41 Best St. Patrick's Day Recipes

St. Patrick's Day, unlike Christmas or Thanksgiving, is a holiday without any standard celebration. It's not a day off work, plus it always occurs on the same date no matter if it's Saturday or Monday. Many cities will hold parades and some go all out and dye the river green, but most festivities seem to take place at bars. As trick-or-treating is to Halloween, boozing it up is to St. Patrick's Day, although this pastime leaves out anyone under 21 as well as those who don't drink or have given it up for Lent.

If hitting the bars on March 17 isn't on your agenda, you might want to host a celebration complete with a holiday dinner and special dessert. Even if you are planning to head out to down your share of green beer or drown the shamrock, you should also have something in your stomach before you go. A hearty bowl of Irish stew would do the job, or you could even pre-game by making it Guinness stew. These are just a few of the authentically Irish dishes on this list, although we also have Irish (and not-so-Irish)-American variants on corned beef and/or cabbage as well as snacks, desserts, and drinks, many of a vivid, verdant, hue.

1. Corned Beef And Cabbage

Even if corned beef isn't actually Irish, cabbage is well known in the old country — and in just about every old country, for that matter, from Lithuania to Laos to Liberia. In combination, corned beef and cabbage make for what may well be the most popular entrée for American St. Patrick's Day celebrations. This recipe is a super-simple one, calling for nothing more than the two named ingredients as well as some dijon mustard and white wine for cooking. (What, no beer? You can always serve that on the side.)

Recipe: Corned Beef And Cabbage

2. Irish Stew

If corned beef and cabbage isn't really Irish, what about Irish stew? Yes, this dish is a fairly authentic one. The original stew of potatoes and mutton made for a cheap, filling meal back in the days when mutton was really inexpensive. These days that meat's not too easy to come by (and not very budget-friendly, either), so this version is made with lamb instead. While the dish may not be quite as economical as in days of yore, it's still just as delicious and makes a great St. Patrick's Day alternative for people who don't care for corned beef.

Recipe: Irish Stew

3. Traditional Irish Soda Bread

The soda bread they bake in Ireland often includes nothing more than baking soda, buttermilk, flour, and salt, making for a plain loaf that goes well with Irish stew or a big breakfast fry-up of sausage, eggs, and bacon. This soda bread recipe, however, is for a more elaborate American variant that also uses butter, eggs, raisins, and sugar. As this raisin bread is on the sweet side, it's best on its own with nothing but butter or perhaps a smear of cream cheese.

Recipe: Traditional Irish Soda Bread

4. Irish Apple Cake

If you're looking for a traditional Irish dessert to top off your St. Patrick's day meal, we suggest this apple cake made without a single drop of green food coloring. This recipe doesn't need Guinness, Bailey's, or any type of booze to make it "Irish," either, as this type of cake is native to the Emerald Aisle. While the crumbled oat topping may not look fancy, this dessert is chock full of rustic charm and buttery flavor.

Recipe: Irish Apple Cake

5. St. Patrick's Day Cake

Should you want a dessert that's more fancy and festive, not to mention chocolatey, this St. Patrick's Day cake may be just what you're looking for. It has three fudgy layers sandwiched together with bright green frosting — vanilla, as per the recipe, but you can always add a few drops of mint extract if you'd like more of a Shamrock Shake-type flavor. You can dress up the cake with a simple sprinkling of chocolate chips as shown here, or go all-out with shamrocks, leprechauns, or any other thematically-appropriate cake decorations you can find.

Recipe: St. Patrick's Day Cake

6. Traditional Irish Breakfast

This traditional Irish breakfast isn't the kind of thing the average Irish person eats every day, any more than the average American starts off their morning with pancakes, hash browns, eggs, sausage, and bacon. Every so often, however, such as for a certain mid-March holiday, it's nice to have a morning splurge. The Irish version of a breakfast fry-up, like the American one, also includes eggs, bacon, sausage, and potatoes, but it adds fried tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and baked beans and swaps out the pancakes for black pudding. This last-named item isn't to everyone's taste, so feel free to skip it if you wish.

