Mark Burns Night with these Scottish food classics

Cock-a-leekie Soup

Start your feast with traditional cock-a-leekie soup, packed with leeks, chicken stock and thickened with rice or barley. Oh, and don’t forget to garnish with some prunes! [Photo: Instagram/lp1980hh]


Okay, so it doesn’t always like the most appetising of things but it tastes a lot better. This traditional Scottish dish is basically a sausage made diced sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, along with oatmeal, onion, suet and seasoning, all stuffed in the sheep’s stomach and boiled. Seriously – tastes better than it sounds! [Photo: Getty]

Haggis Stack

If you can’t face digging into haggis in its most traditional form, transform it into something a bit more pretty like this haggis stack. [Photo: Instagram/sydfoodlover]

Venison Stew

If you’re looking for an alternative to haggis, how about a warming venison stew? It still smacks of the Highlands, and could make a good Scottish-themed alternative. [Photo: Getty]

Scotch Broth

Another alternative to haggis, neeps and tatties is Scotch broth – a hearty mix of lamb and veg. Try this recipe from Jamie Oliver. [Photo: Food and Drink/REX/Shutterstock]

Cullen Skink

Of course, not everyone likes offal and game-heavy dishes like haggis or venison stew, but you can still serve a Scottish classic for your non meat-loving friends – give them a bowl of warming Cullen Skink, a Scottish smoked fish soup packed with potatoes and leeks. Try this Hairy Bikers recipe. [Photo: Getty]

Neeps and Tatties

You can’t have haggis without neeps and tatties. There can be a bit of controversy over exactly what ‘neeps’ are, but it seems you can use either mashed turnip or swede, along with your ‘tatties’, to accompany your Burns Night haggis. [Photo: Getty]

Skirlie Mash

‘Skirlie’ means oatmeal, and adds a crunchy texture and a Scottish twist to mashed potato. Serve this version by Nick Nairn for your Burns Night side dish. [Photo: Food and Drink/REX/Shutterstock]


This Scottish classic of raspberries oats and whisky is the perfect way to round off a Robert Burns-themed evening. But what makes a great cranachan? Check out this piece by food writer Felicity Cloake for some tips. [Photo: compassionategastronome ]

Clootie Dumpling

This rich fruit dumpling cooked in a linen cloth is a classic Scottish dessert and the perfect winter warmer for January Burns Night celebrations. [Photo: Instagram/lynnemccartney1]

Typsy Laird

Tipsy Laird is the Scottish version of an English classic – using whisky instead of sherry (obvs). Traditionally served on Hogmanay or Burns Night, it’s a great way to round off your special Scottish meal. [Photo: Instagram/mrsoxtoby]


No Burns Night dinner would be complete without some whisky, whether it’s for the toast to the haggis or the ‘Toast to the Lassies’ at the end of the meal – or even in between. And with some of the world’s best whiskies hailing from Scotland, it’s the perfect way to celebrate one of the nation’s historic figures. [Photo: Getty]

A side helping of tradition

No Burns Night supper would be complete without a bucketload of tradition thrown in. If you haven’t got a piper to pipe your haggis in, you can still toast it and do the ceremonial ‘cutting’ of it in a nod to tradition. [Photo: Getty]

In case you hadn’t noticed, this week people across the world are marking Burns Night – the annual celebration of the life and work of Scottish poet Robert Burn.

The tradition started after the poet’s death in 1796 and now falls on January 25 this year. But don’t worry, if you missed it you can still recreate your Burns Night feast with a few choice dishes. Just don’t forget to add a touch of tradition by piping your haggis in then ‘addressing’ it with either The Selkirk Grace or Burns’ Address to a Haggis before cutting into it.

If you’re wondering what you could serve up for a Burns Night meal, here are a few ideas.

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