Tasty Vegetarian Haggis Recipe

Vegetarian Haggis load on a chopping board

The idea of a vegetarian haggis recipe to some Scots is hard to compute and even unthinkable, let alone a haggis that’s vegan! Why fix what’s not broken after all? Times have changed a lot and opinions have moved on. Vegetarian haggis is now common in supermarkets and on menus across Scotland and the majority of Scots are accepting of this as an option to their national dish.

The traditional haggis has a uniquely rich and earthy peppery taste that lends itself perfectly to its most common accompaniments, Neeps and Tatties. So, I hear you cry, how can a vegetarian haggis recipe do justice to a dish that is famously made of offal, sheep’s stomach, heart and lungs to be exact, without those key ingredients?

Our answer was found by looking past the meat itself to the other traditional ingredients that make the dish so special. We wanted to recreate the rich flavour and texture that has seen the haggis stay a staple part of Scottish cuisine. The secret to the delicious taste of the traditional recipe and to our own vegetarian haggis recipe is in the spices, and we’re happy to share it with you.

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What is Veggie Haggis?

Simply put, veggie haggis is a meat-free recipe paying tribute to the famous Scottish Haggis. It is popular not just with vegetarians but also with people who do not find the traditional offal based dish appealing. Not everyone wants to try heart and lungs but many want to try haggis, vegetarian haggis at least allows these people to get a similar taste experience. 

Often the meat is the only thing removed from the traditions that follow haggis, it is still often served with Neeps and Tatties and suit a Creamy Whisky Sauce as much as the original! 

History of Vegetarian Haggis.

Vegetarian Haggis only became available in shops since the 80s, a blip in time considering the age of the traditional recipe, haggis was first mentioned back in the 15th Century! Since then it has gain popularity both in Scotland and further afield, particularly in places where meat-based haggis can’t be bought. 

Macsween’s Haggis, a favourite of Scottish Scran, claim to have introduced the vegetarian haggis recipe back in 1984 and they’ve stated that the veggie haggis now makes up to 25% of their sales. The rise in popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets is deemed the reason for this huge increase and it shows no sign of slowing down.

Vegetarian Haggis with neeps and tatties on a plate

What’s in our Vegetarian Haggis Recipe

There are so many different vegetarian haggis recipes using a wealth of different ingredients. As always we have tried to keep the recipe as traditional as possible, trying to achieve a veggie dish that celebrates the flavour of haggis. Below are our brief notes as to why we’ve included some of the vegetarian haggis recipe’s key elements. 

 Pinhead Oats and Split Peas

We used these to recreate the texture that traditional haggis has when cooked. Both pinhead oats and split peas both soften but don’t lose their shape completely giving the haggis the texture you’d expect.

Some recipes use red lentils or porridge oats but we found that these didn’t hold their shape creating more of a stewed mixture. If split peas are hard to find then you can use green lentils.  

Pinhead Oats

Portobello Mushrooms

Using these large earthy mushrooms gives the recipe a more wholesome flavour, the mushrooms have a stronger taste and middle fleshy texture.

Marmite

This famous British spread made from yeast extract is a fairly unique flavour and provides a real depth to the flavour balancing out some of the sweetness created by the other ingredients. It’s a big favourite with our little one so we always have a jar to hand but if you don’t have a jar brown sauce can be used and will still keep you haggis vegan. 

Black Treacle

This may surprise some people in such a savoury dish but Haggis does have a slightly sweet element to its flavour due to the offal used. You may not notice it in the final dish but combined with the marmite and the spices we use it really works and gives the recipe a greater depth. If you don’t have treacle to hand you can use a syrup but add it slowly and to taste, it’s very easy to overpower it.

Mace and Nutmeg

These spices appear in a few different traditional Scottish recipes including Scotch Pie. They work perfectly together the mace brings the peppery heat to the dish that is key to haggis and the Nutmeg balances it perfectly. 

We think this combination of flavours creates the depth and wholesome flavour that a traditional haggis offers. Our vegetarian haggis recipe isn’t trying to be Scotland’s version of Fakeon, a haggis replacement, but rather a stand-alone dish that serves up the amazing flavours that Haggis has provided for centuries. 

Vegetarian haggis on a chopping board

Does this vegetarian haggis recipe create a vegan haggis?

