Easy Mincemeat Recipe (with gluten-free suet) (2024)

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosures.

Jump to Recipe Print Recipe

ThisEasy Mincemeat Recipeis exactly what you need when you are required to make homemade mince pies pronto. If you want ahomemade mincemeat to use straightawaythen this is the recipe for you. No resting time is needed, it’s a quick assembly job and the result is delicious mincemeat pie filling, plump with fruits, citrus zest, warm spices, rich with brandy and with a silky luxurious texture.

this recipe
Jump to:
  • What is mincemeat?
  • Why do we eat mincemeat at Christmas?
  • Homemade mincemeat vs. shop bought
  • Why you'll love this recipe
  • Ingredients and Notes
  • Variations and Substitutions
  • How to Make Gluten-Free Mincemeat
  • How to store
  • Recommended Equipment
  • Gluten-Free Mince Pie Recipes
  • FAQs
  • How to Use Leftover Mincemeat
  • Easy Mincemeat Recipe (with gluten-free suet)

I simply adore Christmas mincemeat. In my humble opinion it’s the best thing about the season. Along with The Waitresses’ Christmas Wrapping, decorating the Christmas tree and watching the children opening their Christmas stockings.

Stir-up Sunday (the last Sunday before advent) is the traditional day to make your own mincemeat for the season.It’s nice to get this job out of the way in November as it means you can have homemade mince pies at your disposal any time during the holiday period.However it's not always possible to be that organised, I know there has been many a Stir Up Sunday when I have barely touched a toe in the kitchen. However, you can rest assured that if you want to bake a last minute batch of mince pies sometime in December then thisquickmincemeatwill be a life saver.

This is a traditional mincemeat recipe. I don't think you can go wrong with a Delia recipe at your disposal and I'm sure this recipe had origins in hers. But the problem with a lot of traditional mincemeat filling is that one of the main ingredients is suet. Although suet itself is a meat product, the way they sell it in supermarkets is to coat it in wheat flour and it's nigh impossible to buy a gluten-free version.

I'll take you through exactly how you can still make the traditional version of mincemeat which includes suet even if you are on a gluten-free diet, how to cook out and store your mincemeat and as an added bonus all the best ways you can use this invaluable Christmas ingredient.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe (with gluten-free suet) (2)

What is mincemeat?

Mincemeat is the traditional filling of a christmas mince pie. A few hundred years agomincemeat was a way to preserve meat, usually mutton, without smoking or salting. The meat would be chopped very finely, aka minced, then preserved with spirits and spices and sugar. It’s more usual these days for the ground beef to be replaced with beef suet and dried fruit.

Although if you haven’t tried mince pies made in the traditional method using actual beef mince then you need to try this Victorian Mincemeat recipe.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe (with gluten-free suet) (3)

Why do we eat mincemeat at Christmas?

The reason we eat so many mince pies over the festive season is all to do with the spices.It is thought that cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg were given by the magi to the baby Jesus and so mincemeat, which is abundant in these spices, has always traditionally been associated with Christmas.And I totally take umbrage with the idea that if mince pies were so nice then why do we only eat them at this time of year. Well, that’s whyEccles Cakeswere invented. They are basically mince pies that we are allowed to eat all year round.

Homemade mincemeat vs. shop bought

I made the unfortunate mistake of buying pre-made mincemeat for some recipe testing recently and the difference between your own homemade mincemeat and shop bought is extreme.The shop bought stuff is all sugar and no flavour.

This Easy Homemade Mincemeat tastes of plump juicy fruits and spices and is rich with brandy with a silky luxurious texture.

Plus if you’re making your own recipe you can make it exactly to your preference. It's an extremely versatile recipe which you can switch up for the dried fruit, alcohol and type of sugar you have to hand. It will always be a preferred option to the sickly sweet supermarket version.

Why you'll love this recipe

If you need to make someHomemade Mince Piesasap then this easy recipe is the way to go.

