Bubble & Squeak (Low Carb and Gluten Free)

England’s “Bubble & Squeak.”  I’d have made this eventually simply because I love the name!  In Ireland it’s called Colcannon and in Scotland it’s referred to as Rumbledethumps.  But what is it??  Traditionally made with leftovers, it’s a combination of mashed potatoes, cabbage (or kale), green onions (or leeks), and it often includes cheese.  Since I’m still running my comfort foods from across the pond sequence, this seemed like a perfect fit!  I modified it for low carb by substituting cauliflower mash for the potatoes, and I added bacon because, well, do you really need a reason to add bacon to anything???  I thought not.   You could omit it and make this a vegetarian dish – it’s satisfying and delicious either way!  I didn’t add the extra cheese because my cauliflower mash is already made with cheese (look at me all showing restraint and stuff!), but you could certainly sprinkle some on top and bake until melted and browned which would be that much more delicious!

Serves 4 (as a side)


2 cups cheesy cauliflower puree
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/4 cup chopped scallion, green only
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup cooked bacon, chopped
2 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Steam or microwave the cabbage for a few minutes until softened.  Mix the cabbage with the cauliflower puree and scallions, season with salt and pepper.  Place in an oven proof bowl, sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees (F) or until heated through and bubbling.  Serve with optional pat of butter and chopped bacon on top.  Truly satisfying (and if you are low carbing, totally legal) comfort food!


  1. says

    Bubble and squeak now there is something I haven’t had in a very very long time. I have never had with cauliflower puree, sounds tempting. Didn’t know that Ireland and Scotland had different names.
    Thanks for your version to try and look forward to surprising my Dad and husband.

  2. says


    Interestingly, there is a Welsh dish called Cawl Cennin (with a Celtic C, so K, and pronounced just like Colcannon) which is a leek soup (Cawl is a “soup” in Welsh) – here’s the recipe: http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/cym/fetch-recipe.php?rid=cawl-cennin … hope you can read Cymraeg. I guess this is the same original idea as the Irish which became a lot thicker because they just lobbed some potatoes in for good measure. Plenty of potatoes, to be sure … to be sure … to be sure :D

  3. says

    Just yesterday a British friend on Facebook was noting having “bubble” as part of breakfast. I had no idea what he was talking about. Thanks for explaining! I love recipes like this. It is similar to a recipe I posted recently for “Twice-baked Cauliflower”. I love that you use cabbage. Can’t wait to try this. Thanks.

  4. says

    So happy I stumbled onto your blog (via Pinterest).
    I make this with the leftovers (when I make potato, cabbage and sausage)- like a potato pancake, it’s super yummy, and I always add BACON. I mash up my leftover potatoes, then chop up the cabbage, sausage and bacon; form patties and fry up in a bit of bacon grease.
    Supposedly, the name Bubble and Squeak is derived from the sound the cakes make while cooking in the pan.

    • says

      So glad Wendy! It’s been FOREVER since I made this one but I just bought some cabbage and your comment reminded me how much I loved it! Will be making it this week! Thanks for the comment! :)

  5. says

    It sounds yummy but its not a variation of Colcannon, sorry. That is simply mashed potatoes, cooked kale, salt & pepper and lots of butter – no cheese, no bacon, just a huge mountain of creamy, yummy, green speckled mash with room on the top for a big knob of butter. Thats why I only make it once or maybe twice in the autumn cos its not for the dieter :) But this recipe sounds like a really good variation on bubble & squeak so I’ll certainly give it a go. Thanks – An Irish Girl :)

  6. Jayne says

    ty for showing me how to adapt this to low carb, growing up in the UK we had this at Monday tea (dinner) time, we would watch my mum cook this up in her iron skillet and let her know when it was ready, as the mixture would quite literally bubble and then squak as the bubbles popped. We enjoyed it with bangers sausages) and slather on brown sauce, either HP or Daddies, ahh memories, making this in a few days


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