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What Is Hubble Bubble?

By Angela Farrer
Updated May 16, 2024
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Hubble bubble is a dish that is most commonly found in English cuisine, and it is made from a mixed variety of foods often left over from previously prepared meals such as oven-roasted beef with vegetables, rice, or potatoes. Popular hubble bubble ingredients can be cabbage, carrots, green peas, and brussels sprouts as well as mashed or boiled potatoes. Leftover meat can be included in this dish, though this practice tends to be less frequent among home cooks. This recipe is a variation on another English dish called bubble and squeak; the difference with hubble bubble is usually the addition of baked beans and either tomato sauce or ketchup to the vegetables for more flavor and protein.

The first recipes for these kinds of mixed dishes can be traced to the early 19th century, although they did not become well known until the mid-20th century. Bubble and squeak became a common meal prepared in many homes during the Second World War to avoid wasting rationed food. The dish gets its unique name from the sounds that the cooking vegetables and potatoes make in their covered stove top pan. Hubble bubble recipe ideas bring more creativity to the original bubble and squeak recipes as more home cooks find that their leftover favorite foods work just as well in this dish.

Some versions of hubble bubble can be classified as rice dishes rather than potato dishes. Cooks who prefer a lighter recipe with lower amounts of starch may mix precooked wild rice or brown rice with their choices of meat, vegetables, and baked beans. Additional flavoring can come from cooked ingredients such as bacon, onions, leeks, squash, and pumpkin. While many of these recipes can be made on the stove, others can also be reheated in a microwave as long as everything has been cooked beforehand.

While hubble bubble made with beans and tomato sauce is usually a dish for a meal in the afternoon or evening, some cooks have also developed breakfast versions as well. These can be made with flat sausage, bacon, sliced potatoes, and scrambled eggs mixed with a small amount of milk. Onions or shallots along with salt and pepper can be added for further flavor dimension. Breakfast hubble bubble recipes often have instructions to bake the onion, bacon, sausage and potato slices in the oven while cooking the milk and egg mixture in a skillet on the stove top. The ingredients are then usually layered on top of one another just before serving.

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Discussion Comments

By julies — On Jul 11, 2012

Reading about all these different ways to make hubble bubble is making me hungry. My aunt is the one who first introduced me to hubble bubble. She had spent some time over in England, and came home with some great recipes.

Before that I had never heard of this before. I have only made a traditional hubble bubble with potatoes, bacon and pork sausage. I add onion, milk and eggs, along with seasoning to taste.

This is one of those meals that really hits the spot on a cold or damp day. Served with a salad or warm bread, and this is comfort food at its best.

By andee — On Jul 11, 2012
I have never tried a breakfast bubble bubble, but we make one with pumpkin that my whole family loves. We usually only make this in the fall, and it is always a big hit.

At first you wouldn't think that leeks, bacon and pumpkin would taste very good mixed together, but they really do. I make my hubble bubble with rice and even my pickiest eater will eat it which I found hard to believe the first time.

If you are looking for something different to make, but yet want something that is simple and hearty, a good hubble bubble recipe may be just what you are looking for.

By bagley79 — On Jul 10, 2012

I have never heard of hubble bubble before but it sounds like I make something similar to this a couple times a month. At the end of the week I like to see what I have left over in the refrigerator and make a meal of it.

This seems to work better in the winter when I can add a lot of these ingredients to a soup or stew. Sometimes this turns out better than others depending on the ingredients I have on hand.

I like the idea of adding beans to this dish. They are a great source of fiber and protein and I have been looking for more ways to include them in my diet.

Making hubble bubble sounds like something that you can't really go wrong with. As long as you start out with ingredients you like and add the right amount of seasonings, it sounds like it would be very good.

By Mykol — On Jul 10, 2012

The hubble bubble breakfast recipes sound fantastic. There are many times when I will fix a breakfast dish in the evening. These are usually quick to prepare and are a good source of protein that leave you feeling full and satisfied.

My kids would also love the name of this, but would probably think I came up with the name myself. The other hubble bubble recipes sound like they would work great for leftovers.

I have never had very good luck trying to feed my family leftovers. Even if I gave it a creative name like this, I don't think they would touch it. The breakfast version of hubble bubble is probably one they would enjoy, so I will have to see if I can find a recipe online.

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