  • This homemade mincemeat isso simple to makeand takes no time at all.
  • It's aback-to-basics recipe using traditional ingredients in the fruit filling.
  • Gorgeous rich flavour which is full of christmas spice.
  • No resting time required.
  • It’snot necessary to cook the mincemeatout before filling your pies if you want to eat them straightaway.
  • This is agluten-free mincemeat, which may sound obvious but not all mincemeat is gluten-free (check your suet packaging!)
  • Which leads onto me saying that this is asuet mincemeatwhich is what gives the end result a luxuriously rich and silky texture.
  • They are the perfect filling for your favourite gluten-free mince pie recipe.

Ingredients and Notes

Beef Suet

Beef suet is the hard fat from around the joints and kidneys of the animal. It was traditionally used in mincemeat to preserve it but itis also favoured due to its richness of flavour and the silky way it coats the luscious fruit.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe (with gluten-free suet) (4)

Is beef suet gluten-free?

Unfortunatelythe commercial beef suet you can buy in a packet in your local supermarket is not gluten-free. The hard kidney fat is processed into small pellets which are coated in wheat flour. This allows the suet to be easily stored and weighed and used in baking but it's not gluten-free.

Can you buy gluten-free suet?

I have seen a gluten-free suet option in the supermarket but it is was a vegetable suet and it is not a product I like to use. The ingredients list is iffy and doesn't have the right flavour.

If you want to make gluten-free mincemeat then ask ifyour butcher whether they are able to source fresh beef suet for you . If theysupply it in pellets then it's perfect to use as it is. If it is provided in a hard block then you can grate it with a bit of gluten-free flour to create little fat pellets which helps to evenly disperse the fat. You can store the suet in the freezer in an airtight container and you can use it in this recipe directly from the freezer.

You can also use this fresh beef suet in yourTraditional Christmas Pudding. Or in aSpotted Dick.

The rest of the ingredients

Easy Mincemeat Recipe (with gluten-free suet) (5)

Bramley apples. A lovely tart cooking apple with a full flavour. This chopped apple breaks down into a gorgeous fluffy texture.

Dried fruit. Here we go with a classic selection including raisins, currants and sultanas and mixed peel.

Dark muscovado sugar. A deep flavoured sugar with a rich treacle flavour.

Lemon and orange zest.The citrus peel gives a lovelya fresh zing.

Spices. A gorgeous mix of warm spices are used here including ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

Brandy. Alcohol is traditionally used to help preserve the mincemeat but also gives a luxurious rich flavour.

Variations and Substitutions

Bramley apples. These are cooking apples which break down very well when cooked. If you don't have Bramleys to hand then you can use Granny Smith instead.

Dried fruit. The options recommended here are the most traditional but you can use whatever you have to hand, cranberries, glace cherries, sour cherries.

Beef suet. I don't recommending substituting the suet for a vegetarian suet or vegetable shortening but you can try coconut oil instead. My preferred recommendation if you are looking for a vegan mincemeat is this deliciously fruityCranberry Cointreau Mincemeat.

Dark muscovado sugar. If you want a slightly lighter mincemeat then you can use light muscovado sugar. Or if you only have in soft light brown sugar then use that.

Stem ginger. Try adding some diced pieces of stem ginger into your mincemeat. It will give a delicious ginger warmth.

Brandy. You can swap the brandy for apple cider,dark rum, Pedro Ximénez, Cointreau or even Amaretto.

Alcohol free version. You can switch out the brandy for apple juice or a mix of orange juice and lemon juice (the latter to cut the sweetness).

How to Make Gluten-Free Mincemeat

For full recipe instructions go to the recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. Mix Ingredients:Combine apples with all ingredients (except brandy) in a large ovenproof pot.
  2. Prep Apples:Peel, core, and dice the apples and mix into the rest of the ingredients.

This mincemeat is then ready for immediate use.

