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Colcannon vs Bubble and Squeak: Which is a Better Option?

Ever tried Colcannon or Bubble and Squeak? Both dishes transform leftovers into something spectacular. We’ve all been there, staring at a fridge full of last night’s dinner.

Here’s a funky fight of the dishes! Colcannon hails from Ireland, blending potatoes and kale into a creamy comfort food. Meanwhile, Bubble and Squeak, the UK’s answer, mixes up fried veggies and potatoes into a crispy delight.

We’ve had our share of kitchen experiments, and trust us, not all of them ended well. Yet, these two have never disappointed. Ready for a food face-off?

What is Colcannon?

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish made with potatoes and cabbage or kale.

This nourishing meal has been a staple in Ireland for hundreds of years and is still popular today.

The mashed potatoes are mixed with cooked greens, milk, butter, and spices for a savory, comforting flavor.

Colcannon is often served during holidays like St.

Patrick’s Day or Halloween.

Moving on to its nutritional value, colcannon is a healthy choice as it provides a good source of vitamins and minerals.

The potatoes are packed with fiber and vitamin C while the cruciferous vegetables add a dose of iron and folate to the dish.

Furthermore, this meal can be adapted to suit different palates by adding other ingredients like bacon or cheese.

What is Bubble and Squeak?

Bubble and Squeak, a beloved dish in British cuisine, is a savory breakfast or side dish made primarily by combining cooked potatoes and cabbage with leftover vegetables such as carrots, peas, and brussels sprouts.

The name “Bubble and Squeak” originated in the 1800s from the sound it makes while cooking.

While some variations could add eggs or meats like bacon to enhance its flavor, the basic preparation involves frying leftover vegetables on a pan until they are crispy golden brown.

Bubble and Squeak is often served with pickles, ketchup, or mustard as it complements their flavor.

It can also be consumed alone with poached or fried eggs for breakfast.

Differences Between Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak

Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak are two distinct dishes that have their unique characteristics.

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that primarily consists of mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale.

On the other hand, Bubble and Squeak is a classic English recipe made from frying leftover mashed potatoes with cooked vegetables such as peas, carrots, and Brussels sprouts.

In terms of preparation, both Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak require basic cooking skills in handling vegetables and mashing the potatoes accurately.

However, Colcannon has more variations in terms of seasonings, which can include butter, milk, chives or scallions.

In contrast, Bubble and Squeak only requires simple salt-and-pepper seasoning.

Another significant difference between the two lies in their presentation.

While Colcannon appears like regular mashed potato dishes upon serving, Bubble and Squeak is typically presented as crispy patties or cakes fried on both sides.

Ingredients Used

The ingredients used in Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak differ greatly.

While potatoes, kale or cabbage, scallions or chives, and butter are typically used in Colcannon, Bubble and Squeak contains leftover vegetables like mashed potatoes, cabbage, carrots, peas, and other optional ingredients like bacon or sausage.

Both dishes offer unique flavor combinations that showcase comfort food at its finest.

Colcannon boasts a creamy texture due to the use of butter or cream, while Bubble and Squeak is crispier due to the frying process.

The vegetables used also differ in both dishes which results in their distinct taste.

Colcannon is an Irish dish whereas Bubble and Squeak originates from the UK.

In terms of preparation time, both dishes can be made quickly using leftover ingredients.

However, Colcannon takes more time as it requires boiling and mashing the potatoes with other ingredients.

On the other hand, Bubble and Squeak is easier to make since leftovers can be gathered beforehand.

Preparation Method

For this article, let’s delve into the preparation method for these two classic dishes – Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak.

To make either dish, you’ll need a few basic ingredients such as potatoes, cabbage, butter/oil, and leftover cooked vegetables.

However, the preparation methods differ significantly.

Here’s a quick guide to the preparation of both dishes:

  • Colcannon: Boil potatoes until tender, add chopped cooked cabbage or kale, butter/margarine and seasoning such as salt and black pepper. Mash everything together until smooth.
  • Bubble and Squeak: Fry mashed leftover cooked vegetables in oil/butter along with boiled potatoes. Fry until golden brown on all sides.

It is essential to note that the ingredients can be varied depending on one’s preferences or what’s available at hand.

One unique detail is that Colcannon is traditionally served on Halloween in Ireland with hidden objects like coins or rings added to the mash; whoever finds them will supposedly have good luck throughout the year.

Flavor and Texture

When it comes to the gustatory and tactile sensations of Colcannon vs Bubble and Squeak, there are a few factors to consider.

Both dishes offer unique combinations of flavors and textures that complement their respective ingredients.

Colcannon is known for its creamy consistency, with mashed potatoes providing a smooth backdrop for the earthy taste of cabbage or kale.

On the other hand, Bubble and Squeak boasts a crispy exterior thanks to pan-fried vegetables like potatoes, carrots, cabbage and onions.

However, one cannot simply compare the two based on texture alone.

In terms of flavor, both Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak showcase their own distinct tastes that appeal to different palates.

Colcannon’s rich flavor profile is due in part to the inclusion of milk or cream, which adds an indulgent sweetness to the dish.

