrick's Day recipes for an Irish feast

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie and more.
/ Source: TODAY

While we associate St. Patrick’s Day with everything green, boozy and sweet, the history of this holiday has much deeper roots. March 17th was officially declared a holiday in the 1800s to commemorate Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who brought Christianity to the Pagans. The usual restrictions around alcohol consumption were lifted on the holiday, which is how it came to be known as one for jovial celebration. While celebrated in Ireland, the Irish diaspora has made the celebration of Saint Patrick even more popular. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a time for gathering over good cheer, beer, corned beef and all things Irish.

Believe it or not, the lore of the leprechaun actually has no correlation to St. Patrick’s Day. These mischievous characters were said to be shoemakers who hoarded piles of gold at the end of the rainbow, by streams or in forests. It wasn’t until the 20th century that leprechauns were thought of more as a symbol of Ireland rather than a part of folktales; thus they became synonymous with the holiday.

Whether you’re staying in line with tradition, or want something more playful, we’ve rounded up 58 recipes to make this St. Patrick’s Day. For the classics, try corned beef hash, shepherd’s pie or pot roast. But don’t stop there. It’s not a party without dessert. Chocolate lovers will appreciate a triple threat chocolate layer cake, Guinness salted brownies or Irish stout cake. For other festive sweets, try traditional gur cake, Irish coffee cupcakes or caramel apple pie.

Soda-Breaded Pork Chops with Colcannon

This recipe is the ultimate ode to Ireland. Succulent pork chops is covered in Irish soda breadcrumbs before getting pan fried and finished in the oven. Serve them alongside traditional colcannon, an Irish staple of mashed potatoes mixed with chopped cabbage.

If you’re looking for another way to use up corned beef, these hearty sandwiches are the perfect passable party dish. Tender corned beef is layered with Irish cheddar cheese and sharp mustard on crusty rye bread. Serve the sandwiches with a side of crunchy pickles for a burst of acidity.

One-Pot Potato Leek Soup

Potato leek soup is a classic comfort food on chilly days. Make it in one pot for easy clean-up. This version gets a boost of flavor from ample herbs and garlic, but our favorite part is the topping of crushed potato chips for some crunch.

There’s no dish more synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day than corned beef and cabbage. While typically made in one-pot, making it in a slow-cooker takes the ease of this hearty classic to the next level. For even more Irish flavor, braise the beef in stout.

There’s nothing quite like crispy, flaky, freshly battered fish alongside homemade fries. While we know deep-frying can be intimidating, it’s all about using the right tools and controlling the temperature of the oil. Pro tip: don’t overcrowd the pan to ensure that the fish and fries get evenly crispy and golden brown.

Siri's Corned Beef Hash with Eggs

Make use of leftover corned beef by transforming it into a whole new dish. Here, corned beef is incorporated into a hearty breakfast fit for serving a crowd. Pair it with potatoes, cabbage and eggs to round out the meal.

For a green-themed meal, make this seasonal frittata. A frittata is one of those dishes that can be served for breakfast, an on-the-go lunch or for dinner with a green salad. This version is made with thinly sliced zucchini, leeks and Parmesan cheese, which are just starting to peek in spring.

Shepherd's Pie

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Shepherd's Pie

McGillin’s Olde Ale House

It’s hard to resist the rich, comforting flavors of shepherd’s pie. Ground beef and saucy mushrooms are topped with a creamy layer of mashed potatoes and served drenched in gravy. This recipe comes from McGillian’s Olde Ale House, an Irish staple in Philadelphia, so you know the recipe is one you can rely on.

This dish is the ultimate St. Patrick’s Day showstopper. With multiple components, each one plays homage to beloved Irish dishes. Hearty cabbage and leafy kale greens are slowly braised with smoky ham hocks, then served with champ and a honey-mustard cream sauce.

Padma Lakshmi's Shepherd's Pie

Padma Laksmi’s take on shepherd’s pie makes a few upgrades to the classic. First, fresh ginger is incorporated, which gives it layers of warm, spiced flavor. Before baking, the potatoes are covered in a layer of pepper jack cheese, which melts while it bakes in the oven.

We love this spin on traditional shepherd’s pie that swaps mashed potatoes for sweet potatoes. For even more added flavor, shredded cheddar cheese is mixed into the potato topping. To make it streamlined, this dish is made in a skillet, which cuts down on dishes and does double duty as a serving vessel.

