Scottish Christmas Food - Recipes to Try This Year - Scottish Scran (2024)

Talking about traditional Scottish Christmas food is a little misleading, as Christmas in Scotland wasn’t really a thing for about 400 years.

Itwas banned in the Reformation in the 16th century and didn’t really make a big, officialappearance again until it was finally declared a national holiday in 1958.

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However, there are a fewolderScottish Christmas traditions that have remained, or been moved to Hogmanay (Scottish New Year). Take the baking of Yule Bread, first footing or lighting a candle in the window, for example.

For the most part, however, Christmas celebrations and foods have fallen in line with the rest of the UK, where thecelebrations returned much earlier.

So how can you give your Christmas menu a Scottish twist?

Most people in Scotland tend to stick to the usual turkey with all the trimmings, but there are definitely some Scottish quirks that can be added to your day.

Below are some ideas for recipes to try or dishes to create on the big day this year, to make it a little bit more of a Scottish Christmas!

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Scottish Christmas Breakfast Ideas

When our family came to spend Christmas in Scotland with us for the first time, we made Haggis for breakfast. Because why not?!

We had it with grilledtomatoes and toast, but eggs and bacon work too. This may sound a little weird, but it was our Kiwi family, and they loved it!We wanted their first taste of the day to be something distinctly Scottish! And the Scottish Christmas menu only continued from there…

The Full Scottish

The ‘Full Scottish’ breakfast‘ inspired this haggis on toast option and, looking back, is probably what we could have made instead.

A Full Scottish is a plate full of fried or grilled bacon, sausage, eggs, buttered toast, baked beans, fried mushrooms, half a fried tomato, haggis, and in some cases, black pudding. All washed down with a good cup of tea!

This is how we would prepare it anyway. Every household has its own list of crucial ingredients for a full Scottish breakfast. Some might includehash browns, square or Lorne sausages, white pudding, fried bread the list goes on and that’s before you decided onwhich sauce to have with it!*

*The only answer to this is brown sauce.

The problemwith a Full Scottish is that it leaves you full. If you’re like us and want to enjoy a wealth of different foods offered throughout Christmas day then filling up early on might be a mistake, so maybe opt for one of the lighter options below.

  • Find Our Full Scottish Breakfast Post Here
  • Find Our Lorne Sausage Recipe Here

Morning Roll

Acompromise to the Full Scottish is the infamousScottish morning roll filled with your choice of bacon, haggis, veggie haggis, orsquare sausage.

The Morning Roll is adelicious start to the day that doesn’t require a nap after you’ve eaten it.They’re also much easier toprepare on a day when the kitchen is always very busy.

  • Find Our Perfect Morning Roll Recipe Here
  • Find Our Veggie Haggis Recipe Here
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Scottish Smoked Salmon

If you’re looking for something a little less fried but still equally Scottish, look no further than Scottish Smoked Salmon.As Scottish salmon exports hit a high in 2019 this tasty fish is more popular than ever.

You can find amazing Salmonsmokeries across Scotland, and many deliver outside of the UK.

Smoked Salmon is light but veryflavoursome and lends itself to numerous different breakfasts. Add it to scrambled eggs or turn your EggsBenedict into an Eggs Royale by replacing the ham with smoked salmon.If you want to really go full‘Scottish’ make your own oatcakes and enjoy your salmon with a good cream cheese. For us, this just might be the perfect Christmas breakfast. Easy to make and leaves room for lunch!

  • Find our Oatcakes Recipe Here
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Porridge

But for the ultimate Scottish breakfast, lookno further than Porridge. Porridge has existed in Scotland forever, so you could have a lighter breakfast topped with some Christmassy toppings like cranberries, figs, dates, or walnuts and pecans.

Find out How to Make the Perfect Porridge here.

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Scottish Christmas Dinner – The Main Event

Everyone does Christmas dinner a little differently so we’ve laid out some ideas below on how you might make your festive menu a little more Scottish. We usually just have one big meal and have to have dessert for dinner because we’re so full, but we’ve split it into ideas for starters, the main, sides, and sauces.

Starters

Soup

If you want to have a soup starter, then co*ck-a-Leekie soup is traditionally Scottish and delicious. At a basic level, it’s a leek and chicken stock soup, sometimes with added rice or barley, which can be garnished with prunes.

You could just make a tasty Scotch Broth, a warming blend of barley, lamb and root vegetables. But personally, we prefer Cullen Skink as our soup of choice!

It’s less common to serve Cullen Skink at Christmas since this delicious creamy fish and potato soup could be the main meal on its own. But a small bowl of this with crusty bread would be the perfect Scottish starter to begin your Christmas dinner.

