Delicious and Nutritious Scottish Rumbledethumps Recipe

Welcome to my kitchen, where we are cooking up a storm with a traditional Scottish dish that is sure to warm your soul and fill your belly. Today, I will be sharing with you my version of the classic recipe for Scottish Rumbledethumps.

For those who are not familiar with this traditional dish, Rumbledethumps is essentially a bubble and squeak made with potatoes and cabbage. In Scotland, it is considered a comforting side dish that goes well with any main course or enjoyed as a main meal on its own.

I fell in love with this dish during my travels to the Scottish Borders, where it originates. The combination of mashed potatoes, cabbage, and cheddar cheese baked to golden brown perfection is simply irresistible. This dish is so versatile that it can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

So come along as I guide you through the step-by-step process of making this authentic Rumbledethumps recipe from scratch. Trust me; it is worth taking the time and effort to prepare this dish using fresh ingredients. Get ready to impress your family and friends with this hearty and delicious Scottish dish on Burns Night or any other day of the year.

Let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Scottish Rumbledethumps
Scottish Rumbledethumps

Looking for a dish that’s versatile, flavorful and authentic? Allow me to introduce you to Scottish Rumbledethumps. This traditional Scottish dish is hearty, comforting, and packed with all the goodness of its main ingredients – potatoes, cabbage, and cheddar cheese.

Firstly, this dish is perfect for any occasion or time of day. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, Scottish Rumbledethumps works as a main dish, side dish or even as a chic starter. It’s ideal for Burns Night or any winter event when you want something savory and warm in your tummy.

Secondly, Scottish Rumbledethumps is vegetarian-friendly. Made with potatoes and cabbage, this recipe can easily substitute for meat dishes. It brings diversity to your cooking and helps reduce your meat intake contributing positively to both your health and planet.

Thirdly, the flavor combination of the rumbledethumps recipe is unbeatable. The mashed potatoes are creamy and melt-in-your-mouth while the cabbage is sweet and tender with a hint of earthiness. When mixed together generously with cheddar cheese, you’ll quickly discover that this combination has been made in heaven.

Lastly and importantly, the recipe itself is fairly easy to prepare. All it requires is basic cooking skills like peeling potatoes and shredding cabbage finely. Mixing the ingredients thoroughly and topping with butter takes only a few minutes once everything is prepared. From there on out it’s just waiting until it bakes perfectly into bubbly perfection!

Overall, Scottish Rumbledethumps is an excellent addition to your cooking repertoire. It is a satisfying meal that will keep you coming back every time!

Ingredient List

 A hearty and comforting Scottish Rumbledethumps will make you feel like you're dining in the highlands!
A hearty and comforting Scottish Rumbledethumps will make you feel like you’re dining in the highlands!

Here are the ingredients you will need to make Scottish Rumbledethumps:

Main Ingredients:

  • Potatoes
  • Cabbage (preferably green, but savoy cabbage or kale works too)
  • Onion
  • Cheddar cheese (mature for full flavor)
  • Milk
  • Butter

This traditional Scottish dish is made with mashed potatoes, cabbage, and onion. It is similar to Irish Colcannon but with a few differences. To give it an authentic taste, we used Scottish borders’ main ingredients; potato, cabbage, and onion. Additionally, cheddar cheese is used to add a savory flavor to the dish.

Optional Ingredients & Substitutions:

Rumbledethumps can be made with variations of vegetables if you prefer a unique twist on this traditional dish. Below are some optional ingredients that you can add or substitute:

  • Turnips
  • Carrots
  • Bacon
  • Ham

Moreover, if you want a vegetarian version of Rumbledethumps, skip the bacon/ham and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. You can also reduce the amount of butter and cheese for a lighter option.

Now that we have gone through the list of ingredients needed for this recipe let’s dive into how you can prepare this amazing meal!

The Recipe How-To

 This is not your average potato dish, our Rumbledethumps is packed with flavor and texture.
This is not your average potato dish, our Rumbledethumps is packed with flavor and texture.

Scottish Rumbledethumps Recipe

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

  2. In a pan, boil 6 medium potatoes for about 20-25 minutes until they are soft enough to mash.

  3. While the potatoes are cooking, finely shred 1 head of green cabbage.

  4. In a separate pan, melt 3 tbsp of butter over medium heat and sauté the cabbage until it’s soft and tender.

  5. Once the potatoes are done, drain them and add 1/2 cup of milk, then mash until they’re smooth.

  6. Add in the softened cabbage and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Mix well.

  7. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

  8. Transfer the mixture into a baking dish and spread it evenly. Sprinkle some more cheddar cheese on top if you wish.

  9. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until it’s baked golden brown on top.

