The Balanced Diet: Bangers and Spinach Mash with Cider Onions

Bangers and Spinach Mash with Cider Onions

As some of you may remember from my egregious posting of many white pony pictures on instagram, I was in Ireland earlier this fall for a wedding. The country has historically gotten a pretty bad rap for its food scene (even more so than its weather). So I went into the trip knowing that my main adventures were going to be in the saddle rather than at pub. (Well, at least during dinner hours).

That said, I’m a total sucker for classic pub food. Before I became gluten-free, I could eat my weight in Fish and Chips. It was hard for me to be a passive bystander as I watched my friends wolfing down crispy haddock on newsprint. But the other menu offerings weren’t half bad – in fact, some of them were down right creative.

On Thursday night, the only people who’d arrived were family members and nerdy horse enthusiasts like me, so we went out for an amazing meal at Vaughans Anchor Inn. You can see some of the creations here, posted as mere filler between pony shots. I had quail and venison, with a smattering of chips stolen from the aforementioned newsprint bundles of anyone who wasn’t looking.

potatoes bangers bangers spinach mash

I got my fish fix the next night at the rehearsal dinner, since my friend Whitney is the most considerate bride on the planet and requested a gluten-free version for myself and the other glutards. The meal was served family style and my gluten-free Fish and Chips was similarly portioned to the platter that the rest of the table received, once again proving my ability to eat my weight in fried food.

The one dish I didn’t get my fix of in Ireland was bangers and mash. Perhaps it’s fallen out of favor as the pubs have stepped up their game. But I came home craving old school sausage and potatoes.

Bangers and Spinach Mash with Cider Onions Bangers and Spinach Mash with Cider Onions

Since St. Patty’s Day is on the horizon, I thought it was the perfect time to introduce my bangers and mash recipe on the blog. I healthified it slightly by adding wilted spinach to the mash, which is something my mother always used to do. Sometimes, even when you don’t use dairy, I find mashed potatoes a little cloyingly rich. The spinach adds a great body, and together with the bangers, makes this dish a perfectly balanced meal, no side salad necessary.

Another thing I consumed my weight in while in Ireland was hard cider. They make it so much dryer and more complex over there – even the commercial brands. I used a bottle of Magners to deglaze the sausage skillet and add a nice sauce to the onions. When it reduces down, due to the hint of sweetness, it needs little else to become an excellent pan sauce.

Regardless of whether or not you celebrate St. Patty or embrace Irish pub food on a year-round basis, as I do, this bangers and mash recipe makes for a great easy weeknight meal. Don’t forget to buy a couple extra bottles of cider.


p.s. If you want to see pictures from the wedding, it was featured in Vogue!
p.p.s. Don’t forget to tune into today’s Wellness Wednesday chat at noon!


Bangers and Spinach Mash with Cider Onions

Bangers and Spinach Mash with Cider Onions

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Bangers and Spinach Mash with Cider Onions


  • 2 pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 10 ounces spinach
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds breakfast sausage (or sweet Italian)
  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • One 12-ounce bottle hard cider (preferably dry Irish cider, like a Magners)


  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Fold in the spinach and cook for an additional minute. Drain the potato mixture and return to the pot along with ¼ cup stock, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. With a fork or masher, smash the potatoes until semi-smooth. Add more liquid if the potatoes seem too thick and dry. Fold in the butter and taste for seasoning.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes total, depending on the thickness. Set aside.
  3. Add the onions to the pan. Saute until soft and beginning to caramelized, scrapping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, about 15 minutes. Pour the cider over the onions and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sausages back to the pan and turn to coat in the onion sauce.
  4. Divide the potato mash between 4 plates and top with the sausages and cider onions.

instagram  If you make this, share a photo and tag me @PhoebeLapine #feedmephoebe - I would love to see it!

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network #ComfortFoodFeast below:

The Heritage Cook: Potato, Bacon, Green Chiles and Cheese Casserole 
Feed Me Phoebe: Bangers and Spinach Mash with Cider Onions
Dishin & Dishes: Sweet and Savory Potato Stacks
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Potato-Chickpea Masala with Cilantro Chutney
Weelicious: Potato Fans
Haute Apple Pie: Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Taste With The Eyes: Truffled Poached Egg, Asparagus and Truffle Vinaigrette, Black Truffle and Potato Stack
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Warm Pan Fried Potatoes and Greens Salad
Red or Green: Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Crispy Oven Fries
The Sensitive Epicure: Healthier Twice Baked Potato Skins
Elephants and the Coconut Tress: Indian Spiced Potatoes
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Healthy Bacon Egg Potato Breakfast Casserole
Virtually Homemade: 
Bacon Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes, Reinvented
FN Dish: 
10 Potato Picks (Recipes)



Comment29 Share This!

29 Responses to The Balanced Diet: Bangers and Spinach Mash with Cider Onions

  1. You have me craving pub food now! I’m so glad you got to eat fish and chips. You flew all the way there, how kind of the bride to make sure you enjoyed it 🙂

  2. Frankie says:

    Are the Brits’ bangers flavored the same as our breakfast sausages? Or do they have a taste of their own? Just wondering what’s the closest in taste.

  3. Skye says:

    Bangers and mash is one of my all time favourites. But I love that you’ve added some spinach – just makes it a tad more healthy…

  4. Pingback: Truffled Poached Egg, Asparagus & Truffle Vinaigrette, Black Truffle & Potato Stack • Taste With The Eyes • where the image is meant to titillate and inspire the cook

  5. OMG woah! This sounds soooo good! I absolutely LOVE that you added spinach to the mash! YAY! I made a bangers and mash recipe on my blog this week and I used beer for the onions! MmmmM!

  6. Kerri says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed Ireland so much. My parents are from there and we went back every summer. The potato dish you made seems similar to colcannon.

    By the way Patty is a nickname for Patricia, a female name. St. Patrick was a man 🙂 Paddy is the best way to shorten the name.

  7. Pingback: Healthy Bacon Egg Potato Breakfast Casserole Recipe - Jeanette's Healthy Living

  8. Pingback: 10 Potato Picks — Comfort Food Feast | SHEKNOWSLATINO

  9. Kristen says:

    I was curious if anyone who is gluten free due to necessity tried anything with gluten during your trip? I heard from a friend that those who are required to be gluten free here in the US often don’t have problems with gluten products overseas! Just curious… 🙂

    • Hi Kristen – Yes I’ve heard this as well! But that’s mainly for people with gluten sensitivities. Anyone with celiac or a more serious allergy will experience the same issues. I tested it out when I was in Spain earlier this year and still had a terrible reaction. It was worth it perhaps for the fried squid. But now I know that it’s really a gluten issue for me, not just GMO flour + the quick rise we give bread here.

  10. ef says:

    Indeed it is Paddy’s Day not Patty and the sooner Americans learn this the better.

    Thanks also for not doing bacon and cabbage.

  11. Pingback: Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie |

  12. Beth Nesbit says:

    I made this last night and it was fantastic! I used Trader Joe’s Irish Bangers. My 2 1/2 year old son gobbled it up too!

  13. Pingback: Mushy Peas on Toast with Mint | Irish Food Recipe

  14. Pingback: Roasted Carrots Recipe with Za'atar | Easy, Healthy Vegetable Side

  15. Pingback: 2016 Oscar Night Party Recipes - Feed Me Phoebe

  16. Pingback: The Best Gluten Free Beer and Cider List | Canada & US

  17. Pingback: Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcakes with Hazelnuts | Feed Me Phoebe

  18. Pingback: The Best Healthy Stocking Stuffers and Wellness Gifts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *