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Scottish Rumbledethumps or Scottish Potato & Cabbage Pie

Rumbledethumps is a traditional Scottish pie made with potato and cabbage. It's a very comforting side dish that's cheap to make and delicious.

Scottish Rumbledethumps or Scottish Potato & Cabbage Pie in a casserole dish
  

Rumbledethumps


Aren't they immediately appealing? 

And what a name!

Without knowing it, I ate this dish a lot as a child and cooked a variation of this Scottish potato pie as an adult. 

The only difference is we called it potato and cabbage pie. 

Little did I know it had a more splendiferous name. 

If I had I would have used it sooner.


For another delicious Scottish side dish, check out How to Cook Neeps



What are rumbledethumps?



It's the name for a hearty Scottish side dish made with potatoes and cabbage.

The name Rumbledethumps originally comes from the Scottish Borders, which is the area close to the border between Scotland and England

The name is supposed to come from the noise the potatoes (tatties) and cabbage make as they are battered about the dish with a wooden spoon.

It's a fabulous name for such a simple farm-style dish, isn't it?

This potato and cabbage pie is a popular dish in Scotland passed down through the generations.

Not everyone remembers the name rumbledethumps, but most families will make a version of this.

Sometimes it's just called cheese and potato pie and sometimes it's called rumble de thumps.


This Scottish dish sounds familiar



This mashed potato and cabbage pie is basically peasant food.

The type of pie that was cheap to make and would keep families full when there wasn't much money or many ingredients to cook with.

Many countries have similar dishes.

Versions of rumbledethumps around the world

Here are other similar recipes from other countries.
  1. Aloo Tikki (India)  - mashed potatoes and peas with spices formed into a pattie and fried
  2. Biksemad (Denmark) - leftovers, including potato, cooked together, a bit like a potato hash
  3. Bubble & Squeak (England) - mashed potato and cabbage mashed together and fried into patties
  4. Clapshot (Scotland)- mashed potatoes and mashed turnip (swede) mixed together
  5. Colcannon (Ireland)  - mashed potatoes mixed with cabbage or kale
  6. Potato Hash (USA) - A mixture of cubed potatoes mixed with onions and sometimes meat
  7. Stamppot (Netherlands) - mashed potatoes mixed with other mashed vegetables
  8. Stoemp (Belgium) - mashed potatoes and other root vegetables with cream, herbs and spices
It's super easy to make a dairy-free, vegan or vegetarian version of all of these dishes, but they would be hard pushed to beat the comfort of a bowl of rumbledethumps.


Are rumbledethumps the same as colcannon?



Colcannon is very similar to rumbledethumps.

You will often find a lot of similarities between the recipes of Ireland and Scotland as they are both old Celtic nations with similar crops.

Potato and cabbage are staple and hardy crops in both countries and are often used in cheap peasant dishes like this one.

The Scottish rumbledethumps recipe may be similar to Irish colcannon, but colcannon is not topped off with cheese or finished off in the oven as the Scottish rumbledethumps are.

Yes, we take it that step further.


Jersey Royal Potatoes


Which type of potatoes are best for a pie?



When making a pie with mashed potatoes, you want floury potatoes.

They work really well in this easy rumbledethumps recipe.

Ss they cook they go ovely and soft and are very creamy when mashed.

Avoid waxy potatoes like baby potatoes,  charlotte potatoes or anya potatoes. 

Waxy potatoes stay firm and don't mash well, but are great for salads, just not rumbledethumps.


Which type of potatoes are floury?



Here are two wee lists of some floury potatoes or tatties as we call them in Scotland.

Floury Potatoes - UK

Here are the floury potatoes you could expect to find in the UK.
  1. King Edward
  2. Maris Piper
  3. Kestrel
  4. Romano
  5. Cyprus
  6. Desiree

Floury Potatoes - USA

Here are the potatoes you could use from the USA.
  1. Russet
  2. Yukon Gold
  3. Desiree
  4. Melody
  5. Red Baron
  6. Estima

spring cabbage


What type of cabbage is used in potato and cabbage pie



You can use most types of cabbage in a potato and cabbage pie, but not red cabbage, which is a bit bitter for this dish.

