Have you tried haggis? It seems like a right of passage for visitors to Scotland but many, Scots included, don’t realise just how many recipes for haggis there are.
It’s all well and good trying haggis on a Scottish breakfast or with neeps and tatties but this versatile national icon has so many more tricks up its sleeve that have to be tasted to be believed!
We were certainly guilty of thinking recipes for haggis were limited in number, but thankfully we decided to look into it further and tested lots of variations we couldn’t have been more wrong.
This post currently contains 32 haggis recipe ideas, but we already know we’ll continue to add even more!
What is haggis?
What is haggis is an interesting question, The simple is answer is haggis is Scotland’s national dish that has a meaty, peppery taste which goes perfectly with whisky.
A less well received answer by those not in the know is that haggis is indeed Scotland’s national dish and it’s made by adding oats, suet, onion and herbs to the minced lungs, liver and heart of a sheep. The mix is then seasoned with spices like pepper and nutmeg and traditionally packed into a sheep’s stomach to be cooked.
It’s at this point haggis can lose potential fans who are put off by its offal ingredients, pun intended. The dish was created to make sure every part of an animal is used and none goes to waste, especially when times are hard. It’s a humble dish that has become a national icon which deserves at least a taste and we really recommend giving it a go in some form.
If you’re not a meat eater or just plain don’t want to try, then there are now some great veggie/vegan haggis alternatives that aim to recreate the peppery taste of original haggis, and these can be substituted in any of the below haggis recipes.
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What does haggis taste like?
Haggis has a very savoury, peppery flavour that is all about the spices and seasoning rather than the meat elements themselves. The haggis’s rustic and almost dry texture that is enhanced by the oats and go perfectly with the obvious meatiness that shines through. And the wholesome and warming after taste is what keeps people coming back for more.
How to cook haggis
Haggis can be cooked in a few different ways, and usually these will be specified on whatever one you buy.
Traditionally it was gently boiled in the skin in a pot on the stove, or it can be wrapped in foil and sat in an oven dish with a little water to bake in the oven. Both of these methods take at least an hour or more dependent on the size of the haggis.
The easiest way to cook it, especially if you are using it in another haggis recipe and don’t want to add more cooking time, is to cook it for just a few minutes in the microwave!
You can also slice and fry it too, although it’s then usually eaten as is and not added to another recipe.
Haggis Recipe Ideas
So now you have an idea about haggis, what it is and what it tastes like you can see how many different dishes this versatile dish can be used in.
1. Haggis, Neeps & Tatties Stack
We’ll start with the traditional and most common, haggis, neeps and tatties – haggis in its most purist form.
The neeps (swede) and tatties (potato, in this case mashed) are perfect accompaniments to the star of the show. Both are subtle, soft and smooth, balancing the rougher, stronger taste of the haggis itself.
You will find this on menus across Scotland and it’s is a great way to try haggis exactly as it will enjoy on Burns Night, around the world.
2. Haggis Shepherds Pie
Like many of the recipes that see haggis fit in perfectly a haggis shepherds pie simply replaces mince with either just haggis or a mix of Scotch lamb mince and haggis. Cook as you would normally and maybe even add a little cheese to your potato topping for a burst of flavour.
3. Haggis, Neeps, & Tatties Pie
Continuing the neeps and tatties theme, If you want to take your shepherds pie a step further then add some neeps to your mashed tatties for a haggis neeps and tatties pie. Perfect for Burns night.
Either mix the neeps and tatties together, or layer one on top of the other and then you can serve it like an easy square version of a stack!
4. Haggis Parcels
These tasty parcels make a great starter or party food if you make mini ones.
Cut filo pastry into squares. Lay down one square and brush with melted butter. Put another square on top and brush again, add one more layer and do not brush.
Put the haggis, along with a little seasoned mash of neeps and tatties (optional) in the centre of the pastry and then gather the edges of the pastry up to form a ball in the centre with the excess pastry at the top, like a money bag shape, twisting to seal it.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 200C/400F.
These are best with a dipping sauce. You can try a warm whisky sauce (our recipe is here) or something a bit different like chilli or plum sauce.
