Vegetarian haggis recipe

IMG_1925Deep-fried Mars bars, pies and haggis. That’s all us Scots eat. All washed down with Irn Bru or whisky. Sometimes both in the same glass (it’s actually surprisingly nice). Being a vegetarian, haggis was never on my radar growing up. For the uninformed, it is a rather bizarre conconction of all the bits of an animal you probably wouldn’t want to eat – like sheep’s stomach – but being thrifty even applies to foodstuffs in Scotland.

At school Burns Suppers I’d be slopped out out some soggy neeps ‘n’ tatties (turnip and potatoes) and had a rather uneventful meal. Burns never wrote Tae a Tattie after all. But then legendary haggis makers, Macsween’s, saw a gap in the market and were the first company to create a delicious vegetarian version, which is now loved by veggies, vegans and meat-eaters alike. As the Macsween’s nutty, spicy version is so delicious I didn’t really think to try and make my own until a few years ago a vegan friend told me how easy it is to make. So I decided to give it a go and it’s now one of my favourite dishes to make.

Not only can you have it straight up traditional with neeps ‘n’ tatties, but haggis is also super versatile and can be made into all sorts of other dishes – I’ve made haggis pizza, haggis lasagne, haggis pakoras and the allmighty haggis samosas before. So I recommend making a big batch so you can keep experimenting!

Haggis is meant to be nutty and peppery but if that’s not to your taste, you can change or omit these ingredients. I use hazelnuts and peanuts however you can use only peanuts, or subsitute hazelnuts for almonds. My recipe states 1 tbsp of ground black pepper but you can adjust that as required – I probably actually put more than that it as I love it peppery! Salt is definitely to taste, as you will get salt from the soy sauce and possibly the stock, depending on what type you use.

This is a really versatile dish, which usually has loads of leftovers that can be made into all sorts of new dishes including haggis pakora, samosas (just follow my standard samosa recipe), dumplings, sausage rolls, pizza or even stuffed in jacket potatoes or peppers. The world is your haggis-shaped oyster!


Vegetarian haggis

  • Servings: 6-8
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  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 6-8 mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2/3 cup red lentils (c.150g)
  • 1/2 tin of kidney beans, mashed
  • 2/3 cup oats (c.150g)
  • 50g hazelnuts
  • 75g peanuts
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper (or more of you like it spicy!)
  • Salt to taste


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat the oil in a large pan then cook the onions until soft. Add the carrots and mushrooms and cook until soft.

Add the lentils and the stock, bring to a boil then cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the lentils are cooked.

Add the kidney beans, oats, lemon juice, soy sauce, herbs, spices and a good load of pepper.

Finely chop the nuts, or grind them until small chunks but not completely ground, and add them to the mix.

The mixture should be thick but still a bit wet. If it’s sticking to the pan, add a little more water. Stir and simmer for 5-10 minutes, adding a little more water if it starts to stick. Taste and season accordingly (this is where I go mad on the pepper!).

Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish and cook for 20-30 minutes until crispy on the top. Serve with neeps ‘n’ tatties or any other favoured side.


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