Recipe: Traditional Irish Breakfast

7. Irish Coffee Cocktail

Irish coffee is a drink with disputed origins — while some say it was first created in Dublin, it may actually be from New York, instead, or possibly even San Francisco. In fact, it's quite possible that multiple mixologists around the world all had the same brilliant idea of putting a shot of whiskey (Irish or otherwise) in a cup of coffee, and dressing it up with whipped cream. The recipe given here can be customized to taste — use more or less sugar, swap brown sugar for white, and make the drink with whatever whiskey you have on hand, even if it's Japanese or Scotch. For all we know, this drink may have actually been the brainchild of a bartender in Tokyo or Glasgow, anyway.

Recipe: Irish Coffee Cocktail

8. Irish Nachos

Irish nachos are most definitely not Irish as we know exactly where and when they were invented: Arlington, Texas, in 1980. As to what makes them Irish, it's pretty much just the potatoes. While some people like to get fancy by using Irish cheddar on top, the original dish was made with cheese from Wisconsin. Still, Irish or otherwise, these pot-chos make the perfect St. Patrick's bar snack for anyone who's not a fan of corned beef.

Recipe: Irish Nachos

9. Guinness Stew

Cooking with beer is something people have been doing since the time of the ancient Egyptians, if not earlier, and for good reason. Beer helps to tenderize tougher cuts of meat as well as adding its own distinctive flavor, particularly if you're using a robust brew such as Guinness. In this recipe for beef stew with root vegetables, the coffee notes of the stout are enhanced by the addition of actual coffee to make for a hearty dish with a big, bold taste.

Recipe: Guinness Stew

10. Fish And Chips

Every so often, St. Patrick's Day will fall on a Friday, and March 17 is generally smack-dab in the middle of Lent. As any Catholic knows, this means that meat is off the table. While some dioceses may issue a dispensation for the day, this is not a universal practice, so it's best to have a meat-free alternative ready to roll out. Fish and chips is a dish that's popular throughout the British Isles, Ireland included (while not part of the UK, Ireland is still considered to belong to this general geographic region), and our version is sufficiently fun and festive to make for a great meat-free party meal.

Recipe: Fish And Chips

11. Classic Shepherd's Pie

Despite the name, shepherd's pie does not require a crust of any kind, so it's actually quite an easy dish to make. The main ingredients consist of a ground meat base with a mashed potato topping. Our recipe is a more elaborate version of this simple supper, however, as we're not only tossing in carrots, onions, and peas but also covering the potatoes with cheese and then sprinkling on some breadcrumbs to add a little crunch.

Recipe: Classic Shepherd's Pie

12. Colcannon

With a name like colcannon, you know this recipe's authentically Irish, and a quick peek at the ingredients will confirm this first impression as cabbage and potatoes have long been popular in Hibernia. In a nutshell, this dish is basically creamy mashed potatoes and boiled cabbage, but it gets some extra flavor from garlic and green onions. As a side dish it pairs perfectly with corned beef, of course, but would also go well with any other St. Patrick's Day entrée you have planned.

Recipe: Colcannon

13. Homemade Beef Pot Pie

If you're not too thrilled with the idea of beef pot pie for dinner, this may be because you're thinking of the frozen kind. While these have long been a cheap convenience food staple, they are certainly not the kind of thing that you'd serve when company's coming. Homemade beef pot pie, on the other hand, is a whole other thing — somewhat labor-intensive, true, but very impressive and also quite tasty. As this recipe bears some resemblance to the meat pies popular in Irish pubs, it could serve as the main course for a St. Patrick's Day dinner. If you want to add a little extra Irish to it, you can always replace some of the beef broth used in the filling with beer.

Recipe: Homemade Beef Pot Pie

14. Smoked Corned Beef

The corned beef that's served up on St. Patrick's Day in restaurants, bars, and private homes is very often boiled and as a result can wind up tasting both bland and greasy. It's no wonder that many people don't care for the dish, but there's one thing that's guaranteed to make it better: smoking instead of boiling. Smoking improves almost everything and it adds so much flavor to corned beef that you'll hardly recognize the stuff (in a good way). This recipe makes for a totally transformed dinner as the cabbage gets tossed on the smoker, too. Once you try this way of making corned beef and cabbage, you may never go back to boiling it again.

Recipe: Smoked Corned Beef

15. Guinness Chocolate Mousse

Beer pudding sounds like something only a frat bro could go for, but this Guinness-infused chocolate mousse is surprisingly delicious. While beer and chocolate may not seem like a natural pairing, stout has sweet as well as bitter notes that blend well with dark chocolate and its richness adds depth to this creamy mousse. What makes this recipe absolutely perfect for a St. Patrick's Day celebration is that the dark-brown dessert is topped off with a layer of white chocolate cream, thus giving it the appearance as well as the flavor of a foamy pint of Guinness.

