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Traditional Scottish Clapshot with Tatties & Neeps

 An easy recipe for the traditional Scottish tatties & neeps dish called clapshot. Perfect to serve at a Burns Supper with haggis or Sunday Dinner with sausages, veg & gravy.

Traditional Scottish Clapshot.

What is clapshot?

Clapshot is a traditional Scottish side dish made with neeps and tatties.

It was originally made in Orkney, but its popularity spread through the Scottish highlands and down through the rest of Scotland.

You'll often find it served alongside haggis at a Burns Supper to celebrate the birthday of Scotland's national bard Robert (or Rabbie) Burns.

However, I often serve it with sausages, vegetables, and onion gravy (or my homemade mushroom gravy).

Why is it called clapshot?

It is said the name clapshot comes from the metal base of the potato masher hitting the pan as the potatoes are mashed, which was supposed to sound like gunshots.

This could well be true, as we have a bit of history for naming dishes after the sound they make, like rumbledethumps which are named after the noise of the wooden spoon mixing the ingredients and hitting the bowl.

Rumbledethumps is another national dish of Scotland made with tatties.

Tatties in a pan of cold water.

Tatties, what are they?

Tatties is the Scottish term for potatoes.

Although in some Scottish regional dialects this changes to totties (taughties).

It's the same thing, just another way of pronouncing it.

Scottish neep or turnip.

What are neeps?

Neep is the Scottish word for turnip.

That wee hairy beast (no not a haggis) of the vegetable world (sometimes a big hairy beast) that's a right pain to cut into chunks.

The specimen in my photo isn't hairy as it's just a wee fellow, but some of the big belters have wee hairy bits of root still attached

Is turnip the same as swede?

Now here is the common argument debate (mostly) between the Scots and the English.

In Scotland, we call them turnips (neeps) but in England, they call them swedes.

Our Celtic brethren in Ireland also call them turnip.

In Wales, they have Welsh names for them, meipen, rwden or erfinen.

And our American friends often call them rutabaga.

So what's going on with all these names for a turnip?

It all starts in Sweden with the Swedish turnip.

In Scotland & Ireland, we abbreviated that to just turnip but in England, they abbreviated it to swede.

The American term rutabaga comes from the Swedish word rotabagge which means thick root.

It's as simple as that.

Tumshie or baigie

And to confuse things further, in Scotland we also have a pet name (or Scottish slang name) for this hard winter vegetable.

We call it tumshie (my mum's word of choice) or baggie (pronounced baigie).

Scottish clapshot topped with melted butter.

Is clapshot the same as Irish champ?

It's a similar style of potato dish as clapshot, but champ doesn't include turnip, although it does include the herbs.

There are a lot of recipes in Scotland that are similar to those made by our Celtic friends in Ireland.

We both share a real love of potatoes and hearty comforting food, that's for sure.

Mashed neeps in a cast iron pan.

How to cook neeps

Neeps (turnip or swede) are usually peeled, cut into chunks and boiled or steamed until tender, then mashed with butter (or plant-based butter), salt and pepper.

You can use fresh turnip or frozen turnip when making clapshot.

For more tips on cooking fresh and frozen turnip or swede, check out my guide to cooking neeps.

There's also a quicker way of cooking turnip that's a lot less bother.

Wait for it .......... the microwave (if you have one).

A turnip cooking in a microwave.

Cooking turnip or swede in the microwave

I think I first saw someone cooking a whole turnip in the microwave on Tiktok.

It really is a great place to pick up tips and ideas on all sorts of things, including cooking a tumshie.

You just pop the whole turnip in, zap it for a few minutes, turn it upside down, then zap it again for another few minutes.

It's as simple as that!

Cut the top off (remember it's very hot) and scoop out the soft, cooked orange flesh with a scoop.

You'll never go back.

Tips for making the best Scottish clapshot

Here are a few tips for making this traditional Scottish dish like a Scot.

  1. Use floury potatoes (like Maris Piper or King Edward) and cook them until soft and tender.
  2. Leave the cooked potatoes in the colander (you drained then in) to steam dry for a few minutes.
    • You don't want any water in mashed potato, it will ruin the texture and make it sloppy.
  3. Make sure the turnip/swede is cooked until soft.
  4. If you are cooking the turnip in water also allow it to steam dry in the colander.
  5. Adjust the turnip (or swede) to potato ratio depending on how much your family like turnip.
    • Traditionally it is made half and half (quantity) or just a bit more potato, but you can use less turnip if your family aren't keen.
  6. Use white pepper if you can get it, if not you can use black pepper.
  7. Mash everything really well until fairly smooth with a potato masher or potato ricer.
  8. Taste to check the seasoning.

Is clapshot suitable for vegans?

Swap butter for plant-based butter and a dish of clapshot is the perfect dairy-free side dish.

It's suitable for vegans and it's gluten-free.

Sausages, veg, clapshot and gravy on a plate.

How to serve clapshot

Clapshot is often served with haggis and a creamy whisky sauce with some oatcakes on the side.

However, it's also good served with sausages, veg and gravy or with sausages (or sausage rolls) and baked beans (that one is always popular with kids and big kids *looking at my husband*).

It really good as part of any meal where you would normally serve with smooth mash.

Vegan haggis served with neeps, tatties and a creamy whisky sauce.

What is served at a Burns Supper?

A Burns Night supper is served on the 25th January to celebrate the Scottish Poet Robert Burns (it's his birthday).