5. Balmoral Chicken
Chicken Balmoral is simple a chicken breast sliced down one side, almost the whole way through but not quite, stuff it full of haggis and then wrap it in bacon. Give it a quick fry then pop it in the oven.
Chicken, bacon, haggis. What’s not to like!
We love serving it with a creamy whisky sauce along with neeps and tatties but this also works really well with all of the trimmings you would find with a roast dinner. Yum!
Find our Balmoral Chicken Recipe here.
6. Haggis & Cheese Toastie
This one is self explanatory but dear lord it is sooooo good!
Sonja first had this from a sandwich shop near Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, and has been recreating it ever since. It’s especially good with some caramelised onion chutney or sriracha sauce if you like something a bit spicy.
7. Haggis Baked Potato with Whisky Sauce
This doesn’t sound like it should work but on a hungover journey through the highlands Sonja discovered this in a small pub and it did wonders, although it’s great any other time too of course!
Bake a potato as usual, and cook the haggis according to package directions and liberally spoon over the top of the open potato.
The whisky sauce is very similar to our own (recipe here) and covers the potato and haggis perfectly. Warming and creamy the haggis brings the peppery bite that the dish needs.
8. Haggis Bolognese
For a delicious peppery bolognese sauce, use a mixture of haggis and scotch beef in your favourite bolognese recipe. We love the combination of the peppery haggis with the tomato sauce!
9. Haggis Meatballs (with Two Sauce Options)
Just like we made bolognese with haggis, we’ve also taken the classic meatballs and spaghetti dish and switched out some of the meat for haggis! Use either a classic tomato sauce or switch it up with some sautéed mushrooms and a whisky cream sauce.
10. Haggis Bon Bons
These may well be the perfect Scottish Canapé!
Break your haggis up then roll it into balls and put it to one side. Get three bowls, one of flour one of beaten eggs and one of breadcrumbs – we like to add smokey paprika and parmesan to this. Then 2 or three at a time dip them in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and fry. Easy!
For more information you can find our recipe for these tasty treats here.
11. Haggis, Neeps, & Tattie Cakes
Mix Haggis with mashed potato and mashed neep (swede) – we use about 2 parts haggis to one part mash. Make them into burger-shaped patties and chill for around 30 minutes to help them hold together.
Next coat with flour, dip in beaten egg and then breadcrumbs and fry on both sides until golden brown.
They’re delicious with a whisky sauce or use in place of a burger. These are especially good as a vegetarian burger option if you use vegetarian haggis.
12. Haggis Lasagne
Another easy swap out to make a classically iItalian dish taste a little more Scottish.
Like the Shepherds pie, you can use just haggis in place of the meat, or a mix of what you usually use and haggis. We recommend both! It gives the lasagne a lovely peppery taste, thanks to the haggis.
13. Haggis Burrito
A Scottish and Mexican fusion! You’ll find this in Burrito shops across Scotland but it’s also a super easy one to make at home. Mix your favourite burrito spices with some haggis (again, also meat if you don’t want just haggis), some rice, guacamole, tomatoes, salsa, whatever you like in a burrito, and you’re good to go!
14. Haggis Burgers
These burgers are SO easy to put together and we love to grill them on the BBQ for that something a little extra.
Mix equal parts Aberdeen Angus Beef and haggis together and hand a few tablespoons of grated mature cheddar cheese per burger (optional), form into patties, and then grill on the BBQ or in the oven, or cook in a fry pan. Put in a burger with all your favourite toppings!
15. Haggis & Macaroni Scotch Pie
The Macaroni Pie is fairly divisive. You either love them or hate them! However, they can be found in bakeries across Scotland and are also easy to make at home (check out our recipe here).
We decided to take this beautiful pie one step further by adding a layer of haggis to the bottom of the hot water pastry.
Like a Scotch Pie, but without a lid (we have a recipe for these too), you can eat these hot or cold and enjoy each and every mouthful of cheesy, meaty goodness!
16. Haggis Sausage Rolls
This a simple but effective way of making a sausage roll just a little more Scottish!
Crumble your haggis and mix it with sausage meat. Take some ready rolled puff pastry and cut a sheet in half. Smear each half with mustard or piccalilli then add your filling, roll so the seam is underneath.
