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Discover Delicious Alternatives: 14 Foods to Enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day Instead of Corned Beef

14 Foods To Eat On St. Patrick’s Day If You Don’t Feel Like Corned Beef

The Story Behind Corned Beef on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is a popular Irish holiday celebrated with green dresses, Guinness and traditional Irish food. When it comes to food, corned beef is often at the center of this festive occasion. But the history of corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day is more complex than you might think.

The complex history of corned beef

Corned beef is not really an Irish invention. While the Irish were known for their cured salted beef, it was primarily produced for export and not widely consumed domestically due to its high cost. The situation changed when Irish immigrants arrived in the United States, where they had more financial power. They began to consume American-style corned beef, a product of Jewish culinary traditions. Over time, corned beef became a favorite among Irish immigrants and eventually became the most typical dish associated with St. Patrick’s Day.

Exploring Traditional Irish Dishes

If you’re not a fan of corned beef or just want to explore more traditional Irish dishes, there are plenty of delicious options to consider. These dishes offer a new perspective on classic Irish cuisine and are perfect for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in a different way.

1. Irish Stew

Irish stew is a comforting and hearty dish that screams tradition. Made with lamb or mutton, potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables, this stew has been a staple of Irish cuisine for centuries. The long cooking process tenderizes the meat and allows the flavors to meld, resulting in a soul-warming dish that embodies the essence of Irish cooking.

2. Guinness and Beef Stew

Guinness and Beef Stew is a flavorful twist on the classic Irish stew. This hearty dish combines beef, onion, garlic, herbs, root vegetables and a generous helping of Guinness Stout. The long, slow cooking process infuses the stew with rich, roasty flavors. Served with mashed potatoes, this stew is a satisfying and hearty meal that will impress your St. Patrick’s Day guests.

3. Colcannon

Colcannon is an upgraded version of mashed potatoes that incorporates finely sliced green vegetables and herbs. The base of this Irish classic consists of mashed potatoes, butter, and seasonings, with the addition of leeks and cabbage or other greens. Colcannon is a versatile dish that can be served as a side dish or even as an entree. Top with fried bacon bits for added flavor and enjoy this vegetarian-friendly option on St. Patrick’s Day.

4. Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is a wholesome and comforting dish that combines ground meat, carrots, celery, onions and a thick layer of mashed potatoes on top. While often associated with British cuisine, shepherd’s pie has deep roots in Irish culinary tradition. This savory pie is the perfect choice for a St. Patrick’s Day feast, offering a satisfying and delicious meal that pays homage to both Irish and British influences.

5. Boxty

Boxty is a simple potato pancake that showcases the versatility of potatoes in Irish cuisine. Made with grated potatoes, eggs, flour and milk, boxty pancakes are fried until golden and crispy. These flavorful pancakes can be served as a side dish to stews or casseroles, or enjoyed on their own as a hearty breakfast or snack. Add your favorite seasonings and serve with a dipping sauce for a delicious St. Patrick’s Day treat.

6. Beef and Guinness Pie

If you love Beef and Guinness Stew, you’ll love Beef and Guinness Pie. This delicious pie takes all the elements of the stew and wraps them in a flaky pastry crust. The combination of tender beef, root vegetables and Guinness creates a rich and flavorful filling that is perfectly complemented by the golden pastry crust. Serve this pie as a stand-alone main course for a crowd-pleasing St. Patrick’s Day feast.

7. Spice Bag

For a unique and unconventional addition to your St. Patrick’s Day menu, consider the spice bag. Originating in Dublin, this dish combines slightly thicker cut French fries, fried chicken, peppers, onions, and a variety of spices. While its exact origin and spice blend may vary, the spice bag offers a delicious fusion of flavors and textures. It’s a popular dish in Chinese restaurants in Ireland and is sure to add a surprising twist to your St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

8. Irish Soda Bread

No Irish meal is complete without Irish soda bread. This traditional bread is quick and easy to make, requiring only a few simple ingredients like flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. The result is a dense and hearty bread with a slightly tangy flavor. Irish soda bread is perfect with soups and stews, or as a snack with butter and jam. It’s a must-have for your St. Patrick’s Day feast.

