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5 Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Recipes for Every Diet

St. Patrick’s Day often brings to mind green beer or corned beef and cabbage, but Irish cuisine is much more versatile than that.

Here are 5 healthy Irish recipes for any dietary need.

Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Gluten-Free, Vegetarian

Made with baking soda instead of yeast, soda bread is a quick, hearty baked good made all over Ireland. Luckily, many of its ingredients are inherently nutritious:

  • Currants (dried berries, similar to raisins) are high in Vitamin C and protein
  • Caraway seeds (a spice that tastes similar to fennel or cumin) are full of antioxidants and aid in digestion, and
  • Yogurt is a good source of calcium and probiotics. 

This gluten-free recipe turns the bread into muffins, making the slightly sweet, hearty treat even more shareable.

Potato-Cabbage Soup

Low-Calorie, Heart Healthy

For those looking to keep calorie intake down this St. Patrick’s Day, it’s time to go green. Savoy cabbage, which is at its best in winter, and scallions turn this creamy potato soup green in color, making the bowl as pretty as it is satisfying. At roughly 200 calories per serving, the fiber in the potatoes keeps you feeling full and the cabbage and green onions give you a boost of Vitamin C.

Irish Colcannon

Vegan, Vegetarian

Colcannon comes from the Gaelic “cal ceannann,” which means white-headed cabbage. The dish is made of potatoes and cabbage, but most versions also use milk, butter or bacon for flavoring. This vegan version uses soymilk instead, as well as leeks, nutmeg and black pepper to create an earthy, delicious flavor.

Irish Stew


The Paleo Diet focuses on eating only foods that early humans would have hunted or gathered. It includes meat, fish, nuts and seeds but excludes many grains, dairy and potatoes — the latter of which can be challenging when trying your hand at Irish cooking. The solution: use celery root and turnips instead of potatoes. It will help you adhere to the Paleo diet, lower the carbohydrate content and preserve the rustic beauty of Irish stew.

One-Pot Shepherd’s Pie


Much of the flavor in traditional shepherd’s pie comes from salt and fat, but you don’t have to rely on those to make yours tasty. This version uses onion, chili powder, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce to add flavor to the extra-lean ground beef, and it cuts down on carbs by using instant potato flakes for the topping.

For more healthy St. Patrick’s Day ideas, click here

Ashley Brantley

Ashley Brantley has been writing about food, culture and health for more than a decade, and has lived in three of Tennessee’s four major cities (Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville).

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