Bubble and Squeak Recipe

Bubble and Squeak Recipe

Bubble and Squeak is an Irish recipe beloved all over the UK. Though dishes like Spotted Dick, Bubble and Squeak, and Colcanon are fast disappearing from UK tables, they are still popular both in England and Ireland and abroad, especially as “pub food” or among foodie populations.

Bubble and Squeak was traditionally made with leftover bits from a roasting pan. Old-school Bubble and Squeak was usually a “meatless” dish, though the juices and drippings from the roast were still very much all over the leftover roast veggies and other tasty bits, so it can’t be called truly “vegetarian.”

Since most people these days make Bubble and Squeak on its own, without the need for a roast, it can quite easily be made as a vegetarian meal, simply by removing any animal products from the below recipe or the recipe you have at home.Bubble and Squeak Recipe

The name Bubble and Squeak comes from the sound the ingredients make in the pan as they cook. Traditionally, this meal was served around Samhain or Halloween, and the bubbly squeaky noises were said to be the sounds of the ghosts, goblins, and ghouls escaping into the air.

Here is how to make traditional Irish Bubble and Squeak, along with some ideas for how to “dress it up.”


1 sm. onion, finely chopped

2 c. shredded cabbage, boiled for 15 minutes

2 c. mashed potatoes

Ideally, these ingredients would be pre-cooked as part of a pot roast or pork roast–you don’t have to use leftovers. Just substitute fresh veggies in place of pre-roasted ones.


1. If you want to make a more traditional Bubble and Squeak, gather the drippings from roasted meat. Alternatively, you could render bacon and start with bacon fat. If you want to avoid meat drippings, you can also start with butter. Either way, heat your fat of choice in a large skillet.

2. Fry onion over low heat for 5 minutes until softened and slightly clear.

3. Add the cabbage and stir this mixture over low heat for another 2 minutes.

4. Fold in mashed potatoes until they are well blended with cabbage. Press this mixture lightly onto the surface of the skillet–the idea is to form a large “pancake.”

5. Cook this mixture for 5 more minutes until the underside has browned lightly. Turn the “pancake” over and brown on the second side for at least five minutes.

6. Serve with a little bit of ham, or the rendered bacon if you so desire. You can also serve Bubble and Squeak with a little bit of applesauce, or sour cream if you want to turn the recipe a bit more Polish or Russian style.