Authentic Scottish Rumbledethumps Done Right

  1. The mashed potatoes is the main ingredient for rumbledethumps recipe, so make sure to whip them up properly to get a creamy texture.

  2. Use Savoy cabbage, which has a milder taste than regular cabbage, if you prefer a less strong cabbage flavor.

  3. Looking to make it vegan? Replace butter with plant-based butter, such as Earth Balance or coconut oil, and use vegan cheddar cheese instead of regular one.

  4. You can get creative with your ingredients by incorporating some chopped kale or onions into the mix for added flavour and texture.

  5. Serve piping hot as a side dish or as a main dish in itself with some extra veggies on the side.

Note: This traditional Scottish dish is perfect for Burns Night or any night of the week. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes and cabbage from other meals. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Get ready to rumble with this dish that's perfect to make on a chilly evening.
Get ready to rumble with this dish that’s perfect to make on a chilly evening.

An excellent aspect of Scottish Rumbledethumps Recipe is its versatility that allows room for substitutions and variations. If you can’t find one of the suggested ingredients or happen to be allergic to one of them, there are several easy substitutes. Instead of cabbage, you can use kale, Savoy cabbage, or any other leafy green vegetable. You can also swap the cheddar cheese with any sharp flavored cheese like Gouda or Dubliner.

For vegetarians, this dish is already a perfect fit; however, if you’re looking to make meat-lover friends happy too, you could add diced pieces of cooked bacon, ham or even sausages. Moreover, you might want to mix diced carrots and diced onions to complement the main ingredients – potatoes and cabbage.

You can also make a Scottish potato pie variation by adding this mixture to a pre-made pie crust that will leave everyone satisfied. Another way to switch it up is turning Rumbledethumps into smaller patties and baking them onto perfection. This recipe serves as a classic daytime dish side for any occasion.

Whether you’re a Scottish traditionalist who wants authenticity in every dish, or someone looking for alternative options, there’s a suitable Rumbledethumps variation for every taste preference.

Serving and Pairing

 Warm up and indulge with this delicious, cheesy and crunchy recipe.
Warm up and indulge with this delicious, cheesy and crunchy recipe.

Scottish Rumbledethumps are a versatile dish that can be served in many different ways. This comforting and hearty dish is perfect as a standalone main course or as a side dish to complement your favorite meat dishes. Its subtle cabbage flavor pairs well with various meats like roasted beef, pork chops, lamb, chicken and even sausages.

For an added crunch, try pairing rumbledethumps with some crispy bacon or sliced ham. You could also sprinkle with fresh herbs like parsley or chives for an extra burst of flavor and color. This dish also goes well with roasted root vegetables like carrots and parsnips or with a simple green salad.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing rumbledethumps with mashed neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes), which are essential components of the traditional Scottish meal, haggis. Scottish Rumbledethumps is also a great meal for celebrations such as Burns Night.

For a vegetarian twist, add more cabbage or kale to the dish and serve it along with some crusty bread or roasted vegetables. If you want to stick to traditional Scottish cuisine, pair your Rumbledethumps with an authentic Scottish whiskey or local beer for an authentic experience.

No matter what way you choose to serve and pair Rumbledethumps, be prepared for a satisfying and comforting dish that will leave you feeling warm and satisfied on even the coldest of nights.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Simple yet scrumptious, Rumbledethumps is a classic Scottish dish everyone will love.
Simple yet scrumptious, Rumbledethumps is a classic Scottish dish everyone will love.

My darlings, I know time is of the essence when it comes to cooking, and that’s why I’ve got you covered with some tips for making rumbledethumps ahead of time. You can prepare this dish up to two days in advance without compromising on its flavour.

To make ahead, prepare the recipe as directed and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. When ready to reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and bake the rumbledethumps for 25-30 minutes until heated through.

If you’re short on time and looking for a quick meal, leftover rumbledethumps can be easily reheated on the stove top. Simply place your leftovers in a pot over medium heat with a splash of milk or cream and stir gently until heated through.

If you have made a large batch of rumbledethumps and would like to store them for future use, my advice is to flash freeze individual portions before storing them in resealable bags. This way, you can simply thaw out as much as you need at any given time.

And there you have it my lovelies, some tips for making ahead, storing and reheating your traditional Scottish rumbledethumps recipe without losing any of its authentic flavour.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Creamy mashed potatoes, savory cabbage, and melted cheese baked to golden perfection.
Creamy mashed potatoes, savory cabbage, and melted cheese baked to golden perfection.

