My interest in St. Patrick’s Day traditions can be measured on a scale somewhat like this:
Corned beef and cabbage? DING-DING-DING, we have a winner!
So I might not be a regular at the annual parades or hightail it to the Chicago River every year to watch it run green. (In my defense, it’s COLD by the water!) But if you peek in my kitchen this time of year, you’d swear I was a St. Paddy’s Day devotee. Any holiday involving shepherd’s pie and green-tinted cupcakes is a holiday I can get behind—and everyone I know is pretty happy that I do.
Green Velvet Cupcakes: When it comes to holiday-theme desserts, go big or go home, I say. And it’s hard to get more Irish-festive than these Kelly-green cupcakes topped with a fluffy, marshmallow-creme-spiked frosting. You can pipe the frosting on with a cake-decorating tip, if you like, or just do what I do—snip the corner off a resealable plastic bag and squeeze!
Warm Reuben Spread: I’ll grant you that this ultra-creamy, sauerkraut-dotted spread might be more German-inspired than Irish…but since it stars savory chunks of that St. Paddy’s Day fave, corned beef, I’m calling it close enough. And really, is there ever a wrong time to serve the Reuben-flavor trinity of Swiss, corned beef and Thousand Island dressing? (The correct answer to that is no, by the way.)
Slow-Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage: It’s simply not St. Patrick’s Day without a grand platter of corned beef and cabbage, and this slow-cooker version might be the grandest and simplest that I’ve come across. It seriously takes just 15 minutes to fill up your slow cooker and prep a few accompanying pieces of cheese toast, and then BAM—traditional Irish dinner accomplished.
Updated Shepherd’s Pie: Whether you call it shepherd’s pie or cottage pie, this beefy mashed potato-topped bake is about as traditionally Irish as it gets. Even better? This hearty made-over version, featuring extra-lean ground beef and butter-less mashed potatoes, is better-for-you, too.
Looking for more fun St. Patrick’s Day food ideas? Check out our collection of green food recipes.