  • Savoy cabbage
  • Spring cabbage (photo above)
  • Spring greens
  • White cabbage
  • Napa cabbage
  • Bok Choy

Can you use kale?


Kale is a type of cabbage called leaf cabbage, so you could definitely use it in this mashed potato and cabbage pie.

It would give it a lovely colour variation too.


A budget recipe



This cheese and potato pie is a filling meal that is cheap to make.

It doesn't have a lot of ingredients and they are all basic and cheap ingredients.

Perfect if you are on a tight budget with all the prices that are going up right now.


Budget tip for a cheap pie



If you find cheese, potatoes or cabbage in the bargain bin, which we quite often call yellow label, buy them.

Make the rumbledethumps when you find these bargains and freeze them for another day.

You could also used tinned potatoes or frozen mash if it is cheaper than buying potatoes.

Use whichever cabbage is a lower price too.


A sneaky way to get extra veg into kids



This cheesy pie is a great way of getting extra vegetables into kids, who can often be fussy about vegetables.

Once cooked and cooled, dice the cabbage even finer and when you mix it into the mashed potato, they won't even notice it's there.

Mashed potato is a great vehicle for bulking out of hiding veg.

Mix mashed potato with these vegetables

Here are a few types of veg that mix well with mash.

  • Turnip -  cooked (swede), which is also called neeps in Scotland.
  • Carrots - cooked carrots are also great mashed with potatoes.
  • Leeks - buttery-cooked leaks, oh yes!
  • Onions - fried onions, mmmmm!
  • Cauliflower - cooked and mashed, you could even add cheese.
  • Broccoli - they may detect it mixed in but it can be a way to get them to eat broccoli if they aren't keen on it.

Making it vegan



Traditionally rumbledethumps was a vegetarian dish, but they are super easy to make vegan.

Just use vegan butter or dairy-free spread and vegan cheese.

If you want to add a stronger cheese flavour, you can also add some vegan-style parmesan. 

Violife do a good one called prosociano, that tastes very like parmesan with that tang.

rumbledethumps served with sausages and baked beans

What to serve with mashed potato and cabbage pie


Here are a few ideas of how to serve rumbledethumps.

  1. Sausages -  with vegan sausages and baked beans
  2. Crusty Bread - with some buttered crusty bread
  3. Garlic Bread - with garlic bread
  4. Extra Veg - serve it with veg on the side
  5. Vegan Haggis - serve it with this easy vegan haggis and neeps or extra veg

It's a hearty dish, so serve it simply.



How long will rumbledethumps keep in the fridge?



If you want to make Scottish Rumbledethumps ahead, then make the dish up, but don't bake it.

Then you can just store it covered in the fridge for a few days and pop it in the oven (or air fryer) when you are ready to serve it.


Cooking rumbledethumps in the air fryer



Air fryers are perfect for the final bake of a rumbledethump pie.

If you are cooking them in the air fryer, they will cook quicker.

The air fryer also uses less energy than the oven would so it's a cheaper option.


Scottish vegan cabbage and potato pie

Can you freeze Scottish rumbledethumps?


Rumbledethumps freeze really well.

Freeze it in freezer-friendly tubs until you need it, then bake it from frozen.

It can be kept in the freezer for 3-4 months.


More vegan Scottish recipes to try



Here are a few more traditional Scottish recipes made vegan, for you to try. 

I know you'll love them.


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Rumbledethumps or Scottish Potato & Cabbage Pie. A traditional Scottish dish made of potatoes, cabbage and onion, topped with cheese and baked in the oven. #rumbledethumps #potatopie #burnsnight #scottishrecipes #cabbagepie #potatoes #cabbage #vegetarianpie #pie

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Reader's Photos



I love when readers get in touch and let me know they've enjoyed a dish, but it's even more fabulous when they share a photo.

These are from my Facebook Group Living on the Veg, they are great at testing my recipes and they always look so delicious.

reader's photos - Scottish rumbledethumps

reader's photos - Scottish rumbledethumps #2

reader's photos - Scottish rumbledethumps #3

reader's photo

readers photo of rumbledethumps with vegan chicken

And Donna turned them into fritters. 

