What is life without good food? Inspired by home cooking and travel, I create easy recipes for the everyday.
My comforting vegetarian haggis shepherd’s pie is British food at its best. This recipe is so tasty, meat-eaters will love it, too!
What Is Vegetarian Haggis?
Vegetarian haggis (or vegan haggis) is the plant-based version of haggis. This classic Scottish dish is served on Burns Night, the annual celebration of Scottish poet Robert Burns.
Traditional (meat) haggis is made with animal heart, lungs and liver. The meat-free version uses mushrooms, lentils, pearl barley, oats, spices, and black pepper. You can buy vegetarian haggis ready-made. Most are vegan but make sure to check the label.
As with the meaty version, vegetarian haggis is served on Burns Night with 'neeps and tatties' (swedes and potatoes) and a dram of Scotch whisky.
Vegan (or vegetarian) haggis is possibly the most underrated vegan product out there. Loved by meat-eaters and plant-eaters alike, it is a truly delicious alternative. It has its stubborn naysayers, but I know plenty of meat-eaters who choose the veggie option on Burns Night.
For those of you not familiar with this tasty vegan option, vegetarian haggis ingredients include:
- Herbs and spices
How I Came Up With This Recipe
In my vegan shepherd's pie (or cottage pie), I pair vegan haggis with a ‘neeps and tatties’ shepherd’s pie topping.
Because I am writing for you, I have made a simple onion gravy from scratch. When I make this meal for myself, I often cheat and make my gravy with instant gravy granules. In this recipe, I make around 600ml of onion gravy and use 400ml in the shepherd’s pie. I am a gravy lover, so I save the rest for pouring over my vegan haggis shepherd’s pie.
Sometimes I make vegan haggis from scratch. If you want to save time, ready-made has a wonderful flavour. I like to use Macsween Vegetarian Haggis, which is vegan.
Substitutions and Variations
- To save time, use instant gravy granules rather than making your gravy from scratch.
- Using ready-made vegan haggis saves time.
Why This Recipe Is Great
- It's a classic British comfort food.
- It's vegan! Try it out for Veganuary.
- It's so tasty, meat-eaters will love it, too.
- It's an easy recipe, especially if you use instant gravy.
- If you are looking for more recipes with vegetarian haggis, this is a great recipe to start with.
- Don’t add extra butter and milk to your mashed potato. Otherwise, your shepherd’s pie topping will be soggy.
- I have cooked my potato and my swede/turnip/rutabaga separately because I like to layer them. If you are feeling lazy or want to save on washing up, cook your potato and swede in the same pot and mash them together.
- For smooth onion gravy, use a sieve to strain it.
- Add extra flour to your gravy if you prefer it thicker.
- Add extra flavourings, like garlic, mustard or cranberry sauce, depending on your taste.
- Pan for cooking potato
- Pan for cooking swede
- Pan for making gravy
- Ovenproof dish
- Sharp knife for chopping vegetables
- Weighing scale
- Potato masher
- Wooden spoon
- Potato peeler
- Measuring spoons
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For the vegan onion gravy:
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 700 milliliters vegetable stock
- 100 grams / 3.5 oz onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- soy sauce or Marmite (yeast extract), to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste (optional)
For the vegan shepherd’s pie:
- 500 grams / 17.6 oz vegan haggis
- 500 grams / 17.6 oz swede (rutabaga), peeled and chopped into small equally-sized cubes
- 500 grams / 17.6 oz floury potatoes (like king edwards), peeled and chopped into small equally-sized cubes
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 tablespoon plant-based milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Start by making your gravy. Melt butter in a pan on medium heat. Add your finely chopped onion and sugar and cook until translucent and soft.
- When onions are cooked, add flour, yeast extract/soy sauce, and your chosen flavouring. Mix in the pan to create a paste.
- Gradually stir in your vegetable stock, ensuring there are no lumps. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes or until your gravy has reduced and thickened. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F / gas 4.
- Next, start making your shepherd’s pie. Add your chopped swede/turnip/rutabaga to a pan of salted water and boil for 20 minutes, or until soft.
- Add your chopped potato to a separate pan of salted water and boil for 10 minutes, or until soft.
- When your potato and swede are cooked, drain.
- Add your potato and swede back into their pans, season with salt and pepper and leave to air dry.
- When your potatoes have dried but are still warm, add butter to the pan and allow to melt.
- When the butter has melted, add a tablespoon of plant-based milk and seasoning to taste. Mash your potatoes until smooth.
- Mash your swede/turnip/rutabaga.
- Next, start putting together your shepherd’s pie. Add your vegan haggis to an ovenproof dish and mix in 300-400 millilitres of your gravy.
- Next, spoon your layer of mashed swede/turnip/rutabaga over your vegan haggis and smooth.
- Next, layer your mashed potato over your vegan haggis and mashed swede.
- Smooth the top of the potato. Then use a fork to make furrows in the potato.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the shepherd’s pie is crispy and golden on top.
Serve with the rest of your gravy and green vegetables like peas or tender stem broccoli. Vegan haggis shepherd's pie is also delicious with braised red cabbage.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 06, 2021:
This sounds delicious. I love the idea of a vegan shepherd’s pie. Thank you for sharing the recipe.