Bonnie vegetarian haggis

So many people love vegetarian food these days, and quite right too cos it’s a far cry from nut cutlets and soya mince of old, and it’s very nutritious and better for the planet as a rule. Forget all that though, this bonnie vegetarian haggis is just unbelievably delicious, I had to stop myself eating the whole lot of mixture before I baked it.

This needs to be good and onion’y and peppery, it needs some robust shouty flavour to bring together all the other ingredients, so don’t skimp on those, or on the salt.

You can use this mix to stuff peppers with or to make veggie sausages. It’s beautiful with creamy mashed potato, mind you, what isn’t?
Serves: 6 • Prep time: 20 mins • Cook time: 60 mins • Easy 
Listen, don’t panic at this list of ingredients, I promise this is a major doddle to make!
  • 3 medium/large leeks, washed, topped, tailed and outer layer removed
  • 3 very large carrots, peeled, topped and tailed
  • 2 large white onions very finely chopped (I used a couple of large handfuls of frozen chopped onions cos I keep them in stock and find they have really good flavour)
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 1 tablespoon of allspice
  • 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
  • 100g fine oats
  • 75g regular oats
  • 150g cooked puy lentils
  • 100g cooked red lentils (Can microwave just-covered with boiling water, for 10 mins)
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 100g unsalted cashews finely chopped
  • good amount of sea salt (add some, taste the mixture and add more if you need to)
  • huge huge grindings of black pepper – this needs to be peppery!
  • 100g butter, or to make it vegan use enough olive oil to help bind it so it's not dry
  • olive oil
Heat the oven to 180 deg c. TBH I never know whether it’s C or F, it’s just 180 on my oven! I’ll find out…

Unless you’re an avid grater-of-things this is best made using a food processor with the finest grating attachment. You want the veg grated really finely so the mixture sticks together better.

In a big pan, like a large oval cast iron one, gently fry the onion, garlic and allspice in a massive glug of olive oil, til translucent. Mean time, using the food processor, finely grate the leeks, carrots and celery then add those to the pan, turn up the heat and cook for 10 mins til everything is softened.

Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the rest of the ingredients and another glug of olive oil – you need the butter and oil otherwise it’ll be like a great big biscuit! Taste it and add more salt and pepper if needed – remember this should be PEPPERY!

Butter a 6in (15cm) pudding basin and press the mixture in hard, you want it to be compacted. Place the bowl inside a cast iron cooking pot with 2in of boiling water in the base, put the lid on or cover with foil and bake for 60-70 mins.

Turn it out onto a plate and serve.

By the way, you can make mini haggises (haggii?) in small pudding basins, to prevent you from eating the whole giant haggis yourself, as I did.

For Christmas day you can roll it into a thick sausage shape and encase in puff pastry with holly leaf shapes on top, brush with egg (if not vegan) and bake until golden.

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Jing, Crivens, help ma boab! A vegetarian haggis the noo!
A Scottish person shocked at the violation of their national dish
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