Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Gobble and Squeak": Pan-Fried Thanksgiving Leftovers Patties

Posting a recipe for enormous amounts of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, or some other traditional Thanksgiving food might seem an easy choice only a few days before the big day. However, I realized while planning this week’s recipe post that anyone who’ll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner probably already has their recipes in place and isn’t likely to change them at this late date. So I started thinking about recipes you’d want and, truth be told, the choice wasn’t all that difficult.


There are a lot of directions in which one can take Thanksgiving leftovers: sandwiches, of course. Casseroles, pot pies, and hash are just a few more that come to mind. Today I’m happy to give one of my favorite leftover recipes the Thanksgiving treatment.

I’ve posted on a traditional Bubble and Squeak before. Briefly, it’s a style of cooking that originated in England during World War II, when the British mainland was being hit hard and food shortages made it necessary to make the fullest use of everything they had. One result was made by chopping up whatever meat, potatoes, and vegetables were left over from the previous night’s meal, mixing them together to form a patty, and pan-frying it. Mostly likely as a result of the sound the patties seemed to make in the pan, the dish came to be known as “Bubble and Squeak.”

This week’s recipe takes a similar approach with typical Thanksgiving leftovers: turkey, vegetables, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Appropriately (I hope), I call it, Gobble and Squeak. And if you don’t have all the ingredients exactly the way they’re described in the recipe, feel free to improvise. This is more of a general method than a recipe calling for precise measurements. (In the photo above, I've served it with a simple Caesar salad on the side.)

So have some fun with this tasty, and just a bit different, way of serving those leftovers.

This recipe makes about 8 burger-size patties.

In a bowl, stir together 1-1/2 cups of leftover vegetables; 1 clove of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of mustard (I used spicy brown mustard); 2 tablespoons fresh chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried) sage; and 1 tablespoon fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) tarragon. Let the mixture rest for five minutes while the flavors blend.

Chop 1 pound of turkey into small pieces and mix with the other ingredients in the bowl till combined.

Stir in mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and stuffing in equal amounts, starting with ½ cup of each and adding more of each in equal amounts until the mixture has a texture that can be formed into patties. (For 1 pound of turkey I used a total of 1 cup of each.) Add salt and pepper to taste.

Optional step: If desired, mix in 2 egg substitute eggs and let the mixture rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before forming the patties. (This will make the mixture a little more cohesive while it’s cooking.)

Divide the mixture into 8 burger-size patties.

Coat a large skillet or grille pan with olive oil. Working in batches, cook the patties on both sides till browned. (I cooked mine about 3 minutes per side.)

Serve on a plate or a bun, topped with leftover cranberry sauce and optional cheese, add a salad or favorite side dish, and you've got a delicious meal that's easy to make!

Bonus Recipe: Just in case it turns out you do need a recipe for your Thanksgiving dinner, click here for a delicious Pecan Pie with Cranberries and Bourbon recipe I posted a while back.

Visit again next week for another good-tasting, kitchen-tested recipe using ingredients that are easy to find! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and kiss somebody you’re thankful for. After that, always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. Stopping by to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving, Ben! Your Gobble-and-Squeaks look great! Have a wonderful holiday.

  2. Thank you, Gloria, and I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving as well! It is always great to see you here. :-)

  3. these look great! hope you and yours had a great holiday-

    we made mac n cheese from scratch and went to t's folks.

    in other news i moved my blog- please come visit me at my new url


  4. Thank you, Alaina! You know, I can never hear anyone mention macaroni and cheese without wanting some. When my boys started college a few years back, I put together a mac-and-cheese casserole that included vegetables and meat to make sure they would be getting those too. Now you have me thinking I should post that some time, especially around the beginning of the school year.

    I'm just back from new blog. The raw depth of your from-the-heart-and-gut posts are always worth reading.

    Glad you had a good Thanksgiving. :-)