A quick vegetarian no-suet mincemeat recipe with a much shorter mature time compared with traditional mincemeat. It also makes a fabulous filling for gluten free mince pie macarons – without the pie.

holiday mincemeat macaron

Feeling Festive on Stir-Up Sunday

As Stir-up Sunday falls upon us at the end of November, it’s a time to start thinking about being festive in the kitchen.  Seeing prompts on social media reminded me.

So what is Stir-up Sunday? Stir-up Sunday takes place the last Sunday before Advent. Traditionally, it’s the day that good British home cooks get stirring the Christmas pudding and top it up with more Brandy. The whole family gets to stir it around, making a wish while doing so.

At home in France, however, Antoine isn’t a fan of Christmas pudding – although sticky toffee pudding with apple is, however, a great hit.

So, instead, I get around this catastrophe of keeping a little bit of my Britishness by stirring up some homemade mincemeat and finding ways to French it up a bit.

quick no-suet mincemeat recipe

No-Suet Vegetarian Mincemeat Recipe

Whilst Christmas pudding needs time to mature before Christmas, the bonus is that this mincemeat doesn’t need as long to mature. It only requires a few days and can keep for up to a year – although I haven’t even tried it as it disappears pretty quickly! Moreover, as traditional mincemeat uses beef suet, I prefer making this vegetarian version, using butter instead.

So it has all the traditional ingredients of mincemeat without the suet.

My daughters are absolutely nuts about mincemeat and mince pies – especially when homemade with this mincemeat.  So we can make pies with more filling rather than more pie dough, so they are lighter than store-bought mince pies. It’s also great for filling these deliciously quick and easy Mincemeat Pinwheels.

mincemeat spirals on a shiny red plate dusted with icing sugar

Mincemeat Macarons (Vegetarian & Gluten-Free)

Now that we have homemade British-style mincemeat, it’s time to French them up a bit. Consequently, we said Bonjour to mincemeat macarons!

Make a batch of dark coloured macarons (adding 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon in the shells) and fill them with this vegetarian mincemeat. Recipes for macarons are in my books: Mad About Macarons!

If you close your eyes, you’ll discover the taste is just like a mince pie without the pastry.

Moreover, it’s also like a light gluten free Christmas pudding! It’s festive. It’s fruity. It’s spiced.
Healthy too with apples, pecan or walnuts.

mince pie macaron with holly and jar of mincemeat

When you follow the mincemeat macaron filling recipe below, there are two versions:

  • Either blitz the filling to make a smooth paste, making it easy to pipe out using a piping bag.
  • Alternatively, just spoon it on (like in the photo). Don’t forget, however, to let your mince pie macarons mature patiently in the fridge for at least 24 hours. What? The macarons are patient or are you?

As this uses butter instead of suet, this is suitable for vegetarians and, like all macaron recipes in my books, are gluten free.

close-up mincemeat macaron dusted with icing sugar

What Can I Make with No-Suet Mincemeat?

Plus, it goes without saying – you don’t need to just fill macarons with this.

It’s great for making your own mince pies or for spooning over creamy rice pudding for something festive.
Or top on Palets Bretons (French butter biscuits from Brittany) for a French style mince pie.

holiday mincemeat macaron
5 from 2 votes

Quick No-Suet Mincemeat

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course : Condiments, confiserie
Cuisine : British
Keyword : no-suet mincemeat spirals, Vegetarian mincemeat recipe, mincemeat macaron filling
Servings : 4 jam jars


An easy, quick no-suet mincemeat recipe, ideal for vegetarians and gluten free. Little time needed to mature compared with traditional mincemeat. It also makes a fabulous filling for macarons!


  • 275 g (10oz) Apples (about 2-3) peeled, cored and grated (I used Granny Smith)
  • 200 g (7oz/ 1¼ cups) Golden sultanas
  • 200 g (7oz) Cranberries
  • 100 g (3.5oz/ 2/3 cup) Raisins
  • 100 g (3.5oz) Currants
  • 100 g (3.5oz) Dates chopped
  • 50 g (2oz/ scant ½ cup) Slivered almonds broken
  • 100 g (3.5oz) candied orange peel
  • 25 g (1oz/ 2 tbsp) pecan nuts (or walnuts) chopped finely
  • 200 g (7oz / 1¼ cups) soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice pain d'épices
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 orange (grated zest and juice) unwaxed/organic
  • 100 g (3.5oz/scant ½ cup) butter unsalted
  • 10 tbsp Cognac Brandy, apple or orange juice


  • Throw all the ingredients and 8 tbsp of the Brandy (or apple juice) in a heavy-based pot with a lid and cook on a low-medium heat for about an hour.
  • Allow to cool, stir in another 2 tbsp of Brandy, then fill sterilised jars with the mixture
  • For filling macarons, blitz the mixture in a food processor (or hand blender) until a smooth paste.
    Leave to cool then fill your macaron shells with the mincemeat paste and sandwich them together. Leave to mature in a container in the fridge for 24 hours, to let the macaron magic do its work.


Once cooled and in jars, the butter will appear but that’s normal. When used in mince pies or other dessert recipes, this will disappear.
Storage: As long as this mincemeat is kept in sealed, sterilised jars, it can keep for a year in a cool, dry place. Once opened, keep refrigerated.
Measures: Please note that all my recipes are best made using digital kitchen scales in precise metric grams. Both ounces (and cups) are given as an approximate guide. 

This post was originally published December 1st 2016 but is now republished to include new images and updated text.

From the market

From the kitchen

11 responses to “Quick No-Suet Mincemeat (Macaron Filling)”

  1. Jill, are fresh cranberries and dried cranberries interchangeable in this recipe?

    • I’ve only ever used dried for this mincemeat, Geni – but fresh would work too! Enjoy and thanks for popping in x

  2. […] and spices but I have to admit that I prefer it without the suet. So, after making this delicious vegetarian (no-suet) mincemeat with added apple the other day, I was itching to make something with […]

  3. Now I really like this macaron filling for Christmas day. I am quite excited to make them for gifts as I’ve found gift bags shaped like a gingerbread house. We have been invited for a buffet on Boxing Day too so I think these macarons will go down very well. Thank you for the idea Jill.

    • They sound fun Christmas bags and so great that you’ll be giving them as gifts! Please share them with us on Facebook, June, if you can… 🙂

  4. I like the sound of this and beautiful in a macaron, Jill. A spoonful on rice pudding would also be great.

    • What a brilliant idea, Jean-Pierre. Thank you!
      Rice pudding with warmed mincemeat sounds gorgeous.

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