How to Make Bubble and Squeak: A Step-by-Step Recipe

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How to Make Bubble and Squeak


Bubble and Squeak, a beloved British dish, is a culinary delight known for its humble origins and delicious combination of mashed potatoes and vegetables. The name “bubble and squeak” is thought to originate from the sounds the dish makes while cooking—bubbling and squeaking in the skillet. This traditional dish has evolved from a clever solution for using leftovers to a flavorful meal enjoyed worldwide.

Quick Recipe

Certainly! Bubble and Squeak is a traditional British dish made from leftover vegetables, typically potatoes and cabbage, pan-fried until crispy. Here’s a simple recipe for making Bubble and Squeak:


  • Leftover mashed potatoes
  • Leftover cooked cabbage or Brussels sprouts
  • Butter or oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Gather Leftovers:
  • Collect any leftover mashed potatoes and cooked cabbage or Brussels sprouts from your previous meals. You can use other cooked vegetables as well.
Prepare Vegetables:
  • If the vegetables are not already chopped, finely chop or mash them. Ensure the cabbage or Brussels sprouts are not too large, as smaller pieces work well in the dish.
Combine Ingredients:
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the leftover mashed potatoes and chopped vegetables. Mix them together until well combined. You can add a pinch of salt and pepper for seasoning.
Shape Patties:
  • Divide the mixture into small portions and shape them into patties or cakes. The size of the patties is up to your preference.
Heat Butter or Oil:
  • In a frying pan, heat a generous amount of butter or oil over medium heat. You can use a combination of both for added flavor.
Cook Bubble and Squeak:
  • Place the patties in the hot pan, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook each side until golden brown and crispy. This usually takes about 4-5 minutes per side.
Serve Hot:
  • Once the Bubble and Squeak patties are crispy and golden, remove them from the pan and place them on a serving plate.
Optional Garnish:
  • You can garnish the Bubble and Squeak with fresh herbs, a dollop of sour cream, or a poached or fried egg on top for an extra touch.
  • Serve the Bubble and Squeak hot as a side dish or a main course. It’s a delicious way to use up leftovers and enjoy a tasty, comforting meal.

Feel free to adjust the seasoning and ingredients according to your taste preferences. Enjoy your homemade Bubble and Squeak!

Read more: How to Make French Toast – The Best Recipe 2023

How to Make Bubble and Squeak


To craft the perfect bubble and squeak, gather the following ingredients:

  • Mashed Potatoes: Choose high-starch potatoes for the creamiest texture.
  • Cooked Cabbage: Finely chop or shred the cabbage for even distribution.
  • Butter: Enhance the flavor of mashed potatoes with a generous amount of butter.
  • Salt and Pepper: Season to taste for a well-balanced dish.
  • Optional Vegetables: Diced onions, carrots, and peas add color and flavor.

Using fresh and high-quality ingredients is crucial for achieving a flavorful and satisfying outcome.


Prepare the Vegetables:

  • Finely chop or shred the cooked cabbage and any additional vegetables you choose to include.
  • Ensure uniformity in size for even cooking.

Season the Mashed Potatoes:

  • Mix the mashed potatoes with butter, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Adjust seasoning according to personal preferences.

Cooking Process

Combine Ingredients:

  • Blend the seasoned mashed potatoes with the chopped vegetables in a large bowl.
  • Aim for a cohesive mixture that holds together well.

Form Patties:

  • Shape the mixture into small patties, ensuring they hold together without falling apart.
  • The size of the patties can be adjusted based on personal preference.

Cooking Method:

  • Heat a skillet with oil over medium heat.
  • Cook the patties until golden brown on each side, achieving a delightful contrast of crispy edges and a tender interior.


Experiment with the dish by adding protein options such as bacon or sausage for a heartier version. Get creative with spices and herbs, like adding a hint of garlic or thyme, to tailor the flavor to your liking.

Serving Suggestions

Elevate your bubble and squeak with these serving suggestions:

  • Garnishes: Sprinkle fresh herbs like parsley or chives on top for a burst of color and freshness.
  • Accompaniments: Serve with poached eggs for a delightful breakfast or brunch option.
  • Presentation Tips: Arrange the patties on a plate in an appealing manner, creating an enticing visual experience.

