When most students hear the words “St. Patrick’s Day,” they won’t think about corned beef or cabbage. Instead, their minds wander to images of green beer and party planning.
Although both of those thoughts are valid for the holiday, especially on a college campus, what if that boring food could somehow still be incorporated? And what if it wasn’t boring?
Here are some modernized St. Patrick’s Day recipes that keep the tradition alive, let you continue to drink green beverages and are great to bring to a party.
Forget plain corned beef that most of us can’t stomach without adding a ridiculous amount of ketchup. Instead, swap it out with Reuben Sliders. These small, finger-food sandwiches can be eaten at parties without worrying about the mess. They take a little longer to cook, so be prepared to prep some of the ingredients the night before.
- 1 (2- to 3-pound) corned beef brisket with spices, trim fat
- 12 ounces dark ale beer or non-alcoholic beer
- 1 medium (1/2 cup) onion, chopped
- 1 (14-ounce) can sauerkraut, drained
- 16 mini whole wheat party buns, sliced horizontally
- Thousand Island dressing, if desired
- 8 (3/4-ounce) slices Land O Lakes® Deli Swiss Cheese, each cut in half
1. Trim fat from brisket. Place into 44-quart slow cooker. Add beer and onion and cover. Cook on low heat setting six to eight hours and high heat setting four to six hours or until meat is tender.
2. Remove meat from slow cooker. Place onto cutting board. Cut across grain into thin slices.
3. Drain liquid from slow cooker, and discard. Add cooked meat and sauerkraut to slow cooker. Cook on High heat setting 15 to 18 minutes or until sauerkraut is heated through.
4. Spread cut-sides of buns with salad dressing, if desired. Evenly divide meat mixture among bottom half of buns; top each with one piece of cheese and top half of bun. Serve immediately.
Irish Soda bread is good, but Irish coffee cupcakes are even better. These espresso-infused cupcakes are topped with a whiskey whipped-cream frosting. With some green food dye or sprinkles on top, they will scream St. Patrick’s Day. Plus, cupcakes are very easy to make and more party-friendly than bread.
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make the cupcakes: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour water over espresso powder and let cool. Combine espresso with milk. Beat butter and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about three minutes. Add eggs (one at a time) and beat well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture.
2. Fill 15 cups (of two 12-cup muffin tins) three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool and turn out cupcakes from tins.
3. Make the frosting: Whisk together cream and confectioners’ sugar until medium peaks form. Add whiskey and whisk until slightly stiff peaks form.
4. Top each cupcake with two tablespoons frosting; dust with espresso powder.
Instead of cabbage, try spinach! Spinach artichoke dip is always a great appetizer, and if you don’t want to make it yourself, restaurants like Applebee’s will make a party-sized platter for a decent price. This easy appetizer brings in the traditional green of St. Patrick’s Day while saving money on pricey ingredients.
Potatoes are another large part of the traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner, but they aren’t much of a party food. Potato chips are usually a popular party food, but those can be boring too. Spice up the plain potato chips sitting in a bowl with a loaded baked potato dip sitting next to it. Plus, the dip only takes a couple minutes to put together!
- 16 ounces sour cream
- 16 slices (12-ounce package) bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions or chive
1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate one to 24 hours before serving.
2. Garnish with extra shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, and chopped chives/scallions before serving. Serve with potato chips or pretzels. Dip can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
As for the specialty drink for the night, skip the green beer and get a little more creative. One part of St. Patrick’s Day that everyone looks forward to is when Shamrock Shakes are available at McDonald’s. Create a DIY shamrock shake instead with some Irish whiskey for collegiettes who are 21 and over. These delicious cocktails look good and taste even better.
- 2½ cups vanilla ice cream
- ¼ cup milk
- 3 oz. Jameson Irish whiskey
- ¼ tsp. mint extract
- 4–6 drops green + 2 drops yellow food coloring
1. Combine two tablespoons of mint syrup, ice cream, milk, whiskey, mint extract, and food coloring in a blender and whiz until smooth.
2. Pour into glasses.
These simple recipes are enough to spice up any St. Patrick’s Day party. They’re all delicious and Instagram-worthy!