IMGP2206 I often joke that I feed the local birds so that my cats have entertainment, but in reality I do it because I love the birds.  I’m especially fond of titmouses, juncos and nuthatches.

IMG_0497 Today I noticed a woodpecker outside. I lamented that I didn’t have any suet to offer him.  Then I remembered that my friend Allison had posted a vegetarian suet that I wanted to share with my vegetarian and vegan readers.  Normal suet is made from beef.  While this doesn’t matter to the birds (birds love to eat bugs), vegans might not want to get it all over their hands.

It’s nice to throw together on a snowy morning.

IMGP2195 The recipe is simple.  It lets you use what you have available in your house at the time.  My suet included oats, buckwheat groats, pumpkin seeds, dried raisins, corn meal, almond butter, and of course vegetable shortening. 

IMG_0485 Other than chopping up the dried fruit and pumpkin seeds there was almost no prep work involved. (Note I wanted to chop the pumpkin seed because I couldn’t find any shelled sunflower seeds)

IMG_0487 The mixture could easily be adapted to suit what your local birds like best, or what is available in your pantry in quantities useless for recipes.

IMG_0488 I’m hoping this mix wont got straight to the squirrels (or racoons).

Vegetarian bird suet

by Miriam Wilcox

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Keywords: microwave for animals vegan vegetarian

Ingredients (1 suet cake)

  • 4 tbsp Vegetable shortening
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp buckwheat groats
  • 6 tbsp corn meal
  • 3 tbsp oats
  • 2 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 2 tbsp chopped pumpkin seeds
  • 4 tbsp chopped raisins and dried berries


Mix ingredients other than almond butter and vegetable shortening.

Melt almond butter and shortening in oven for about 1 minute.

Mix shortening mix with dry ingredients. Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Shape for your suet holder.

Feed to birds

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BTW you could shape your suet into a true suet cake. But I’m lazy and impatient. As soon as it was solidified enough, I threw it in the suet holder and put it outside.IMG_0491

I think it still looks pretty good.

IMGP2186 While I was wandering around my side yard, hoping that my absence would allow the birds to discover the suet for photography purposes.  I made a discovery of my own. 

IMGP2200 The woodpeckers are busy busy animals in my parts apparently. I could totally feed them by stuffing suet in the existing holes.

I would like to leave you with a picture of a junco.  These beauties seem to love eating the seeds that everyone else drops to the ground.  I don’t expect to see them on the feeder.

IMG_0506 Do you feed the local birds suet?  Have you ever tried making your own?

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5 Responses to Homemade vegetarian bird suet

  1. Amelia Madison says:

    I need to try this. It looks quick and easy. I could probably just mix my existing bird food mix with vegetable shortening to make my suet.

  2. Susan Swain says:

    thank you Miriam!!!!! I can”t wait to do this…. I just went vegan 2 weeks ago, and realized this morning I need to find an alternative to store bought suet.
    I appreciate this very much! You rock!!!!! Susan

  3. Nikki Carson says:

    Thanks so much for this! I want to make some shaped suet (like stars, hearts etc) with my son, the kind you don’t use the suet holder with. Do you think the vegetarian recipe will stick the same as the lard recipes if we were to do this? :)

  4. Tammy says:

    I have turned this lovely idea into a christmas gift for the kids to give out. We use cookie cutters and make the cakes into christmas trees and snowmen and such <3

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