Scottish food has been on the up and up for years. Some of the oldest Scottish foods you’ll find are still enjoyed across the country to this day. If all that tradition isn’t reason enough to try them, then the fantastic wealth of tastes, let alone produce, should have you chomping at the bit to make some of these recipes for yourself.
Scottish Foods and recipes are brimming with a wonderful variety of fantastic tastes steeped in hundreds of years of tradition. Some of these dishes you can still find enjoyed across Scotland to this day.
We’ve been creating and enjoying these recipes for years. Every one of the Scottish food recipes you’ll find below has been made in our kitchen, and we can’t wait for you to try them!
Why Try Scottish Food?
If all the traditions of Scottish Food aren’t reason enough to try them, then the rich flavours and aromas, the fantastic wealth of tastes from smokey to sweet, from hearty to delicate. On top of that, the fabulous homegrown fresh produce should have you chomping at the bit to try some of these recipes for yourself.
So whether you’re interested in Scottish Food because you’re planning a visit or excited to create some of its delicious dishes at home, we are here to help!
Why has Scottish Food got a bad reputation?
Scottish Food has had a bad rap over the years. This rap has long been untrue, but some raps are hard to shake. Scotland has been known for having fried, tasteless and simple foods.
Yes, Scotland serves some fried food, very well as it happens, but we’ll get to that. But it’s certainly not the whole story. Scottish recipes include so many tasty dishes, methods and ingredients that it deserves to shake off their bland reputation!
On top of this, there’s haggis, Scotland’s very famous national dish, which is very tasty. But some people assume all Scottish food is like haggis, which can put people off without trying anything else.
So here are 50+ of the best Scottish Food you can find when visiting Scotland or must-try dishes you’ll love to try at home.
We’ve kept it simple and divided them into Savoury and Sweet, there’s a lot to take in so make a cup of tea and enjoy!
Savoury Scottish Foods and Recipes:
Let’s start with potentially the most well-known but not necessarily the first of our Scottish foods people choose to try. Haggis is an odd one to those not used to it. However, there’s no getting around the fact that traditionally haggis is made from a sheep’s liver, heart, and lungs, minced and then mixed with suet and oatmeal and seasoned with a selection of spices. Then the mixture is packed into a sheep’s stomach and boiled.
Sound tasty? Well, actually, it is!
The ingredients alone put many people off from trying this famous Scottish food. However, Haggis is well worth sampling. It tastes peppery and wholesome, with an oaty texture.
Haggis is traditionally served with neeps (turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes) and often with a drizzle of a whisky sauce, meaning it’s very filling and warming. However, you can also try haggis bonbons (balls of haggis coated in breadcrumbs and fried), a great variation to this authentic Scottish food.
If you really can’t stomach the idea, there are delicious vegetarian options with similar taste and texture. It’s the perfect way to try this traditional dish while avoiding some of the traditional ingredients!
Lorne Sausage / Square Sausage
Lorne sausage is one of the easiest Scottish foods to describe. It’s sausage meat cut into a square but has no casing, which means it’s easy to make at home.
Why? We’re honestly not sure, but it does fit nicely into a Morning Roll with a little brown sauce and isn’t prone to rolling off your plate as part of your Full Scottish breakfast!
Many Scots refer to this as square sausage, but you’ll find it called Lorne sausage in some places too. The name’s origins are a little uncertain, with some attributing it to a Glasgow comedian who regularly joked about the square sausage or possibly to the district of Lorne, found in Argyll & Bute.
Scottish Morning Roll
Why would a bread roll feature on a list of amazing foods? Try a Scottish Morning Roll, and you’ll understand. These freshly baked, sometimes well-fired white bread rolls are a national institution.
These fluffy rolls are perfect for meaty fillings such as the Lorne sausage, bacon or an all-out breakfast filling (egg, sausage, bacon, hashbrown etc.) Our Facebook group requested this recipe so many times because getting the taste just right is an art.
The whole country loves the rolls, and our recipe recreates the taste of the morning rolls many would pick up as they were baked early in the morning.
A Full-Scottish Breakfast
We can’t look at Morning Rolls and Lorne Sausage without going all out. The Full-Scottish Breakfast is just a combination of the perfect foods to make one of the most enormous breakfasts you can eat.
Similar to the English Breakfast, what elements make up a Full Scottish breakfast are always open to debate. However, we would suggest they include a combination of the following: eggs, bacon, buttered toast, a fried slice, link sausage, tomatoes, black pudding, mushrooms, and, most controversially, hash browns and baked beans.