Recipe: Guinness Chocolate Mousse

16. Fried Cabbage

One problem with making boiled cabbage, which is part of many people's typical St, Patrick's Day meals, is that it can really stink up your house with an aroma that tends to linger for a good long time. When you fry the cabbage instead, it cooks more quickly and releases less of an odor. Not only is this quick-fried cabbage done in under 15 minutes, but it's also enhanced with crumbled bacon and crushed red pepper. This makes for a side dish that's far more flavorful than plain boiled cabbage could ever be.

Recipe: Fried Cabbage

17. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If cabbage is too old-fashioned for you and you want a St. Patrick's Day side that's more au courant, you may want to try these maple syrup-roasted Brussels sprouts to accompany your corned beef. They're a holiday-appropriate green color, after all, and they even look like cute little miniature cabbages. What's more, this once-despised vegetable has become quite trendy in recent years, so your vegetable course, at least, will be in vogue.

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts

18. Irish Soda Bread With Sour Cream

This soda bread is not traditionally Irish, but is more of an Irish-American creation as it contains a number of ingredients not generally used in Ireland: eggs, butter, sugar, raisins, and sour cream. Still, it's perfectly appropriate for St. Patrick's Day, since in the U.S. it's pretty much an Irish-American holiday. No matter the occasion, though, if you're a fan of raisin bread, you're bound to enjoy this super-moist version as a mildly sweet breakfast treat.

Recipe: Irish Soda Bread With Sour Cream

19. Sauteed Cabbage

While cabbage may not be the most fashionable of vegetables, it's cheap, healthy, and easy to cook. Cooking the sliced green cabbage in this recipe couldn't be much simpler – it's sauteed in oil or butter, then flavored with salt, pepper, and vinegar or lemon juice, although you can add other seasonings if you wish. Including prep time, this quick side dish can be on the table in only 15 minutes, leaving you plenty of time to prepare the rest of your St. Patrick's Day spread.

Recipe: Sautéed Cabbage

20. Simple Rainbow Cake

While shamrocks, four-leaf clovers, and the color green may be the premier symbols of St. Patrick's Day, the holiday is also associated with the legend that a pot of gold can be found at the end of a rainbow. Whether or not you believe in the story, a rainbow-striped cake such as this one could make for a fun addition to your St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Not only that, but this same cake can pull double duty a few months later as the perfect dessert for Pride Month.

Recipe: Simple Rainbow Cake

21. Corned Beef Hash

If you don't want to go through the hassle of making corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day but you still want to pay homage to the tradition in some way, you can always buy a can of corned beef and use it to make this quick and easy hash, instead. If you top the hash with a fried egg it can make for a tasty, filling breakfast, but it also works as a light dinner. This particular recipe calls for an extra addition to the hash in the form of a baked bean topping which seems to be a British thing, but you can feel free to skip this ingredient if you prefer your hash American-style.

Recipe: Corned Beef Hash

22. Gordon Ramsay's Shepherd's Pie With a Twist

Gordon Ramsay is Scottish, not Irish, but shepherd's pie is common to both countries so his version of the dish works just fine for a St. Patrick's Day celebration. This recipe, however, is actually more of an American spin on Ramsey's version — as the opinionated chef would surely insist, true shepherd's pie is made with ground lamb, whereas this pie uses venison instead. If you've got some kicking around the freezer left over from last year's hunt, it makes a great way to put it to use without having to resort to deer burgers again. If you don't, though, you can use any other type of ground meat you wish.

Recipe: Gordon Ramsay's Shepherd's Pie With a Twist

23. Copycat McDonald's Shamrock Shake

For many people, it's just not St. Patrick's Day without McDonald's famous Shamrock Shake. If you don't feel like celebrating the holiday by spending half an hour in line at the drive-thru, you can always make your own shake at home with this copycat recipe. This version isn't an act duplicate of Mickey D's, though, as it's made with maple syrup. If a maple/mint mélange doesn't appeal, you can simply leave out that ingredient as a drink that's 50% ice cream really doesn't need any additional sweetener.

