Bubble and squeak, a whimsically named dish, primarily consists of fried leftover vegetables, often from a Sunday lunch, making it a popular choice for Monday’s lunch or dinner. It has also gained recognition as a beloved British appetizer. In Ireland, a similar dish called colcannon is prepared using mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale, and onions, while Scotland boasts its own version known as rumbled thumps.
A Note From The Recipe Tester
“This bubble and squeak recipe was an easy preparation with leftover potatoes and cabbage, and the flavor was excellent. I added boiled carrots, but you can use other leftover veggies. Or, it could be made with potatoes and cabbage alone. It was delicious, and a great way to use leftovers.”
Traditionally, bubble and squeak is enjoyed on Mondays, accompanied by a fried egg and sometimes incorporating bacon or leftover meat from the previous day. It also serves as a delightful side dish to complement a hearty dinner. This recipe offers flexibility, allowing you to use up any remaining dinner ingredients and transform them into a scrumptious creation.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 lb (about 2 cups) mashed potatoes
- 1 cup finely chopped leftover vegetables
- bacon, leftover roast, bangers and/or ham, chopped- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional: Fried or poached eggs, for serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
- 306 Calories
- 22g Fat
- 25g Carbs
- 3g Protein
Steps to Make It
- Gather all the required ingredients.
- In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat, ensuring it doesn’t brown. Add the finely chopped onion and sauté gently for approximately 3 minutes, or until softened and translucent.
- Slightly increase the heat and add the mashed potatoes and all the finely chopped leftover vegetables. If desired, include the chopped meat. Fry for at least 10 minutes, continuously turning the mixture in the melted butter to ensure thorough reheating of the potatoes and vegetables. The aim is to achieve a light browning on the outer edges of the vegetables without burning them. Occasionally press the mixture into the pan to promote browning before flipping.
- Once the mixture is thoroughly heated, press the vegetables firmly against the base of the pan with a spatula and allow them to cook for 1 minute. Flip the mixture and repeat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve the bubble and squeak with a fried or poached egg on top. Enjoy!
Raw Egg Warning
Please note that consuming raw or lightly cooked eggs carries a risk of foodborne illness.
For a different presentation, shape the mixture into small patties to create bubble and squeak patties. Grill both sides until crispy.
How to Store and Freeze
Store any leftover bubble and squeak in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. For longer storage, place the leftovers in a heavy-duty zip-top bag and freeze for up to a month. To reheat, thaw the dish overnight in the fridge and then warm it in a skillet with a little oil until crisp and heated through.
Why Is It Called Bubble and Squeak?
The origins of the name “bubble and squeak” remain unclear, but an entry in the “Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue” from 1785 provides a reference: “Bubble and squeak is beef and cabbage fried together. It is so-called from its bubbling up and squeaking while over the fire.” The sizzling and crackling sounds produced during the cooking process likely inspired the amusing name.
How to Prevent Bubble and Squeak from Falling Apart?
To ensure your bubble and squeak holds together, a solid foundation of leftover mashed potatoes is key. If the mixture appears loose and prone to falling apart, you can add a sprinkle or two of flour as a binding agent.
Bubble and squeak offers a delightful way to repurpose leftover vegetables and create a flavorful dish that is quick and easy to prepare. Whether enjoyed as a Monday meal, a side dish, or even an appetizer, this classic recipe brings comfort and satisfaction to the table. Embrace the tradition and savor the delightful flavors of bubble and squeak.