We know you may disagree with the last two, but we like them!
On top of this large amount of food, mostly fried, a Scottish breakfast can also include haggis, tattie scones, Lorne/square sausage and fruit pudding.
Forfar Bridies are the cornish pasty of Scottish food. A simple hand-held pie full of tasty minced beef pie, with some onions and seasoning thrown in for good measure. They are traditionally wrapped in a golden shortcrust pastry, though more modern recipes have flaky puff pastry.
This traditional recipe has been part of life in Scotland since the 18 or 19th century. It’s such a well-loved food that it is even being considered for protected status!
These tasty treats are straightforward to make and an excellent savoury snack or as part of a hearty meal.
Simply put, Butteries, also known as Rowies, are Scotland’s version of the croissant! Layers of pastry with a lard and butter mixture give these roll-shaped treats their delicious, wholesome, ‘croissanty’ taste.
Made originally in the Northeast of Scotland, Butteries were traditionally made for fishermen to enjoy while out at sea. The high-fat content and the Butteries’ more extended life, compared to bread, make a fisherman’s perfect snack.
We mentioned that Scotland does fried food very well earlier, and we weren’t lying! Britain is known for its fantastic fish and chips, and Scotland has taken that one step further. Now we know this isn’t the healthiest, but combining ingredients like fresh seafood with locally grown potatoes is always a winner.
But a Scottish chippie isn’t just about fish and chips. It seems in Scotland; no food is safe from the fryer. You can order battered sausages, pizzas, pies and burgers if they take your fancy. What you pop on your chips is also essential, we’re big fans of chippy sauce!
Don’t be afraid to try this cost-effective and tasty fast food if you’re in Scotland. You can even sometimes find a deep-fried Mars bar if you look hard enough.
Chicken Balmoral and Whisky Sauce
A classic Scottish food with a regal twist and a great way to try haggis for the first time! Chicken breast stuffed with haggis and then wrapped in bacon. Served with Potatoes and fresh vegetables and covered in a delicious creamy whisky sauce.
Chicken Balmoral is a firm family favourite and a great way to showcase Scotland’s best produce and flavours.
What makes Scottish food so much fun to cook and eat is how well it makes simple ingredients sing. Rumbledethumps does precisely that, despite its complicated name.
A wonderful mixture of creamy mashed potato, thinly sliced cabbage and sometimes fried onions. All this is mixed with a bit of seasoning and then topped with an excellent Scottish cheese.
Pop in the oven, and you will soon have a delicious side dish fit for any main course.
Another dish whose name doesn’t give you too much of a clue as to the ingredients. Clapshot is another dish, like Rumbledethumps, that uses simple ingredients to make a tasty side dish.
Clapshot originated in Orkney and, simply put, is a buttery mashed potato mixed with swede and chives stirred through, often with fried onions.
It’s a family favourite, cost-effective and a great partner to any Scottish main, especially taking haggis, neeps and tatties to the next level!
Mince and Tatties
If you’re talking to a Scottish person and ask them what food they ate when they were young, the perfect comfort food, there’s a good chance they’ll start talking about Mince and Tatties.
Minced beef, onions, and carrots mixed with a little flour and stock served with creamy mashed potatoes. Often served with peas if you’re looking for a traditional, rich-in-flavour Scottish food still enjoyed in homes today, this is up there with Stovies and Square sausage!
Bannocks are one of Scotland’s most historical recipes that is still enjoyed today, simply made from basic ingredients to give a wholesome and filling flavoursome scone-like bread, perfect warm with butter or for enjoying with soup.
Bannocks even feature. In the Outlander stories and Robert Burns writing.
It should be no surprise that whisky is on the list of Scottish foods to try, despite being a drink! It’s been one of Scotland’s critical exports for many years, and Scottish distillers are arguably the best in the world.
Made in oak barrels using excellent local water sources and ingredients, Scottish whiskies taste very distinctive, with different areas producing different tastes.
If you’re visiting Scotland, it’s worth doing a tour or tasting at a distillery to learn what makes whiskies in Scotland so unique from the experts. If you’re a local, then you’ll know all of this already! 😉
Scottish Salmon and Seafood
Much the same as whisky, Salmon is a world-famous Scottish food that lives up to its reputation and is Scotland’s biggest food export.