As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I have some handy tips for creating the perfect Scottish rumbledethumps. These tips will help to ensure that every bite of your dish is full of flavor and the textures are just right. So, let’s get started with some of my kitchen secrets.

1. Use starchy potatoes

The type of potatoes you use can affect the texture and taste of your rumbledethumps. Starchy potatoes, like Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, are best for this recipe because they have a fluffy texture that mashes well. Avoid using waxy potatoes as they tend to be too firm and produce a gluey mash.

2. Cook the cabbage until tender

Cooking the cabbage until it’s tender is crucial for making authentic rumbledethumps. Boil or steam your finely shredded cabbage for about 10-15 minutes until it’s fully cooked through before adding it to the mashed potatoes.

3. Add garlic for extra flavor

Garlic is an excellent ingredient that can add depth and flavor to your rumbledethumps. You can use minced garlic or roasted garlic depending on your preference. I recommend using roasted garlic as it brings out a sweet-nutty flavor and complements the dish’s mildness perfectly.

4. Go light on the milk

When it comes to adding milk to your mashed potato and cabbage mixture, less is more. Adding too much milk can make your mixture runny and ruin its rich texture. Start with little milk, roughly one tablespoon at a time, and mix thoroughly until you get the desired texture.

5. Add plenty of butter

Butter is an essential ingredient in any rumbledethumps recipe as it adds richness and enhances flavors’ depth. Adding two tablespoons of butter per each cup of mashed potatoes should do the trick.

By following these tips, your Scottish rumbledethumps will turn out golden brown, crispy on top, and creamy on the inside, just as they should be. Enjoy your comforting bowl of rumbledethumps with pride and delight!


Now that you have mastered the delicious Scottish Rumbledethumps recipe and have enjoyed the dish with your family or friends, it’s time to clear up some common doubts that may come up while preparing this authentic Scottish dish. I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) to help you tackle any issues that may arise. So, let’s take a look!

What is the Scottish dish rumble pumps?

Rumbledethumps, a popular dish in the Scottish Borders, features potatoes, cabbage, and onions as its main ingredients. It can be savored as a main dish or as a side dish to a main meal, and is similar in many respects to Irish colcannon and English bubble and squeak. Notably, this dish is perfect for repurposing roast meal leftovers.

Where does the name Rumbledethumps come from?

Rumbledethumps refer to a nourishing Scottish side dish comprising of potatoes and cabbage. According to folklore, the dish’s name comes from the thumping sounds of the tatties and cabbage colliding as they are mixed with a wooden spoon.

What is the best potato for mash Scotland?

When it comes to making the perfect mashed potatoes, experts recommend using varieties like Maris Piper or King Edward which have a floury or fluffy texture. However, for a smoother finish, the Potato Council advocates using the Desiree variety.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Scottish Rumbledethumps recipe is an excellent addition to any dinner table. This traditional Scottish dish is made using main ingredients such as potatoes, cabbage, onion, and cheddar cheese. I recommend trying this comfort food as it is a perfect side dish and can be served with vegetarian recipes. Its baked golden brown version or the traditional scottish pie variation Bubble and squeak are some perfect alternatives to this dish.

Scottish Rumbledethumps recipe is similar to Irish colcannon, but the taste of both dishes varies. You will love this dish because it is hearty, comforting and delicious. It’s a great dish to celebrate Burns Night with your friends and family or enjoy on any other day.

The best thing about this recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and reheated when ready to serve. Plus, you can substitute ingredients and come up with variations that your family will love.

Finally, I hope that this article has encouraged you to try this traditional Scottish Rumbledethumps recipe in your own kitchen. Don’t forget to share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments section below.

Scottish Rumbledethumps

Scottish Rumbledethumps Recipe

Excellent side dish served with lamb roast or chops. Prep time does not include cooking time of the potatoes and cabbage.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Scottish
Keyword < 30 Mins, Cheese, Potato, Vegetable
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Calories 552.6kcal


  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 5 cups cabbage, chopped (1/2 large head)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded cheese (6 oz.)
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Cook potatoes until tender; drain.
  • Cook cabbage until tender; drain.
  • Beat potatoes and butter until smooth. Add milk to make fluffy texture (1/3 cup plus or minus).
  • Add cabbage; beat well. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place in 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle cheese over top.
  • Bake in 350 degrees oven until cheese melts and mixture is hot, about 10 minutes.


Serving: 322g | Calories: 552.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 62.2g | Protein: 19.1g | Fat: 26.7g | Saturated Fat: 16.8g | Cholesterol: 77.9mg | Sodium: 389.8mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5.8g

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