This Slow Cooker Scottish Mince and Tatties or Potatoes recipe is a deliciously easy vegan family meal that is so simply to prepare as everything is chucked in the slow cooker, including the potatoes, and left to bubble away. We also provide a quick and easy stove-top method which is perfect for quick fuss-free week-night meat-free meals. Also, our veggie mince and potatoes can easily be prepared as gluten-free.
Vegan mince and tatties [potatoes] is the perfect meal to serve at a Robert Burns meal, Hogmanay or New Years dinner, St Andrews Day, or for any other Scottish themed meal. Or simply enjoy a bowl of home-cooked vegan mince and tatties as an every-day, budget-friendly, delicious, meat-free meal.
Origin of Scottish Mince And Tatties
The word mince originates way back to medieval Britain and comes from Middle English, the language spoken in Britain from the late 11th to the late 15th century. The term comes from the Old French "mincier", meaning to cut into small pieces, which in turn comes from the Latin "minutia", meaning smallness.
However, the practice of mincing or grinding meat dates back much further than medieval times, and it wasn't exclusive to Britain. There's archaeological evidence that humans have been mincing meat for thousands of years, likely since the development of simple cutting tools.
In medieval Britain, ground or minced meat was often used in pies and pastries as these were common forms of food preparation at the time because they allowed for preserving meat and were portable and convenient.
Speaking of mince pies we do have a tasty traditional Scottish Mince Round recipe which is a pie filled with a delicious veggie mince and baked until nice and golden, so do have a look at that as its an extra special recipe to have up your sleeve!
Arrival of potatoes in Scotland
Even though Scottish folks have been eating mince and tatties (potatoes) for centuries potatoes did not exist in Scotland before the mid 1700s. See our Old-Fashioned Scottish Potato Soup recipe for more information about the introduction of potatoes into Scotland. Once Scottish people discovered how versatile inexpensive potatoes could be, how delicious they were, and how easy they were to grow in the changeable Scottish climate they were hooked!
Scottish mince and potatoes
Traditional Scottish mince and potatoes is basically minced or ground meat usually beef cooked with carrots and onion in a little oil or lard, before water or stock is added, and stewed on the stove-top until cooked.
A stock cube (usually a beef oxo cube) or gravy powder (generally the Bisto brand) is often added to flavour or thicken the water and a dash of salt and pepper to taste is generally a unanimous addition.
As for the term tatties this is just a fond name Scottish folk over the years have give to potatoes, and to accompany the mince, the potatoes are simply boiled and eaten whole or mashed.
Mince and tattie variations
There are many variations of mince and potatoes depending on the area of Scotland you grew up in or find yourself dining in! Some recipes add carrot, celery or peas, whereas others just include onion and if your really fancy a garlic clove is chucked in! Other recipes add a few dashes of brown sauce, tomato ketchup, or Worcestershire sauce for extra flavour.
The addition of a tablespoon or two of oats to stretch and bulk out the mince into more servings is a popular hack for particularly frugal Scots.
Vegan Mince And Potatoes
Our recipe for vegan mince and tatties is prepared with Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) which is simply defatted soya with no added ingredients. TVP is a common ingredient and can be found in most UK supermarkets or wholefood stores [health shops], although TVP can be located in the US also, and it is very similar to the US soy curls.
Our recipe maintains the traditional mince and tattie roots with the addition of carrot and onion but strays away slightly with the inclusion of celery and garlic! However, celery and garlic do flavour the veggie stock beautifully.
Other savoury flavourings we use are soya sauce, vegan Worcestershire sauce, marmite, vegan beef stock powder and a little tomato paste. Also a few tablespoons of vegan gravy powder is added to thicken up the stock and everything stews happily together in the slow cooker to create the most wonderful flavourful savoury veggie mince.
As our recipe is a plant-based that uses no additional fat or oil, we use those extra savoury flavours to create a delicious umami rich packed veggie meal.
Serve with steamed or boiled peas and new potatoes with the skins left on, as once cooked the skins begin to fall off, and if liked, a little pat of melted vegan butter or margarine added on top of the potatoes is traditional and extra delicious. Alternatively a sprinkle of nutritional yeast flakes tossed through the potatoes along with a few tablespoons of the potato cooking liquid is also quite tasty.
How to prepare mince and tatties
This is one of our chuck-it-all-in recipes and leave it until its cooked recipes which is always our favourite! The potatoes can be either added to the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients or cooked separately and served on the side.
*For a stove-top method see the FAQ section below.*
We have made this recipe using fresh vegan mince, frozen vegan mince, and rehydrated TVP mince, and it all works beautifully.
