Bubble and Squeak with Leftover Veggies

If you’ve got lots of leftover veg and potatoes, there’s no better way to use them up than Bubble and Squeak. It’s easy, fast, incredibly yummy, and super nutritious. Perfect for Monday Dinners.

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Bubble and squeak is amazing for using up leftover vegetables and potatoes.

I’ve always loved it, it has such a fantastic flavour and texture and is such a ridiculously simple family dinner recipe!

Perfect for Monday night tea if you’ve got plenty of veg left from Sunday, or a midweek meal if you need a filling and easy side dish to go with some meat.

I’m very lucky that my kids both eat loads of veggies. They even like sprouts. This means that we cook lots and always have plenty left over. It also means that they love my leftover vegetable fritters.

Using up leftover meat is fairly easy, and this bubble and squeak, or a leftover broccoli bake means that you can also make the most of your veggies!

served with roast beef on plate.

What is Bubble and Squeak?

So, if you’ve never heard of it, you might be thinking “wtf!?”, because bubble and squeak sounds a bit mad and random, and the name doesn’t describe any food!

Some people would call these leftover veg fritters or leftover veg patties instead.

Bubble and Squeak is basically cooked vegetables and potatoes mashed and mixed together. It’s then fried, or baked, to crisp the edges slightly and warm it all through. 

It’ll taste a bit different depending on which veg you use. We make it with literally whatever veggies are leftover from our Sunday lunch, which means that my recipe is a little bit different every time I make it. 

served bubble and squeak cake with beef and gravy, frying pan and jug in the background.

Why is it Called Bubble and Squeak? 

Robyn asked if it would be squeaky when she ate it once and was very upset when I said no! It sounds like it’s going to be quite exciting to eat I think, and while it does taste amazing, it is not the sensory experience that my kids were hoping for. 

The Origin of Bubble and Squeak are a little uncertain. It’s one of those things that’s just always been around. But the name is thought to come from the sound that it makes as it is being fried in the pan. 

What Kinds of Veg Can you Use?

Anything as long as it is cooked and softened. 

Leftovers are perfect, but if you haven’t got any, or enough, then you can just cook up some of your favourite veggies. 

Stack of bubble and squeak patties on plate.

We don’t always have mash with our Sunday lunch, because we really like roasted sweet potatoes. So I often have to cook some white potatoes and mash them for my bubble and squeak fritters.

My favourite veg to have in bubble and squeak include sprouts, carrots, cabbage, broccoli and parsnips.

Things like carrots and parsnips can either have been boiled or roasted, as long as they are soft and while you can mash them up with the potatoes whole, I find it easier to chop larger bits of veg into smaller portions before adding them to the mash. 

It just makes it all a little easier. 

close up of stacked bubble and squeak patties on a plate.

Quantities don’t matter too much, but I try to use more veg than mash. So say 700g of veg and 500g mash. I just like the texture like this, but honestly, you can use whatever you’ve got. 

Can You Use Roast Potatoes?

The mashed potato is really what glues bubble and squeak together. You can use leftover roast potatoes in bubble and squeak, but you’ll need to give it all a good mash to be able to form patties with it. 

If you’ve got leftover roast potatoes, you might prefer to chop your veg and potatoes into chunks and fry together as a hash or use them to make patatas bravas.

How Can You Stop Bubble and Squeak Cakes Falling Apart?

3 Patties in frying pan with spatula, jug, towel and plate in the background.

If you are using roast potatoes, you might need to add a little butter when you mash, to create a softer, stickier mix that will hold together. 

If your Leftover Roast Veg Fritters are still falling apart, then try making your patties smaller, or baking them in the oven instead of frying. 

I also find that leaving the mixture to stand for around 30 minutes, either on the side or in the fridge, before shaping, helps it to stiffen up.

What Can You Serve with Bubble and Squeak?

You can absolutely eat bubble and squeak on its own, but you can also make Meals with bubble and squeak, using it as a side dish. 

close up of bubble and squeak with beef on plate.

If I’ve got leftover roast beef or another meat, I might serve that with my veggies. Other options are Sausages with bubble and squeak and Bubble and squeak and eggs, which are both easy and popular. 

Should You Bake or Fry Bubble and Squeak?

Ideally you want to fry your bubble and squeak in a little butter or oil to get nice crispy edges. 

But, sometimes, I find that if my mash is a little too sloppy or the veg too juicy, the patties stick to the pan and are quite hard to work with. 

In this case, Baked bubble and squeak is totally fine. 

Patties on baking tray.

If you know that you will be baking, you can skip the flour entirely, or for Bubble and squeak done in the oven, brush with butter, so you don’t get floury edges. 

Bake for around 20 minutes, until the edges are crispy and the centre hot. 

