How do I Cook a Traditional Scottish Breakfast?

Allison Boelcke

A traditional Scottish breakfast refers to a multi-course meal served in the morning. Although the common everyday Scottish morning meal is often porridge, a dish made from oats boiled in hot liquid until creamy, a full breakfast tends to be more of an elaborate type of morning meal. It typically consists of items similar to American and Western European full breakfasts, such as bacon, eggs, and a starch. To cook a traditional Scottish breakfast, certain items particular to the Scottish cuisine will need to be included. Since Scottish cuisine tends to rely on simple flavors with little amounts of spices, the cooking techniques for breakfast are typically basic and many of the traditional breakfast items are purchased commercially and only need to be cooked through.

Bacon is common in a traditional Scottish breakfast.
Bacon is common in a traditional Scottish breakfast.

One of the main components of cooking a traditional Scottish breakfast is preparing black pudding, a variety of sausage. Rather than being made from ground meat like more common forms of sausage, black pudding consists of cooked or dried pig’s blood that is combined with pork fat to add moisture and hold the mixture together, and is then stuffed into a casing. The majority of modern cooks tend to purchase commercially prepared black pudding, which is already cooked through and only requires a heating on the stovetop or oven before being served either whole or cut into slices.

Mashed potatoes are the chief ingredient in tattie scones, a common Scottish breakfast food.
Mashed potatoes are the chief ingredient in tattie scones, a common Scottish breakfast food.

Another traditional dish in a Scottish breakfast is haggis. Haggis is also a type of sausage, but it is made from the chopped liver, heart, and lungs of a lamb. These organs are collectively referred to as "pluck," and are combined with minced onion, spices, and broth before being placed into casings. Like black pudding, haggis is most often purchased commercially and only requires enough grilling or baking to warm through before serving.

In addition to the variety of meats included, a starch item known as a tattie scone or potato scone is also usually served. A tattie scone is a similar to a savory biscuit, but its base is made from potato. The item is typically made by boiling potatoes until they are tender enough to mash into a smooth texture. The mashed potatoes can then be combined with butter to add flavor, and then enough flour to make the mixture firm yet pliable. The dough is cut into slices or rounds and baked or cooked on a griddle until golden brown.

Although a traditional Scottish breakfast mainly consists of eggs, Scottish breakfast sausages, and a Scottish starch, it also has other common side dishes that may accompany it. Savory breakfast sides include baked beans, fried tomato slices, and sautéed mushrooms. If a sweet breakfast dish is desired, fruit pudding can be made by combining wheat flour, animal fat, cinnamon, currants, and brown sugar to form a dough and then preparing it in the same manner as tattie scones.

Blood sausage, which is often served with a traditional Scottish breakfast.
Blood sausage, which is often served with a traditional Scottish breakfast.

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Discussion Comments


@spotiche5- With all of the other dishes that can be part of a traditional Scottish breakfast, eggs can be made a variety of ways to go along with it.

Boiled, poached, or sunny-side up eggs pair perfectly with the meats and starches of a Scottish breakfast. When you prepare them in one of these three ways, they aren't too greasy or heavy. This is a bonus when it comes to this type of breakfast, because the meats, pudding and potatoes are heavy enough.


The article really doesn't describe the best way to prepare eggs for a traditional Scottish breakfast. That's my favorite part of any breakfast, so I would like to know how to prepare eggs as part of a breakfast for my Scottish relatives.

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