It can be served at home or at a more formal supper where the haggis is piped in (bagpipes) and the meal is followed by a ceilidh (Scottish dancing).

Traditionally the meal starts with a Scottish soup like a Scotch broth, then followed by the main course of haggis (try my easy vegan haggis), neeps and tatties (or clapshot) served with a jug of creamy whisky sauce to pour over the meal.

For pudding (or dessert) it's usually clootie dumpling or sometimes cranachan.

You can learn more about Burns Suppers in this Guide to Throwing a Burns Supper by Lochcarron of Scotland.

How long does clapshot keep?

It's best made and served fresh, but you can keep leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days and reheat them in the microave or in an ovenproof dish (in the oven), covered with foil.

I wouldn't make them ahead and freeze them.

What to do with leftover clapshot

If you have leftover clapshot (we never do, as the dogs love it too), it's a nice idea to make tattie scones with them.

Just mix them with some baking powder and flour until you have a dough, then roll thin and cut into triangles (or use a cookie cutter or scone cutter to cut out circles) and cook on a hot pan or griddle (girdle) to serve with a cooked breafast.

You can have a look at my potato scones recipe to give you the basics.

More traditional Scottish recipes

Here are a few Scottish menu ideas for you to try next.

  1. Creamy Whisky Sauce
  2. Mushroom Stew (a plant-based variation on beef stew)
  3. Rumbledethumps
  4. Scotch Broth
  5. Scottish Lentil Soup
  6. Slow Cooker Stovies
  7. Vegan Haggis
  8. Chocolate Tiffin
  9. Pear & Ginger Crumble
  10. Scottish Macaroons
For more Scottish recipes, check out my page Scottish Recipes for Vegetarians & Vegans.

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Scottish clapshot served with sausages, mash and gravy.

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How to make Traditional Scottish Clapshot

A step-by-step photo guide followed by a full printable recipe. 

Making Scottish Clapshot - Step 1.

Step 1

  • Boil or steam the potatoes until tender, then drain and return to the pot.
  • Steam, boil or microwave the turnip (swede) and add to the pot with the cooked potatoes.
  • Add the herbs and seasonings.

Making Scottish Clapshot - Step 2.

Step 2

  • Add butter (I used vegan butter or spread) and mash well until smooth.
  • Taste to check the seasoning,
  • You can serve it the table topped with some extra melted butter (for luxury) and let people help themselves.
  • Serve as a side with dinner instead of mashed potatoes.
  • Enjoy!
I hope you try this neep and tatties recipe.

clapshot, neeps and tatties, Scottish recipe, Scottish clapshot, tatties, potatoes
Side dish
Yield: 6 (unless you are very hungry!)
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Traditional Scottish Clapshot with Tatties & Neeps

Traditional Scottish Clapshot with Tatties & Neeps

An easy recipe for the traditional Scottish tatties & neeps dish called clapshot. Perfect to serve at a Burns Supper with haggis or Sunday Dinner with sausages, veg & gravy.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 35 Min


  • 1.5 kg potatoes (3 1/3 lbs floury potatoes), peeled and quartered, then steamed or boiled until tender
  • 450g (1 lb) turnip (swede or rutabaga), peeled, chopped into large chunks and boiled or steamed until soft. Alternatively, you can microwave it whole (see notes).
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter (or your regular butter)
  • 1 large handful of chives, finely chopped
  • 2 generous pinches salt (more if you need to)
  • 2 generous pinches white pepper (if you can, if not, use black pepper)


  1. Add the cooked and drained potatoes back to your large pot.
  2. Next add the cooked turnip.
  3. Add the chives, salt and pepper, then add the butter.
  4. Mash until smooth, then taste to check the seasoning, you may want more seasoning.
  5. Serve and enjoy!


  • You can add more turnip so there is an even amount of potato and turnip (swede) about 1 kg or 1 1/3 lb of each.
  • If you have a microwave, then cook the turnip whole, then you can scoop it out with a spoon and no chopping of that tough skin.
  • My small 450g / 1 lb turnip (swede) took 6 minutes, then I turned it upside down and gave it another 6 minutes. A larger turnip will take longer, but it's a brilliant way of cooking them.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

1.84 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.49 g

Carbs (grams)

49.52 g

Fiber (grams)

7.65 g

Net carbs

41.87 g

Sugar (grams)

35.94 g

Protein (grams)

2.73 g

Sodium (milligrams)

190.06 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

0 mg

This information is approximated using a nutrition and calorie calculator.


  1. So much flavour, but so simple. I love this dish!

    1. Yes it's always a winner and a good way to get kids to eat turnip/swede.

  2. Oh Jacqs that looks so good. Why have I never heard of this before?

    1. It's such a simple dish I was in two minds about sharing it but then thought some of my readers might like it.

  3. What an inspired way to cook a swede. I hate chopping it. I will definitely try this. Sammie x

    1. I will be cooking it this way from now on. I detest cutting turnips/swedes.

  4. This Scotish clapshot was so delicious! My first time trying it at home, and the family loved it!

    1. I am so glad you snd your family loved it. A simple but delicious dish

  5. I love potatoes and turnips mashed together and I'm even more excited that I can now call it tatties and neeps!

    1. Haha yes, that sounds so much better doesn't it?

  6. What a great recipe! I think this would make a very tasty side dish

    1. Oh yes clapshot I'd a fab side dish. Serve it any time you would serve mashed potato.

  7. Such a delicious side dish that had everyone asking for seconds. I had never made this before, but it was like a true taste of Scotland right in my kitchen!


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