Brush over with a beaten egg for a little extra shine with a scattering of sesame or poppy seeds if you fancy it.
If you want a smaller roll, slice to the size you’re after. Cook for 15 – 20 mins or so , until golden brown. Perfect!
17. Haggis Macaroni Cheese
We first tried this combination in our Macaroni Scotch Pie, but you can definitely have it on it’s own! Cook your macaroni cheese as you usually would, and then mix through cooked haggis or break into chunks on the top of the dish.
18. Haggis Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
This was an idea shared with us by Cindy, a lovely member of our Facebook group.
Cook the haggis as normal and pop your mushrooms in the oven with a little olive oil until they soften.
Remove the mushrooms and stuff them with your haggis, then top with a little chevre (goats cheese) and buttered breadcrumbs.
Give it another drizzle of oil and return to the oven for about 15 mins or so.
Once done, Cindy suggests, drizzling a little balsamic glaze or a few drops of pomegranate molasses.
19. Haggis Stovies
If we thought writing about Macaroni Pies on our Scran social channels was controversial posting about Stovies was downright dangerous!
Everyone in Scotland has an opinion on Stovies, and everyone’s Mum makes them best.
We try to go through as many variations as possible and adding haggis in place of or alongside your left-over meat really adds a kick. Just crumble in the haggis when you add your potato then carry on cooking until they’re all cooked through and broken down.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of Stovies or your mum wasn’t up to speed with all the variations you can find out more about them and lots of Stovie recipe variations here.
20. Haggis Koftas
And now we’re going for a Greek/Scottish fusion!
Combine 300g crumbled haggis with 300g lamb mince. Add 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp tumeric, 2 garlic gloves minced or grated, and 1 onion grated.
Mix well and form into sausages. Chill to allow them to firm up, and then put onto skewers (soak in water if you’re cooking right away as this helps them to not burn).
Grill in a griddle pan or on the BBQ for around 5-7 minutes each side, until cooked through.
Serve with a mint and natural yoghurt dip.
21. Haggis Gnocchi (with Neeps & Whisky Sauce)
Basically, anything that involves potatoes can be turned into something that involves neeps and haggis too, so why not some haggis gnocchi?
You’ll need to precook your Haggis according to the package instructions, and then we suggest making up a big batch of whisky sauce too. Not too much whisky this time though as it’s more of a “pasta” sauce this time! Cook it in a large pan on the stove.
Cook the gnocchi in a pot of boiling water as per the instructions also, then add it to the whisky sauce alongside the cooked haggis. And that’s it! You can also boil up some cubes of neeps (swede) and add those too for a little variation, and to complete the classic trio.
22. Steak, Sausage, & Haggis Pie
Having a steak pie on New Years Day is a Scottish tradition we’re happy to take part in year on year. Many people buy these pies at their local butchers (with or without sausage) but we do enjoy making our own.
Adding haggis to this already delicious pie couldn’t be simpler and adds a little pepper to this rich filling. We add our sausages partway through the cooking of the pie filling and would suggest adding the haggis then so it doesn’t break down too much.
You can find our Steak Pie recipe here, make your pie a day or so early to avoid having to make it after a ‘busy’ Hogmanay evening!
23. Haggis Scotch Eggs
Despite their name, Scotch Eggs are not actually a Scottish invention! Like many of our recipes, there are several origin stories. Some say they were invented by William J Scott & Sons in Yorkshire in England, and others by Fortnum & Mason in London.
In any case, they’re a delicious snack and perfect to eat on the go.
To make Haggis Scotch Eggs you’ll need to boil 6 eggs for about 6 minutes, then put in cold/ice water to cool completely.
Meanwhile, mix up about 600g haggis with one egg, or a mixture of haggis and sausage meat if you wish. Divide into 6 and flatten out each one onto your kitchen surface, into ovals around 20cm or so, depending on the thickness desired (usually around half an inch or so).
Use wet hands to form the meat around the egg, ensuring it’s smooth and any holes are sealed. Chill for around half an hour.
Roll each egg in a thin coating of flour, dip in beaten egg, and then in golden breadcrumbs. Deep fry for around 6 minutes until golden brown, or in oil in a fry pan, turning frequently. If they brown too quickly you can finish them off in the oven instead.
