Side dish or main dish, Bubble & Squeak is a traditional British food which uses up leftover cabbage and potato – although you can make bubble and squeak with variations around this, such as using up leftover Brussels sprouts and potato after Christmas! Bubble and squeak can be cooked in a variety of ways and can be served as a main vegetarian meal, or as a vegetable side dish.
Cooking for one means that I’ll quite often make this as my main meal. I use the microwave to cook bubble and squeak as it’s so fast/simple – but I actually prefer to eat bubble and squeak in this way rather than then completing the process by baking or frying the potato cakes.
All ingredients are flexible in how many you use, a lot of it is by eye – how does it look to you? The main ingredient is the potato, the rest might change depending on how much of each ingredient you’ve got and like.
Cooking for one:
This is a bit of a piggy portion when cooking for one, but I will typically serve this as the main meal, with a side portion of baked beans or maybe a poached egg cooked in the microwave too. Another twist on this bubble and squeak would be to add some grated cheese to the top!
This quantity will serve two as a side portion, or even four if you just want a heaped tablespoon. The total weight of the bubble and squeak is about 340 grams, a supermarket ready dish would say this was two servings.
- One large baking potato (or any amount of potato that weighs ~310 grams raw, or 250 grams when cooked). You can use any type of potato, but baking potatoes give a better result.
- 100 grams of Brussels sprouts – I used frozen Brussels sprouts and this was about 14 of them.
- 20 grams onion, chopped – white or red onion – fresh or frozen – I chop and freeze onions when shops have special offers on.
- A knob of butter (or margarine, or oil if you use that).
- Optional salt/pepper – I don’t tend to use them to be honest.
- Cook your potato – you can do this any way you like, or even use leftover mashed potato if you’ve got it. I microwave a whole baking potato which takes 10-15 minutes depending on size. For this recipe, with a potato weighing 310 grams I’d microwave it in an 800 watt microwave oven for 15 minutes.
- Cook your Brussels sprouts – I do this in the microwave, which takes just 5-6 minutes. You can optionally cook your onions (it depends if you like soft or crunchy onion bits). At least defrost the onion if you’ve used frozen chopped onion by filling a mug with boiling water and dropping the onions in to defrost while you’re getting the rest of the food ready.
- Peel your potato (optional) and mash it up with the knob of butter. I tend to do this in a breakfast bowl – and sometimes eat it from the bowl when I’ve finished!
- Chop the cooked Brussels sprouts and add them to the potato.
- Add the onion to the potato and Brussels sprouts.
- Mix together the potato, Brussels sprouts and onion. If you are somebody who can’t live without salt/pepper then add it in now.
- Return the whole mix to the microwave and microwave the whole mix for 1 minute just to ensure it’s all hot again (as you might’ve been taking your time!).
You do NOT have to then form it into potato cakes and fry in a frying pan – that would be optional – ditto for oven baking the bubble & squeak cakes. Personally I love bubble and squeak when it’s as simple as this dish, at this stage and rarely will go on to form it into cakes and cook/brown it. That’s a choice you can make for yourself.
Baked Bubble & Squeak: If you do want to bake bubble and squeak, I did that, with a different ratio of potato/Brussels sprouts and using red onion: Baked Bubble & Squeak – it was super tasty, but takes extra time and generates more washing up … so it’s rarer 🙂
If you bought this bubble and squeak in a supermarket it’d cost you at least £1, so how does that compare to making it yourself? I used the Wood Farm Baking Potatoes from Aldi, which cost £1.35 for eight and I used one of those, so that’s 17p. The Brussels sprouts were frozen and cost £1/1Kg, so I’ve used 10p of sprouts in this dish. The onion and knob of butter would cost about 3p, making a total cost of making this bubble and squeak just 30p. Served as a main meal or as a side dish that’s good frugal food!
Can You Freeze Bubble & Squeak?
Yes – simply portion it up in any freezer bag or box and put it in the freezer! When cooking, you can cook it from frozen, but you’ll need to add about 10 minutes to your cooking time to ensure it’s not frozen in the middle still. It’s better if you can defrost the bubble & squeak before cooking it.
As I’d typically serve this as the main course, with some baked beans, this counts as a tasty and filling 50p Dinner for vegetarians. I am not vegetarian, I am just happy to not eat meat at every meal – it doesn’t bother me if I have meat or not.