  • Cullen Skink Recipe Here
  • co*ck-a-leekie Recipe Here
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Scottish Salmon

If soup isn’t for you and your family, you could have some Scottish smoked salmon on blinis with a small leaf salad or even a bit of roast salmon or salmon pie.

Haggis Bon Bons

Haggis Bon Bons with whisky dipping sauce make a change for a starter, but can also be suitable for nibbles throughout the day. These are breadcrumb-covered haggis balls fried until crispy and golden brown, yum!

  • Find Our Haggis Bon Bon Recipe Here

Main

The Meat (or not)

Roast Turkey is still the favourite dish at Christmas in Scotland, and the cooking of said bird can become the centre of the whole day!

So how do you add a little taste of Scotland to this classic Christmas dish? It all comes down to stuffing! Sausage-meat stuffing is the norm but replace the sausage with haggis and you have a tasty and Scottish-themed alternative.

If Turkey isn’t for you, other options like Scottish Lamb, Aberdeen Angus Beef Wellington, and Scottish Venison would be delicious too.

For vegetarians, people tend to produce a nut roast as the centrepiece of the Christmas meal. However, these can be a little hit-and-miss if you don’t have a decent recipe, so we would suggest a veggie haggis is served.

A delicious mix of oats, barley, mushroom and spices, which remains moist, tastes amazing and is also very easy to prepare. This can also be used as stuffing if normal haggis isn’t your thing.

  • Vegetarian Haggis Recipe Here
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The Trimmings

For us, the additions to the centrepiece really make a Christmas dinner special! We’ve listed a few ideas, some with a little Scottish twist.

Roast potatoes

Roast potatoes are by far the most popular side for Christmas dinner, and like the turkey, everyone has their own way of making them crispy and fluffy all at the same time.

We parboil our tatties, leave them to steam and then give them a good shake and a covering of duck fat or olive oil. The trick is to make sure you add the potatoes to a hot roasting tin with your fat of choice already hot.

Once you’ve cracked the roast tattie, there are a range of other additions to consider.

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Sprouts

And would it be Christmas without Brussel sprouts? We like to fry ours in butter with smoked bacon pieces. Boil the trimmed sprouts for 5-10 mins or so and fry your bacon in butter. Once the sprouts are done drain and add them to your frying pan. Yum!

Ensure the sprouts are cooked properly to avoid having solid green pebbles on your plate. You can even add some roasted chestnuts into the mix to give a real depth of flavour.

Pigs in Blankets or Kilted Soldiers

Pigs in blankets are small sausages wrapped in bacon, but sometimes in Scotland, you’ll see them called Kilted Soldiers, and they’re wrapped in Ayrshire bacon. There’s not too much to say about these, they taste fantastic and are essential at Christmas time in our house!

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Other Trimmings Ideas

Roasted parsnips and carrots, or even mashed carrots and swede are all fairly common and help add a little freshness to your plate. We like to honey roast ours because it is Christmas!

However, for a splash of Scottish tradition, consider adding neeps, Clapshot (mashed swede and potato) or Rumbledethumps (potato, cabbage, and onion), Skirlie (like a Scottish stuffing). These aren’t traditional Christmas dishes but would also make a nice Scottish-themed addition.

  • Find our Rumbledethumps Recipe Here
  • Find our Clapshot Recipe Here
  • Find our Skirlie Recipe Here
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Scottish Christmas Food - Recipes to Try This Year - Scottish Scran (11)
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The Sauces

Once you have your meat, veg, and all the trimmings you need a good sauce to bring it all together.

We are big sauce fans and will often have more sauces on the table than there are dishes! We always start with plenty of good gravy, thick and rich, ideally made using the juices from the turkey but granules will do too.

On top of this, we would add cranberry sauce and bread sauce, which is a milky gravy thickened with bread. You could even consider a whisky sauce if you like too. It may sound a little much but dipping your crisp roast potatoes into a creamy whisky sauce is delicious!

  • Whisky Sauce Recipe Here
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Scottish Christmas Desserts

The pudding of choice at Christmas in our house and across Scotlandis exactly that, Christmas pudding! Andwhy not? It’s a classic pud that only really shines once a year.

But thereare so many other options to add that taste of Scotland to the end of your Christmas meal.

Clootie Dumpling

For example, swap yourChristmas pud for adelicious Clootie Dumpling. It’s made with some similar spices and boiled in a cloth called a“clootie”. It’sbursting with flavour and will likely bring back childhood memories to anyone that grew up in Scotland.

  • Traditional Clootie Dumpling Recipe Here
  • Microwave Clootie Dumpling Recipe Here
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Cranachan

Then there’s Cranachan ofcourse, with delicious layers of berries and cream laced with honey, whisky, and oats. Another traditional dessert that perfectly ends a Christmas dinner.