Inspired idea!

readers photo of Scottish Rumbledethumps turned into fritters


How to Make Scottish Rumbledethumps

Scroll down for step-by-step photos followed by a full printable recipe. If you don't have a printer, hit print then save as a PDF.


Making rumbledethumps - Step 1

Step 1: Mashed Potatoes


Mash just-cooked potatoes with fresh herbs and butter (or dairy-free spread) until smooth.

There is no need to create extra washing up, just mash them in the pot you cook them in.



Making rumbledethumps - Step 2

Step 2: Cabbage

Mix the cooked cabbage into the mashed potatoes and season well with salt and pepper.



Making rumbledethumps - Step 3

Step 3: Ovenproof Dish


Ladle the mixture into a large ovenproof dish and smooth the top.



Making rumbledethumps - Step 4

Step 5: Topping


Top the bake with grated cheddar, this can be dairy free cheddar if you are vegan or follow a dairy-free diet and bake in a pre-heated oven until golden.


Making rumbledethumps - Step 5

Step 6: Tuck In


Tuck in while these delicious Scottish rumbledethumps are still hot. 

This Scottish pie is perfect as a hearty side dish, but it's also a really satisfying veggie main served with extra vegetables. 

You could also add some well-cooked sausages to the meal, if you don't think sitting down to a plate of veg with more veg is a meal.

Personally, I'm happy to eat this with extra veg.


potato pie, cabbage pie, rumbledethumps, potato & cabbage pie, vegan pie, Scottish pie, Scottish recipe
dinner
Scottish, vegan
Yield: 4-6
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Scottish Rumbledethumps

Scottish Rumbledethumps

Rumbledethumps is a traditional Scottish pie made with potatoes and cabbage. It's a very comforting side dish that's cheap to make and delicious.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 40 MinTotal time: 50 Min

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2 1/5 lbs) potatoes (floury potatoes), cut into chunks
  • 1 medium cabbage (not red), shredded
  • 5 tablespoons butter (vegan or dairy)
  • 20 g (generous handful) chives, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons milk (I use oat milk, but use whatever you buy)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 150g cheddar (vegan or dairy), grated

Instructions

  1. First cook the potatoes and cabbage. You can steam or boil them in separate pots.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/160c fan/gas mark 4. You could also use your air fryer (see notes below).
  3. Drain and mash the potatoes with the milk and butter until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drain the cabbage and season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the cabbage, mashed potato & chives with a wooden spoon (it's traditional) until well mixed.
  6. Taste to check and see if it needs more seasoning.
  7. Spoon into a large ovenproof dish and smooth the top.
  8. Add a layer of grated cheese and bake for 20- 25 minutes until it's golden.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Air fryer

You can air fry this dish, if you have an oven dish that will fit it. You might have to use two. It might cook 5-10 minutes quicker.

Storing this pie

  1. If you want to make Scottish Rumbledethumps ahead, then make the dish up, but don't bake it.
  2. Then you can just store it covered in the fridge for a few days and pop it in the oven (or air fryer) when you are ready to serve it.

Freezing this pie

Rumbledethumps freeze really well.

  1. Freeze it in freezer-friendly tubs until you need it, then bake it from frozen.
  2. It can be kept in the freezer for 3-4 months.


Calories

4 portions = 538 calories per serving

5 portions = 431 calories per serving

6 portions = 359 calories per serving

Nutrition Facts

Calories

358.81

Fat (grams)

18.61

Sat. Fat (grams)

11.08

Carbs (grams)

39.13

Fiber (grams)

7.53

Net carbs

31.59

Sugar (grams)

6.77

Protein (grams)

11.68

Sodium (milligrams)

311.96

Cholesterol (grams)

51.28

39 comments

  1. you see we just don't really eat a huge amount of potatoes in this house but this dish is CALLING out to me!... so simple and so tasty... and yes, the most excellent of names... thanks for the blog link, what a brilliant idea to name-check other bloggers... I think I'm going to start doing this too... generous as always honey x

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    1. Hey Dom, It is a hugely comforting dish, so you should try it. I do try to link to other bloggers when I remember and thanks x

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  2. Sounds yummy and looks gorgeous.
    I don't see the cabbage in the recipe, and it didn't really show up in the picture, either. I don't know how they'd go together, so if you *did* put cabbage in, it settled all right? Cabbage is one of those things which I love, but which D. only eats in coleslaw, so this is a recipe that might work well for both.

