Bubble and Squeak

updated Mar 12, 2024
Bubble and Squeak Recipe
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overhead shot of bubble and squeak being pulled out of the pan.
Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe ; Food Stylist: Brett Regot

Bubble and squeak, with its cutesy name, is a classic British day-after-holiday dish. It is incredibly versatile, as you can throw in any leftover vegetables or mashed potatoes into this comforting recipe — perfect for a relaxing meal after a hectic holiday.

Usually made to use up leftovers after a Sunday roast dinner, or a major holiday like Easter or Christmas, bubble and squeak is quintessentially British and makes for a hearty breakfast, lunch, or even a quick weeknight meal.

How Did Bubble and Squeak Get Its Name?

The origins of this dish are unknown, but it is firmly established in British culinary traditions. The unusual name probably stems from the bubbly and squeaky noises that the dish makes while being cooked.

One of the reasons this dish is so popular is because of its versatility. All the countries in the UK have a version of this classic. In Ireland, colcannon is a similar dish with cabbage, kale, and potatoes, while in Scotland, it is the delightfully named “rumbledethumps,” and includes cheese.

Why You’ll Love It

Key Ingredients in Bubble and Squeak

  • Mashed potatoes: This is a great opportunity to use up your leftover mashed potatoes.
  • Cabbage and Brussels sprouts: We call for leftover shredded and cooked cabbage and Brussels sprouts, but you can use just cabbage if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Carrots: Raw or cooked grated carrots gives the dish some color and texture.

How to Make Bubble and Squeak

  1. Add the veggies to the skillet. Cook the onion, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and carrots in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the mashed potatoes. Stir until combined.
  3. Press the mixture down. Until the bottom is lightly browned and crisp.
  4. Flip. Using the lid of the skillet, invert the bubble and squeak into the lid, then slide back into the skillet to cook the other side until browned and crisp.
Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe ; Food Stylist: Brett Regot

What to Serve with Bubble and Squeak

This hearty recipe is delicious just by itself, but you can serve it alongside other tasty dishes. Here are a few of my favorites.

Helpful Swaps

  • Add bacon to give the dish an extra hearty flavor. Cook the bacon in the skillet first, then remove from the skillet, drain, and chop. Add a tablespoon of butter to the bacon fat in the skillet and continue as described, stirring in the chopped bacon with the potatoes.
  • Use almost any leftover vegetables. Parsnips, peas, and turnips all make excellent substitutes.
  • Add mashed sweet potatoes. Replace half of the mashed potatoes with mashed sweet potatoes for a sweet-and-savory dish.

Bubble and Squeak Recipe

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons

    canola oil

  • 1/2

    medium yellow onion, finely diced

  • 1/2 cup

    shredded, cooked Brussels sprouts

  • 1/2 cup

    shredded, cooked cabbage

  • 1/2 cup

    raw or cooked grated carrots

  • 2 cups

    leftover mashed potatoes

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Fried eggs, to serve (optional)


  1. Gently heat 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon canola oil in a wide, shallow nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add the finely diced yellow onion. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onion is softened.

  2. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add 1/2 cup shredded cooked Brussels sprouts, 1/2 cup shredded cooked cabbage, and 1/2 cup raw or cooked grated carrots. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes, until the vegetables start to color.

  3. Add 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes to the skillet and stir briskly, until the vegetables and potatoes are well combined. Season again, to taste.

  4. Press down on the skillet and fry for five to seven minutes, until the bottom is lightly browned and crisp. Drizzle 1 tablespoon canola oil around the edges if the mixture looks like it's drying out. The potato mixture should start making squeaking sounds at this point.

  5. Using the lid of the skillet, invert the bubble and squeak into the lid, then slide back into the skillet to cook the other side. Cook for an additional five to seven minutes. Serve cut into wedges and topped with fried eggs, if desired.