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How to Make the Classic Breakfast Dish Bubble and Squeak


British food is not hard to make, and you’ve got plenty of fantastic recipes to choose from when it comes to appetizers. You can whip some excellent and tasty British appetizers together quickly, and end up making popular classics such as bubble and squeak.

A typical British breakfast dish made from potatoes and cabbage, Bubble and Squeak is a historical recipe which, from its quirky name, adds meat and squeak to the bubble. However, it is more generally made without meat nowadays.

Here’s how to make use of something left from dinner and turn it into something delicious in Bubble and Squeak.

How to Make the Classic Breakfast Dish Bubble and Squeak
Image Source: The Spruce Eats


The origins of the word Bubble and Squeak are not established, but in the “Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue” of 1788, there is a reference: Bubble and Squeak are fried beef and cabbage together. 

Another historical recipe, called Colcannon, is made of mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale, and onion in Ireland, and it is very similar to bubble and squeak.

Bubble and squeak would typically be eaten for lunch or dinner on a Monday, often with a fried egg on top, and may have a little bacon or leftover meat from the day before. 

For a meaty meal, it makes a good side dish, too. Except for mashed potatoes, there are no hard and fast rules for this recipe; it is the “glue” that keeps the dish together. 

What You Need

  • 6 tablespoons (unsalted, or vegetable oil) butter
  • (Finely chopped) 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 kilogram of mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup of leftover vegetables (i.e., cabbage, kale, peas, cooked swede, cooked carrots, and cooked Brussels sprouts; finely chopped) 
  • Optional: bacon bits, bangers, leftover roast, and slices of ham
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper freshly ground (to taste)
  • For serving: eggs that have been fried or poached

What to Do

Step #1

Gather all the ingredients.

Step #2

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large frying pan and ensure that it doesn’t brown. For around 3 minutes or until soft and translucent, add the finely chopped onion and fry gently.

Step #3

Switch up the heat ever so slightly and add the mashed potato and all the leftover vegetables chopped up. If used, add chopped meat. Fry for at least 10 minutes to ensure that the potato and vegetables are thoroughly reheated, continually turning them over in the melted butter. 

The vegetables’ outside edges are often intended to brown (but not burn), so often push the mixture into the pan to brown a bit before turning.

Step #4

Finally, send the vegetables one long final press on the pan’s base with a spatula when the mixture is heated right through and cook for 1 minute. Repeat and turn over. To taste, season with salt and pepper.

Step #5

Serve it on top with either a fried or poached egg. Voila! Enjoy!

Turn Leftovers into Patties

Create patties with bubbles and squeaks. The potato and vegetables can be combined and then shaped into small patties. Fry both sides until crisp.

How To Preserve and Store

Place the leftover bubble and squeak in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. You may store leftovers for up to three days.

Leftovers can be frozen in a heavy-duty zip-top bag in the freezer for longer. For up to a month, squeeze all of the air out and freeze. Leave to defrost overnight in the fridge to reheat. Reheat until crisp and warmed through in a skillet with a little oil.

How to Make the Classic Breakfast Dish Bubble and Squeak
Image Source: Kitchen Sancturary


Bubble and Squeak is a simple, versatile recipe that is perfect for using cooked leftover vegetables. You can make them with only four ingredients from scratch. It’s simple and super budget-friendly. You can now enjoy this simple meal and stay healthy!