The recipe is one step away from making its haggis vegan and that step is butter. If you replace the use of butter with a vegan alternative then this dish is suitable for a vegan diet. As we use salted butter you may need to add a little more salt to taste but this depends on the alternative used to make the haggis vegan.

Things you’ll need to make our Vegetarian Haggis Recipe 

  • Loaf tin (or whichever tin or dish you have to hand to form the shape you’d like.) LINK
  • Digital Scales LINK
  • Measuring Jug LINK
  • Frying Pan LINK
  • Two saucepans
  • Spoon
  • Chopping board  LINK
  • Sharp Knife
  • Baking Tray
  • Tinfoil

Ingredients for our Vegetarian Haggis Recipe

  • 2 Large Portobello Mushrooms (approx 200g or ¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 1 Medium Sized Brown Onion
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 50g Salted Butter – replace to make the haggis vegan (¼ cup + 1 tbsp) – Split this in half.
  • 100g Pinhead Oatmeal (1 cups + 1 tbsp)
  • 55g Split Peas (¼ cup)
  • 55g Pearl Barley (¼ cup)
  • ½ tsp Mace
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Table Salt
  • ½ tsp Nutmeg
  • 600ml Vegetable Stock (1 cups + ½ cup + 3 tbsp) – We used 3 OXO Cubes
  • 1 ½ tsp Marmite (Heaped)
  • 1 ½ tsp Black Treacle (Heaped)

How to Make Vegetarian Haggis

Place your split peas and pearl barley into two separate saucepans and boil. Split peas for 25 mins and barley for 20 mins. We found it easier to start one five minutes after the other.

Grease your baking tin thoroughly, we used a loaf tin.

Once the split peas and barley are boiling take out a chopping board and roughly chop the portobello mushrooms

Finely chop the onion.

Grate your carrot.

Chopped carrot, onion, and mushroom ready for vegetarian haggis recipe

Heat your frying pan and, once hot, add 25g of butter.

Fry the onions in the butter until they begin to soften.

Add the chopped mushrooms.

Onion and mushroom frying in a pan for vegan haggis recipe

Once the mushrooms and onion are soft stir in the grated carrot.

Stir the mix together over a low heat until well mixed.

Make your stock, we crumbled 3 stock cubes into a measuring jug then, carefully add 600ml boiling water and stirred until cubes were fully dissolved.

Stir in the Marmite and Black Treacle until they both dissolve fully into the stock.

Add 400ml of the stock to the frying pan.

Add the Oats to the frying pan.

Add the salt, nutmeg, pepper and mace.

Continue to stir while gently heating.

Drain your Split Peas and Pearl Barley, if you haven’t already, add both to the frying pan. If they are still boiling then take the frying pan off the heat until they are ready to be added.

Allow the stock to reduce down, stirring gently.

Add 25g Butter and the remaining 200ml of stock.

Turn up the stove to a medium heat and cook the mix until the stock has reduced completely, stirring often to avoid it catching on the bottom of the frying pan.

Heat your oven to 180 degrees C.

When the mix is cooked through and the stock has reduced, taste to make sure flavour is balanced adding more spices, marmite or treacle as required. The flavour should be warming and peppery with an earthy undertone and a little sweetness.

Spoon the mix into the well-greased loaf tin and place into the preheated oven for 20-30mins, or until the top of the mix is crispy and darkened.

Once the haggis is cooked take it out of the oven

Place a length of tinfoil over the top of the haggis and then an upturned baking tray. Then, being careful not to burn your hands, hold the tray, foil and tin and gently turn it upside down so you end up with your haggis, out of the tin. on the foil on the baking tray.

Place this back in the oven for 2-5 mins to crisp the outside of the haggis.

Veggie Haggis on a chopping board

Variations

Chilli – Although our vegetarian haggis recipe has a strong peppery taste you can add a little chilli to really give it a kick. A pinch of chilli flakes was enough for us.

Seeds – To move the recipe a little closer to a nut roast the additions of pumpkins seeds will provide that nutty flavour and a little extra crunch. We suggest roasting them gently in the oven first before adding them to the mix before baking.

Brown Sauce – Haggis and brown sauce go together like chips and ketchup! You can add a little more to the mix instead of marmite or to the top of the haggis when you crisp the outside of the loaf.

We love eating our veggie haggis in a morning roll covered in brown sauce, give it a try it’s delicious!

