My traditional Vegan Scottish Stovies are traditional in the sense that I prepare this meal in the best way I can remember from childhood.
The main ingredients of Stovies should be the protein, potatoes, onions and gravy. I remember my mum using sausages, chunky potatoes and slices of onion rings.
Everything gently bubbled away slow cooking on the stove top in a gravy.
The word Stovies is a Scottish word meaning to stew.
So for my vegan Scottish Stovies I have used vegan sausages and a few extra non-traditional ingredients just to transform the flavour of the gravy into plant-fuelled savoury-umami goodness.
Origin of Scottish Stovies
Stovies date way back to sometime during the 16th-18th centuries, when servants would used the leftovers of their employer’s dinner to create their own meals.
In more recent history, excess meat from the Sunday roast as well as the dripping that collected in the roasting pan, was combined with potatoes and onions and stewed to create the Monday meal.
Nowadays Stovies are commonly served in pubs, inns and restaurants in Scotland. As well as being the dish of choice for many Scottish newly-weds at their wedding feast.
Robert Burn’s night dinners often feature Stovies on the menu, and New Years Eve celebrations are another excuse for Scottish people to enjoy Stovies.!
How should Scottish Stovies be prepared?
There’s a great deal of contention about how Scottish Stovies should be prepared. Many claim to know the ‘real and proper‘ way in fact going so far as to state ‘the only way’ Stovies should be cooked!
In reality, it depends on which area of Scotland you grew up.
Many people favour traditional or square sausages as the meat of choice.
Others prefer corned beef or any type of meat they have to hand.
Some prefer their potatoes mashed up well after cooking. Other variants are cubed, sliced or whole potatoes.
However, what tends to stay the same is the main ingredients: meat, potatoes, onions and a dripping gravy.
Some traditional recipes don’t even call for meat, and just focus on the potatoes as the star of the dish stewed in gravy.
Vegan Traditional Scottish Stovies
Serves 4 humble but tasty portions
Serve with a wedge of crusty bread.
Or Scottish oatcakes and a glass of your favourite cold plant-based milk.
Some people enjoy pickled beetroot as an accompaniment!
Vegan Traditional Scottish Stovies
- Large saucepan/ stockpot
- Baking tray to cook your sausages
- Potato masher, optional as can just use a fork or large spoon
- 8 vegan sausages cook these according to the packet, while your preparing the Stovies., 2 sausages per person but serving size depends on the person! Can add more or less sausages as required. I find baking the sausages better than stewing in the pot. Baking ensures the sausages have a better texture and more colour.
- 900 grams white potatoes about 6 cups chopped into very large chunks. Small-medium sized potatoes can be left whole.
- 1 large onion about 390 grams Sliced into onion rings.
- 2 vegetable stock cubes I used vegan Marigold Organic stock cubes. These are gluten-free..
- 2 tbsp Worcester sauce Use a vegan variety.
- 1 tbsp Liquid aminos Or use a dark soy sauce.
- 1 tsp vegetable extract Or marmite/vegemite
- 2 bay leaf's
- 1 tbsp onion powder Or granules
- 1 tbsp garlic powder Or granules
- 100 grams kale About 2 cups. Shredded and thick stems removed. This is an optional addition but a good one!
- salt and pepper to taste And nutritional yeast to sprinkle over each bowl if liked.
- Cook vegan sausages according to the packet instructions.Chop each sausage into 2 or 3 pieces and set aside.
- Meanwhile layer your potatoes and onion rings in your pot. A layer of onion rings, then potatoes and so on.
- Add the vegetable extract, liquid aminos, Worcester sauce, bay leaf's, stock cubes, onion and garlic powder. Add a little salt and some black pepper.Pour in 2 litres/2 US quarts of boiling water.
- Bring to the boil.Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.Don't add a lid to your saucepan so that the gravy can reduce and thicken.
- While the Stovies are stewing prepare any accompaniments.
- After 45 minutes add your sausages and kale to the Stovies.Push these down under the gravy and stew for another 5 minutes.
- Taste the gravy and add salt and pepper to taste. I usually find that my Stovies don't need any more seasonings.
- Crush some of the potatoes a little. Not too much unless you prefer a more mashed dish! Some Scottish people like to mash it all up!Sprinkle some nutritional yeast flakes over each portion if using.Enjoy!
The following nutritional data is for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary. The vegan sausages have not been included. Just as an example I have calculated that based on 2 vegan Richmond sausages having 121.8 calories the total estimate for one portion of Vegan Traditional Scottish Stovies is 361.8 calories.
Vegan Traditional Scottish Stovies Recipe Notes
- It’s not traditional but I often add a few cups of chopped kale to my Stovies just because I love adding extra nutrition and green veg whenever I can to a dish. Besides the kale tastes good in the plant-based gravy. Yum!
- Instead of vegan sausages try subbing these out for 1/2-3/4 of a cup of dried barley. Barley is a Scottish crop so your dish will still be Scottish! Add the barley to the Stovies at the beginning of cooking. Your gravy will likely be thicker.
- Serve a few Scottish oatcakes with your Vegan Scottish Stovies. Get my Scottish oatcake recipe here.
- My recipe uses vegetable extract which is similar to Marmite or Vegemite. These products are commonly for sale in supermarkets.
- I also use liquid aminos which is produced from the proteins of either soy beans or coconut. Liquid aminos provides 16 of the essential amino acids that our body requires. Its also gluten-free and can be used as a soy sauce alternative. A big bottle of liquid aminos is likely to last over a year and will provide tons of flavour for many plant-based meals so its worth the investment! If you can’t source it in your supermarket try your local wholefood/health shop. Some Tesco UK stores stock the Marigold brand of liquid aminos. I purchased my bottle from Amazon, UK at least a year ago!
- Vegan Scottish Stovies will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Try freezing a portion or two for a future quick meal.
- Leftover Vegan Scottish Stovies taste even better. Enjoy a bowl for lunch!
- Or create a Sloppy Stovies Joe! Mush up your reheated leftovers and serve on a bun/roll as you would regular Sloppy Joes! For a Sloppy Joe recipe check out my Black bean, sweet potato and green lentil Sloppy Joes!
Looking for more easy, quick traditional meals?
Check out my Vegan Hungarian Goulash recipe. The perfect mid-week meal!
And my tasty Vegan Irish Stew which is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day on 17th March!