9. Boxedty Dumplings

Boxty dumplings are a delicious twist on the classic potato dumpling. Made with a mixture of grated and mashed potatoes, flour and seasonings, these dumplings are cooked until tender and then pan-fried for a crispy exterior. Boxty dumplings can be served as a side dish or as an entree with a savory sauce or gravy. They are a unique and delicious way to enjoy potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day.

10. Irish Cabbage and Bacon

Irish Cabbage and Bacon is a traditional dish that combines tender cooked cabbage with crispy bacon. The combination of flavors and textures creates a satisfying and comforting meal. This dish is easy to prepare and can be enjoyed as a side dish or as a main course with boiled potatoes. It’s a classic Irish dish that will add a touch of authenticity to your St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

11. Irish Apple Cake

For a sweet treat on St. Patrick’s Day, try Irish Apple Cake. This moist and flavorful cake is made with fresh apples, warm spices and a crumbly streusel topping. It’s a delicious dessert that pairs perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee. Whether you serve it for breakfast, an afternoon snack or as a dessert, Irish Apple Cake is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.

12. Barmbrack

Barmbrack is a traditional Irish fruitcake typically enjoyed around Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day. This rich and moist cake is made with dried fruit, spices, and sometimes soaked in tea or whiskey for added flavor. Barmbrack is often served sliced and buttered, making it a delightful accompaniment to a cup of tea. It’s a unique and delicious dessert option for your St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

13. Champ

Champ is a simple and comforting dish made with mashed potatoes, shallots, butter and milk. A staple of Irish cuisine, it is often served as a side dish with sausages or grilled meats. The addition of scallions adds a subtle onion flavor and a pop of color to the creamy mashed potatoes. Champ is a versatile dish that can be customized with additional ingredients such as cheese or herbs. It’s the perfect choice for a St. Patrick’s Day meal.

14. Black and White Pudding

Black pudding and white pudding are traditional Irish sausages made with pork, oats and a blend of spices. Black pudding gets its dark color from the addition of blood, while white pudding does not contain blood. These sausages have a unique and savory flavor that makes them great for breakfast or as part of a hearty Irish meal. Black and white puddings are widely available in Ireland and can be found in specialty stores in other countries. They are a true taste of Irish cuisine for your St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with delicious Irish cuisine

This selection of 14 traditional Irish dishes offers a variety of flavors and options for those who don’t feel like corned beef. From comforting stews and pies to classic potato dishes and sweet treats, there’s something for everyone on St. Patrick’s Day. So gather your friends and family, don your green and savor the rich and hearty flavors of Irish cuisine. Sláinte!


Answer: There are several traditional Irish dishes to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, including Irish stew, colcannon, shepherd’s pie, boxty, beef and Guinness pie, and Irish cabbage and bacon.

Why is corned beef associated with St. Patrick’s Day?

Answer: Corned beef became associated with St. Patrick’s Day through the influence of Irish immigrants to the United States, where they adopted American-style corned beef, a product of Jewish culinary traditions. Over time, it became a popular dish among Irish immigrants and eventually became synonymous with the holiday.

Are there vegetarian options for St. Patrick’s Day?

Answer: Yes, there are vegetarian ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Dishes such as colcannon (mashed potatoes with greens), boxty (potato pancakes), and Irish soda bread are delicious meat-free options.

What are some sweet treats to try on St. Patrick’s Day?

Answer: For those with a sweet tooth, Irish apple pie and barmbrack (a traditional Irish fruitcake) are delicious options. These treats can be enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.

Where can I find black and white pudding outside of Ireland?

Answer: Black and white pudding, traditional Irish sausages, are often found in specialty stores that carry international foods. Irish specialty stores or online retailers may also have them available for purchase.

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