Recipe Review

Cooking with Leftovers: Bubble and Squeak

updated May 11, 2022
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

When I think of frugal cooking, my mind turns to the year I lived in England, where I discovered such uncomplicated yet satisfying meals as beans on toast and (vegetarian) cottage pie. Of all the traditional British dishes born out of thriftiness, one of my favorites is the leftover potato and cabbage fry-up known as bubble and squeak.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Bubble and squeak is traditionally made from cold leftover vegetables, such as those that accompanied a Sunday roast. The key ingredients are cabbage and potatoes (boiled or mashed) but other leftovers may be thrown in, as well: Brussels sprouts, kale, onions, leeks, carrots, peas, and meat. The ingredients are coarsely chopped, combined, seasoned with salt and pepper (and maybe a little freshly grated nutmeg), and pan fried until crisp and golden. The mixture can be packed down into the pan – causing the cooking sound that gives bubble and squeak its vivid name – or shaped into smaller patties.

Although a formal recipe is not necessary, here are a few if you’d like to make bubble and squeak from scratch rather than using leftovers:
Bubble and Squeak from Saveur
Bubble & Squeak Cakes from Gordon Ramsay
Bubble and Squeak Rösti from Delia Smith
Bubble and Squeak with Sausages and Onion Gravy from Jamie Oliver

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Fried Mashed Potatoes

(Images: Open Source Food member tommy licensed under Creative Commons, Flickr member chez loulou licensed under Creative Commons)