Recipe: Copycat McDonald's Shamrock Shake

24. Green Chili Chicken Stew

If you're not a fan of corned beef and don't particularly feel like making Irish stew or cottage pie, there's another direction you can go in with St. Patrick's Day dinner by cooking up a green-colored entrée. While this chicken stew isn't exactly emerald-hued, it does include green chiles, salsa verde, cilantro, and lime for a quadruple dose of verdancy. If you really want to go all-in on the green foods theme, you can serve it with cilantro-lime rice, as well.

Recipe: Green Chili Chicken Stew

25. Cabbage Rolls

The meat-stuffed cabbage rolls in this recipe may be more Eastern European than Irish, but we're all about embracing our country's melting pot in its entirety. Plus, cabbage itself is a pretty universal vegetable, and the cabbage called for here is also green in color. f you're in the mood for fusion cuisine, you can always replace all or part of the ground meat in this recipe with shredded corned beef, another non-Irish dish that's nonetheless part of our all-American St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

Recipe: Cabbage Rolls

26. Guinness Float

You may have a difficult decision to make on St. Patrick's Day (or any other day, for that matter): Beer or dessert? Make the decision a simple one by choosing to have beer for dessert! Just like the name implies, this Guinness float is made by plopping a scoop of ice cream into a pint of stout. If you don't want to get too indulgent, though, you can always skip the drizzle of chocolate syrup on top.

Recipe: Guinness Float

27. Simple Beer Bread

Beer isn't just for drinking — the grains and yeast it contains can be put to good use in bread-baking, as well. In fact, if you add a few drops of green food coloring to this super-simple 4-ingredient recipe, it can make for a great way for non-drinkers to participate in the time-honored tradition of green beer for St. Patrick's Day. And yes, this bread goes great with corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, or whatever else you've got planned for the main course.

Recipe: Simple Beer Bread

28. Lucky Charm Sugar Cookies

Since kids' cereals repurposed as dessert ingredients are still in style, that makes March 17th the perfect occasion for trying out these brown sugar cookies made with Lucky Charms. After all, it's the only breakfast item we know that has a leprechaun for a mascot. Leprechauns don't actually have anything to do with St. Patrick himself, but as they're a character out of Irish folklore, they. too, are feted on his special day.

Recipe: Lucky Charm Sugar Cookies

29. Corned Beef Egg Rolls

If you make these corned beef and cabbage-stuffed egg rolls, you'll earn triple fusion points. Egg rolls themselves are Chinese in origin, while corned beef is a product of American Jewish delis that has become inextricably linked with an Irish-American holiday. If you want to go for a quadruple score, though, you could always add some Mexican or jerk-type seasonings or serve these appetizers with a dijon mustard dipping sauce.

Recipe: Corned Beef Egg Rolls

30. Fresh Tomatillo Salsa Verde

What are you going to do if St. Patrick's Day falls on Taco Tuesday or any other time when you're craving Mexican food? Make corned beef tacos, of course (no recipe needed, just swap out the ground beef for shredded meat), then make it a multi-course meal with the addition of a bowl of chips and a side of salsa verde. Verde, of course, is the Spanish word for green and this sauce comes by its color naturally as it's made with tomatillos, jalapeños, limes, and cilantro.

Recipe: Fresh Tomatillo Salsa Verde

31. Rich And Savory Cottage Pie

If shepherd's pie is supposed to be made with ground lamb, what is the proper term for a similar dish made with ground beef? That would be cottage pie. This recipe calls for ground beef cooked with celery, carrots, and onions in a red wine sauce (okay, so it's an upscale kind of cottage) and topped with a layer of mashed potatoes. If you want to make the dish even more St. Patrick's-appropriate, though, you could always swap out the wine for Guinness, Harp, Smithwick, or even Magner's cider.

Recipe: Rich And Savory Cottage Pie

32. Instant Pot Corned Beef And Cabbage

The longer you cook corned beef and cabbage, the more time the latter's, umm, distinctive aroma will have to permeate your house. Any appliance that can cut down on the cooking time is therefore a good thing, so if you've got an Instant Pot, now's a fine time to use it. In this recipe, it's the corned beef by itself that takes up most of the cooking time (90 minutes),while the cabbage, along with some potatoes and carrots, only needs 5 minutes in the pot.

Recipe: Instant Pot Corned Beef And Cabbage

33. Guinness Brownies

While Guinness might sound like a weird addition to your brownie batter, the bitterness from the hops doesn't really survive the baking process so all you're left with is some extra richness. These moist and fudgy brownies, then, make for a dessert that even non-beer drinkers can appreciate. In order to make them extra-festive for St. Patrick's Day, you could swap out the dark chocolate ganache topping for one made with green-tinted white chocolate. If you want to stick with a double dose of chocolate, though, you can always fall back on green sprinkles.