But those who prefer savory flavors may prefer Bubble and Squeak’s hearty blend of veggies with occasional hints of pepper or spice.

Ultimately, determining which dish is better depends on personal preference as well as the occasion.

While Colcannon may be a more elegant option for formal gatherings or holiday meals, Bubble and Squeak can be a comforting meal on cozy nights in.

Either way, both dishes offer delicious ways to enjoy classic vegetable dishes with unique twists that keep things interesting.

Similarities Between Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak

Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak display several similarities in their ingredients and preparation.

Both of these dishes are rooted in the British cuisine, often touted as a comfort food choice.

They both contain cooked vegetables such as mashed potatoes, cabbage, kale and onions (depending on the recipe).

These vegetables are then fried or baked for a crispy texture on the outer layer while preserving the soft interiors.

Going beyond the commonality aspect, Colcannon’s main feature highlights its predominantly Irish tradition using boiled potatoes that are beaten with milk or cream.

Moreover, it is enhanced by adding spices such as nutmeg to create an enjoyable flavour.

Colcannon is enjoyed during festivals like St Patrick’s day celebrations every March.

Bubble and Squeak finds its prevalence among the English who used leftover vegetables from Sunday’s roasts to prepare this dish.

Although there are no fixed ingredients for this recipe, it usually consists of boiled potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts made into patties that can be served for breakfast or lunch.

To summarise, while both dishes boast similarities in their recipes, they come with contrasting traditions unique to each region of Britain.

Nutritional Comparison of Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak

Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak are two traditional dishes that can be enjoyed as sides or complete meals.

To compare their nutritional value, we have analysed data from a variety of sources.

Colcannon is a mashed potato dish mixed with kale or cabbage, butter, and cream.

A 100-gram serving of Colcannon contains 112 calories, 2.

8 grams of protein, and 4.

6 grams of fat.

It is high in vitamins C and K, folate, dietary fibre, and potassium.

Bubble and Squeak is made from mashed potatoes mixed with cooked leftover vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage or peas fried until crispy on both sides.

A 100-gram serving of Bubble and Squeak contains approximately 72 calories, 3 grams of protein, and 0.

6 grams of fat.

It is high in vitamin C, dietary fibre, calcium, and iron.

Both Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak are packed full of goodness in terms of micronutrients but Colcannon has slightly higher calorie content due to its use of butter and cream compared to Bubble & Squeak which only uses vegetable mash.

It is clear that when it comes to Colcannon vs Bubble & Squeak there aren’t huge differences between them nutritionally but those looking for the healthiest option should choose the latter one.

Which Dish is More Popular?

Comparing the popularity of Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak requires analysis of various factors.

Both dishes have their own unique origins, ingredients, and cultural connotations that contribute to their popularity.

However, if we consider the global reach of the dishes, it can be said that Bubble and Squeak is a more widespread dish as compared to Colcannon.

Despite originating in Ireland, Colcannon is not as well-known outside of its home country as Bubble and Squeak, which has become a household dish in many places around the world.

How to Make Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak?

To learn how to prepare the two popular dishes, Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak, follow these simple steps:

  • For Colcannon, peel and chop potatoes, boil them in salted water until cooked. In a separate pan, cook cabbage until it’s tender. Mash the potatoes with milk and butter; mix with the cooked cabbage.
  • For Bubble and Squeak, chop leftover veggies (potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots), mash them all together. Fry chopped bacon and onions until crisp then add the mixed vegetables to form a cake.
  • Fry Colcannon or Bubble & Squeak cake on each side for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.
  • Serve hot with gravy or tangy sauces according to taste.
  • Enjoy your hearty meal of Irish Colcannon or English Bubble and Squeak.
  • You can refrigerate the leftover cakes or make variations using seafood, meat or cheese.

If you prefer creamy mashed potatoes with shredded cabbage in every bite – go for Colcannon.

However if you like fried savory cakes made from boiled vegetables – choose Bubble and Squeak.

Both dishes are easy to make at home with leftovers that reduces food waste too.

Core themes of these dishes explain their popularity – they are traditional comfort foods that have stood the test of time across cultures.


The Battle of Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak has been a tough one to pin down.

After careful analysis, it can be observed that both dishes have their unique flavors and textures.

However, depending on your taste buds and dietary requirements, you might prefer one over the other.

One significant aspect to consider is nutrition.

Colcannon packs in more vitamins A and K due to its addition of kale or cabbage.

Bubble and squeak uses other vegetables like Brussels sprouts or peas that lack these vitamins but comes out ahead in terms of protein content because of its vegetable-potato combo.

Colcannon vs Bubble and Squeak: Which is a Better Option?

Andrew Gray
Debating between Colcannon and Bubble and Squeak? Explore our insights to determine which traditional dish resonates more with your culinary desires.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Colcannon
  • Bubble and Squeak


  • Choose between two items based on your preference and availability.
  • Follow the cooking directions for your chosen option, using the appropriate ratio of ingredients.
  • Prepare it according to your desired recipes.
  • Incorporate them into your dish, adjusting the amount to suit your taste.
  • Enjoy the unique taste experience and experiment with different dishes to explore their versatility.
Keyword Colcannon vs Bubble and Squeak
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