Healthy Food

Vegetarian haggis with neeps & tatties

4, with leftovers

Burns Night, celebrated on 25th January each year, wouldn’t be complete without poetry readings, a dram (or two) of whisky, and a laden table for a feast with friends. Haggis needn’t just be saved for this special celebration though: it’s a delicious dish to enjoy all year round. Some are squeamish about the sheep’s offal traditionally used to make haggis, so this vegetarian haggis recipe is a great alternative, while still being hearty and warming. A plate of haggis, vegetarian or not, wouldn’t be complete without a side of buttery neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes) and a jug of whisky sauce to top it off.


    For the haggis

    • 150g green lentils
    • 70g pearl barley
    • 30g butter
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 1 carrot, finely chopped
    • 250g chestnut mushrooms, chopped small
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
    • 1 1/2 tsp allspice
    • 1 tsp dried coriander
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • Pinch of nutmeg
    • 80g oatmeal
    • 250ml veggie stock
    • 50g chestnuts (cooked and peeled*), roughly chopped
    • 1 tsp Marmite
    • 1-2 tsp honey
    • Chives to garnish
    • Sea salt and black pepper

    For the neeps and tatties

    • 400g turnips
    • 400g potatoes
    • 4 tbsp butter
    • Handful of chives

    For the sauce

    • 2 tbsp pink peppercorns
    • 3 tbsp salted butter
    • 4 small shallots, finely sliced
    • 200ml whisky
    • 300ml crème fraîche
    • *We recommend Merchant Gourmet, from Waitrose.


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. To make the veggie haggis, cook the lentils and pearl barley in two separate pans, for around 35-40 minutes each, until the green lentils are soft and the pearl barley is cooked with a little bite.
    2. Melt the butter in a pan and add in the onions carrots and mushrooms. Cook over a medium heat for three to four minutes until they’re starting to caramelise, before adding in the garlic, allspice, dried coriander, black pepper and nutmeg.
    3. Drain the lentils and pearl barley, and add only the green lentils into the pan with the onions and carrots, along with the oatmeal. Add in half the vegetable stock, and stir well. Let it cook down until it’s thickened, adding more stock if needed. Mix in the pearl barley, chestnuts, Marmite and honey. Season to taste. Spoon the mixture into a buttered 2lb meatloaf tin. Cover it with foil. Pop in the oven for around 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 25 or so, until it’s crispy on top and firm in the middle.
    4. While the haggis is cooking, boil the turnips and potatoes in separate pans of salted water for around 20 to 25 minutes, until tender Drain and place back in their respective pans. In the turnip pan, add half the butter and mash until it’s smooth and creamy, adding more butter and seasoning to taste. In the potato pan, add the butter and chives, and roughly crush the potatoes. Season well.
    5. To make the sauce, (ideally ten minutes or so before serving), lightly toast the pink peppercorns in a dry saucepan for one or two minutes, until they start to give off an aroma. Remove from the pan and set to one side. Melt the butter in the saucepan over a medium-low heat before adding in the shallots. Cook the shallots for a minute or so until they’ve softened, before adding in the whisky. Up the heat to medium to let the whisky cook down. Add the peppercorns back into the pan and stir well before dolloping in the crème fraîche. Lower the heat and let it all melt together, stirring gently until it thickens. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
    6. Serve the haggis by cutting it into thick slices (one or two per person), with the mashed turnips, crushed potatoes and creamy whisky sauce. Sprinkle over the remaining chives to finish.