This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Rumbledethumps is the Scottish version of Irish colcannon and English bubble and squeak-all are potato and cabbage pies devised as a way to use up leftovers. It’s a dish to satisfy your craving for comfort food; rich and filling, it could be your ticket to fulfilling your dream of having just mashed potatoes for dinner. When Tom Walls, who was a Moosewood cook for many years, wrote his recipe for Rumbledethumps for Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant, he claimed to have tried all of over one zillion versions. Tom, try this one! Our hearty, luscious version is a rich casserole of leeks or onions and cheddar-mashed potatoes rumpled up with healthy chunks of cabbage and broccoli and topped with bubbly melted cheese. Some cooks add a pinch of nutmeg, others a spoonful of Dijon mustard. Sometimes, we swap kale for the cabbage or broccoli.


In place of cabbage or broccoli, use 5 cups of chopped kale.


If you want to prepare Rumbledethumps in advance of baking, assemble it, cover the baking pan with aluminum foil, and refrigerate. Bake, covered, at 350°F for 25 minutes, then uncover and either bake for another 15 minutes or place under the broiler to brown the top.

Serves4 to 6 as a main dish; 8 to 10 as a side

Preparation Time30 min

Preparation Time - Text30 minutes

Cooking Time15 min

Cooking Time - Text15



Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian


Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, savory

Type of Dishcasserole, vegetable


  • 6 cups peeled and chopped potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups chopped green cabbage
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups chopped leeks (3 medium leeks) or 2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk or reserved potato-cooking water
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Put the potatoes and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a covered soup pot with enough water to generously cover and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in another pot, blanch the cabbage and broccoli in boiling water until just tender, 6 or 7 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

  3. In a covered saucepan or skillet on medium-low heat, melt the butter, add the leeks or onions, and cook until soft. Set aside.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.

  5. When the potatoes are done, drain them, reserving a cup of the cooking water. Mash the potatoes in the pot that you cooked them in with the cream cheese and milk or potato-cooking water. The mashed potatoes should be fairly stiff and not too smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the cheddar, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and the mustard or nutmeg. Fold the cabbage, broccoli, and leeks into the potatoes until thoroughly mixed. Add the black pepper and season with more salt to taste. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan and top with the remaining cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, until thoroughly hot and golden brown, about 15 minutes.


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