However you choose to enjoy it, Scottish salmon and Scottish seafood as a whole is a world leader and is certainly not to be missed!
We prefer it smoked and try to look out for local smokeries when we travel around Scotland. We’ve found some delicious salmon that only needs a good bread to make a wonderful meal. If you’re in the Outer Hebrides, for example, be sure to visit Uig Lodge on Lewis or try the Oyster Shed on Skye for some fantastic hot smoked salmon and fresh oysters.
Stovies is probably the food on this list that you’re least likely to come across if you’re visiting Scotland. This is because it’s more of a home-cooked favourite than a cafe or restaurant staple, and each family have their own way of making it.
It’s usually made on the stovetop, hence the name, and consists of potatoes, onions and left-over meat, sausages or even corned beef. It all goes in a pan/pot with a little stock to be served nice and hot! If you talk about comfort food in Scotland, Stovies will surely come up!
A tattie scone is a potato scone made from mashed potatoes and butter that is flattened and cooked on a hot gridle or pan. They can then be refried in butter to add a little extra taste and crispiness.
The tattie scone is the perfect addition to a cooked breakfast in a similar way to toast. It works well with every ingredient but is also fantastic to enjoy with a little salt, pepper, and brown sauce.
When we first talked about creating Scottish Scran, the tattie scone was brought up time and time again. So, of course, we had to come up with our own recipe!
Cullen what? Those new to Scottish foods may ask about the unusual name of this delicious fish dish. Cullen Skink is a rich and creamy smoked haddock soup made with milk, similar to a chowder. It’s a simple dish, but its secret is the smoky flavour the haddock brings.
It’s wonderfully filling and can quickly be served as a main meal and a starter.
You’ll find it on menus across Scotland, but we love it so much that we worked out how to make it at home! It’s easier than you’d think to make this packed-full-of-flavour soup.
Chicken Tikka Masala
This may stick out on this list and surprise many readers that it’s here at all! The Chicken Tikka Masala doesn’t sound like it began its life in Scotland, but Glasgow is very proud to be able to add the creation of the dish to its many claims to fame.
Though there are other claims to the origins of this curry, the Shish Mahal restaurant in the west end of Glasgow says it was invented there in 1971. So wherever this delicious dish came from, it has become the UK’s national dish!
Rich, creamy, and tomato-based, the Tikka Masala has a warmth to it but is not particularly spicy, which has helped it to become as popular as it is in a land where chilli doesn’t feature highly in many (if any!) other traditional Scottish foods.
Oatcakes are just as big a part of Scotland’s foods as porridge and have been part of the Scottish diet in some shape or form since Roman times.
Basically, they’re a cracker made of oats with a salty, earthy flavour that perfectly suits cheeses and chutneys, and you’ll see them in supermarkets and on cheese boards across the country. Tougher than you might expect, they can take a lot of cheese and chutney without breaking while offering their own unique taste and texture.
Gin has exploded in a big way globally, and this can be seen in Scotland, where over 70% of the UK’s gin is produced alone. In addition, distillers have realised that gin can be made much quicker than whisky, so many talented distillers have turned their hands to gin and gin liqueurs while they wait for their whisky to mature.
Like whisky, each area of Scotland seems to have its own gin range, with more and more exciting flavour combinations introduced daily.
It’s an exciting time for gin!
If you’re a dedicated gin fan, Scotland has some excellent distillery tours and gin tastings available that are a must-visit. We would suggest the Pickerings gin tour or the Edinburgh Gin distillery experience. We enjoyed both a lot.
The simple Scotch Pie is a gem of a snack. Hot water pastry supports a lamb-based filling leaving a space on the top of the pie perfect for any additional toppings or sauces you may fancy!
It’s generally accepted that the Scotch Pie has been made here in Scotland for at least the last four or five hundred years and has been traditionally filled with spiced mutton or minced lamb. While every recipe for the filling differs slightly, some common spices are used, including mace and nutmeg.
They’re meaty and delicious and generally relatively cost-effective. The crunch of the pastry and the spice of the meat all come together beautifully.
“Heart-warming” is an excellent way to describe many traditional Scottish foods, and it’s no wonder, thanks to the weather! Yes, the sun does exist in Scotland, but it doesn’t always like making an appearance.
So for those chillier days, Scotch Broth is the perfect Scottish recipe to try. It’s made with seasonal vegetables, barley, and braising beef or lamb cuts. Watch out for it as a starter in restaurants or on cafe menus for lunch.