Turkey Shepherd's Pie

This version of shepherd’s pie swaps out the traditional lamb filling with ground turkey for a leaner and lighter take. Try to use ground dark meat turkey here, which is more flavorful than all light meat. To build even more flavor, the meat and vegetables simmer with red wine, chicken stock and butter.

Chowder is one of our go-to cold weather dishes for obvious reasons. This recipe calls for cod, although any flaky white fish would work, and pairs it with crispy potatoes, corn and smoky bacon. Serve it as a starter to a large St. Patrick’s Day meal, or all on its own with some crusty bread.

There’s a few twists that make Al Roker’s shepherd’s pie a standout. The base is made with ground lamb and vegetables, which is classic, but stout beer and a beef bouillon cube are added, packing in a ton of flavor. Top the lamb with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes and shredded cheddar cheese, which melts in the oven and becomes perfectly golden brown.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned beef and cabbage is always a welcome part of a St. Patrick’s Day feast. This recipe is prepared simply, but has plenty of flavor, thanks to pickling spices and herbs. As this dish takes a few hours in the oven, it’s best to get started the morning of your celebration to ensure the meal is ready in time.

Cozy and comforting, nothing beats a good stew after a long day of partying. With stewing beef as the base, bacon, aromatics and Guinness are added for flavor. For more color and nutrients, this recipe also calls for butternut squash, bell peppers and tomatoes.

Turkey and Leek Potpie

Any recipe with the word pie in it has our attention. This savory version is a spin on a classic pot pie and swaps chicken for turkey breasts and thighs. Cooked alongside bacon and leeks, this flavorful dish comes together with ease, thanks to the use of store-bought puff pastry.

Corned Beef and Cabbage with Gnocchi

For an elevated twist, serve corned beef and cabbage with homemade ricotta gnocchi instead of the usual mashed potatoes. The corned beef gets cooked in a slow cooker for a hands off approach that delivers big flavors. Meanwhile, the homemade herb gnocchi comes together quickly and can be refrigerated until ready to serve.

Pork chops are one of those ingredients that can be every bit as much of a weeknight meal as they can a celebratory dish. We love them marinated in Irish whiskey, apple juice, honey and mustard, which imparts a ton of flavor. Serve them griddled with a side of buttery herbed carrots and traditional champ mash.

Pot roast is one of those dishes that everyone in the family can get on board with. Tender chuck roast with saucy carrots can be served over creamy mashed potatoes or with crusty bread to sop it up with. It’s the perfect dish to serve on St. Patrick’s Day.

Guinness Beef Stew with Potato Dumplings

While we love beef stew in all forms, this version — topped with pillowy potato dumplings — is hard to beat. The stew is flavored with pancetta and Guinness and gets rounded out with mushrooms and chestnuts for texture. The dumplings are made with a few basic pantry staples — flour, butter and potatoes — and infused with fresh sage.

Donal Skehan’s version of seafood chowder pays homage to his hometown in Ireland, famous for their array of fresh fish. Two types of fresh fish — mussels and smoked fish — deliver that classic chowder flavor. The dish comes together quickly, so it’s best assembled right before serving to avoid overcooking.

You don’t often think of stir-fry as something that pairs well with traditional Irish dishes, but trust us, it works. Start by browning smoked ham before sautéing potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. The dish is seasoned simply with herbs and butter, making it an ideal weeknight St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

The Emerald Isle Sandwich

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The Emerald Isle Sandwich

McGillin’s Olde Ale House

This Irish take on a Philly cheesesteak is the St. Patrick’s Day dish you didn’t know you needed. Instead of steak, tuck layers of corned beef into a hoagie roll. For the cheese, opt for Irish cheddar, which melts perfectly, ensuring every bit of hash gets smothered.

Pan-Fried Cod with Minty Pea Purée

If frying at home isn’t your thing, we’ve got another great Irish-inspired fish dish on the docket. Here, cod filets are simply pan-fried until the skin is crispy and flesh is flaky. Serve the fish atop a pea and green lentil mash.

Side dishes

Best Popovers

Popovers can be served for St. Patrick’s Day breakfast or as a side dish for a dinnertime feast. This classic British side is traditionally made with beef drippings, but we’ve simplified it with regular butter. In order to keep that coveted popover shape, make sure not to peek as they’re rising in the oven.