How to Store Bubble and Squeak

Storing bubble and squeak properly helps maintain its freshness and flavor. Here’s a simple guide on how to store bubble and squeak:

Refrigeration Method:

  1. Allow Cooling: Let the bubble and squeak cool to room temperature before storing.
  2. Wrap or Container: Wrap the bubble and squeak tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can place it in an airtight container.
  3. Label and Date: If you’re preparing multiple batches, label the package with the contents and the date to keep track of freshness.
  4. Refrigerate: Place the wrapped or containerized bubble and squeak in the refrigerator. Consume within 2-3 days for the best taste and texture.

Freezing Method:

  1. Cool Completely: Ensure that the bubble and squeak has cooled completely before freezing.
  2. Portioning: If you plan to freeze individual servings, portion the bubble and squeak into meal-sized portions.
  3. Wrap Well: Wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Consider using a double layer to prevent freezer burn.
  4. Airtight Container: Alternatively, place the wrapped portions in airtight containers suitable for freezing.
  5. Label and Date: Label each package with the contents and date to keep track of freshness.
  6. Freeze: Put the wrapped or containerized bubble and squeak in the freezer. It can be stored for 1-2 months for the best quality.

Reheating Instructions:

  • Refrigerated Bubble and Squeak: Reheat in a skillet or oven until thoroughly heated. You may add a little oil to crisp it up.
  • Frozen Bubble and Squeak: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating using the same methods as above.

Bubble and Squeak Around the World

While bubble and squeak is a British classic, similar dishes exist worldwide under different names. In Ireland, you’ll find colcannon, and in Scotland, rumbledethumps offers a regional twist. These variations highlight the dish’s adaptability and cultural significance.

Health Benefits

Bubble and squeak is not only delicious but also nutritious. The dish is packed with vitamins and minerals from a variety of vegetables, offering a balanced combination of carbohydrates and essential nutrients. Incorporating it into your diet can contribute to a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle.

Tips for Leftovers

To make the most of leftovers:

  • Storage: Store leftover bubble and squeak in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Reheating: Reheat in a skillet to maintain the crispy texture, ensuring a quick and delicious meal the next day.

Making it Kid-Friendly

Engage children in the kitchen by allowing them to help shape the patties. Consider forming fun shapes or involving them in the vegetable preparation process to make the dish appealing to young taste buds.

Historical Perspective

The history of bubble and squeak dates back to the 18th century, where it was created as a clever solution for using leftover vegetables. Over time, it transformed into a beloved dish that reflects the resourcefulness and creativity of cooks through the centuries.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Ensure a perfect bubble and squeak by avoiding common mistakes:

  • Overcooking: Be mindful not to overcook, as it may result in a mushy texture.
  • Oil Temperature: Pay attention to the oil temperature to achieve the desired crispiness without excessive greasiness.

Sustainability in Cooking

Incorporate sustainability into your cooking by:

  • Seasonal Produce: Use seasonal and local produce to reduce your environmental impact.
  • Reducing Waste: Minimize food waste by creatively using leftovers in dishes like bubble and squeak.

Bubble and Squeak for Special Occasions

Elevate bubble and squeak for special occasions by:

  • Portioning: Shape the dish into elegant portions for a refined presentation.
  • Unique Ingredients: Incorporate special ingredients like truffle oil or gourmet cheeses for an extra touch of sophistication.

Conclusion: How to Make Bubble and Squeak

In conclusion, mastering the art of making bubble and squeak opens the door to a versatile and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed in various ways. Whether as a comforting family meal or a standout dish for special occasions, the possibilities are endless.

Embrace the tradition and creativity that come with crafting this classic dish in your own kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I freeze bubble and squeak for later?

Yes, you can freeze bubble and squeak for future enjoyment. Make sure to wrap it well to prevent freezer burn.

What other vegetables can I add to customize my bubble and squeak?

Feel free to experiment with vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, or leeks for added flavor and variety.

Is bubble and squeak only a breakfast dish?

While it is commonly enjoyed for breakfast, bubble and squeak can also be served as a side dish for lunch or dinner.

Can I make bubble and squeak ahead of time for a party?

Absolutely! Prepare the patties in advance, refrigerate, and cook them just before serving for a stress-free party dish.

What is the origin of the name “bubble and squeak”?

The name is said to come from the sounds the dish makes while cooking—bubbling and squeaking in the skillet.

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