Traditional Irish Recipes with A Healthy Twist

Irish cuisine is full of traditional meat-and-potato dishes that many of us enjoyed throughout childhood. If you have Irish roots, you may be familiar with traditional recipes like Irish stew, coddle (sausage, bacon, and potatoes), colcannon (mashed potatoes, cabbage, and butter), and soda bread. If not, these hearty meals make for a fun and festive food experience you could try for St. Patrick’s Day!

While potatoes, butter, milk, and meat are a staple in Irish cuisine, vegetables like onions, chives, cabbage, and leeks are also used in abundance. That’s good news for us, since we’re always trying to find new ways to enjoy fresh produce. We’ve found a few Irish recipes with a healthy twist, so that you don’t have to compromise your diet for a little festive fun.

Traditional Irish Stew

Recipe from The Spruce Eats

A widely popular dish on St. Patrick’s Day, this Irish stew is warming and hearty, filled with lots of vegetables for added flavor and nutrition.  


2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 lb. boneless lamb cutlets, cubed

2 tbsp flour, white or gluten-free

2 lb. potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 cup onion, chopped

1 cup leeks, finely sliced

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 ½ pints dark beef stock

2 or 3 cabbage leaves, thinly sliced

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste



  1. Heat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat half the oil to hot, but not smoking. Add half the lamb pieces and brown all over.
  3. Remove the lamb with tongs and place in a casserole dish.
  4. Cover with a half of the quartered potatoes, onions, leeks, and carrots.
  5. Add the remaining oil to the frying pan, heat again then add the remaining lamb and brown all over as before and add to the dish. Cover with the remaining vegetables.
  6. Add the flour to the frying pan and stir well to soak up any fat and juices. Cook on a low heat for 3 minutes.
  7. Add stock a ladle at a time until you have a thick, lump-free sauce, and pour over the lamb and vegetables.
  8. Add the remaining stock to the casserole, cover with a lid, and cook in the oven for 1 hour.
  9. Add the cabbage (if using), replace the lid, and cook for another hour. Season with salt and pepper, and serve hot.

Low Carb Leek & Cauliflower Soup

Recipe from Bakerita

Leek and potato soup is a creamy classic that the Irish love. This lighter version uses cauliflower, without any cream, butter, or potatoes, to recreate a smooth and creamy soup.  


2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced

2 leeks, thinly sliced

1 large head or 2 small heads of cauliflower

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 tsp dried thyme

3–5 cloves roasted garlic (optional)

½ of 1 fresh lemon

Salt + pepper, to taste


Prosciutto or bacon, sautéed + crumbled

Green onions, sliced



  1. In a large sauté pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and onion and sauté until the onions start to caramelize and the leeks start to turn golden brown.
  2. Add the cauliflower and sauté until it starts to brown. Add the chicken or vegetable stock and dried thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the cauliflower florets are tender and cooked through.
  3. Add the roasted garlic if using, and lemon juice and use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. You can also ladle the soup into a blender to blend until smooth.
  4. Taste the soup for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. If it’s thicker than you’d like, thin it out with a bit of extra stock.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, crispy prosciutto, and green onions (optional). Serves 4.

Paleo Gluten-Free Apple Cake

Recipe from Joy Food Sunshine

Traditional Irish Apple Cake is served with custard for a rich and creamy dessert. This lighter version is Paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Pairs perfectly with an Irish Cream coffee!


1 cup almond flour

2 tbsp tapioca flour

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp baking soda

¼ cup coconut oil

½ cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 ½ cups apples, chopped

For topping:

¼ cup pecans, chopped

1 tbsp coconut sugar

½ tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8x8” pan and set aside.  
  2. In a small bowl, mix together almond flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, salt, and ½ tsp of cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together melted coconut oil and coconut sugar.
  4. Mix in the egg and vanilla until well combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  6. Stir in the apples, then pour into the prepared pan.
  7. Sprinkle pecans on top, then in a small bowl, stir together the remaining cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkle over pecans.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool on a wire rack before serving.


St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration that’s recognized throughout the world. This year, throw on anything you own that’s green, and channel your inner Irish in the kitchen with one of these festive recipes. The best part? You won’t be compromising your healthy eating and can celebrate from the safety of your own home. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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1 September 25, 2020

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