How to Make a Full Scottish Breakfast

Gordon has been cooking and experimenting with food since childhood. He loves coming up with new and tasty culinary creations.

One of the many representations of a full Scottish breakfast

One of the many representations of a full Scottish breakfast

What Is a Full Scottish Breakfast?

The first thing that is important to know about a full Scottish breakfast is that the meal is more of a concept than a hard and fast recipe. Different people have different preferences as to what they like to be served on their plate. The principal difference between a full Scottish breakfast and a full English breakfast is the sausages. The type of sausages used may even be the absolute distinction between the two. In England, bangers are used in a fried breakfast, while in Scotland a Lorne sausage will be the type used. In some instances, however, both types of sausage will be served with a full Scottish breakfast.

Principal Cooking Utensils Required to Make a Full Scottish Breakfast

Principal Cooking Utensils Required to Make a Full Scottish Breakfast


  • 2 non-stick frying pans (One large and one small)
  • 2 plates
  • Wooden chopping board
  • A clean grill pan with wire rack for overhead grill
  • Chopping knife
  • Small glass bowl or cup
  • Egg cup
  • Cooking tongs
  • Spatula
  • 2' square sheet of tinfoil

Modern Scottish Food and Recipes

The Ingredients for a Full Scottish Breakfast

As previously mentioned, a full Scottish breakfast is very much open to individual interpretation, in terms of its ingredients. Below, however, are the ingredients you will require for the breakfast I have prepared on this occasion.

  • 2 beef link sausages
  • 1 Lorne sausage (sliced sausage)
  • 1 slice of black pudding
  • 2 rashers of bacon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 3 closed cup mushrooms
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Sunflower oil for frying
Link sausages, Lorne/sliced sausage, black pudding and bacon

Link sausages, Lorne/sliced sausage, black pudding and bacon

The Meat Components of a Full Scottish Breakfast

It is natural that the meat components of a full Scottish breakfast which will require the longest time to cook and they will thus require to be attended to first. Enough sunflower oil should be added to the large frying pan to comfortably cover the base and the link sausages only added. Please do not prick the sausages with a fork. All this serves to do is allow the juices and thus the flavour and moisture to run out in to the pan, leaving your cooked sausages dry and tasteless. Keep the heat under the pan very low and the sausages should not burst.

Frying the sausages and black pudding

Frying the sausages and black pudding

After 10 minutes, turn the links and add the Lorne sausage and black pudding to the pan. Put a plate in to your oven and turn the oven on to a very low heat. (Make sure the plate is ovenproof!) Turn the Lorne sausage and the black pudding after five minutes and cook for a further five minutes. This will mean 20 minutes of cooking time for the beef links and 10 minutes each for the Lorne sausage and black pudding.

Remove the plate from the oven with oven gloves and sit it on a wooden chopping board. Remove the sausages and black pudding from the frying pan with the cooking tongs and sit them on the plate. Still wearing the oven gloves, place the sheet of tinfoil (shiny side down) over the plate and tuck it in around the edges to form a seal. That will keep the items warm while the remainder of the breakfast is cooked.

Bread, egg, tomato and mushrooms for full Scottish breakfast

Bread, egg, tomato and mushrooms for full Scottish breakfast

Non-Meat Ingredients of a Full Scottish Breakfast

When the sausages and black pudding have been removed from the first frying pan, the tomato and mushrooms should be added. The tomato should be halved with a sharp knife and each half sat in the pan flesh (flat) side down. The mushrooms should be wiped clean and although I normally eat the stalks of mushrooms, when frying them, I remove and discard the stalks for easier cooking. The mushrooms should firstly be put in the pan with the cup uppermost and turned after two or three minutes.

The egg should be broken in to a small bowl or cup. This will make it much easier to pour it carefully on to the bread. A hole should be made in the centre of the bread with an egg cup and the small disc of bread discarded.

Frying the bread and egg

Frying the bread and egg

Sunflower oil should be added to the second frying pan and brought up to a medium heat. The bread should be added and the egg carefully poured on top so that the yolk sits in the hole. Do not move the bread around the pan in any way, as this will be likely to break the yolk at this early stage and spoil presentation. After around three minutes, very carefully turn the bread over with a spatula and fry for a further three minutes on the second side.

When the egg has been added to the pan, the bacon should be placed on a grill pan and under a hot grill for two to three minutes each side until done.

Full Scottish breakfast with tomato ketchup

Full Scottish breakfast with tomato ketchup

Plating Up a Full Scottish Breakfast

A full Scottish breakfast can be plated up in any desired fashion and this will of course largely depend upon the component ingredients. In this instance, I have uncovered the sausages and black pudding and transferred them to the serving plate. I have arranged the bacon as a bed for the bread and egg and sat the tomatoes and mushrooms around the plate at random. Tomato ketchup or HP Sauce is optional and is best placed on the table for people to help themselves.

