How to Prepare a Delicious Bubble and Squeak with Leftover Vegetables?

Bubble and Squeak, a classic British dish, offers a tasty solution to repurpose your leftover vegetables and mashed potatoes. This traditional recipe is not only a budget-friendly option but also a delightful culinary treat. So, let’s explore how to make Bubble and Squeak using your leftovers.

History of Bubble and Squeak

The Bubble and Squeak recipe finds its roots in Great Britain, where it was first introduced in the early 18th century. The term "bubble and squeak" was derived from the sound this dish makes while cooking. Predominantly, it used leftover vegetables and mashed potatoes from Sunday’s roast dinner. This dish was traditionally served for breakfast on Monday mornings, providing an economical yet nutritious start to the week.

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Ingredients for Bubble and Squeak

To prepare Bubble and Squeak, you will primarily need leftover cooked vegetables and mashed potatoes. The choice of vegetables can range from cabbage, carrots, Brussels sprouts, peas, to anything you have left from your previous meals. The key is to have a good proportion of vegetables to potatoes, typically in a 2:1 ratio.

You will also need butter or oil for frying, and seasonings like salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. If you want to add a protein punch, you can include some left-over cooked meat or a beaten egg. Remember, the beauty of this dish lies in its flexibility.

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Preparing the Bubble and Squeak

The first step in making Bubble and Squeak is to gather all your leftover vegetables and mashed potatoes. If you don’t have any leftovers, simply cook some cabbage (as it is a standard ingredient in this dish) and potatoes.

Heat a non-stick pan and add a generous amount of butter or oil. Once the butter has melted or the oil is hot enough, add your chopped vegetables and mashed potatoes. Mix them well and season with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs.

Continue to cook for about 10 minutes, then flip the mixture over. The idea is to get a nice, crispy brown layer on both sides. If you find it difficult to flip the entire mixture at once, you can divide it into smaller patties.

Serving Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and Squeak can be served at any meal, from breakfast to dinner. Although it’s traditionally eaten the day after a roast dinner, you can enjoy it anytime you have leftovers. It pairs well with grilled meats, fried egg, or even a simple tomato sauce.

You can also use it in contemporary recipes like sandwiches or wraps. Considering its versatile nature, Bubble and Squeak can indeed be a staple in your culinary repertoire.

Variations of Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and Squeak is a flexible dish that allows for various adaptations. For instance, you can add leftover cooked meat to it, turning it into a non-vegetarian version. If you are vegan, you can skip the butter and use plant-based oil instead.

Some people prefer to make Bubble and Squeak patties, which are easier to flip in the pan and serve as a side dish or a snack. You can also add cheese to your Bubble and Squeak, giving it a melty, creamy texture.

In essence, the Bubble and Squeak recipe is like a canvas, and you are the artist. Play around with the ingredients and come up with your own version. The possibilities are endless!

In conclusion, Bubble and Squeak is not just a dish, but a smart way to reduce food waste and create something delicious. Next time you find yourself with leftover vegetables and mashed potatoes, you know what to do. Give this recipe a try and witness the magic of transforming leftovers into a gastronomic delight.

A Step-by-step guide to Making Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and Squeak doesn’t require any specific cooking skills or complicated steps. Start by combining your leftover vegetables and mashed potatoes in a large bowl. If you’re using cabbage or Brussels sprouts, make sure they are finely chopped for better texture.

Next, heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat and add butter or oil. Once the fat is hot, add your vegetable and potato mixture to the pan, spreading it out evenly. Let it cook for about 10 minutes without stirring, allowing a golden brown crust to form on the bottom.

When the first side is nicely browned, it’s time to flip. This might seem intimidating, but remember, you don’t have to flip the whole thing at once. Break it up into quarters and flip each section individually. Alternatively, you can form small patties before frying for easy flipping. Cook the other side for another 10 minutes until it’s as golden and crispy as the first.

Finish off by seasoning the Bubble and Squeak with salt and pepper to taste. If you’re a fan of herbs, don’t hesitate to sprinkle some thyme, rosemary, or even a bit of Jamie Oliver’s secret ingredient, chopped fresh sage.

The Perfect Pairings for Bubble and Squeak

Once your Bubble and Squeak is cooked to a perfect golden brown on both sides, it’s time to serve. You can pair it with a variety of dishes, depending on the time of day and your personal taste. If it’s for breakfast, serve the Bubble and Squeak with a perfectly fried egg on top, or alongside some crispy bacon and toast.

For lunch or dinner, it can be served as a side with your favorite grilled meats, or even as a main dish with a simple salad. To make it a bit more gourmet, why not try it with some leftover roast beef or chicken? You can even take it a step further and make a Bubble and Squeak sandwich, loaded with your choice of sauce and additional toppings.

No matter what you pair it with, Bubble and Squeak is always a winner. It’s a dish that has stood the test of time, a testament to its delicious taste and versatility.


In essence, Bubble and Squeak is more than just a recipe – it’s a philosophy of cooking. It teaches us to make the most out of what we have and to reduce food waste without compromising on flavor. It’s a humble dish with a rich history and a delicious, comforting taste.

So the next time you find yourself staring at a fridge full of leftovers, don’t see it as a problem. Instead, see it as an opportunity to make something delicious and satisfying. Gather your leftover vegetables and mashed potatoes, heat up your frying pan, and let the magic of Bubble and Squeak take over. With this versatile dish, your leftovers will never be the same again.