Kale bubble and squeak cakes make a perfect light meal or side dish. Bubble and squeak, a traditional English dish, was originally made from left overs from a roast dinner. It tastes so good I think it’s worth making from scratch. Making it into cakes or patties like these, make them easy to serve and everyone gets their fair share of the crispy bits!
Kale Bubble and Squeak
We used to have bubble and squeak a lot when I was a child. Without fail we had a large roast on Sundays and the left overs were eaten throughout the week. Monday’s meal would often consist of cold meat and bubble and squeak. While it is a great dish for using up left overs I also make it from scratch. I get a box of organic vegetables delivered every week which often has some greens. Recently I’ve had kale in it which is what I used for these bubble and squeak cakes, but you can also use cabbage, spring greens or even sprouts. Incidentally the name supposedly comes from the sound of the mixture bubbling and squeaking as it is fried to reheat.
Using Left Overs
If you are using left overs, simply miss out the first few steps. The ratio of mash to greens is not critical but aim for more mash than cabbage so that it binds well together. When making it from scratch as in this recipe, allow to cool slightly before adding the egg since it will start to cook and scramble if the mash is too hot. You need to allow it to cool enough to shape anyway, so just be a little patient. If you are in a hurry, you can speed it up a little by tipping into a large cold bowl and spreading it out a bit.
When I want to serve mine as a light meal, I often add a little chopped bacon for extra flavour but this is by no means essential. So if you want to vegetarian dish just leave it out, I do when I’m serving it as a side dish. You can replace the bacon with some chopped or sliced mushrooms if you like.
Step by Step Kale Bubble and Squeak Cakes
Kale bubble and squeak cakes
Serve as a delicious light lunch or supper dish or a tasty side.
1 kg/2¼ lbs potatoes peeled and cut into even sized pieces
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 onion, chopped
125g/4oz streaky bacon, chopped (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp plain flour
Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until just tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, strip the kale leaves from the stems and discard the stems. Wash well then thickly shred. Add to the potatoes for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Drain well, then mash.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and add the onions and bacon, if using. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes until softened and beginning to colour. Add to the drained potatoes and kale.
Leave until cool enough to handle. Season well and add the beaten egg. Beat to combine.
Shape into 8 cakes with your hands. Dust with flour.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying and and fry in two batches for 4-5 minutes each side until golden brown and piping hot.
After shaping, the cakes can be chilled until required. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.They also freeze well. defrost before reheating.
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 14 g
Sodium 647 mg
Total Carbohydrates 54 g
Sugars 5 g
Protein 13 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.