Vegan MoFo 2017 – Day 21: The Humble Potato

Baked Potato with Lentil ‘Haggis’

Oh, humble spud, how we love you. Mashed, fried, roasted, it doesn’t matter, you rarely disappoint. Perhaps the best of all is the simple baked potato. Crisp skin and tender, fluffy interior, just waiting for some vegan butter, salt and pepper. On our first trip to Edinburgh, Scotland, we came across the tiny Baked Potato Shop, just off the Royal Mile. They served these huge baked potatoes topped with your choice of savory filling. Our favourite was the vegetarian haggis, and we’ve stopped in every time we’ve gone back. Here’s our tribute.

Haggis is a traditional dish of northern Scotland, and definitely not vegan. It’s a savory ‘pudding’ of ground lamb organs and oats, aggressively seasoned with black pepper and nutmeg. Doesn’t sound too appealing, but it is actually delicious. It’s been 14 years since I’ve had it (since going vegan), so it was great finding a decent vegan substitute. Lentils make a fair stand in for the lamb, but the pepper and nutmeg do most of the heavy lifting. We’ve kept this version to more of a gravy/stew consistency, rather than more of a loaf. I like it moister in this setting.

Do you have any happy vegan finds that made your transition easier? We’d love to hear your favourites!

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Baked Potato with Lentil 'Haggis'
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15oz can lentils, drained
  • ½ cup oat flakes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegan Butter
  1. Preheat an oven to 400F/200C.
  2. Rub the potatoes with a little oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside
  3. In a medium pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until almost tender, 4 minutes.
  4. Add the lentils, oats, water, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a gentle simmer
  5. Simmer until the mixture has a stew-like consistency, about 15-20 minutes.
  6. Split the potatoes almost fully in half, lengthwise. Push inwards from the ends to open the potato up.
  7. Spoon in a generous tablespoon of vegan butter, then top with an equally generous amount of lentils.

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  • Reply
    Catherine Brown
    October 21, 2017 at 11:38 am

    That looks wonderful! I love baked potatoes topped with all manner of chilis and dals, so I can’t wait to try your vegan haggis version!

    • Reply
      Two Happy Rabbits
      October 21, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      We hear you there, Catherine! We seem to end up having baked potatoes only a few times a year for some reason, and we always remark that we need to have them more often! I love them topped with a simple channa masala, another favourite!

  • Reply
    October 21, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Oh my gosh! This looks amazing!

    • Reply
      Two Happy Rabbits
      October 21, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      Thanks, Katie!

  • Reply
    October 22, 2017 at 2:52 am

    I’ve never had meaty haggis, but I love the vegan version! You can buy it in some veggie shops in the UK too, it’s always fun to spot it. Did you try the vegan haggis, tatties and neeps at Henderson’s while you were in Edinburgh?

    • Reply
      Two Happy Rabbits
      October 22, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      We had it every place we found it! Almost every place that served a ‘traditional’ Scottish breakfast had a vegan version, we’d gobble it up there too. We only rarely find it in Canada, just around Robbie Burns Day. I’m going to make another version for Burns Day in 2018 that is a bit more traditional. I’ll have to get my kilt out too!

  • Reply
    johanna @ green gourmet giraffe
    October 22, 2017 at 6:30 am

    I love that baked potato shop – still have fond memories of working up the road from it – now I am across the world from it but visited last year and it is still great – I never tasted meat haggis but I think it is sort of like mince mince from observing others eating it. I make vegan haggis a few times a year because we love it – was interested when I was in Scotland last year quite a few things were “haggis” flavoured and seemed to rely on the seasonings for the flavour. I think I would love your baked potato – sounds just lovely!

    • Reply
      Two Happy Rabbits
      October 22, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      Thanks, Johanna! The first time we visited the Baked Potato Shop, we made the mistake of walking up that crazy steep street that it’s on. Every time we’re back in Edinburgh we pay it a visit.

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