For people who care about their food

A delicious vegetarian haggis

Well, I must be crazy trying to make a veggie haggis again after my disappointment with the Vegetarian Society’s recipe. But with Burns Night rapidly approaching on 25 January, I was determined to create a recipe for a tasty vegetarian haggis. And, at last, success on a plate. (As well as a wee dram as a reward.)

If any you haven’t been following my Not Delia blog, here’s the problem. I’m a Scot in exile and my local shop doesn’t sell haggis (I don’t know why not). I could possibly manage to get a neep but a tiny one costs about £6 in the posh supermarket with all the imported goods, so we’re going to have to improvise.

I’ve already managed to recreate bashed neeps using pumpkin but the quest to create an acceptable haggis has proved to be a bit more problematic.

Finally, I have found the Holy Grail. And I’m willing to share it with you. If you want a recipe for a more traditional haggis, there’s one on my other website as well as a humorous piece about a DIY Burns Night by Mike Clark.



I’m giving you the ingredients and method in two parts. You need two pans for this: one for the actual cooking of the “haggis” and one to prepare the things like the pearl barley and lentils. Ideally, you’ll be able to do both at once, but if not, then you can use the Pan 1 stuff as a prerequisite for Pan 2.

I made the haggis in a wok. Yeah, I know it’s not traditional but my Meyer professional wok just seemed to be ideal for the purpose. Hey! It worked, so don’t be afraid to try new things. This is not a difficult recipe, it’s just a little bit complex, and probably isn’t suitable for anyone who’s not an experienced, confident and competent cook. Good luck, and please let me know how you get on.

We got 16 small scoops out of this, so you could feed 16 as a starter. If it’s intended to be a main course then I’d guess you’d give larger portions and maybe feed six.

Ingredients – Pan 1

  • 1 veggie stock cube
  • 1 pint water
  • 50g pearl barley
  • 70g lentils (red and brown, mixed)

Method – Pan 1

Put the water into a pan and add the stock cube. Bring to the boil.

Wash the barley and lentils. (Stick them in a sieve and run water over them until the water’s clear.) Add the pearl barley to the boiling water and simmer for about 10 minutes until it’s starting to soften up a bit. Then add the lentils.

Continue to simmer until they’re all cooked.

Drain and reserve the liquid.
(You need extra liquid later in the process so you might as well keep back this stock.)

Set the pearl barley and lentils aside for the next step.

Ingredients – Pan 2 (the wok)

  • 1 tbsp butter (or vegetable oil for a vegan version)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 100g)
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped (about 50g)
  • 50g mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ tin kidney beans (150g-ish), mashed, but not too finely
  • 30g hazelnuts – chopped
  • 30g peanuts – chopped
  • 200g rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • salt and loads of freshly ground black pepper, to season

Method – Pan 2

Sweat off the chopped onion and carrot on a lowish heat on the stove top.

Add the mashed kidney beans and keep things going. If at any stage you look to be in danger of burning the stuff, just turn the heat off, add your ingredients, and bring it back to hot when you’re ready.

Now add the chopped nuts and the oatmeal. Add the stock you kept back from the barley and lentil mix.

Add the herbs and soy sauce.

Bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes, adding extra water as necessary.  Add the cooked barley and lentils towards the end of simmering.

Taste and season well with salt and pepper.

Serve with champit tatties, bashed neeps, and a wee dram for the gravy.

8 Responses to “A delicious vegetarian haggis”

  1. Not Delia

    Awa wi’ ye, Sassenach! It’s a wee dram of the water of life. 🙂

  2. Mike K-H

    That’s much more like it! why is it that so many English (British? Do Scottish vegetarians exist?) veggie recipes are both textureless and tasteless? Vegetarian Indian dishes have a wonderful range of tase and texture. If I were a veggie, that’s what i’d eat most of the time.

    Next challenge: can you think of a way to make a veggie skin to stuff your haggis mix into?

  3. Burns Night | BritishExpat

    […] there first commercially, and theirs is very good. But you can make your own, too – you can find a good recipe on our sister site, Not Delia. (You’ll also find the Vegetarian Society’s recipe on there, but we wouldn’t […]

  4. Bashed Neeps – the real thing | Not Delia

    […] planning on celebrating Burns Night this year and can’t get hold of a haggis, you can try my delicious vegetarian haggis recipe. Most of the ingredients are reasonably easy to come by wherever you are. Tags: Scottish […]

  5. Ben

    Thanks. I will try.
    Sorry – if recipes have to be stating the obvious, then this one doesn’t say when you add pan 1 to pan 2. Sorry.

  6. Not Delia

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for your comment. You’re right! I didn’t say when to add Pan 1 to Pan 2. I guess I thought it was obvious. Sorry.

    Well, it’s been a decade since I made this but looking at the recipe again, it seems to me that I cooked the barley and lentils separately because they would take longer than everything else. I wanted to add cooked barley and lentils to the mix (rather than than add them dried and hard). Thus I would add them into Pan 2 towards the end of the simmering stage.

    With Burns Night coming up I might have another go at making this. Meanwhile, I’ll edit the recipe above to say when to add the barley and lentils.

Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS