Bubble and Squeak with Vegan Cheese Sauce

Bubble and squeak is a bit of a British classic. A version of this dish is available at most greasy-spoon cafés across the UK (albeit not a very good version) and a lot of us grew up with it in our homes. Typically it’s a mash-up of leftover veg from a Sunday roast, which is then fried into a cake and served as another meal. We used to have ours with sausages and baked beans growing up and they were always made with whatever vegetables and potatoes happened to be cooking the day before.

They don’t, however, always have to involve leftovers. This recipe cooks everything from scratch to make the mix for frying. Potatoes and cabbage are, in my opinion, an essential base for this dish. A foundation, if you like, from which to build your flavours. In this recipe I have added celeriac to the potatoes and broccoli to the cabbage for our basic mix. I’ve then taken it a step further by frying some shallots with grated carrot and garlic.

Vegan cheese sauce is a great accompaniment to these bubble and squeak cakes. I’ve kept the sauce simple so that it can be made in just a couple of minutes while you’re keeping the cakes warm in the oven. I’m also serving it with garlic mushrooms, which you can cook at the same time as the sauce. In addition to being vegan, this recipe is entirely gluten-free, so everybody can enjoy it. Serve with a salad and you’ve got a delicious and light evening meal for any day of the week.

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vegan bubble and squeak

Bubble and Squeak with Vegan Cheese Sauce

Gluten Free
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Cooling time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4


For the Bubble and Squeak:

  • 1 kg potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
  • ½ celeriac peeled and diced
  • The leaves from ½ a cabbage about 180g
  • 1 small head broccoli cut into small florets
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 30 g vegan butter
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil or other flavourless oil
  • 4 shallots thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and grated
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 3 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme roughly chopped
  • Enough oil for shallow frying

For the Cheese Sauce:

  • 50 g vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp gram (chickpea) flour
  • 500 ml vegan milk
  • 1 veg stock cube
  • 3 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 75 g vegan cheese
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
  • 50 ml vegan cream

For the Garlic Mushrooms:

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 knob vegan butter
  • 6 large flat mushrooms, cut into large chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • A dash of vegan cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  • Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil, add the potatoes and celeriac and boil, with a lid on, for 10-12 minutes, until both are tender. Once they are cooked, transfer the veg to a large mixing bowl, using a slotted spoon to drain them over the pan so that you can keep the water. Mash the potato and celeriac in the bow with a potato masher. Set aside and keep the saucepan of water boiling.
  • Put the cabbage and the broccoli in the boiling water and boil, again with the lid on, for about 8-10 minutes, until tender. The broccoli will be quite soft, but this is ok. Drain thoroughly and add the greens to the potatoes and celeriac. Now season with the salt and pepper and ad the butter and nutmeg. Mix together, then set aside.
  • Heat a frying pan with a little oil and fry the shallots for 5-7 minutes, until soft and cooked through. Now add the grated carrot and the garlic and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Tip this in with the potato mix.
  • Now add the wholegrain mustard, nutritional yeast and the thyme and thoroughly mix with a spoon until completely combined. Allow to cool and firm up before cooking.
  • To cook, heat up a couple of spoonfuls of oil in a frying pan, until reasonably hot. Take a large spoonful of the potato mixture and place it gently into the pan. Press with the back of the spoon and neaten the edges to shape it into a round. Repeat this a couple more times until you have a few in the pan (my pan fitted 3). Cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side, on a medium heat, until they are golden brown all around.
  • Preheat the oven to gas 6/200C/400F and set the bubble and squeak cakes aside on a baking tray. Repeat the frying until all of the bubble and squeak mixture had been used up. Once your tray is full, place it in the middle of the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes or so.
  • While the cakes are cooking in the oven you can make the cheese sauce and fry the mushrooms.
  • Melt the vegan butter in a medium saucepan and then whisk in the gram flour. Keep whisking until all the lumps are gone. Now gradually add the vegan milk, whisking constantly again to prevent lumps forming. Bring the sauce up to boiling point and whisk in the stock cube, nutritional yeast and vegan cheese. Simmer gently for a minute or two to allow the cheese to melt and the flavours to infuse. The sauce will start to thicken at this point. Finally add the coriander and vegan cream and stir through. Simmer for another 2 minutes.
  • To make the garlic mushrooms, heat the oil in a frying pan and melt in the vegan butter. Fry the mushrooms for 8-10 minutes, on a medium-hight heat and stirring often, until they are browned and cooked through. Now add the chopped garlic and cook for another two minutes. Finally pour in the dash of vegan cream and simmer for a minute or so.
  • Serve immediately with the bubble and squeak, cheese sauce and a light salad.
Keyword bubble and squeak, vegan cheese sauce
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