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    Replies
    1. Also, I'm so sorry about your computer!! What a pain...

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    2. Hey Tanita, what a twit I am. I have added the cabbage in now. Thanks for spotting that. The cabbage is just mixed in with the mash and chives. The cabbage is finely shredded and very pale. It is the smooth pale green cabbage I used rather than the darker green frilly style cabbage, so you don't really see it when it is mixed in, but you do taste it.

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  3. I love cabbage and this recipe sounds as a very nice way to eat them: combined with potatoes and chives!

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  4. What and easy and yummy idea!!
    Poor ingredients and a great result...
    Have a nice evening

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Manu, it is rather special. You have a good night too :)

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  5. What a shame you didn't get the final photos Jac....BUT,even so, the photos you have posted are LOVELY! And I DO love Rumbledethumps, it's one of my families favourites! Karen

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  6. Oh what a lovely dish. Always think of this as Irish, but after having watched Our Food about Scotland yesterday, I now realise the potatoes were just as important in Scotland as in Ireland. When I make this, it doesn't look half as good as yours.

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  7. Oh and very sorry to hear about your computer and photos - what a big pain!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It happened to us once before and Graham has a gadget to use, but he never puts anything away where it should go, so after not using it for years, he doesn't actually have a clue where it is, sheesh!

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  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  9. My sister-in-law makes this every Burns Night with Haggis and Neeps. Delcious> :-)

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    Replies
    1. That sounds like a great tradition to have Jen :)

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  10. I am sorry about the demise of your computer Jacqueline. It reminds me that I need to save, save, and backup my photos!

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  11. I made rumbledethumps a few years ago and loved it but I think I had so much of it that I was a bit sick of it by the time I finished it. I mostly loved the name, though. The scots really do know how to twist your tongue.

    Sorry to hear about your computer - hope you didn't lose too many photos or other documents - and glad you are able to find a computer to post this - so hard to keep backing up - I do it occasionally but not often enough

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    Replies
    1. We got a new but cheaper laptop, so we could get an ipad too. Laptops are so much cheaper now. I have joined dropbox so I can save online as I go.

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  12. Love the look of that Jac - but then anything covered with melted cheese would get my vote! I hope you're managing after your computer died - it's so frustrating to lose pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am hoping hubby will be able to retrieve them :)

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  13. Ooh yum, I have all the ingredients in the fridge I think. I tried mash with wild sorrel this week, so that might be a nice twist to try too. I adore cabbage, especially Savoy. Thanks for linking up, too! x

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    Replies
    1. That's ok, it seemed to be a good fit for your challenge :)

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  14. yummy - this looks delicious Jac - I love a good potato and veg pie- thanks for posting this!!

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  15. What a hearty & tasty comfort food dish!

    Rich & great in real flavours too! :) MMMMM,..!

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  16. Hope your computer gets better soon. This looks lovely - I am a cabbage and potato fiend so this is right up my street

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    Replies
    1. We gave up on it and bought another laptop CC, now we just have to get our files off the old one.

      Potato and cabbage go together so well, I understand why you love the combo so much :)

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  17. Can food get any more comforting? Delicious and just right in this wintery spring weather.

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    Replies
    1. It is definitely comfort food and yes, the weather is really shocking just now, although I am looking at our garden and the blossom tree is covered in pink blossom, it is so pretty :)

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  18. looks really nice and filling, good economy dish too.

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  19. I love the name. Sounds like another great way to combine potatoes and cabbage (an amazing combination).

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  20. This looks delicious! I love potatoes and probably eat more than I should. I also love the name of the dish. Sorry to hear about your computer - very sad indeed. Hope its all ok now?

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  21. I wonder if I could do this in a slow cooker?

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x