Irish Champ

Champ is the Irish spin on mashed potatoes. Here, butter and cream are warmed with spring onions before they’re added to the mashed potatoes. The spring onions offer green flecks throughout along with a signature flavor of sweet alliums.

Bacon-Roasted Cabbage Wedges

This three-ingredient cabbage is the perfect St. Patrick’s Day side dish. Cabbage wedges are braised in the oven alongside bacon, which imparts a ton of salty, fatty flavor. The final result is cabbage that practically melts in your mouth.

For a low-lift side, this potato salad hits all the marks. Here, boiled potatoes get tossed with mayonnaise, vinegar, onions and two special flavor boosters — Maggi seasoning and cornichon. The joy of this salad is that it gets better with time, so cut down on party prep time by making it in advance.

This might just be our favorite way to eat potatoes yet. Boiled potatoes are mashed with sour cream, Gruyere cheese and caramelized onions for a rich and creamy flavor. While we love this dish eaten as is, transfer the mixture to a casserole dish, top it with cheesy breadcrumbs and bake until bubbling.

Braised Cabbage and Carrots

Cabbage and carrots are a St. Patrick’s Day staple. To make this duo a little more interesting, we love braising them in a jerk spiced coconut milk for a ton of flavor. The result is a creamy-but-light accompaniment that can stand its own.

Rosemary Garlic Hasselback Potatoes

The joy of hasselback potatoes is that you can infuse more flavor into every bite. Here, russet potatoes are sliced like an accordion and brushed with a mixture of rosemary and garlic. While it looks festive and fancy, they actually couldn’t be easier to make.

For a festive green side that comes together quickly, look no further than this recipe. Sautéed spinach gets an upgrade here, thanks to smoked bacon and leeks. It’s the perfect companion to hearty proteins such as braised beef and mashed potatoes.

There’s nothing more Irish than classic soda bread. Dylan Dryer’s family recipe incorporates sour cream, which keeps the dough moist and tender while adding a subtle tanginess. We love eating it straight from the oven, slathered with good butter.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

If you’re team creamy mashed potatoes, this is the recipe for you. The secret to chef Kristen Kish’s mashed potatoes is the addition of cream cheese, along with whole milk and butter. To add even more flavor, the potatoes are boiled in chicken stock.

This simple snack only requires three ingredients. Sliced corn beef gets slathered in cream cheese and stuffed with pickles before getting rolled up. While the roll-ups deliver big flavor, they couldn’t be easier to make.

Twice-Baked Potato Bites

These potato bites are the perfect snack for your St. Patrick’s Day party. The potatoes are twice baked, which ensures optimal crispiness on the outside with a perfectly tender flesh. Each potato is filled with a mixture of sour cream, cheddar cheese and bacon for an irresistible combination of savory, salty flavors.


No-Bake Grasshopper Pie

Chocolate and mint are two of the most popular sweet flavors for St. Patrick’s Day desserts. Here, the two come together in an easy-to-execute no-bake pie. Fill a press-in chocolate cookie crust with a cream cheese-based filling that’s tinted green and loaded with hunks of chocolate.

St. Patrick's Day Bark

Chocolate bark is one of those sweet treats that gets everyone excited, but couldn’t be easier to make. To make this St. Patrick’s Day-themed version, cover semisweet chocolate with a layer of melted white chocolate and decorate with green sprinkles and M&Ms. They’re an equally good option to set out on a dessert buffet as they are party favors.

Chocolate Clover Cupcakes

These cupcakes aren’t just decorated with clovers — they’re actually shaped like them, too! To make them, roll pieces of foil into tiny balls and then put them between the filled liners and the cupcake tin before baking to shape them into clovers. These cupcakes are chocolate flavored, but you could follow this technique to do it with any flavor you like.

If you’re feeding little ones on St. Patrick’s Day, these festive treats are sure to delight. Made with marshmallows, wafers and chocolate, these leprechaun hats can be made ahead of time. Don’t forget to decorate with the shamrock sprinkles to really get in the spirit.

Sticky toffee pudding is a beloved dessert for good reason. This cake is incredibly moist, thanks to the addition of dates and stout. The homemade toffee sauce, which covers the entire cake, gets a dash of Irish whiskey, ensuring a sweet, boozy bite with every spoonful.

