Irish Palate: A Collection of Traditional Food for St Patrick’s Day

Irish Palate: A Collection of Traditional Food for St Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17th, is a cultural and religious festival commemorating Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. While the day is marked with parades, green attire, and music, food plays a central role in the festivities. The traditional food for St Patrick’s Day is not just a mere indulgence; it’s a part of the rich tapestry of Irish culture and history.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Perhaps the most iconic of all St Patrick’s Day foods, corned beef and cabbage is a staple in many Irish-American households. Contrary to popular belief, this dish is more American than Irish. In Ireland, bacon and cabbage were the norms, but when Irish immigrants settled in America, they found that corned beef was a more affordable alternative to bacon. This dish is typically slow-cooked, with the corned beef brisket flavored with various spices and served alongside tender cabbage, carrots, and potatoes.

corned beef and cabbage
Irish stew

Irish Stew

Irish stew is a quintessential comfort food for St Patrick’s Day. Originally made with mutton, nowadays it’s more commonly made with lamb or beef. The stew is cooked slowly, allowing the meat to become tender and flavorsome. Carrots, potatoes, and onions are added for extra heartiness, making this dish a complete meal in itself. It’s a true reflection of Irish culinary tradition, emphasizing simplicity and the use of locally sourced ingredients.

Soda Bread

Irish soda bread is another traditional Saint Patrick’s Day dish. Made with the most basic of ingredients – flour, baking soda, buttermilk, and salt – this bread has a distinctive texture and flavor. It’s often enjoyed freshly baked, slathered with butter, or as an accompaniment to a main dish like stew. The cross traditionally cut into the top of the bread before baking has religious significance, symbolizing a blessing.

soda bread 1
colcannon recipe


Colcannon is a delightful Irish dish made from mashed potatoes mixed with kale or cabbage, and often enhanced with spring onions, leeks, or chives. It’s creamy, comforting, and a perfect side dish for any St. Patrick’s Day meal. Historically, colcannon was associated with Halloween festivities in Ireland, but it has found its place at the St. Patrick’s Day table due to its distinctly Irish roots.


Boxty, a traditional Irish potato pancake, has a unique texture and is a versatile component of the food for St Patrick’s Day. Made from a mixture of grated and mashed potatoes, combined with flour, baking soda, and buttermilk, it can be cooked on a griddle or fried in a pan. Boxty can be enjoyed as a breakfast item, a side dish, or even as the base for more elaborate toppings.

Boxty 4
st patricks day desserts

Desserts and Beverages

No Saint Patties feast would be complete without a nod to the sweeter side of Irish cuisine. Saint Patrick’s Day desserts like apple cake, porter cake, or bread pudding are commonly enjoyed. Beverages also play a significant role, with Irish beers and whiskeys being popular choices. However, for a non-alcoholic option, Irish cream soda or tea is widely consumed.


In conclusion, these St Patrick’s Day dishes stand as a celebration of Irish heritage and culinary tradition. These dishes, steeped in history and cultural significance, offer more than just sustenance; they bring people together in a shared experience of heritage and joy. Whether you’re of Irish descent or simply participating in the festivities, enjoying traditional Irish food is a wonderful way to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day.

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