The Scot, one of the most high-profile actors to support the independence cause, said he was “very proud” to be British.
Speaking in a new podcast interview, he admitted he did not consider him to be Scottish until he worked in London and America.
However he said his view of the country changed when he returned to work on Outlander in 2013 – the year before the independence referendum.
Last year Heughan joined forces with Outlander co-star Graham McTavish to publish “Clanlands,” a road trip book charting Scottish heritage and culture. The pair launched a TV travel show, Men In Kilts, earlier this year.
Speaking on The Cultural Coven podcast, hosted by actress Nicola Roy, Heughan said: “Growing up when we did, Scotland was stuck in a shortbread tin kind of world. It did feel kind of twee.
"Certainly going to London and America...I never felt Scottish till I went to other places and people start seeing you as Scottish. But I tried to do what I think all actors try to do and immerse myself in another country and try to fit in.
“But then coming back (to Scotland) to work on Outlander I just realised what an incredible country it is and how much I love it.
“Learning more about the language, culture and history is fascinating. That’s why I wanted to create my own TV show and book about it.
“There’s so much to explore and it’s just on our doorstep.
"I think it’s a great wee country and so interesting and not black and white. People think it’s one thing or another.
“On the whole thing about independence and stuff, it’s not about being anti-British at all.
"I’m very proud to be British, but I’m also extremely proud to be Scottish.
"It’s such a great wee country and has a great opportunity.”I’d love to see it work and to remain in Europe. It’s how we’re all going to survive...this world is going to survive if we work together."
Roy tells Heughan on the podcast: “My desire for independence is not anti-anything. I feel we’re a resource-rich country. It’s about having a bit of belief in ourselves again. I want a neighbour, not a ruler.”