New England Boiled Dinner is a hugely popular soup dish that warms the tummy and the heart. And while it’s a winter meal favorite of Bostonians and Mainers, this hearty soup will become yours too! Why? Because while this bubbles and squeak recipe holds very basic ingredients of potatoes, carrots, cabbage, ham and bacon, there’s other variations to make it your own! It’s great for home, hearth or even campfire!
With all this talk of the crazy weather happening all over the country this winter, there’s no better time than now to cook a big ole pot of comfort food.
Having lived up in northwestern Pennsylvania and coastal New England for many years, this was wholesome dish was our go-to dish for those cold and blustery days. And quite literally, this also became our ‘clean out the refrigerator’ meal when we had a little of this and a little of that that we didn’t want to throw away.
With lots of different variations, this became one of our happy favorites because it is super easy to make with just a few ingredients.
Welcome to our Nor’easter version of Bubbles and Squeak, New England Boiled Dinner recipe will warm and make your tummy gurgle with happiness!
New England Boiled Dinner – Great for Camping!
For this easy New England Boiled Dinner recipe, depending on how many you’re going to serve, you’ll need a big stock pot or 7+ quart cast iron dutch oven. Or if you prefer, you could go all electric and use your Instant Pot or Crock Pot.
So, let’s get to the good stuff!
1 large head of green cabbage
1 pound of Kielbasa
10 baby red bliss potatoes
1/2 pound carrots
3 T. of Chicken Better Than Bullion soup base
8 cups water
1 t. Cumin
1 T. Whole Pepper Corns
|♦ Did you know? Red potatoes are particularly healthy because of the thin, nutrient filled skins. Half of the fiber of a potato comes from the skin. They are loaded with fiber, B vitamins, iron and potassium. And because the skin on red potatoes is already super thin, it doesn’t detract from the taste or texture.|
By the way, you can, of course, substitute or add any of these ingredients to make it your own:
- Ham – chunks or cubes
- Corned beef brisket – set the whole thing in there; shred later
- Pork – chunks or cubes
- Lil’ Smokies – put ’em all in there!
- Black Beans – rinsed and drained
- Beets – some like ’em, some don’t
You’ll notice that I did not put salt in the ingredients list because there’s more than enough sodium in the sausage and bullion.
Soak the whole head of cabbage, potatoes and carrots in a 1:10 ratio of white vinegar to water for 10 minutes to remove dirt and clean God knows what else is on them (pesticides, germs from grocery store handlers, farm debris, etc.)
While your vegetables are soaking, fill your dutch oven with about 3″ of water and bring to a boil. Stir in the soup base until completely dissolved. Add another 3 cups of water and stir. Turn heat down to simmer. By the way Berkey water is the best!
Personally, I prefer to use reduced sodium organic Better Than Bullion chicken base over those hard bullion cubes or powder packets because, I just think it tastes better. You could also use a low sodium bone broth for a healthier alternative if you’re watching your sodium intake.
Once your vegetables are finished enjoying their spa bath, rub off any dirt and rinse under cold water. Then, place clean head of cabbage, potatoes and carrots on a clean towel and pat dry.
On a large cutting board, quarter the head of cabbage and then cut out the core out of quarter. Then, chunk into 1″ cubes. Quarter the potatoes and slice carrots into 1″ pieces.
Interjecting with some cooking advice, I love using those flexible plastic BPA-free cutting boards instead of wood cutting boards. While I love the look of wood cutting boards, they’re heavy and a bit of a pain to clean and sanitize. Whereas plastic boards are flexible. You can cut your ingredients and then lift the whole board; bending slightly to dump everything into your pot or container. But, for us living in an RV where weight is critical, those plastic cutting boards make much more sense anyway.
Alright, back to cooking our New England Boiled Dinner!
Slice your Kielbasa lengthwise and then cut into 1″ chunks. We prefer either Dickies or Hillshire Farms Kielbasa but you can use your own sausage preference.
Then toss all ingredients into your dutch oven or pot; sausage and veggies. Add in your spices and lightly toss to mix the ingredients in the pot. Now, fill the rest of the pot with water; about 2″ from the top.
Cover and turn up the heat to medium high until it starts to boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Simmer for about 3 hours; stirring occasionally. Serve hot either alone or with any deli bread, Texas toast or even cornbread.
The cool thing is all about making this New England Boiled Dinner your own special variation. Don’t think you have to be sold on exact prescribed ingredients.
The best part is this isn’t just a winter or cold weather soup meal. If you have small amounts of produce ingredients, this is the perfect way to use them up.
And lastly, you can also make this delicious New England Boiled Dinner recipe in a cast iron dutch oven over a campfire anytime!
♦ PRO TIP: Check out our RV Cooking Tips and Menu Planning for RV Kitchens.
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