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Traditional Irish Food for St. Patrick’s Day

With every celebration comes a long list of foods that have been tied to these special events for years. It is something woven in every culture that, in many cases, we even forget why some food is eaten during those celebrations. However, it doesn’t matter as long as everyone is having a good time and keeping their tummy full and happy. 

In this article, we are casting the spotlight on one of the most recognized feasts around the World, St. Patrick’s Day. It is an Irish feast that has been celebrated in Ireland for so long and is deemed as one of the religious and most prominent days in all of Ireland. Today, this celebration has managed to make its way all to the United States through the Irish immigrants. 

On St. Patrick’s Day, you will find celebratory vibes taking place all over Ireland. Parades and festivals are happening on every street. The color green has dominated the scene with everything green and everyone wearing this color. Not only that, but foods and drinks on this day turn green as well.

Besides all the vibrant festivities, certain dishes and foods make an appearance. They have been associated with this day for so many years that eating anything unrelated to the celebration is a sin. Well, not really, but it is a sacred tradition that almost all Irish keep following. Keep reading to learn about this special day and the foods affiliated with it.

What is St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick’s Day is a religious celebration that takes place on March 17, commemorating the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and the death of one of Ireland’s most prominent patron saints. Besides, the religious aspect of this feast, the whole Irish culture and heritage are also part of this celebratory event. It has been celebrated since the early 17th century. 

Apart from the vibrant celebrations, who was St. Patrick? Well, he was a Romano-British Bishop in Ireland during the 5th century. He came from an affluent family before he was kidnapped by some Irish raiders and taken to Ireland. Patrick played a significant role in spreading Christianity all over Ireland, converting many of the Irish pagans into Christians.

Just like everything in life, the story of Patrick has been altered over the years, where many legends grew up around his name. Yet, most of his life story was actually documented in the Declaration, which he wrote himself.

The Relation between the St. Patrick’s Day and Green

On this day, green seems to dominate everything. People wear green outfits, resembling the outfits of the mythical fairies, the Leprechauns. Even the stores and street banners light up some green lights to fit the theme of the day. Why is that color, in particular, associated which St. Patrick’s Day? 

Well, legends have it that Saint Patrick used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity of Christianity. In case you are not aware of what a shamrock is, it is a green three-leaf clover that is now a significant symbol of Ireland. Moreover, green is a prominent color in the Irish flag, symbolizing Irish nationalism.

Most Popular Traditional Dishes for St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

Food shows the taste of every cuisine around the world. Moreover, it gives you a deeper insight into the culture. Trying some of the traditional dishes of a country is a great way to learn about the way many people live and have a better understanding of their perspectives. 

Around the renowned holiday of St. Patrick’s Day, many palatable dishes come into season and they are worth trying. They come straight from the Irish cuisine, revealing the traditions that have been embedded into this culture since the beginning of time. Let us walk you through these mouthwatering recipes that bravely star on St. Patrick’s Day.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

When it St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, smells of cornered beef and cabbage start filling the air. This delicacy has been steeped in the Irish cuisine for so long, becoming one of the most traditional dishes that make an appearance on St. Patrick’s Day.

This dish did not originate in Ireland, it was originally an American dish that consisted of bacon and potatoes. However, the Irish immigrants in the 19th century had trouble affording those ingredients, thus, they were substituted with beef and cabbage. Today’s variations include potatoes in the sweet hot pot along with carrots to spice up the flavor.

Shepherd’s Pie 

An Irish classic that presents itself on St. Patrick’s Day is the pleasant-tasting shepherd’s pie. Some may call it cottage pie, but that is not so common. This traditional dish is several luscious layers of goodness. The bottom layer is minced meat properly cooked and covered with a rich layer of mashed potatoes. Vegetables, onions, cheese, and gravy are added to give the layers a flavorsome twist.

Black Pudding

Unlike the most commonly known puddings, this one is not sweet but rather a savory delicacy that has been rooted in Irish cuisine. This dish also goes by the name blood pudding, for it is made of either a sheep’s or cow’s blood. Other ingredients that go in with this St. Patrick’s Day prominent dish include oats, barley, along with some spices, mint, and thyme for an extra flavor.


Potatoes are an Irish staple and the traditional dishes that make an appearance on St. Patrick’s Day contain some delicious potatoes. The Irish love seeing some palatable potato-based meals on this celebratory day, and that’s why boxty comes into the picture. Boxty is a potato pancake, made by grating and mashing potatoes, mixing them together, and then adding buttermilk batter to create a thick texture. The generous addition of potatoes makes it bear some resemblance to the crunchy hash browns.


