What do Vegetarians eat on Burns Night? Haggis? Ay they do!

What do Vegetarians eat on Burns Night? Haggis? Ay they do!

Burns Night? What even is that? Well, if you are Scottish, then today, 25th January you would more than likely be celebrating “Burns Night”. Robert Burns (1759-1796) is the National Poet (Bard) of Scotland and his life and work is celebrated annually on this day (along with other things Scottish). There are ceremonies all over Scotland with the “haggis” being piped in (usually on a silver salver) to traditional Scottish bagpipes. I’ll let you find out yourselves what haggis is made from as it’s not traditionally vegetarian or vegan! so I’ve created a special Vegan, Gluten Free haggis for you! 🙂

Burns night ceremonies always include some of Burns’ poetry usually starting with ‘address to the haggis’ – this is a long poem created by Burns and forever linking him to the haggis. Here is a translation of the end of the poem:

You powers, who make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare,
Old Scotland wants no watery stuff,
That splashes in small wooden dishes;
But if you wish her grateful prayer,
Give her [Scotland] a Haggis!

Although, I do like the original Scottish version:

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis

So, there you have it! Haggis it is for today and its definitely not watery! This vegan and gluten free version is full of lentils, oats and plenty of spice… very very tasty! 🙂

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Sharing this with Deborah over at the Plant Based Potluck Party ? where my smoky veg bean chili is featured this week! 🙂 Also sharing with  Mary Ellen & Kimmy at Healthy Vegan Fridays Come and party with us and see what everyone else is bringing this week! ?

Haggis (Vegan & Free-From)

  • Servings: 5-6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


  • 200g green or brown lentils
  • 1 litre cold water
  • pinch of salt (I used sea salt flakes)
  • 20g (2 tablespoons) linseed (flax)
  • 90ml (8 tablespoons) water
  • 50g oats (gluten free if required)
  • Oil for frying (I used coconut oil)
  • 140g (2/3) leek quartered lengthways & chopped
  • 200g mushrooms diced
  • 140g (2 medium) carrots grated
  • 50g cashew nuts roughly chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules/salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I used pink Himalayan)


  1. Put the lentils in a large saucepan 1 litre cold water and a pinch of salt. Cover and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes (all the water should be absorbed by the lentils).
  2. Process the linseed in a food processor until you have a fine powder. Tip the linseed into a cup and add 90ml of water, stir and let stand (at least 15 minutes).
  3. Roughly blitz the oats in a food processor so you have some finer flour and some partial oats, then set aside.
  4. In a shallow pan melt some coconut oil and fry the leek until turning golden. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until they start changing colour and any liquid has reduced.
  5. Add the carrots to the lentil pan and allow to cook through for 5 minutes. Add the onion & mushroom to the lentil pan and mix to combine. Turn off the heat.
  6. Briefly brown the cashews in the frying pan (no need to wash it first). Add the cashews to the lentil mix.
  7. Add all of the herbs and spices to the pan, mix very well, and taste for seasoning.
  8. Stir the oats through, then pour in the linseed mix and ensure everything is thoroughly combined.
  9. Now you have your base haggis mixture, there are several ways to cook it: i) Get a sheet of baking paper and lightly grease it, make a large sausage shape of haggis across the centre (as thick as your fist), roll the haggis up and twist the ends. Place on a baking tray and bake for 30-45 minutes at Gas Mark 5 (375f / 190c). ii) Line a mould or ramekin dish with a double layer of cling film with enough overhanging the edge. Fill with the mixture pressing down well. Turn the mould upside down onto a greased (or lined) baking tray and using the edge of the clingfilm gently ease the haggis out. Repeat with the remaining mixture and bake for 15 minutes at Gas Mark 5 (375f /190c) or until browned. iii) Make the haggis into mini burger patties and lightly fry them in a pan.
  10. Enjoy!

Serve & Store

  • As is traditional with haggis, serve with neeps (yellow swede/turnip) and tatties (potatoes).
  • Any vegetables or grain would go well with this haggis.
  • Add some gravy or a tomato based sauce.
  • Eat with a fresh mixed salad.
  • Try the haggis cold, maybe in a sandwich.
  • Store refrigerated for up to five days.
  • Can be frozen before cooking for up to 2 months (shape first & wrap well).


  • Loretta 26th January 2017 at 19:40

    Thank you for that Robert Burns introduction at the beginning of your post. I must confess I’ve never eaten haggis, even though loved Scotland and the people 🙂 Your vegan version looks and sounds amazing with all the blend of so many spices.

    • Life Diet Health 27th January 2017 at 09:25

      Thanks Loretta 🙂 I don’t recall eating ‘real’ haggis either (having been vegetarian for over 20… or 25… or…giving my age away… years)! but Mum says we used to have it! This version is absolutely delicious and can also be frozen for a quick meal another time 🙂

  • MaryEllen@VNutrition 27th January 2017 at 17:48

    I saw Burns Night on social media and had no idea what people were talking about! So good to understand now!

    I’ve never had haggis (veg or meat) but I’ve always been curious. It looks really delicious!

    Thanks so much for linking up with us for Healthy Vegan Fridays! I’m Pinning and sharing!

    • Life Diet Health 27th January 2017 at 22:12

      Yes… bit of a random thing if you’ve never heard of it! This veg haggis is so delicious – think of it as like a meat(less) loaf! 🙂 Thanks again for hosting! 🙂

  • Vicki 27th January 2017 at 20:24

    This look yum-tastic!

    • Life Diet Health 27th January 2017 at 22:13

      Thanks Vicki 🙂 Love the name of your blog! 🙂 This haggis is so delicious:)

  • Sophie33 29th January 2017 at 21:49

    I love your vegetarian version way more then the original though! x

    • Life Diet Health 30th January 2017 at 12:51

      Oh yes Sophie… who would want to eat the real version! You should try this when you get time it’s SOOO good! 🙂 Nice to see you over here again, hope your year has started well. xxx

  • Deborah Smikle-Davis 2nd February 2017 at 19:56

    I love the idea of veganizing Haggis! There’s no need to miss out on any of our favorite dishes. It just takes a little creativity. Thank you for sharing What Vegetarians eat on Burns Night at the Plant-Based Potluck Party. I’m pinning and sharing.

    • Life Diet Health 2nd February 2017 at 20:16

      Thanks Deborah! 🙂 It’s an update on my first version and it’s sooo good! MUCH better than the ‘real thing’! As always, thanks for hosting! 🙂 x

  • Lone Wolf Breathes 15th February 2017 at 09:45

    Thanks for sharing this recipe for gluten free and dairy free haggis. I will be attempting this dish soon. Following you for more recipes just now. Stephen

    • Life Diet Health 15th February 2017 at 11:09

      Hello Stephen & welcome to Life Diet Health. I’m presuming you are following a dairy and gluten free diet? If so you’re in the right place! Let me know how your haggis turns out! 🙂

      • Lone Wolf Breathes 15th February 2017 at 11:48

        Yes dairy free and wheat free diet as much as possible, so I will be trying a few of your recipes. I will let you know how the haggis turns out also. Thanks for the welcome. ?

        • Life Diet Health 15th February 2017 at 17:15

          🙂 Excellent 🙂 Feel free to ask if you need any more ideas 🙂


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