If you use fresh or frozen vegan mince the marmite or yeast extract can be omitted as seasonings will have already been added to the mince.
Prepare the dried veggie mince:
If using dried veggie mince such as dried textured vegetable protein [TVP] then it will need rehydrating before adding to the slow cooker. Fresh or frozen veggie mince can be added straight from the packet.
To rehydrate, pour 2 cups [500ml] of boiling water into the TVP and stir through 1 teaspoon of marmite or yeast extract. Leave to soak for at least 20 minutes.
Before using the mince drain the liquid but retain it as it can be used to make up the required vegetable stock if your using stock or bouillon cubes, stock powder, etc.
Prepare the savoury mince:
Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, tomato puree, soy sauce, vegan Worcester sauce, gravy powder, vegan stock, and the vegan mince to the slow cooker.
[The potatoes or tatties can be either added along with the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker, or cooked separately]
Pop the lid onto the slow cooker and leave to cook for 3hrs 15 minutes-4 hours on high, 5-6 hours on medium, 7-8 hours on low.
However, exact times will vary and the mince will be ready once the veggies are soft. [including the potatoes if added.]
Optional: Mix through two teaspoons of red wine vinegar to the finished mince, and enjoy with sides or steamed, boiled, or mashed potatoes, mashed swede or turnip, green peas, green beans, or kale. Of course, if the potatoes were cooked along with the mince its best not to have extra potatoes on the side!
Why cook the potatoes separately when they can be nestled into the savoury veggie mince as it cooks in the slow cooker? So much easier and fuss free! Baby or new potatoes with the skins left on are particularly delicious and cook beautifully in the slow cooker as they retain their shape.
Recipe notes and FAQS
Vegan mince and tatties can be stored within the refrigerator for 3 days. The potatoes can be stored within the same container as the mince even if they were cooked separately.
Or freeze for 2-3 months.
Both the mince and potatoes can be added to a non-stick skillet or pot and brought to a gentle boil. Stir and reheat for a few minutes until everything is piping hot throughout. A little extra veggie stock, broth, or water can be stirred through the mince if necessary to help it reheat without sticking to the pot.
Yes. This recipe is easily prepared on the stove-top. Simply add all the mince ingredients [except the gravy powder] to a skillet or similar pan, and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and cook for 25 minutes with a lid over the pan. Remove the lid and simmer for an extra 15 minutes. Extra veggie stock can be added to the pan whenever required to prevent the sauce becoming too thick as it cooks. At the end of cooking stir through the gravy powder and cook for a few minutes so that it thickens up nicely, and lastly stir through the red wine vinegar.
Yes, this recipe can easily be prepared as gluten-free by using a gluten-free vegan stock and gravy powder. Also, instead of ordinary soy sauce use tamari soy sauce which is usually gluten-free or go with coconut liquid aminos.
Another consideration is to check that your vegan Worcester or Worcestershire sauce is also free from gluten. Although the Worcester sauce can be easily replaced by subbing with an extra tablespoon of gluten-free soy sauce.
Finally, as marmite or yeast extract may be produced with barley it may not be gluten-free, so always use one that is labelled gluten-free.
Yes, vegan mince, vegan crumbles, or vegan ground 'beef' are essentially the same thing. Both are a plant-based substitute for ground or minced meat. In the UK we tend to use the term vegan mince and outwith the UK it is referred to as crumbles or vegan ground 'beef'. They can be made from a variety of ingredients, including soy, wheat gluten (seitan), mushrooms, lentils, pea protein, or other vegetables. Vegan mince can be used in a variety of dishes as a meat alternative, such as savoury mince, tacos, lasagna, chili, or shepherd's pie.
Yes, you can use Quorn mince for a vegetarian mince and tatties, but sadly at the point of writing vegan Quorn mince is not available in the UK. Quorn mince is a meat substitute made from mycoprotein, a type of fungus, and it is a good source of protein and fiber, however it is not vegan as it contains egg white. It has a similar texture to ground meat and can easily absorb the flavours of the dish it's used in, and it claims to be gluten-free so if your looking for a gluten-free vegetarian mince and tatties, Quorn could be an option.
The vegan mince can be replaced with cooked brown or green whole lentils, finely diced mushrooms, crumbled tempeh or tofu, or finely chopped cooked seitan. Or if you would like to prepare your own home-made vegan mince have a look at this recipe which uses cauliflower and walnuts - Soy-Free Vegan Ground Beef over on Vegnews.com.
Any variety of whole baby or new potatoes work well for this recipe as they can be cooked directly in the slow cooker with the mince, and retain their shape and texture. However, if using larger potatoes, or your new potatoes are larger than normal, they should be halved or quartered to ensure even cooking.
