Skirlie ball recipe

Skirlie ball recipe

Skirlie balls with salad

Skirlie balls with salad

Quick info

  • Recipe difficulty - medium
  • Preparation time - 20 mins
  • Cooking time - 15 mins
  • Serves - 15
  • Dietary - Vegetarian
  • Allergens - eggs Soybeans Milk oats


Skirlie is a traditional Scottish recipe, normally used as a stuffing mix made of butter or lard fried onions and oats.

This version has been adapted with a healthier coating, fried in a little olive or rapeseed oil and then baked in the oven. These skirlie potato balls are delicious hot as a light dinner or cold as a picnic snack.

Skirlie balls

  • 10 new potatoes
  • 300g oats
  • 1 tablespoon of olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 brown onion (diced)
  • 2 teaspoons of thyme (fresh or dried)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary


  • 1 small red onion (finely diced)
  • 30g of cheddar cheese
  • 30g of soft cream cheese
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce


  • Baking tray
  • Chopping board
  • Deep 23cm/9inch frying pan
  • Knife
  • Large bowl
  • Masher
  • Vegetable peeler

How to make Skirlie balls

Step 1

Preheat oven to 200ᵒC/Gas mark 6

Step 2

Steam the potatoes until soft (steaming helps retain more of the vitamin C, that would normally get thrown away with the water after boiling)

Step 3

While the potatoes are cooking, fry the brown onion in the oil for 2 minutes until soft, then add the oats, thyme and rosemary and toast until the oats start to become golden in colour. Leave to cool.

Step 4

Mash the potatoes and leave to cool slightly while you make the filling mix

Step 5

Mix the cheese, cream cheese and red onion in a bowl until well combined.

Step 6

Flatten a palm-sized piece of potato in your hand, place a teaspoon of filling in the centre and roll into a ball.

Step 7

Mix the beaten egg and soy sauce in a bowl

Step 8

Roll each potato ball into the toasted oat mix (skirlie) until well coated, then place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 mins, turning halfway through.

Per portion

Per 1 skirlie ball

Energy 632kj 151kcal 7.55%

Fat 4.37g 6%

Saturates 1.3g 7%

Carbohydrates 23.6g 24%

Sugars 1.46g 2%

Salt 0.24g 4%

Protein 5.1g Low

Fibre 2.88g Med

Food Value













Vitamin a

Vitamin c

Vitamin d

Vitamin e




Pantothenic acid





Good source of vitamin C

Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C and a source of vitamin B6. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which helps protect our cells from damage and also helps to make collagen which is important in the function and repair of our skin, cartilage and bone. Vitamin B6 helps to break down our glycogen stores for energy.

Help with metabolism of iron in our bodies

Both Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 are also important for the metabolism of iron in our bodies, with Vit C increasing the amount of iron we absorb in our guts from plant sources (non-haem iron) and Vit B6 helping to metabolise and transport iron in and around our bodies This is particularly important for those of us who are non-meat eaters such as vegetarians and vegans and are more likely to have reduced blood iron levels.

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