Easy Irish Boiled Dinner

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There’s something truly special about the simplicity and heartiness of an Irish boiled dinner. This classic dish brings together the robust flavors of tender, pickled corned beef with an array of wholesome vegetables, creating a meal that’s both comforting and satisfying.

Irish boiled dinner on plate.

At the heart of this recipe is the star ingredient: the corned beef. It’s been pickled to perfection, resulting in a flavorful, succulent cut of meat that promises to be the centerpiece of your dinner table. Slowly simmered, it becomes tender and juicy, infused with the rich, savory essence of the pickling spices.

Accompanying the corned beef are an assortment of vegetables, each contributing its own distinct texture and flavor profile. Carrots, with their natural sweetness, provide a delightful contrast to the earthy potatoes. Onions, when cooked to a golden translucency, add a subtle yet aromatic note. Cabbage, with its gentle crunch, completes the ensemble, infusing the dish with a touch of freshness.

The cooking process is where the magic happens. The ingredients are carefully layered in a pot, allowing them to intermingle and exchange their flavors. As they simmer together, the vegetables absorb the essence of the pickling spices, creating a harmonious medley of tastes. The result is a symphony of flavors, where each ingredient contributes to the overall balance and depth of the dish.

This Irish boiled dinner isn’t just a meal; it’s a culinary journey that pays tribute to the hearty traditions of Irish cuisine. It’s a dish that brings comfort and warmth to any occasion, whether it’s a festive celebration or a simple family dinner.

So, gather your ingredients, set them to simmer, and let the aroma of this classic Irish dish fill your kitchen. With each bite, you’ll taste the rich history and heritage that this recipe embodies, making it a truly special addition to your culinary repertoire. Make sure you make some cornbread, biscuits, or homemade dinner rolls and you will have the perfect meal.

Ingredients for Irish boiled dinner.

Ingredients Needed To Make An Easy Irish Boiled Dinner

  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Green cabbage
  • New red potatoes
  • Pickling spice
  • Corned beef

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make an Easy Irish Boiled Dinner

Place corned beef, seasoning, and spice in large pot.

Make sure you start out with a pot big enough to hold everything. Mine is 6 quarts and it just barely does the job. 

Place your corned beef in the bottom of a large pot and sprinkle the seasoning packet that comes with it on top.

Add another tablespoon or so of pickling spice.

Now, cover this with water and bring just to a boil.

Once it comes to a boil reduce the heat slightly (there should still be light bubbling).

Cook your corned beef for 2 to 3 hours.

Quarter onion and cabbage.

Quarter your onion and cut your cabbage into big old wedges.

Place veggies in pot with corned beef.

 Place all of your veggies in the pot with the cooked corned beef.

Bring this back up to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Stir every now and then and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender. 

Irish boiled dinner on platter.

Carefully remove the corned beef from the pot and slice it as thinly as you can.

An electric knife works wonderfully for this.

My corned beef is not sliced anywhere near thin enough in these pictures. But I don’t have the patience for that! So I just put steak knives at everyone’s place setting and tell them I wanted to give them more interaction with their food.

Add veggies around the beef to serve.


How To Store This Easy Irish Boiled Dinner

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat them on low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through. I love to make a Reuben sandwich with my leftovers 😏.
  • You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating them as above. 

Commonly Asked Questions

Yes! You’ll find this boiled dinner recipe is a comfort food dish for many Irishmen and women. However, it’s not always made with corned beef. They use all sorts of meat cuts.

A boiled dinner typically includes corned beef, beef brisket, smoked pork shoulder, or ham shoulder boiled with cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. So if your next question is: can I use a different kind of meat to make a traditional boiled dinner? The answer is yes. Any of the above work.

You’d think the hint is in the name. However, this is also known as a New England boiled dinner. It’s believed the name and recipe originated from Irish immigrants in the area, particularly around Boston. It’s now a classic Irish-American staple.

What is the best cooking method for corned beef?

The best cooking method for corned beef is low heat. This can be on the stovetop or in the slow cooker, the choice is yours. This ensures you always end up with soft tender slices of corned beef.

