Cockatiel Rescue

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Gourmet Recipes for Birds

Cockatiels, like people, have definite food preferences. Substitutions of some ingredients may be necessary to accommodate your birds tastes. The following recipes are high in protein, vitamins and calcium, yet are low in fat and sugar providing, a treat for the palate and the eyes.

When using fresh fruits and vegetables always wash thoroughly to remove any pesticides and/or debris. Peel the produce whenever possible.

When using canned fruits or vegetables, use low and unsalted, or low and unsweetened products.

In addition to the recipes located below, check out Ellen's great cookbook at

Pasta Primavera:

  • 2 cups, cooked pasta (whole wheat, or vegetable types preferred but white is acceptable)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked vegetables cut into small pieces (broccoli, squash, parsley, purple cabbage, sweet bell pepper, green beans, carrot)
  • 1/3 cup low fat or non-fat cottage or ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • 2 teaspoons (or less) olive or peanut oil

Toss well. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to two-days, but warm before serving.

Couscous Concoction:

  • 1 cup cooked couscous (semolina, bulgur or kasha are satisfactory)
  • 1/2 cup cooked beans (lima, pinto, butter, black or kidney)
  • 1/4 cup parsley (fresh, finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons peppermint leaves (fresh, finely chopped) - some birds STRONGLY DISLIKE mint, offer your bird some first before adding to recipe)
  • 2-3 tablespoons non-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon millet seeds

Toss well. Serve at room temperature. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to two-days.

Sweet Potato and Bean Casserole:

  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato (fresh) or yam (canned)
  • 1 cup cooked rice (brown preferably)
  • 1 cup cooked beans (pinto or kidney)
  • 1/2 cup cheese (cheddar or any soft cheese - DO NOT USE and cheese with molds, like blue cheese)
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted nuts (peanut, cashew, pistachio or any other nut)
  • 2 tablespoons raisins or currants

Layer a small, lightly greased baking pan first with the rice, then the yams, then the beans. Sprinkle cheese, nuts and raisins on top. Bake at 350 degrees until heated through - about 15-20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and serve.


  • 3 cups cooked, medium wide, egg noddles (may need more if fruit high in liquid)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat or non-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup low-fat or non-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup molasses or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chunk or crushed pineapple, apricot or peaches (fresh, or if canned, not in heavy syrup)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a blender or food processor, combine the cottage cheese, sugar or molasses, egg white, whole egg, yogurt, cinnamon and vanilla (blend well). Then combine with the noodles. Pour every thing into a greased baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, until pudding is firm and lightly browned. Keeps well in refrigerator for 3-4 days.


  1. Mixed greens:
    • Turnip, beet and dandelion greens (all finely chopped)
    • purple cabbage (shredded)
    • bean or radish sprouts
    • corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
    • sunflower seeds or slivered almonds
    • tofu or cheese (pea-sized chunks)

    Toss and serve

  2. Carrot and Yam:
    • carrot and yam (freshly grated)
    • low-fat yogurt or evaporated skim milk or kefir (sold in health food stores)
    • chopped parsley
    • small amount honey or molasses
    • a few raisins, figs or dates

    Mix well, refrigerate until serving

  3. Corn and Pepper
    • Corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
    • Red & green bell peppers (fresh and finely chopped)
    • Parsley (fresh and finely chopped)
    • Cooked rice (brown or white)
    • Apple juice (small amount)

    Mix well. Refrigerate until serving.

Birdie Bread (recipe 1)

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup bran
  • 1/3 cup corn meal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 beaten egg (including shell - washed and well crushed)
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/8 cup oil
  • 2 cups vegetable mixture (fresh and finely chopped)
    suggested vegetables: broccoli, carrots, green beans, beet tops, swiss chard, zucchini or other squash, red bell pepper, cabbage, yams, parsley, sprouts, lima or pinto beans

optional additives: sunflower seeds, berries, papaya, mango, 1-2 tablespoons non-fat powdered skim milk, 1 teaspoon dried hot peppers

Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Fold both ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Batter should be relatively thick (like pancake batter). If too thick, add skim milk, water or fruit juice. If too thin, add flour. Spoon into a greased muffin tin or loaf pan. Heat at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Temperatures and cooking times will vary depending on type and amount of vegetables used. Test doneness with toothpick.

When cool, slice bread and individually pack slices in plastic sandwich bags and freeze. Thaw individual bags daily, or when feeding desired. Lasts 2 months in freezer. If using the microwave to thaw, check carefully for hot spots before feeding to birds to prevent crop burn.

Birdie Bread (recipe 2)

  • 1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup Calcium added Orange Juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts (or peanut butter)
  • 1 cup uncooked oats
  • 1 cup finely chopped broccoli (use blender or food processor)
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrots

Mix Corn Muffin Mix and eggs together until blended. Add Orange Juice and rice and mix well. Add remaining ingredients. Spread in greased 8x8 baking pan (Olive oil or ??). Cook at 400 degrees for 24 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then cut into small cubes and freeze. Thaw when ready to feed (try 1 cube per bird every other day). If using microwave to thaw, check carefully for hot spots before feeding to birds to prevent crop burn.

Birds who have been fed solely seed diets may not recognize new foods as edible. Mix in with current food, or try sprinkling seed on top of the bread, or mixed in with crumpled bread to start. Have patience. Bird will accidentally taste the bread and hopefully will learn to enjoy the treat (this may take a month or two). Replace uneaten food daily.

Suggested beverages:

  • Always provide a fresh cup of water daily
  • Blended mix of assorted vegetables and fruits (cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, oranges, papayas, mangoes, peaches, apricots, berries). Combined 50/50 with plain non-fat yogurt, kefir, or condensed skim milk.
  • Canned or fresh carrot juice
  • Kefir (a yogurt drink available in fruit flavors at health food stores)
  • Avoid canned fruit nectars unless they are free of added sugars
  • Avoid vegetable drinks (like V-8), unless a non- or very low salt version.

Food Toys:

Courtesy of Ellen. To see more of her great cookbook, visit her at

Pellet Food Toy

Alternate large, donut-shaped pellets (such as Pretty Bird Cockatoo sized pellets) and Cheerios on a string (or thin leather strip) and then tie-off the ends and hang it in your bird's cage. It makes for an interesting and fun toy that your bird will love to eat and destroy. The only problem with this toy is that you will then have to make several of them daily for your bird to enjoy.