Bubble and Squeak is a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes and leftover cabbage.
Enjoy these Bubble and Squeak Cakes for breakfast or brunch with a fried egg.
What is bubble and squeak?
Bubble and Squeak is a traditional English dish with potatoes and cabbage being the main ingredients. It is usually served for breakfast, using leftover potatoes and cabbage from dinner the night before.
This particular bubble and squeak recipe is made with leftover mashed potatoes and fresh sauteed cabbage. This is because we don’t often have cabbage for dinner, so I have to start with fresh cabbage.
Bubble and squeak can take on many forms – it can be made as one large “cake” in a large skillet, sort of like a frittata. It can be sort of like a scrambled egg / mashed potato mixture. Or it can be shaped into smaller fritter-like patties, like these bubble and squeak patties.
What kind of potatoes to use for bubble and squeak
The best potatoes to use for bubbles and squeak are leftover mashed potatoes or leftover potatoes from a pot roast. You want the potatoes to be really tender and cooked, so a crispy roasted potato might not be the best candidate to make bubble and squeak.
The best mashed potatoes for bubble and squeak are lumpy mashed potatoes because they add a little texture to these bubble and squeak patties. You don’t want to use super creamy whipped potatoes to make these bubble and squeak patties because they will fall apart and won’t hold their shape.
If you’re starting with super creamy whipped mashed potatoes, you might need to add extra flour to the potato and cabbage mixture until you can form nice patties that stay together.
If you’re using leftover potatoes from a pot roast, just mash them into lumpy mashed potatoes to use them for this bubble and squeak recipe.
What kind of cabbage to use for bubble and squeak
Traditionally, you would make bubble and squeak with leftover cabbage from a pot roast, or from leftover cabbage from a corned beef and cabbage dish. If you have that – awesome! Just chop the leftover cabbage finely so it is shredded to small pieces, sort of like cooked coleslaw.
For this recipe, I started with fresh cabbage. Hey, I didn’t say this was traditional bubble and squeak. But it is delicious. So bear with me.
I shredded the cabbage finely – the same size as you would for coleslaw. Of course, you can use a bag of coleslaw instead. A 14-oz bag of coleslaw cabbage will be just perfect for this recipe.
I saute the cabbage with onion and fresh parsley until it cooks down to about half its size. Then I combine it with mashed potatoes and the rest of the ingredients (more on that later!)
Can I use other vegetables for bubble and squeak?
Yes! You can absolutely use other vegetables for this recipe! Try any of the following:
- Shredded Brussels sprouts (uncooked)
- Roasted Brussels sprouts (mashed)
- Roughly mashed carrots and peas
What about other add-ins?
These bubble and squeak cakes would be fantastic with any of the following additions:
- Shredded cheese (try cheddar or Parmesan – anywhere from 1 cup to 2-3 cups would be fine for this recipe!)
- Crumbled bacon (cook the bacon first, then saute the onion and cabbage in the bacon drippings… mmmm)
- More fresh herbs (try chives, scallions, tarragon, or dill)
- Diced ham
How to serve bubble and squeak
Since bubble and squeak is traditionally a breakfast recipe, I usually serve it with a fried egg on top. (Tip: if you want the crispy edges around your fried egg, cook the egg in lots of oil).
I often add a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt on top…. because why not? I think the creamy dollop goes so well with the little patties.
Of course, a side of bacon or breakfast sausage would be fantastic as well.
You can also serve bubble and squeak as a side dish for dinner or lunch.
How to store and reheat leftovers
This recipe makes about 16 bubble and squeak patties. Not gonna lie – that’s a lot! I found that 2-3 patties and a fried egg was enough to keep me full for a while. These really stick to your ribs.
So you might have some leftovers…. and that’s not a bad thing! These bubble and squeak patties reheat well.
To store leftovers: Wait until the patties are cooled down to room temperature, then refrigerate in a storage container with a lid.