More Optional Ingredients for a Full Scottish Breakfast

There are doubtlessly people who will read this and be horrified that I haven't incorporated such as tattie scones in my full Scottish breakfast recipe. The reason why I have omitted this most delectable of Scottish ingredients is simply that I wanted to make the egg and bread combination. That is not something which is typical of a full Scottish breakfast but rather my own creation. A traditional fried egg will normally be served, together with either fried bread or a fried tattie scone.

Equally, baked beans in tomato sauce may be a surprise omission. The reason for the omission here is that while I can eat baked beans at the right time, they are not something I personally like on my breakfast plate.

Fried onions are another option but again, they are something I prefer to include when my fry up is eaten at either lunch or dinner time, rather than first thing in the morning.

This page is designed as a starter for ten in many ways. Come up with your own ideas, explore the Web and see what else is often eaten as part of a full Scottish or full Englsh breakfast and experiment until you find the combination you and your family most prefer.


Rod Stewart on July 13, 2019:

When we had oor breakfast there wisni onything like tomatoes and mushrooms on the plate just McKellar Watt round slice and link sausages - a bit of black pudding,tattie scone a crumpet and an egg and beans were for a snack on toast efter school .

Gordon N Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on September 20, 2017:

Hi, Alison. Yes, agree with you that the haggis has to be sliced. I'm not overly keen on it as part of a breakfast but know a lot of people like it on the plate. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Alison Campbell on September 12, 2017:

Sliced haggis is most certainly an optional part of a Scottish breakfast. Has to be the sliced type fried or grilled. Good pair with black pudding. Clootie dumpling and pancakes are other fried options equivalent to the fruit pudding found in other parts of the UK.

I like my eggs done as you've done them but I started doing them that way after seeing the Cher film Moonstruck! LOL!

(born and bred Scottish btw)

Tonie Cook from USA on May 13, 2014:

Well, this page explains a lot. This daughter of a pedigree Scot grew up eating eggs prepared this way, and my mother always called it a "bird's nest." Until reading this lens, I never knew it was the Scot way of preparing an egg breakfast.

CoeGurl on January 30, 2013:

I look forward to visiting Scotland one day and eating a yummy Scottish breakfast!

miller83 on November 22, 2012:

This brings me back to my childhood. I was born and raised in Aberdeen so my breakfast also included butteries. Love the lens.

anonymous on September 18, 2012:

I have never eaten a Scottish breakfast, I am going to watch out for one on a visit to Scotland. Added to my wishlist.

AnnaleeBlysse on September 17, 2012:

Sure. Preferably in Scotland at some nice B&B!

Tonie Cook from USA on September 17, 2012:

With only a slight variation, I grew up with the breakfast you describe. Beautiful breakfast.

anonymous on June 10, 2012:

@Gordon N Hamilton: i was raised by a chef and its the way i was taught i actually have complained in a restaurant when they didn't add the haggis slice but as you say there are a lot of variants some people say you need a slice of clootie dumpling i tried once and my mother hit me with her slipper but i assure you i can even recommend a place where you can by haggis slices in dundee if ever you pass through fishing in the tay although i don't know if posting it is advertising (please feel free to remove this section if so falconers on happyhillock road dundee 3 for the sausage and slice yourself for ultimate choice of thickness ) but there are butchers whom do haggis in styles of cut and in sausages that are designed to be sliced for any one who doesn't know about clootie dumpling it's a bit like a large tea cake boiled in a clootie cloth for three hours then dried out in an oven or in a cupboard for a week and my mother makes the best :)

Gordon N Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on June 08, 2012:

@anonymous: Scottishchef, thank you for visiting and your comment - though I think you are pulling my leg :) You do know that I am Scottish? I have lived in various parts of Scotland and travelled extensively throughout Scotland, eating Scottish breakfasts over a period of many years, particularly when staying in hotels on my extensive sea fishing expeditions. I have never in my life heard of slices of haggis forming part of a full Scottish breakfast, anywhere in Scotland. Sorry!

anonymous on June 08, 2012:

ok you clarified an argument between me and my girlfriend i'm a fifer and shes dundonian we were arguing over sausage type i said both she said links but we do agree on something you missed two vital ingredients out haggis slice cook early it will lend its spices and season your oil when you get to the end you add butter to the pan fry mushrooms then last your potato scones they absorb the last flavors if you haven't tried this yet i advise on it

Gordon N Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on March 03, 2011:

@UKGhostwriter: Thank you, UKGhostwriter. I certainly think so! :)

UKGhostwriter on March 03, 2011:


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