Here’s a soup that does exactly what it says on the tin, Scottish potato soup warms you up, whatever the weather.
This recipe keeps it simple but bursting full of flavour. Far more flavour than you would give the simple potato credit for.
Sweet Scottish Foods and Recipes:
Cranachan was traditionally made to celebrate the raspberry harvest in June, and this simple yet delicious dessert is definitely a Scottish food you need to try! Combining sweet, fresh Scottish raspberries, thick cream, oats, whisky, and honey, it has been called the “King of Scottish desserts”.
You can use whatever measurements you like to make it, but here’s our recipe to get you started!
Ok, so Irn Bru is not technically a sweet in the dessert sense, but it is one Scottish food that stands up against the rest of the world. Scotland is proud to be one of the few countries in the world where Coca-cola isn’t the leading soft drink for sale.
As to what Irn Bru actually tastes like? That is a little tricky to explain! Some have described it as similar to cream soda; others say it’s like bubble gum, but neither seems to fit.
It has a unique taste, soft and sweet, bordering on sickly, with hints of citrus. You’ll find it sold everywhere in Scotland, and you might even see Irn Bru glaze, ice cream, cupcakes, or cake too. It’s also a well-known hangover cure!
Irn Bru continues to be the most popular in Scotland and is an excellent example of Scottish pride and loyalty, as well as a great-tasting drink.
Possibly the oldest and most Scottish recipe of all! Porridge can be traced back hundreds of years to roughly 600AD when oats were introduced to Scotland, the perfect place to grow them.
However, barley oats can be traced back even further in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland has been enjoying porridge for a VERY long time. There are even long-held superstitions about how to make your porridge, including that you should only stir it clockwise and with your right hand, or the devil will visit!
Whether made with milk or water, with added salt or sugar, porridge is wholesome, filling and a fantastic breakfast.
It’s good to see porridge making somewhat of a comeback too. Now, you can find porridge with many different toppings in cafes nationwide.
Healthy, historical, and hipster!
Tablet is the perfect Scottish food for those with a sweet tooth and one of our most popular recipes.
A wonderfully tasty, sugary sweet with a mildly grainy texture. Tablet’s closest rival to compare it to would be fudge, and we’ve seen it called Scottish fudge outside Scotland. The difference is in the texture, as fudge is a lot softer compared to Tablet’s more solid crumbly consistency.
Tablet is a delicious Scottish food. It melts in your mouth, goes wonderfully with coffee or tea as a little treat, and is perfect when you want something sweet!
Now everyone’s tried shortbread, right?
Shortbread obviously isn’t just found in Scotland, making it different to many of the items on this list of Scottish foods. It could be said that shortbread is the Scottish food that’s travelled the furthest around the world! Sweet, crumbly and deliciously buttery, shortbread is a fantastic biscuit that can be sadly overlooked in a selection box.
Scotland has been associated with shortbread for a long time. It was first made famous by Mary Queen of Scots in the 16th Century! In modern-day Scotland, you’ll find tartan boxes full of it sold in every tourist shop nationwide. It’s hard to get away from… but then you have to ask yourself why you want to!
Tipsy Laird is Scotland’s response to the English trifle swapping whisky for sherry. This light dessert is layers of jammy sponge, Scottish raspberries and strawberries, and tasty custard, all topped with whipped cream.
Apart from how fantastic it tastes, the best part of a Tipsy Laird is how easy it is to make. With the look of a complicated showstopper, Tipsy Laird is far from it. Build your layers, pop it in the fridge, and your Tipsy Laird can be finished just before your guests arrive.
The sweetness of the cream, jam and custard works perfectly with the tartness of the fruit and the subtle whisky flavours. We can’t recommend this dessert enough. It’s one of our favourite Scottish foods.
If you love baking, this Scottish classic will be right up your alley. Dundee cake is such an iconic bake, with its golden colour topped with a stunning design of roasted almonds.
At its heart, Dundee Cake is a rich Scottish fruitcake bursting with raisins, currants and almonds. Many recipes have also been known to add marmalade and peel. From time to time, a dash of whisky has featured too!
This alone makes for a delicious cake, but the addition of roasted almonds adds both a crunch and a burst of flavour that helps make Dundee cake such a firm favourite here in Scotland,
Scottish Macaroons are one of the strangest Scottish foods and are well-known across the country. The size of a truffle or often a bar shape, Scottish Macaroons are covered in chocolate and then rolled in coconut.