What cut of corned beef should I use?

Corned beef is available in a point cut or a flat cut. Flat cut is the best and most widely available option. It’s leaner and the best for slicing.

Can you make an Irish boiled dinner in the crockpot?

Absolutely! Check out this corned beef crockpot recipe, but here are the quick steps:

  • Place the corned beef, seasoning packet, and pickling spice in a slow cooker.
  • Peel and quarter the onion and cabbage and add it on top of the corned beef along with the potatoes and carrots. THEN add enough water to cover.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Why do we add pickling spice?

Well, basically that’s what is in the included seasoning packet. All we are doing is adding a bit more to amp up that flavor and get the cooking water infused enough so that it flavors the vegetables as well.

Pickling spice usually includes a combination (in whole or coarse pieces) of allspice, bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, dill seeds, ginger, mustard seeds, and peppercorns.

How do you cut cabbage for boiled dinner?

Here’s a video from the one and only Martha Stewart for a visual demo.

What do you serve with boiled corned beef?

This is a perfectly hearty and filling main meal as is. However, if you want to add a little something extra on the side, I recommend a bread-based side dish. This might be Irish soda bread, cornbread, biscuits, or homemade dinner rolls.

It also tastes great served with horseradish, brown gravy, or stone-ground mustard. 

I bet you’ll also like these recipes:

Irish Boiled Dinner

My easy Irish boiled dinner recipe includes tender pickled corned beef perfectly cooked alongside tender vegetables like carrots, onion, cabbage, and potatoes.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: boil, corned beef, vegetables
Servings: 4
Calories: 918kcal


  • 3-4 lb corned beef
  • new potatoes
  • baby carrots or whole carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • onion
  • cabbage
  • pickling spice


  • Place corned beef in a large pot. Pour the seasoning packet over the top (they usually come with one). Add an additional 1 tablespoon of pickling spice over this.
    3-4 lb corned beef, pickling spice
  • Cover completely with water and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat slightly (you want it to still bubble) and allow it to cook for 2-3 hours, adding more water if necessary to keep beef covered.
  • After the beef is fully cooked and tender (at least two hours), peel and quarter the onion and cabbage. Place both in the pot with beef along with potatoes and carrots.
    new potatoes, onion, cabbage, baby carrots or whole carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • Continue cooking for another 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.
  • To serve, slice corned beef very thin and place it on a platter alongside veggies.


Calories: 918kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


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  1. This was so wonderful. I’m not a corned beef lover my my husband always asks for canned corned beef (yuck!) so when I saw this recipe, I had to try it! I fixed it for St Patrick’s day and it was a huge hit!! Even my SUPER picky 7 year old loved it! Thanks Christy!!

  2. Finished our easy Irish Boil and I have to tell you, the extra pickling spice made all the difference to me. I’ve made corned beef and cabbage many times over the years and this version, done in the crock pot was so fantastic. The spice seemed to get absorbed in the cabbage and the meat was so tender. Thanks for the recipe. My husband and I loved it.

  3. Sweetie will probably find the way to come back home, mine is called Rex and he came back home.
    Regarding the recipe, I love it because it’s balanced and healthy (I try to go on a balanced every day diet, without chocolate or cookies…)

  4. Christy, I am so sorry to about your beloved Sweetie being lost. I know how heartbreaking and worrisome that must be to your entire family. We have two little babies of our own. I will be praying for the safe return of your Sweetie. Please keep us posted!

  5. I certainly hope Sweetie has found her way back to her loving family – I looked for any mention of that, but didn’t find it. I will keep praying that she is safe and will quickly come home to your loving arms.

  6. I am so sad your little baby girl is missing. We would be devastated if any of our pets went missing. I will be praying for all of you including your baby girl. Miracles happen and I am praying for one for her.

  7. Christy, I am so sorry to hear about Sweetie. I am an animal lover and I especially love dogs. I am praying that your Baby will get back home very soon. My heart is with your heart as you search and wait.

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