Barmbrack is among the succulent desserts that’s smell fills the air when St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner. Oftentimes shortened to brack, this dessert, while looking like a cake, is more like bread since it has a rather durable texture than delicate. This bread-based dessert is filled with raisins as well as sultanas, which are seedless raisins.

Moreover, barmbrack is more associated with Halloween. It is often filled with an item that tells people their fortune. For example, those who find a ring in their cake are deemed lucky whereas those who find a cloth means they’ll be poor. 

Cottage Pie/ Shepherd’s Pie

It’s not St. Patrick’s Day without hot cottage pie served on dinner. Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day requires a steaming and delicious plate of this pie’s succulent layers. The savory dish is an Irish classic, featuring a mouthwatering layer of minced beef topped with mashed potatoes and gravy sauce. The magical ingredients are then baked in the oven until it reaches the perfect golden hue.


Potatoes are a staple in Irish cuisine that make up many of the classic dishes that come to life on the celebratory St. Patrick’s Day. It is the main ingredient in the renowned colcannon dish that features creamy mashed potatoes, perfectly blended with boiled cabbage or kale. The addition of butter and seasonings is what gives this delicacy its flavorful edge.

Chicken and Leek Pie

Chicken and leek pie is a hearty meal that the Irish tend to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day. Chicken and leek are, definitely, the main ingredients, yet there are other appetizing flavors featured in this palatable pie. It is a quite healthy dish, given the many greens that are added as part of the ingredients. On top of the dish, puff pastry is added for an additional crunch.


It seems that potato is the star of St.Patrick’s Day and this time, we are introducing the Irish classic dish of champ. This dish is a succulent blend of creamy mashed potatoes with butter, milk, and scallions. The addition of scallions, and spring onion, gives this meal a nice onion flavor.

Fish Pie

It is quite obvious how the Irish are so fond of pies and they have more than a few versions of them. To be honest, the Irish pies are to die for. The best part is that they can be consumed throughout the whole year and not only on St. Patrick’s Day, yet fish pie is one of the classic staples on this special holiday.

Also known as fishermen’s pie, this pie is a nice blend between white fish and prawns, drowning in creamy cheddar sauce, with pieces of hard-boiled eggs added for an extra flavor. This fish dish is a classic dish in Irish cuisine and is commonly made on St. Patrick’s Day as part of this day’s traditional food.

Dublin Coddle

Coddle is a famous dish that originated in the beautiful Irish city of Dublin. This multi-layered dish is a savory indulgence to treat yourself to on St. Patrick’s Day. Dublin Coddle is made of several layers of sausages, potatoes, bacons, and onions. These layers are stewed in broth until they reach a point of perfection and a nice flavor is added, thanks to the broth.

This dish is also known as Irish Sausage and Potatoes Stew. However, the name Dublin coddle comes from the fact that leftovers were used to make this dish. Instead of throwing them away, they tossed them all together, creating the Dublin Coddle. Since potatoes and sausages were always part of this dish, they became the stable ingredients.

Irish Beef and Guinness Stew

Another stewed pie that makes an appearance on St. Patrick’s Day is the beef and Guinness pie. Everything about this dish is plainly Irish, with no other cultural interference to put its print on it. This dish is made by mixing any of these types of meat, lamb, beef, or mutton, with root vegetables like carrots and potatoes, along with parsley and onions for an added flavor. 

This traditional dish is most commonly known to consist of beef rather than any other type of meat. The addition of Guinness just confirms the Irishness of this nice hot plate and adds an exceptional taste. It is one of the conventional meals that people have on their tables on St. Patrick’s Day.

Spring Lamb Stew

When St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, the smells of cooking lamb fill the entire air, making your mouth water. This lamb-based dish is known as the spring lamb stew. It is a generous amount of palatable chunks of cooked lamb paired with potatoes, bacon, carrots, turnips, and onions. Salt, pepper, and herbs are added to flavor up the dish.

Irish Soda Bread

Soda bread is a yeast-less bread that is native to Ireland and is a special guest in many houses around St. Patrick’s Day. The dough is designed into a rounded shape, resembling the appearance of the cake. Soda bread is made by mixing baking soda with buttermilk, giving the dough its crusty texture. This recipe is one that is embedded in the Irish culture and goes way back in history.

Full Irish Breakfast

This full plate of breakfast ingredients is a lavish meal to consume on the early morning of St. Patrick’s Day. It is a big dish, consisting of sausages, eggs, potatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, bacon, and grilled tomatoes. Toast and butter are served on the side to create a hearty meal that will keep your tummy full for long enough.

There is so much to enjoy when St. Patrick’s Day comes around the bush. The hyping festivities, lively parades, fun costumes are not to be missed. Yet, all of those celebratory elements won’t beat the pleasure that comes with consuming an ebullient meal; one that speaks loud of the Irish history and heritage.

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