But the surprising ingredient is the humble potato. Yep, you read that right. Believe it or not, a Scottish Macaroon’s key ingredient is mashed potato! Mixed with icing (confectioners) sugar, this recipe turns your spud from a savoury side to a sweet treat you’ll love!
The Clootie Dumpling may be the most perfect recipe here to go with custard! Clootie Dumpling tastes a little like a Christmas Pudding. It’s a mix of dried fruits, spices, oatmeal and a little beef suet. The Dumpling mixture is then boiled in a “cloot” or cloth, giving it both its shape and its namesake.
The Clootie Dumpling has a rich deep flavour and dense sponge-like texture that fills the house when you’re making it. Clootie Dumpling is served all year round in Scotland, particularly during the holidays.
Flapjacks may not scream Scottish food to you at first glance. However, when made with delicious Scottish oats, we’re happy to include them in this list.
The first fruity flapjack was recorded in the UK in the early 1600s, which should add enough tradition for you too!
The real question is, how do you like your flapjack? Full of fruit and syrup or covered in chocolate? Luckily as big fans of this humble sweet treat, we’ve made both. Both recipes are so simple and great for making with the kids, but this does mean you have to share your flapjacks with them…
Empire biscuits are iconic. There are no two ways about it. Two round pieces of Scottish shortbread held together by jam, topped with a layer of icing and finished off with a glacé cherry (or dolly drop)
They stand out on any counter and taste fantastic. Another example, if you need one, of Scottish food using basic ingredients to make iconic and delicious dishes that stand the test of time. They may not have originated here, and the name may be debatable, but they are hugely popular here in Scotland. We strongly recommend you give them a go!
Ecclefechan Tart: Hard to say, easy to make, and scrumptious to eat! As Scottish foods go, these tempting tarts remain in the shadows. Some foods just haven’t found their way too far out of Scotland the same way Tablet or Shortbread has.
A perfect balance of dried fruit, sugar and butter, the humble Ecclefechan tart taste similar to a Christmas mince pie. They are so morish and deserve to be made across the world.
And for those of you wondering, you pronounce Ecclefechan – eh·kuhl·feh·kn.
Fly Cemetery / Scottish Fruit Slice
Being offered a Fly Cemetery in Scotland isn’t as unappetising as it might first sound. Another strangely named Scottish food proves once again to be a tasty treat.
Popular in bakeries and cafes across Scotland, a fly cemetery is simply a sandwich of shortcrust pastry with a filling of currants, sultanas and raisins. They taste like a Christmas mince pie but are much easier to make. Another recipe that’s great to make with little ones.
If you’re not making them with little ones, then feel free to add a dash of Scottish whisky to the filling. It really adds a tasty kick.
This Scottish food is a little out there but appears across Scotland during Hogmanay. There’s a good chance it will be the Scottish cake you’ve never heard of or even imagined.
Black Bun is a rich fruit cake full of fruit, spices and nuts. Think of a really flavoursome, uniced Christmas cake. While you think about that delicious cake, imagine it wrapped in a golden, buttery pastry.
Yep, this recipe is a pastry-covered fruitcake. And it is incredible! Appearing across the country during December and January, especially for Hogmanay and the first footing tradition.
If you want to try a Scottish food that might blow people’s minds, then this is the one. Taste great and looks like it should be a pie!
Scottish Sultana Loaf Cake
The perfect Scottish food to enjoy with a cup of tea, this Sultana Tea Loaf is light, fluffy and bursting with flavour.
This is a very typical Scottish cake to find in tea shops, but also in people’s homes if you visit someone. Why? Probably because it’s so easy to throw together and loved by all.
The final Scottish food recipe we think you’ll love is Caledonian Cream. This is a family recipe we’ve been served for years without even registering what an amazing Scottish recipe this is.
Once again, simple ingredients and a simple method lead to a fantastic taste! The combination of whipped cream and Scottish whisky with marmalade, sugar, lemon, or orange zest.
We hope you love this creamy dessert as much as we do, we always have some at Christmas, but it’s so moreish it pops up throughout the year!
So, there you have it, a wealth of wonderful Scottish foods and recipes that you need to taste to understand. Who knows, they may just become the firm family favourites for you that they are for us.
Have we missed anything? Have you tried any of the above? What’s your favourite? So many questions!
Do let us know. We love to hear about different Scottish dishes that we can recreate.
Phil & Sonja