  • For Immediate Use:You'll need 250 - 300g for making your mince pies. Stir in the brandy and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days until you are ready to make your mince pies.

If you are not using the mincemeat immediately or you are only using one batch of mincemeat and need to store the rest then you need to cook it out before storing. This is to allow the suet and sugar to melt, coat and preserve all the fruit evenly. Plus it also stops the apples from fermenting.

  1. For Later Use:Cook the mincemeat by covering the pot with a lid and bake at 160°C / 140°C fan assisted / gas mark 3 / 320°F for 1 hour.
  2. Cool and Add Brandy:Let the cooked mincemeat cool to room temperatureand stir in the brandy.
  3. Jar and Store:Transfer to sterilised jam jars. Store in a dark, cool place for up to a year.
Easy Mincemeat Recipe (with gluten-free suet) (6)

How to store

If you are planning on using all your mincemeat within the month then the cooked mincemeat will keep just fine if stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

For longer term storage then decant your mincemeat into sterilised jars. It will keep up to a year if stored in a cool and dark place.

  • To sterilise the glass jars– Place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 150°C / 130°C fan assisted / gas mark 2 / 300°F for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes. It is best not to sterilise lids in the oven as they can easily ruin.
Easy Mincemeat Recipe (with gluten-free suet) (7)

Recommended Equipment

  • Le Creuset Large Casserole Dish– my favourite preserving pan and it's big enough to cook a large amount of preserves or mincemeat. It can be used in the hob or in the oven.
  • Jam Funnel– Very useful for decanting the mincemeat into jars. If you make a lot of chutneys and jams then this inexpensivejam funnelis an absolute must-buy. Useful for decanting pretty much anything around the kitchen too!
  • Kilner jars (500g)– these are great for all kinds of preserving. You can re-use the jars again and again (just clean and sterilise them first) and buying new lids is very easy.

Gluten-Free Mince Pie Recipes

  • Gluten-Free Mince Pies with Homemade Pastry
  • Gluten-Free Frangipane Mince Pies


What can I substitute for the brandy?

You can substitute absolutely any alcohol for the brandy. Rum, Pedro Ximénez, Cointreau or even Amaretto are my favourites. However, if you are avoiding alcohol then you can switch it out for apple juice.

What if I don’t like mixed peel?

If you don’t like mixed peel then just leave it out, or substitute for a couple of tablespoons of marmalade. However, have you ever tried making your own? Homemade Mixed Peel has a vastly superior flavour and can be useful for a lot of your Christmas bakes.

Can I substitute in other dried fruit?

Of course! Anything goes in mincemeat. Chopped dried figs, prunes, cranberries, sour cherries. You can just swap in the same weight of an alternative dried fruit and away you go.

Can you make a vegan version of this recipe?

Yes, you can swap the suet for coconut oil instead. You can add it in liquid or grated in solid form. Although my preferred recommendation if you are looking for a vegan mincemeat is this deliciously fruityCranberry Cointreau Mincemeat.

​How much mincemeat does this recipe make?

This recipe makes about 4 x 300g jars ofmincemeat. Enough for 4 batches of mince pies. Presuming you are not making mince pies for a very large crowd you will want to store the mincemeat you are not using straightaway. This will require cooking it out (see instructions above).

Can I use this mincemeat straightaway?

Yes! Your mince pies will be delicious if you make them with the mincemeat you prepared 5 minutes ago.
However, if you are in the mood for planning ahead thenthe mincemeat will be even better if you make it a week or two before you want to make your mince pieswhich will allow the flavours to mature.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe (with gluten-free suet) (10)

How to Use Leftover Mincemeat

Of course using this Easy Mincemeat Recipe is a great recipe for filling your gluten-free mince pies, frangipane mince pies, mincemeat tarts or a large mincemeat pie but if you have any leftover then look no further than the following recipes.

  • Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}
  • Gluten-Free Mincemeat Muffins
  • Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding

Have you tried this Easy Mincemeat Recipe? Please leave a 5-star ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ rating on the recipe card and consider leaving a comment as well! I would love to hear about how your recipe turned out and your feedback also helps other readers✨

Easy Mincemeat Recipe (with gluten-free suet) (15)

Easy Mincemeat Recipe (with gluten-free suet)

Georgina Hartley

This Easy Mincemeat Recipe is a quick homemade supremely spiced fruity traditional mincemeat essential for mince pies.

5 from 1 vote

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 1 hour hr

Total Time 1 hour hr 15 minutes mins

Course Dessert

Cuisine British

Servings 48 servings

Calories 87 kcal


  • 400 g bramley apples - about 1-2 apples
  • 225 g seedless raisins
  • 225 g currants
  • 225 g sultanas
  • 240 g beef suet - for gluten-free suet see notes
  • 275 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 50 g mixed peel - homemade is preferable
  • zest 1 orange
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 60 ml brandy


  • Peel, core and dice the bramley apples into small pieces.

  • Place the apple pieces into a large ovenproof pot with the rest of the ingredients (except for the brandy) and stir together until everything is well combined.

  • If you want to make mince pies straight away then set aside about 300g and stir in a couple of teaspoons of the brandy. Let the mincemeat rest whilst you prepare the pastry and then you can fill your pies immediately.

  • To prepare the rest of the mincemeat for storing put a lid on the ovenproof pot and place in an oven pre-heated to 150°C / 130°C fan assisted /gas mark 2 / 300°F for 1 hour.

  • Leave the mincemeat to completely cool before stirring in the brandy.

  • Decant the mincemeat into sterilised jars and store in a cool dark place for up to a year.


  • If you are gluten-free I recommend you use fresh beef suet. It’s not possible to buy gluten-free pre-packaged beef suet. I don't recommend the vegetarian version which is gluten-free. Do speak to your local butcher about obtaining fresh suet. It may come in pelleted form which is fine to use as is or a solid block which you will need to grate with a bit of gluten-free flour so that it can evenly disperse throughout the mincemeat. For a vegan version then I would recommend replacing with grated coconut butter but if you are not then I would urge you not to make the switch.
  • Yield 4 x 380g jars
  • You can make your mince pies straightaway using this mincemeat but if you are not then you will need to cook it and store in sterilised jars.
  • To sterilise the jars– Place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 160°C / 140°C fan assisted / gas mark 3 / 320° for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes. It is best not to sterilise lids in the oven as they can easily ruin.

Gluten-Free Mince Pie Recipes

This mincemeat is excellent with both of these mince pie recipes:

  • Gluten-Free Mince Pies with Homemade Pastry.
  • Gluten-Free Frangipane Mince Pies.

US customary measurements

These US measurements for the ingredients provided are based on a conversion calculator. This recipe was tested with metric measurements and I recommend using a digital scale to weigh ingredients for the most accurate results. READ MORE >>> Why you should always weigh vs measuring with cups

Nutrition information

Please note that the nutrition information provided below is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use. Please seek a professional nutritionist’s advice for further clarification.

The nutrition serving is for 1 serving of mincemeat.


Calories: 87kcalCarbohydrates: 13gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 4mgPotassium: 100mgSugar: 9gVitamin A: 5IUVitamin C: 0.7mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 0.3mg

Have you tried this recipe?Head to the comment section and let me know what you think!

Easy Mincemeat Recipe (with gluten-free suet) (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Delena Feil

Last Updated:

Views: 6750

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Delena Feil

Birthday: 1998-08-29

Address: 747 Lubowitz Run, Sidmouth, HI 90646-5543

Phone: +99513241752844

Job: Design Supervisor

Hobby: Digital arts, Lacemaking, Air sports, Running, Scouting, Shooting, Puzzles

Introduction: My name is Delena Feil, I am a clean, splendid, calm, fancy, jolly, bright, faithful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.