How to Make Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and squeak is a traditional dish made by the English with leftover vegetables shallow fried from the roast dinner. All the cold, chopped vegetables are fried together in the pan with mashed potatoes and cooked till brown on both the sides. Learning how to make bubble and squeak is very simple.

Earlier even meat was added to bubble and squeak; however, nowadays people prefer to cook it without meat. Here are some simple steps on how to make bubble and squeak.

Things Required:

  • 2 ½ lb. gold potatoes
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 4 tsp. butter
  • 1 whole cabbage head, red or green
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 onion (medium sized)
  • ½ lb. cooked corned beef (optional)
  • Pepper and salt to taste
  • Cast iron pan
  • Sauce pan (medium size)
  • Bowl (medium size)
  • Potato masher
  • Spatula


  • Start with washing and de-dying the potatoes. However, you must not skin them unless you don’t like the skin of potatoes. After washing them, start cutting them into ½ inch cubes and put them inside a large stock pot. Add a little water for covering at least two inches above the potatoes. Add one teaspoon of salt in the water and bring the water to boil.
  • Once the potatoes start boiling, lower the heat to medium, so that the water does not boil over. Continue cooking the potatoes until they are done; this will take approximately 18-20 minutes. To test if the potatoes are done, stab one of them with a sharp knife. If the knife easily slides inside and out then the potatoes are done. If not then you will have to cook them another five minutes.
  • Meanwhile, start washing the cabbage. Cut it into half, remove the tough stem from the bottom of the head and discard it. Now, start cutting the cabbage into large dices, the pieces should be one inch in size. After this, keep the diced cabbage aside.
  • Start peeling onions, cut the ends and discard them. Cut the onions into large dice, keep the cube nearly ¾ inch in width, and keep them aside. If you are planning to use bacon, slice bacon into pieces of ½ inch in size.
  • Now, drain out the water from the potatoes and mash them with the help of a masher. If you do not have a masher, use a wooden spoon instead, or a large fork for mashing the potatoes. After mashing them, add milk and butter in the potatoes while they are still hot. You have to melt the butter in the potatoes, so you will have to do this process quickly. Add salt and pepper to the potatoes and keep them aside.
  • Start heating a large sauté pan or you can use an iron pan as well. Heat the pan on medium heat. Add the diced bacon pieces as soon as the pan is hot. Continue cooking the bacon until it is crispy and all the fat from the meat has melted into the pan. After the bacon is cooked, remove it from the pan and keep it aside.
  • Now, lower the heat to medium, and add the diced onions inside the pan. You must sauté the onions for the next 10 minutes, or until you notice that, the onions are translucent. Remember that you must stir the onions occasionally. Once the onions are done, add cabbage and sauté them for 10 minutes until the onions turn brown. Stir the cabbage occasionally until the cabbage wilts or becomes brown.
  • Add the bacon, mashed potatoes, and mix them properly with onions and cabbage. If you wish to add cooked beef to this, add it right now. This is the point where you will actually hear ‘bubble and squeak’ and this is what the recipe is famous for. Taste this mixture and check if pepper and salt are perfect as per your taste.
  • Leave the mixture in the pan untouched for the next five minutes and allow it to cook. After sometime you will see that, the mixture has incorporated and the bottom has become crispy. Keep flipping the large portions occasionally so that the mixture is brown from both the sides.
  • Once it is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and serve it once the mixture is crispy on the outside, and creamy on the inside. Serve this by itself or you can serve it with slow-cooked joint roast.

Tips and Warnings:

  • As mentioned above, you can use leftover potatoes, cabbage or meat for this dish. If you have leftover cabbage, then keep the cabbage in the colander and remove the excess water.
  • You can also use some pre-cooked potatoes for this recipe. If you are going to use mashed potatoes in another method, then you will have to add it at the same time as mashed potatoes. Use a spatula for crushing the pieces of potatoes.
  • If you don’t like cabbage then you can use brussel sprouts. Just cut the stem and use the brussel instead of cabbage. For the meat, you can use any meat in this recipe, but beef is traditional.

Related Content:

  1. How to Make Chili
  2. How to Cook Stuffed Cabbage
  3. How to Make Corned Beef
  4. How to cook Cube Steak
  5. How to Cook Bacon

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