We often make ours into asimple cheesecake to give it a bit of a twist and it can be made in advance to save time on the big day!

  • Cranachan Recipe Here
  • Cranachan Cheesecake Recipe Here

Sticky Toffee Pudding Trifle

For that first Christmas dinner with our Kiwi family, we also served a Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert! It’s a staple favourite, great at any time of year, and a wonderful addition at Christmas.

You could make our Microwave Sticky Toffee Pudding in a Mug if you want a super quick and easy dessert, or try your hand at a Sticky Toffee Pudding Trifle for something a little bit different.

  • Sticky Toffee Pudding Trifle Recipe Here
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding in a Mug Recipe Here
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Tipsy Laird

For a lighter dessert look no further than the Tipsy Laird, the Scottish version of a Trifle. And how does it differ? It has sponge layers that are soaked with Scottish whisky, givingit a beautiful warming flavour on top of fresh fruit (ideally raspberries) and custard!

You can make individual servings rather than one large dessert to add that personal touch.

  • Tipsy Laird Recipe Here

Dundee Cake

If you’re thinking of making a ChristmasCake this year but you’ve left it late or just don’t want the faff, then why not make a traditional DundeeCake instead,it’ll save on icing andmarzipan and they still look fantastic!

  • Dundee Cake Recipe Here
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Mince Pies

No, not ground mince, but mincemeat, which is a mixture of dried fruits, spices, and spirits. These small pies may have originated in England but they’re now a common staple on Scottish tables at Christmas too.

Although thesize of mince pies is said to be because of the fact they were banned in the 16th century, so bakers had to make them smaller to conceal them!It’s a common belief that eating them on Christmas Day is still illegal, although the laws were repealed back in the time of Charles II.

Ecclefechan Tarts

Named after the town of Ecclefechan in Dumfries & Galloway, these delicious tarts are a mix of butter, sugar, currants, and nuts. They’re easy to make and perfect for a lighter dessert or after a meal with a drink.

  • Ecclefechan Tarts Recipe Here
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Shortbread

Shortbread and mince pies are found in every house at Christmas and eaten as sweetoptions as well, although maybe throughout the day rather than just for dessert!We’re big fans of shortbread and there are always some on the go throughout the festive period and beyond!

  • Petticoat Tails Shortbread Recipe Here
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Scottish Cheeseboard

If you have any room at all (or maybe for tea later on!) you can have a cheeseboard full of Scottish cheeses. There’s plenty tochoose from, with all sorts of bries, blues, and cheddars available.All served with Scottish oatcakes and chutneys of course!

Scottish Christmas Drinks

Whisky is the most associated drink with Scotland, but 70% of the UK’s gins are also produced in Scotland as well as some excellent rums,sparkling wines andtastybeers.

It just goes to show there are plenty of excellent Scottish brands to choose from for your festive tipple of choice.

You can find a good selection in our Amazon store if you’re looking for a last-minute gift! The store for the UK is here and the US is here.

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Scottish Christmas Food - Recipes to Try This Year - Scottish Scran (20)

If you want to make your own co*cktails try a Flying Scotsman co*cktail or othersimple whisky co*cktails to keep the co*ckles warmed. You could even prepare the oldest whisky co*cktail, Atholl Brose.

For the gin fan in the family, try a festive-flavoured ginliqueurfrom Pickerings or Edinburgh Gin. Eden Mill even does a candy cane flavoured gin!

A warming hottoddy is also perfect for warming up after the obligatory Christmas Day walk.It’s made with hot water, whisky, lemon juice and honey.

  • Simple Whisky co*cktails Recipes Here
  • Flying Scotsman co*cktail Recipe Here
  • Atholl Brose Recipe Here
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Christmas Leftovers

We know this is a long shot, but if you have leftovers there are a wealth of good ways to make them stretch past the big day itself.

Stovies

Making Stovies from what’s left of a roast has been commonplace in Scotland for years and a turkey roast works just as well.

You basically fry onions in butter or fat leftover from the roast, add potatoes (leftovers or new if you have none leftover), pour over stock and allow the potatoes to fully break down in it, stir through the leftover meat and done.

Add any stuffing, potatoes and kilted soldiers into the mix for really wholesome comfort food.

  • Find Our Stovies Recipe Here
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Turkey Tikka Masala

Did you know the famous tikka masala is said to have originated from Glasgow?

Honestly, this spicy dish is as Scottish as haggis, we swear! And leftover turkey works well in this tasty curry made from yoghurt, cream, and spices.

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And there you have it! Plenty of ideas to add a Scottish flavour to your day. If you try any of these Scottish Christmas food ideas then please do let us know!

Sonja and Phil x

Scottish Christmas Food - Recipes to Try This Year - Scottish Scran (2024)
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