Vegetarian Haggis in a bun with brown sauce

And there you have it, our vegetarian haggis recipe full of rich wholesome flavours and peppery goodness just lacking the meat, perfect!

Yield: 6

Vegetarian Haggis Recipe

Vegetarian Haggis with neeps and tatties on a plate

This vegetarian haggis recipe takes the traditional flavours of haggis and infuses them with a delicious mix of vegetables and grains to create a fantastic haggis substitute! It's also easy to make this a vegan haggis by substituting the butter. You can serve with neeps and tatties just like traditional haggis, in a stack, or even in a roll with some brown sauce. Delicious!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Portobello Mushrooms
  • 1 Medium Sized Brown Onion
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 50g Salted Butter (replace to make the haggis vegan)
  • 100g Pinhead Oatmeal
  • 55g Split Peas
  • 55g Pearl Barley
  • 1/2 tsp Mace
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 600ml Vegetable Stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp Marmite
  • 1 1/2 tsp Black Treacle

Instructions

  1. Place your split peas and pearl barley into two separate saucepans and boil. Split peas for 25 mins and barley for 20 mins. We found it easier to start one five minutes after the other.
  2. Grease your baking tin thoroughly, we used a loaf tin.
  3. Once the split peas and barley are boiling take out a chopping board and roughly chop the portobello mushrooms
  4. Finely chop the onion.
  5. Grate your carrot.
  6. Heat your frying pan and, once hot, add 25g of butter.
  7. Fry the onions in the butter until they begin to soften.
  8. Add the chopped mushrooms.
  9. Once the mushrooms and onion are soft stir in the grated carrot.
  10. Stir the mix together over a low heat until well mixed.
  11. Make your stock, we crumbled 3 stock cubes into a measuring jug then, carefully add 600ml boiling water and stirred until cubes were fully dissolved.
  12. Stir in the Marmite and Black Treacle until they both dissolve fully into the stock.
  13. Add the oats to the frying pan.
  14. Add 400ml of the stock to the frying pan.
  15. Add the salt, nutmeg, pepper and mace.
  16. Continue to stir while gently heating.
  17. Drain your Split Peas and Pearl Barley, if you haven't already, add both to the frying pan. If they are still boiling then take the frying pan off the heat until they are ready to be added.
  18. Allow the stock to reduce down, stirring gently.
  19. Add 25g Butter and the remaining 200ml of stock.
  20. Turn up the stove to a medium heat and cook the mix until the stock has reduced completely, stirring often to avoid it catching on the bottom of the frying pan.
  21. Heat your oven to 180 degrees C.
  22. When the mix is cooked through and the stock has reduced, taste to make sure flavour is balanced adding more spices, marmite or treacle as required. The flavour should be warming and peppery with an earthy undertone and a little sweetness.
  23. Spoon the mix into the well-greased loaf tin and place into the preheated oven for 20-30mins, or until the top of the mix is crispy and darkened.
  24. Once the haggis is cooked take it out of the oven
  25. Place a length of tin foil over the top of the haggis and then an upturned baking tray. Then, being careful not to burn your hands, hold the tray, foil and tin and gently turn it upside down so you end up with your haggis, out of the tin. on the foil on the baking tray.
  26. Place this back in the oven for 2-5 mins to crisp the outside of the haggis.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 119Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 588mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g

The nutritional data in this recipe is provided by a third party and these values are automatically calculated and offered for guidance only. Their accuracy is not guaranteed.

9 thoughts on “Tasty Vegetarian Haggis Recipe”

  1. Hello,
    GREAT to find y’all’s Scotts cooking page!! While looking over your vegetarian hagis recipe, noted the terms “mace”, “pinhead oats” and “black treacle”….what are these? We’re in the US and haven’t seen these before.

    Thank You,
    David and Paulla McLellan
    Georgia, USA

    Reply
    • Hi David and Paulla,

      Some great questions and kind words, thanks for both!

      Mace is a spice that comes from the same plant as nutmeg, you can get it in the States we understand but equally, you could swap it out for nutmeg. The flavour is not the same but similar.

      Pinhead oats are Steel-cut oats in the States, we think, and are readily available.

      Black treacle is, well black treacle! We think in the States it’s called Molasses or blackstrap Molasses but we could be wrong.

      We’ve tried for you guys, we hope this helps!

      Enjoy,
      Phil

      Reply

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