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Traditional British Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and squeak is the quintessentially British leftovers recipe, featuring potatoes & cabbage it is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Portrait image of traditional British bubble and squeak potato cakes served with fried egg and bacon

What Is Bubble and Squeak?

The name bubble and squeak dates back to the 18th century in print.

They are a potato cake made from leftovers, usually leftovers from Sunday lunch, in that sense they are very similar to Irish Boxty.

It is a quintessentially British dish that has strong regional differences much like toad in the hole. As a result, it is another one of those recipes that means so many things to different people.

I was always bought up with bubble and squeak being leftover boiled potatoes and cabbage.

Those leftovers were typically from a Sunday Lunch and this is what we had for “tea” on Monday.

I am now much more likely to cook this with sprouts and I also add grainy mustard. My grandparents would have thought me terribly extravagant!

Portrait overhead image of traditional British bubble and squeak potato cakes served with fried egg and bacon

Preparation Advice

There are no right or wrong way to make this recipe, you can and throw what you have in there and enjoy them.

There are some hints that can make your life easier though.

Starting with the potatoes, many people use leftover mashed potato.

I find that is too “creamy and buttery” for my tastes, I know, who am I and what have I done with the real Brian?

I use leftover boiled potatoes and I use a medium potato, too floury and it becomes a mash. Too waxy and they will not hang together.

If you are going to use mash then try and save some leftover roast potatoes, they add a great flavour and texture.

My base recipe is vegan and I have run with it for this recipe, but if you are not opposed to a bit of animal fat then you should try these cooked in a hard fat.

Duck, goose, lard or beef dripping make this taste incredible!

Portrait close up image of traditional British bubble and squeak potato cakes served with fried egg and bacon

Serving Suggestions.

We have established that I am not vegan or vegetarian so I am free to serve this with eggs and bacon.

If I’m feeling greedy I’ll add some sausages too!

This is often considered to be a breakfast recipe. Now I’m just a regular guy and speaking honestly breakfast is a far more simple affair than this recipe!

Despite the fact that this is eye wateringly easy it is a lunch or dinner meal for me.

If you like the flavours but are less keen on the getting your hands mucky then you should try my cabbage and potato bake. It is essentially a deconstructed bubble and squeak!

Square image of traditional British bubble and squeak potato cakes
Yield: 2 Servings

Traditional Bubble and Squeak Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Blessed with one of the most fun names in food, bubble and squeak is a delicious and simple leftover potato and cabbage recipe.


  • 300 g Leftover Boiled Potatoes
  • 150 g Leftover Sprouts
  • 1 Tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil


  1. Place the potatoes in a bowl and gently crush them with the back of a fork.
  2. Roughly chop the sprouts and add them to the potatoes.
  3. Add in the mustard and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Form into 4 potato cakes in a 7.5cm or 3" cookie mould.
  5. Heat the oil over a medium-high heat and fry the potato cakes for 3-4 minutes each side.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 386mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Brian Jones

Tuesday 20th of March 2018

Yes bubble and squeak is generally a left over dish mushing up the ingredients from a traditional British Sunday lunch. serving the following day with either fried or poached eggs.. I personally cook so as to avoid left overs but love the flavours of bubble and squeak so this is my homage to old school with a slightly 'modern' approach.

Elaine Benoit

Tuesday 20th of March 2018

I love the name of this dish! I want to make it for guests just so I can say it! This dish looks delicious and easy to make and I can't wait to try it!

Brian Jones

Tuesday 20th of March 2018

IN that case you really should check out one of my toad in the hole recipes ;) :o Don't worry there are no toads involved :D

Brian Jones

Tuesday 20th of March 2018

He absolutely needs to find out about Bubble and Squeak!

Brian Jones

Monday 7th of March 2016

Teehee, that's how this dish evolved... The notion of left over mashed potato makes no sense to me at all #chefsperks ;)

Hillary Reeves

Wednesday 2nd of March 2016

Yummm! My grammy used to make this for me, but never with cabbage. Always looked more like a big pancake haha! Yours is gorgeous, of course. :)

Brian Jones

Thursday 3rd of March 2016

That is the traditional way of making them with left over mashed potato and formed into a 'cake' and then fried in the obligatory butter. I rarely ahve leftovers so went all 'deconstructed', still tastes great :)

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