Recipe: Guinness Brownies Recipe

34. Guacamole Deviled Eggs

If you're going with a green foods theme for your St. Patrick's celebration rather than anything explicitly Irish, don't forget about guacamole! This versatile condiment is so much more than a chip dip — in fact, one of our favorite ways to use it is to fill deviled eggs. Just boil and split your eggs as usual, then mash the yolks with guacamole instead of mayonnaise. While this recipe includes directions for making your own guac, you can use the store-bought kind as a shortcut if time is at a premium.

Recipe: Guacamole Deviled Eggs

35. Easy Reuben Sandwich

The Reuben sandwich couldn't be less Irish if it tried — it may have been the invention of an Omaha, Nebraska grocer named Reuben Kulakofsky or possibly a New York restaurateur named Arnold Reuben. None of the ingredients are remotely Irish, either: corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and rye bread. Still, making these sandwiches for St. Patrick's Day allows you to honor the American tradition of eating corned beef in an especially fun and flavorful way, and one that doesn't involve boiled cabbage (always a plus).

Recipe: Easy Reuben Sandwich

36. Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread cookies are so simple and yet so delicious. At their most basic, they consist of nothing more than flour, sugar, or butter, although this recipe also adds vanilla for flavoring (almond extract is also a good choice) and a pinch of salt to compensate for the unsalted butter. Served as-is, these wedge-shaped cookies make a great dessert for a more authentic/rustic-style St. Patrick's Day dinner, but you can always jazz them up with a sprinkle of green sugar for something a little more decorative.

Recipe: Shortbread Cookies

37. Vitamin-Loaded Green Juice

St. Patrick's Day — and, to be honest, just about any other holiday you can name — isn't exactly associated with healthy eating, or healthy drinking, for that matter. Still, there's no hard and fast rule that you must raise a glass of something not-so-nutritious to toast the day. Instead, you can always celebrate the occasion with this power-packed and, yes, vitamin-loaded drink. Apples, celery, cucumbers, and kale tint it an appropriate shade of bright green, while a big chunk of fresh ginger gives it a spicy kick.

Recipe: Vitamin-Loaded Green Juice

38. Green Shakshuka

Shakshuka, the super-trendy North African egg dish that seems to be replacing eggs Benedict as this decade's brunch dish of choice, is typically made with a spicy tomato sauce. This version, however, is more like green eggs without ham as the sauce is made from spinach, instead. As the dish is meat-free, it makes the perfect St. Patrick's Day dinner for non-fish fans whenever the holiday falls on a Friday (since, you know, Lent).

Recipe: Green Shakshuka

39. Simple Chile Verde

Chile verde is, of course, not Irish. Instead, it's a traditional Mexican stew made from pork and chiles verdes, also known as green chile peppers. While the dish itself isn't particularly green in color, it does have a certain greenish hue from the tomatillos, jalapeños, and poblanos in the sauce. Still, if you want to green it up even more for your St. Patrick's Day dinner, you can always sprinkle a generous amount of fresh cilantro over the top. If you do, be sure to use the entire sprig. While cilantro stems may not be as pretty as the leaves, they're far more flavorful.

Recipe: Simple Chile Verde

40. Frosted Irish Cream Brownies

These Irish cream brownies are really easy to make as they start with boxed brownie mix. While the recipe calls for Irish cream liqueur, you can easily convert this dessert into a treat that everyone can enjoy by substituting Irish cream-flavored coffee creamer, instead. (Yes, the booze bakes out to some extent, but this ingredient swap will make the brownies 100% alcohol-free.) Since it's St. Patrick's Day, you should definitely add some green food coloring to the buttercream frosting, too, or at the very least scatter some green sprinkles or colored sugar over the top.

Recipe: Frosted Irish Cream Brownies

41. British Scones

The simple British scones made from this recipe are pretty basic and, unlike those monster American-style ones from Starbucks, only include a small amount of sugar. Still, you can always spread them with jelly if you prefer your scones to be super sweet. Whether you embellish them with a sugary spread or prefer them plain, they are the perfect way to kick off St. Patrick's Day along with a cup of Irish breakfast tea.

Recipe: British Scones