Absolutely, sweet potatoes are a delicious alternative. If adding the potatoes to the slow cooker so that they can cook within the mince, they will need less time to cook compared with white potatoes, so keep this in mind and don't chop them too small. Alternatively, enjoy a baked sweet potato or mashed sweet potato as a side to the savoury veggie mince.
Absolutely! Extra veggies are always a good idea! Vegetables like diced bell peppers, courgette, parsnip, or mushrooms can be added for extra flavour, texture, and nutrition. Although, traditional Scottish mince is mainly just carrot and onion and at a push celery and garlic, but of course its your dinner so add any extra veggies you wish.
If preferred the gravy powder can be subbed for some cornflour [corn starch] or arrowroot powder to thicken up the mince gravy once it has cooked as these can be used to thicken the sauce into a gravy. Mix a tablespoon of cornstarch or arrowroot powder with equal amounts of cold water to form a smooth paste, then gradually whisk it into the simmering liquid until it reaches your desired consistency. If you can't source gluten-free gravy this option may be a good step.
Mince and tatties are a complete meal on its own but there are a few sides that are particularly delicious especially for those extra hungry family members! A few suggestions:
* traditional Scottish oatcakes
* wedge of crusty bread such as Irish Soda Bread (wholemeal) or Australian Damper Bread [similar to soda bread]
* pickled beetroot, pickled red cabbage or pickled onions
* baked white or sweet potato
* mashed white or sweet potatoes [instead of boiled or slow cooked within the mince]
* mashed neeps (turnip/swede/rutabaga)
* wartime champ (a delicious traditional British mash of potato, turnip and cabbage from the 1940s!)
* mashed celeriac
* cauliflower mash
* roast asparagus
* a sprinkling of traditional Scottish Skirlie
* steamed or boiled cabbage, with a little vegan butter tossed through the hot cooked cabbage with some salt and pepper, so simple yet so good! Nutritional yeast flakes or white miso mixed through some of the cabbage cooking liquid is a nice butter alternative.
* green peas, green beans, or kale [kale has been eaten in Scotland for many centuries], or add a scoop of Home-Made British Mushy Peas
* we love adding a can of baked beans in tomato sauce to cooked vegan mince, which is a thing as growing up in Glasgow many Scottish people did this to there ordinary beef mince! You could add some canned baked beans or a scoop or two of Home-Made Baked Beans if you had them handy.
* A dollop of tomato ketchup or brown sauce is another traditional condiment for mince and tatties!
We like to repurpose leftover vegan mince and potatoes by using them as the filling for a delicious homemade pie. You can choose to use either store-bought puff pastry or homemade shortcrust pastry for the pie crust.
Another option is to incorporate the leftover filling into a veggie lasagna or use it as the base for a quick vegan cottage or shepherd's pie. Simply prepare some mashed sweet potato, regular potato, or other mashed veggies and spread it over the filling. Then bake it until the mash becomes crisp and golden. You could add some nutritional yeast flakes or shredded vegan cheese to the mash before baking for extra texture and tastiness.
Alternatively, you can add small amounts of the leftover filling to a pre-made veggie Bolognese or chili. If you're looking to create a new Bolognese or chili dish, you can use the leftover mince as a starting point and add spices or herbs like chili powder, paprika, mixed herbs, or oregano.
Adding a can or two of chopped or diced tomatoes, a can of beans like kidney beans, or a jar of pasta sauce can stretch the leftover mince into more servings. This is a great way to transform a small amount of leftover vegan mince into flavorful fillings for enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, or sloppy joes.
Absolutely! As my family is Scottish [well 2 of my kids can claim half Irish descent!] we enjoy Scottish meals and puddings every week but of course vegan versions!
We especially love home-made veggie soup such as our Scottish Lentil Soup is on our stove weekly as is our Scottish Potato and Leek Soup, although our Scottish Scotch Broth and Scottish Cock-a-Leekie Soup are also frequently in the pot! And for those extra-lean days when budget-friendly is necessary this Old-Fashioned Scottish Potato Soup recipe hits the tasty spot!
For mains, we love this Vegan Haggis which can be easily and quickly prepared in the microwave and this tasty Vegan Scottish Mince Round Pie, and this traditional Scottish Teviotdale Pie which features a suet crust. One of our all-time favourites are these Vegan Scottish Stovies.
For dessert, we love a Scottish Fruit Slice otherwise known as fly's cemetery!, or a hot bowl of Old-Fashioned Sweet Barley Pudding. To enjoy over the chiller darker months, we like a slice of Scottish Smiddy Dumpling or Clootie Dumpling. For a crisp snack that goes so well with a nice cup of tea have a few of these wee Scottish Shortbread Biscuits.