To reheat: Preheat the oven to 350F, and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until heated through. You can reheat these in a microwave, but the best way is in an oven so they get nice and crispy again.
I use my Cuisinart toaster oven / air fryer combo to reheat food like this all the time because it doesn’t need to be preheated. Pop them in and turn it on! If you’re shopping for an air fryer, I highly recommend this air fryer + toaster oven to save counter space in the kitchen (it’s big, but smaller than a toasted oven PLUS an air fryer). Get it here.
I got mine for $250 but it often goes on sale for $200 or even as low as $150, which is fan-freakin’-tastic!
Tips for making Bubble and Squeak:
- The exact amount of flour you need will depend on the consistency of your mashed potatoes. So add 1/2 cup flour, do a “test” fry by frying one patty in a hot skillet. If it falls apart, add more flour. If it stays together, you’re good to go
- Just make sure to dredge the patties in extra flour before frying, this will keep them from sticking to the pan. This step is key!!
- You want to use a large non-stick skillet for this recipe. Don’t attempt this with a cast-iron skillet. Even a well-seasoned cast iron skillet might cause these to stick and fall apart. Don’t be a hero
- The easiest way to form the bubble and squeak cakes is to use an ice cream scooper with a squeeze release handle to measure out perfect 1/4 cup portions. Drop it right into a plate with flour for dredging. Roll it around to coat in flour, then gently press down to form a patty
- Make the patties as thin or as thick as you like – it’s a personal preference whether you want more crispy edges or more soft mashed potato insides
- Get the oil nice and hot, then place the uncooked bubble and squeak patties into the oil carefully
- It is best not to flip these bad boys several times, otherwise they are more likely to fall apart. Cook them on each side until you’re fairly sure they are a nice golden brown color, then flip once
- You’ll want to use a flexible silicone spatula/turner to flip these
Looking for more recipes that use leftover mashed potato?
Looking for other fun patty and fritter recipes?
Looking for other cabbage recipes?
- Cabbage and pork stir fry with sweet and sour sauce
- Cabbage and kielbasa stir fry
- Soba noodle and red cabbage stir fry
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don’t forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Bubble and Squeak Cakes
- large bowl
- Large nonstick skillet (see notes)
- Ice cream scooper
- 1/2 green cabbage (half of one 2-lb cabbage), thinly sliced (or use one 14-16 oz bag of coleslaw mix)
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 teaspoon salt divided, or more or less to taste
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves finely diced
- 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
- 1 cup flour plus extra for dredging
- 2 eggs
- black pepper to taste
- Optional for serving: fried egg, or a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the chopped onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften and turn golden brown.
- Add the sliced cabbage, 1 teaspoon salt, and diced parsley. Cover with a lid and saute for 10-15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl - sauteed cabbage, mashed potato, eggs, 1 cup flour, the remaining teaspoon salt, and pepper.
- Mix the ingredients. Add more flour if the mixture is not a thick paste (see notes). Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out about 1/4 cup of the potato cabbage mixture.
- Place the scoop of potato cabbage mixture on a plate with flour for dredging. Roll the mixture around in the flour, then press down gently to form a patty.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Carefully place the bubble and squeak patties on the hot oiled skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, or until golden brown. Flip carefully and cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes.
- Repeat step 6 until all the bubble and squeak cakes are cooked. Serve warm with a fried egg and a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.
- The potato and cabbage mixture should be the consistency of paste. It should be able to be formed into a soft patty without falling apart. If your patties are falling apart, stir in more flour. Try not to overdo it on the flour or the bubble and squeak cakes will be tough
- You can use the same skillet for cooking the cabbage and frying the bubble and squeak cakes. Just wipe it down with a paper towel after the cabbage
- Other additions to try:
- Shredded cheese (cheddar, Parmesan, etc)
- More fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, scallions, chives)
- Crumbled bacon (cook it first, then saute the onion and cabbage in bacon grease)
- Diced ham