Vegan Burns Night ideas – from supper, to dessert, to your outfit

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Coming up with vegan Burns Night ideas isn't exactly straightforward.

After all, everyone knows that the meal's main event is traditionally boiled inside a sheep's stomach. Not exactly the epitome of modern, animal-free eating.

vegan haggis burns night There are plenty of vegan options for Burns Night (Credit: Alamy/David Broadbent)

Vegan Burns Night ideas

However, just because a proper haggis is every vegan's worst nightmare, it doesn't mean that plant-based diners can't celebrate Scotland's most famous poet.

READ MORE: What is haggis made of? The Scottish dish is a Burns Night tradition

To help you party properly, here are some great vegan Burns Night ideas.

Cock a leekie soup There are vegan alternatives to a traditional cock a leekie soup (Credit: Alamy/Simon Reddy)

Cock-a-leekie Soup

As the name suggests, ordinary Cock-a-leekie is a fairly meaty affair. However, since it's a soup, there are innumerable delicious, vegan-friendly options available.

If you want to stick with something reasonably Celtic, a classic leek and potato is a great alternative to the classic chicken broth.

Burns night Haggis is traditionally served alongside neeps and tatties (Credit: Alamy/Norman Pogson)

Haggis

No proper Burns Night is complete without a suitable haggis. Unfortunately, sheep heart, lungs and livers are likely to make even the bravest vegans go weak at the knees.

To avoid feeling faint, plant-based diners could seek out a vegan haggis as an equally impressive centrepiece. A great option is manufactured by popular brand MacSween and is available at Waitrose.

Haggis neeps and tatties Neeps and tatties are the perfect accompaniment to vegetarian haggis (Credit: Alamy/Caroline Anderson)

Neeps and Tatties

Fortunately for veggies, accompanying the haggis is a lot more straightforward than the haggis itself. The typical sides of neeps (turnips or swede) and tatties (potatoes) are naturally meat-free, so no stress there.

The only consideration is ensuring that you use a vegan brand of butter. It would be a real shame to carefully craft everything, only to kibosh the project with dairy.

whisky vegan burns night No Burns Night is complete without whisky (Credit: Alamy/bai)

Whisky

Whisky is arguably just as important to Burns Night proceedings as anything else on the menu. Thankfully for vegan celebrants, almost every whisky on the planet is completely free from animal products.

According to a spokesperson for The Vegan Society, "Fortunately, virtually every brand of hard liquor—bourbon, whisky, vodka, gin, and rum—is vegan."

In addition, the spokesperson adds, “Nearly all distilled spirits are vegan except for cream-based liqueurs and products that mention honey on the label.”

Good news all round.

vegetarian and vegan kilts Vegan and vegetarian kilts are now available (Credit: Alamy/fraser band)

Clothing

If nothing else, Burns Night is a great excuse to don some spectacular tartan. However, if avoiding animal products is important to you, this is one area where you need to be particularly conscientious.

Today, thankfully, there are many options for plant-based clothing. From wool and leather-free sporrans to vegan kilts, there's now no excuse not to be dressed up to the nines.

A typical ceilidh dance competition doesn't involve eating any animals (Credit: Alamy/Andreas Karnholz)

Ceilidh

Whatever your policy on eating animals, there's nothing cruel about a good dance.

Not only is a Ceilidh a traditional way to enjoy a true Scottish celebration, but it's exactly the sort of uplifting activity we all need in times like this.

This January 25th, why not let your hair down by dancing around with whoever's at hand?

Cranachan vegan burns night Cranachan is a classic Scottish dessert (Credit: Alamy/Eva Ziaťková)

Dessert

No celebratory meal is complete without a special dessert. However, for vegans and veggies, Burns Night offers the opportunity to make some interesting adjustments to tasty classics.

For instance, cooks might try transforming a classic cranachan by swapping cream with whipped coconut milk. The result is a comparably delicious, plant-based alternative option.

Address to a haggis The "Address to a Haggis" is a traditional part of Burns Night (Credit: Alamy/Malcolm Park editorial)

Poetry

He might now be synonymous with sheep's stomach and a wee dram, but Robert Burns was, first and foremost a poet. It follows, then, that there's no better way to honour the Scottish bard than with a recital or two.

According to PETA, the most appropriate choice would be the classic "To a Mouse". In this work, Burns apologises to mouse for accidentally disrupting its nest during a harvest.

This makes it extremely apt for diners concerned with animal welfare.

READ MORE: Visit Scotland explains how to celebrate Burns Night virtually

To many people, changing any of the deeply-held Burns Night traditions is sacrilegious. Not so long ago, the idea of a vegan haggis would probably have got you deported.

Thankfully, we live in a much more flexible era. For any vegans eager to celebrate in style, this can only be a good thing.