We have provided a good stack of our family favourite traditional Scottish recipes with a vegan twist! Enough to get you started with any Scottish themed dinner party or meal you may be preparing! Hope you enjoy and come back and let us know how you get on with any of the recipes. Thanks so much, Jacq x
More tasty vegan slow cooker meals
We love slow cooker meals as they are just so easy yet produce delicious results. My family especially loves this Vegan Macaroni Cheese which surprisingly cooks really well in the slow cooker, and if you like our vegan mince and tatties then you'll love this Vegan Savoury Mince Cobbler as the slow cooker cheese scone cobblers bake amazingly in the slow cooker.
Slow cookers also make the best easy curries so do try our favourite Vegan Red Thai 'beef' Curry and this Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala which is the best way to use up a cauliflower or a bag of frozen cauliflower.
***please note: for US measurements click the 'US customary button' within the recipe and the measurements will switch to tablespoons, cups, and ounces.***
Vegan Scottish Mince And Tatties [Slow Cooker]
- slow cooker or crock-pot 3-3.5 litre (3-4 US quart) size
To rehydrate dried TVP mince: [alternatively use fresh or frozen vegan mince and this step can be omitted]
- 130 grams Dried textured vegetable protein (TVP) mince pieces [or 300-400g [14oz] fresh or frozen vegan mince, fine diced mushrooms, or cooked green or brown lentils]
- 500 millilitres boiling water
- 1 teaspoon yeast extract [marmite/vegemite]
- 140 grams celery [2 stalks, diced]
- 150 grams carrots [2 small-medium, diced]
- 160 grams onion [1 medium-large, diced]
- 4 cloves garlic [minced or fine diced, or 2 teaspoon garlic powder]
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree [paste]
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce [or tamari soy sauce, or coconut liquid aminos]
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcester sauce [use a gluten-free sauce if required or replace with an extra tablespoon of soy sauce]
- 500 millilitres vegan stock [use gluten-free stock if necessary]
- 3 tablespoon vegan gravy powder [use a gluten-free gravy if necessary]
Add after cooking finished: [optional]
- 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
To serve: [optional]
- 800 grams potatoes [new or baby potatoes with the skins left on are perfect, or use larger potatoes halved or quartered]
- 300 grams frozen peas
Prepare the dried vegan mince [TVP] [Alternatively, if using fresh or frozen vegan mince or an alternative such as cooked lentils this step can be omitted]
- Pour 500ml [2 cups] of boiling water into a heatproof jug or bowl, which has the dried mince, and mix through the yeast extract. Stir well and leave to soak for at least 20 minutes.If using fresh or frozen vegan mince simply add this to the slow cooker, even if its frozen.130 grams Dried textured vegetable protein (TVP) mince pieces, 500 millilitres boiling water, 1 teaspoon yeast extract
- Once rehydrated, drain any remaining liquid but keep it and put it towards the vegan stock that is required to add to the mince.
Prepare the mince:
- Switch your slow cooker to the low, medium or high setting while you add the ingredients.
- Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, soy sauce, vegan Worcester sauce or an extra tablespoon of soy sauce, tomato puree, gravy powder, and vegetable stock.The potatoes can either be added now directly to the slow cooker or cooked separately. We used baby or new potatoes so they were quite small and any larger ones got halved or quartered, so if your potatoes are medium or large slice into smaller but chunky pieces.140 grams celery, 150 grams carrots, 160 grams onion, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon tomato puree, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon vegan Worcester sauce, 500 millilitres vegan stock, 3 tablespoon vegan gravy powder, 800 grams potatoes
- Give it all a good stir. Pop the lid on and cook for 3 ½-4 hours on high, or 5-6 hours on medium, or 7-8 hours on low. Although exact times will depend on your slow cooker and the size of your veggies and potatoes [if added]. It will be ready once the veggies are soft and the mince nice and thick.
- Once cooked the mince can be seasoned with the red wine vinegar. It generally doesn't require salt but if preferred add salt and pepper to taste.2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Enjoy with sides of steamed or boiled potatoes [if not already added to the mince] and cooked frozen peas. A few crisp Scottish oatcakes are also a nice accompaniment.300 grams frozen peas
*For stove-top instructions see recipe notes*
Prepared our tasty Slow Cooker Vegan Mince and Tatties either in the slow cooker or stove-top? Do let us know how you got on, and click the star ratings, as we love hearing from you. Thanks so much! Jacq x