Can You Air Fry Bubble and Squeak?

Yes, you can air fry bubble and squeak cakes. 

Since we bought an air fryer, air fryer bubble and squeak is probably my favourite option. It’s a bit of a pain if you’ve got lots because my air fryer can only do four at a time, but they are perfect with crispy outsides and soft middles. 

Air Fried Bubble and Squeak cakes on a white plate.

How to Air Fry Bubble and Squeak

Step One

To air-fry bubble and squeak, first mash together all your ingredients as you would if you were baking or frying your bubble and squeak patties. 

mixed vegetables in large mixing bowl.

Step Two

I recommend leaving it to sit for 30 minutes on the side or in the fridge before shaping. This helps the mixture to firm up, and helps to stop your bubble and squeak from falling apart. 

mashed bubble and squeak in a mixing bowl.

Step Three

Then, shape them into patties with your hands. 

Flipping them inside an air fryer basket can be hard, so I recommend keeping them reasonably small if you are baking your bubble and squeak in an air fryer. 

For me, this usually means there are between 10 and 12 patties, depending on my leftovers. 

Step Four

Dip each patty in flour, lightly coating the outside, and then carefully crush with melted butter. You only need a little, but it helps the outside to crisp up and means there’s no floury taste or texture. 

unbaked bubble and squeak patties on a plate.

Step Five

Spray or rub the tray in your air fryer with a little olive oil (this isn’t absolutely essential, but it will help to stop them from sticking) and place four patties on top, leaving a little space between each. 

Step Six

Set your air fryer at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn carefully after 10 minutes. 

unbaked air fryer bubble and squeak in basket.

Step Seven

Repeat until you’ve used all of your bubble and squeak mash. 

bubble and squeak in an air fryer basket.

An Alternative to Leftover Veg Fritters

As you can see, I make leftover veg fritters or patties.

They are easier to fry like this, and they look great served on a plate.

But instead of leftover veg fritters you could bake or fry your bubble and squeak in one big lump, and cut it into portions to serve.

Can You Freeze Bubble and Squeak?


Cook your patties, either by frying or baking, cool quickly by removing from the pan onto a clean plate, and then wrap individually, or place a sheet of baking paper in-between each patty in a sealed tub, so that they don’t stick together.

Thaw thoroughly before serving and reheat either in the oven, or frying pan until piping hot. 

Other Ingredients You Could Add

I know a lot of people add fried onions and mixed herbs. 

You absolutely can, I just never think that it needs it. You get plenty of flavour from your veg, especially if you use a few different varieties. 

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3 Patties in frying pan with spatula, jug, towel and plate in the background.

Bubble and Squeak with Leftover Veggies

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4.7 from 9 reviews

  • Author: Donna
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Patties 1x
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If you’ve got lots of leftover veg and potatoes, there’s no better way to use them up than Bubble and Squeak. It’s easy, fast, incredibly yummy, and super nutritious. Perfect for Monday Dinners.


Units Scale
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter or cooking oil
  • 500g Mashed Potato
  • 700g Vegetables (ideally leftovers that are precooked. If using fresh, boil them to soften first)
  • Salt and Pepper (Optional)
  • 3 heaped Tablespoons Plain Flour (on a plate or in a shallow bowl)


  1. Mash together the potatoes, leftover veggies and a good pinch of salt and pepper until well combined.
  2. Leave to stand on the side or in the fridge for 30 minutes so the mixture stiffens.
  3. Use your hands to shape into burger-size patties around 1-2cm thick.
  4. Place on the plate with the flour and coat both sides (you can reshape a bit here if needed).
  5. Heat the oil or butter in the frying pan and add the patties.
  6. Fry for 5 minutes on each side until the edges have browned and crisped.


  • Carrots, sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower are ideal, but use whatever you’ve got leftover.
  • These quantities make 6-8 good-sized patties. You can make them smaller if they are easier to work with. I fry three at a time.
  • You can boil extra veg to add if needed or use extra mash, the ratio doesn’t need to be exact – use what you’ve got.
  • If your bubble and squeak cakes are too soft to fry easily, carefully place them onto a lined baking sheet, brush with butter and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Additional Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Made with Leftovers
  • Cuisine: British


  • Serving Size: 1 Patty
  • Calories: 222kcal
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 383mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5g
  • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 6mg

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Any nutritional information is given as a general guide only and may not be accurate. The information is provided using an online calculator and is specific to my ingredients. Please make your own calculations if you want precise information. 

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Donna Dundas
Donna Dundas is an experienced family food blogger who has been creating easy and wholesome recipes for over 7 years. Her blog is a must-read for anyone looking for filling and delicious recipe ideas, that reduce waste and minimise stress.

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