bubble and squeak in a pan with a portion taken out. Running poached egg on top

Bubble and Squeak

Quick and easy Bubble and Squeak- a delicious and traditional way to use up leftover mashed potato and cabbage from your roast dinner.
Course Brunch, Dinner
Cuisine British
Keyword cabbage, leftovers
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Nicky Corbishley


Bubble and Squeak:

  • 3 cups (700g) leftover mashed potato this doesn't have to be exact
  • 3 cups (200g) leftover chopped cooked cabbage again this doesn't have to be exact - I like to use savoy cabbage
  • 2 tbsp butter salted or unsalted is fine
  • 2 tbsp veg oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Serve with:

  • Grilled crispy bacon, chopped (I used 6 rashers/strips)
  • salt and pepper
  • poached eggs
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • Brown sauce


  • Preheat the grill (broiler). Then in a bowl, mix the cabbage with the mashed potato, salt and pepper.
  • Add half a tablespoon of butter and half a tablespoon of oil to each of two medium (20cm diameter) frying pans *Note 1
  • Heat the pans over a medium-high heat until the butter is melted and bubbling.
  • Add half of the bubble and squeak mixture to each pan and squash down using a spatula to completely cover the base of the pan.
  • Fry for 5-7 minutes until the edges start to brown then ruffle the top of the bubble and squeak using a fork (the more ruffled, the more crispy bits).
  • Melt the remaining 1 tbsp butter and mix with the remaining 1 tbsp oil, then brush the top of the bubble and squeak with the mixture.
  • Place under the grill and grill for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped bacon, salt and pepper. Top each with a poached egg or two and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.
  • Serve the bubble and squeak with brown sauce if you like.


Note 1:
Make sure the pans are grill/oven proof.
If you prefer, you could use 1 large (30cm diameter) pan with 1 tbsp each of oil and butter).

Can you freeze it?

I find it's better not to freeze if you can help it.
As mashed potato defrosts, it can go watery and a little grainy, so the texture isn't quite as good. The water will evaporate upon reheating, but you don't get quite the same texture.
If you did want to freeze it, then make the bubble and squeak into individual patties (without cooking/frying them) cover and freeze. Then defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Drain off any liquid that may be present after defrosting, then sprinkle the patties with a light dusting of flour and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Fry over a medium heat in a frying pan in melted butter and oil, turning once, until browned on both sides and hot throughout (about 5-6 minutes). You may find the patties won't stay together quite as well as if you were cooking them without freezing them, but they'll still taste great.
Also, I wouldn't recommend making the bubble and squeak and saving the leftovers. After all, this is a dish made from leftovers, so reheating those ingredients more than once isn't a good idea.

Can I make bubble and squeak in the oven?

This would be more like Scottish Rumbledethumps if baked in the oven, and whilst it would be browned on top, you wouldn't get the browned base. However, it will still taste delicious.
To do this, mix together the mash, cabbage, salt and pepper, transfer to a small baking dish, then brush with the melted butter and oil (or you could sprinkle with cheddar cheese instead) and bake in the oven at 200C/400F for 15-20 minutes until hot throughout and browned on top.
Nutritional Information is per serving (there are four servings in this recipe), excluding serving suggestion of bacon, eggs and brown sauce.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 265mg | Potassium: 697mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 700IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
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