24. Haggis Loaded Fries
We have to admit that this and the following recipe for haggis are thanks to one of our favourite Edinburgh pubs – Teuchters Landing. They do amazing loaded fries and nachos, and their haggis version is our favourite!
This can be as simple or as complicated as you like. Cook up some fries and top with haggis and melted cheese at the very least, and serve with your favourite dip (brown sauce recommended!).
We also like to chuck some jalapeños on, or basically any other nacho topping too, but more on that next…
25. Haggis Nachos
In our opinion, nachos need to have all the trimmings, and haggis nachos are no exception. That means sour cream, salsa, guacamole, jalapeños, and plenty of melted cheese. And in this case, haggis too!
Pre-cook the haggis before putting it on top of a pile of corn chips, smothering it in grated cheese and grilling it until it melts, then serving with all of the above piled on the top.
26. Haggis Bridies
We love our traditional Scottish Bridies recipe, but there’s something to be said for mixing things up a little bit too. So why not use the same method and make a Haggis Bridie?!
Once again you can use just haggis, or mix it with beef mince (Aberdeen Angus is best, of course!) a little beef stock and some mustard powder too. See our original Bridie recipe for all the details, just substitute the meat!
27. Haggis Stuffed Peppers
This is a great option for using both meat and meat-free haggis.
Cut peppers in half and either boil for 5 minutes or grill, outside facing up (this gives a bit more flavour) until softened.
Meanwhile cook the haggis according to packet instructions.
Now is where you can get creative. Mix the haggis with rice, feta, or mozzarella, and any extra herbs or spices you’d like or even just leave it on its own for the ultimate haggis flavour.
Fill the pepper halves, top with a little cheese (crumbled feta, cheddar, mozzarella, it’s up to you) and grill for another 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.
28. Haggis Pakora
Another fusion food, this time between Scotland and India! It’s no secret that Chicken Tikka Masala was supposedly invented in Glasgow, but there’s no reason why we can’t also adapt another Indian recipe and give it a Scottish flair. Enter, Haggis Pakora.
Pakora is often sold by street vendors in India and is popular in restaurants too. It usually consists of meat or vegetables like potatoes and onions that are coated in a batter made from gram flour (chickpea flour) and deep fried.
In this case, we take chunks of haggis and do the same! It’s delicious served with a chilli or raita (yoghurt and mint) dip.
29. Full Scottish Breakfast
How could we not mention a Full Scottish Breakfast when talking about haggis recipes? Its often the way many people try haggis for the first time. Haggis is one of the ingredients we would consider integral to a Scottish breakfast, alongside tattie scones, square sausage, and all the usual suspects like egg, toast, and beans.
You can read more about all things Scottish Breakfast related in our post here, and find out how to cook your own.
30. Haggis Cannelloni
Haggis just seems to go so well with many Italian classics, so why not cannelloni?
Put haggis (with a mix of beef mince if you like) inside cannelloni tubes, cover with a tomato sauce and grated cheese, and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes until the pasta is soft.
31. Cheese and Haggis Scone Swirls
This one is a little different – using haggis in baking!
Pre-cook the haggis as per instructions, then make up our scone mix.
Instead of dividing up into individual scones press the scone mix out a bit thinner and in a rectangle shape. Spread a thin layer of haggis over it and then sprinkle over grated mature cheddar cheese.
Roll from the short side of the rectangle, and then slice into rounds. Lay out on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes as usual, and you have haggis scone swirls! Best eaten just out of the oven or warmed up.
32. Haggis Eggs Benedict
This is definitely a favourite of Sonja’s whenever it’s on a breakfast menu, but it’s also easy enough to make your own!
Eggs Benedict usually consists of an English muffin topped with bacon and a poached egg, and liberally slathered with hollandaise sauce.
For this version, replace the bacon with haggis rounds which you can fry in a pan. If you want you can also replace the English muffin with a tattie scone or two!
Hollandaise sauce can usually be bought at the supermarket, or make your own using a recipe like this one.
And that’s our list of recipes for haggis so far! We imagine that we’ll continue to add many more.
How many have you tried?
Phil & Sonja