While bread pudding typically uses up any stale bread, this recipe calls for croissants and cinnamon raisin bread, which add a sweet flaky texture throughout. The double chocolate comes from the addition of both chocolate syrup and chocolate chips, which get incorporated throughout the pudding. If that wasn’t decadent enough, serve it with a generous dollop of bourbon-spiked whipped cream.

Irish Stout Cake

This single layer cake is perfect when you need an afternoon pick-me-up on St. Patrick’s Day. We love the addition of Irish stout to the batter, which pairs well with chocolate. A thick layer of white chocolate and cream cheese frosting finishes off the cake.

Guinness Cake

Guinness takes center stage in this festive cake. This deeply flavorful beer gets added to the batter along with cocoa powder, brown sugar and yogurt to create a moist, adults-only cake. Top it off with a layer of homemade cream cheese frosting.

Brownies are always a crowd-pleaser, no matter the occasion. However, these are especially fitting for St. Patrick’s Day, thanks to the addition of Guinness in the batter, which creates a deeply rich flavor. Top it off with a thin layer of green peppermint icing for the full effect.

Guinness Caramel Tiramisu

All the flavors of a classic tiramisu are layered together in this showstopping trifle. To make it a perfect contender for St. Patrick’s Day, drizzle homemade caramel spiked with Guinness between every layer. Serve it in a large trifle dish or in individual float glasses.

Dark Chocolate Layer Cake

With alternating layers of chocolate cake, chocolate pudding and chocolate frosting, this cake is a chocolate lover’s dream. A cup of stout gets added to the cake, making it even richer in flavor. To make assembly a breeze, make each component ahead of time and decorate it the day of your celebration.

Pistachio Icebox Cake

This icebox cake leans on store-bought ingredients, which couldn’t be easier to assemble. With layers of green pistachio pudding, wafers and Cool Whip, it’s a fun and festive treat that the whole family can enjoy. Since it’s meant to be frozen, this is the perfect make-ahead treat.

Bread pudding is an ideal dessert for so many reasons. It’s made with pantry staples, easily feeds a crowd and can be made ahead of time. This one takes a cue from Ireland and gets draped in a boozy whiskey-spiked caramel sauce.

Copycat Shamrock Shake

While we all look forward to Shamrock Shake season, we don’t look forward to the lines. Luckily, it’s easy to make your own version at home. All it takes is combining ice cream, milk, mint extract and green food coloring in a blender until smooth. Don’t forget to top it off with whipped cream!

Gur Cake

You can’t get more Irish than a traditional Gur cake. If you’re unfamiliar, this cake involves two layers of pastry that sandwich a mixture of dried fruit in a thick brown sugar paste. Make it ahead of time and surprise your guests with a real taste of Ireland.

Chocolate Irish Stout Cupcakes

Stout isn’t just for drinking on St. Patrick’s Day. Here, it’s incorporated into chocolate cupcakes to add a rich flavor. Finish the cupcakes off with a white chocolate and cream cheese frosting.

Bullock Brown Butter Banana Bread

Brown butter is one of those ingredients that makes everything taste better. Here, it’s mixed into banana bread, which adds a nutty, caramelized flavor throughout. The addition of Greek yogurt and mayonnaise may be surprising, but both ingredients help keep the bread moist and tender while adding a subtle tanginess.

Irish Coffee Cupcakes

While these cupcakes might look unsuspecting, they’ve got a boozy secret ingredient — Irish whiskey! The cupcakes come together quickly, thanks to a handful of pantry staples and a dash of whiskey. Top with homemade buttercream that gets spiked with — you guessed it — more whiskey.

Irish Coffee with Lemon-Vanilla Whipped Cream

After your St. Patrick’s Day meal wraps up, wow your friends by delivering a tray of these homemade Irish coffees. Spiked with Irish whiskey and topped with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, this boozy beverage will keep the party going. Make the whipped cream ahead of time so you’re ready to assemble without much fuss.

Caramel Apple Pie

Made in a flaky all-butter crust, this apple pie will have your everyone coming back for seconds. The filling is made with thinly sliced apples and drizzled with a homemade caramel sauce. Rather than a traditional lattice, the crust is decorated with pie dough cut-outs to fully cover the apples inside, creating a unique look and great texture.

Irish Whiskey Mocha Chocolate Mousse

This is no ordinary chocolate mousse. Spiked with Irish whiskey and coffee, this adults-only dessert delivers big flavors while retaining its classic airy and light texture. It’s an ideal option when you’re looking for a make-ahead treat that’ll wow.