A quick and easy twist on an Irish classic comfort food, these mini shepherd's pie muffins are filled with beef, vegetables and topped with creamy broccoli mashed potatoes! They're the perfect savory muffins for babies and kids!
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I don't know about you but there's something about eating with my hands that is so fun and satisfying. Something tells me our babies and toddlers would agree! Now cleaning up after them? Not so much.
Now there are two components to these mini muffins, meatballs, whatever you want to call them. So let's get to it!
Broccoli Mashed Potatoes
There are so many tips and tricks when it comes to making the fluffiest and creamiest mashed potatoes. I don’t know them nor will I ever go out of my way to try to master them (or will I?).
Mashed potatoes aren’t something we eat a lot at our house because we much prefer roasted potato wedges. And now I made it green by adding broccoli so there’s that ;).
All this to say, if you have a mashed potato recipe that you love, go with that! I do like to make the potatoes the night before so that it’s one less thing to do the day of.
This would also be a delicious and easy way to repurpose any leftover mashed potatoes.
Steaming rather than boiling will help the vegetables retain their nutrients. This is the steamer basket that I adore. Easy to use, clean, and store.
Make sure when you fill the pot with water that it doesn't come above the basket!
Step by Step Instructions
- Steam potatoes for 10 minutes or so.
- Add roughly chopped broccoli on top and steam until both the potatoes and broccoli are easily mashed with a fork.
You will have leftovers after topping the meatballs. Yay! More to enjoy throughout the week!
You can think of this individual shepherd's pie as a meat muffin or a glorified meatball with all the flavors and components of a shepherd’s pie. This is a lightened-up version so it doesn’t taste as rich as what you might expect with the traditional version.
Beef. Can use other ground meat of choice. We absolutely adore Butcherbox!
Vegetables. I like to use a frozen vegetable medley, but feel free to use fresh or whatever vegetables you have on hand.
A note about peas and corn. They do get pretty soft upon cooking but if you're feeling nervous, either give them a quick chop or substitute with other vegetables, like zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli, etc.
Step by Step Instructions
- Cook the vegetables. Add seasonings.
- Once cooled, transfer to a large bowl along with the rest of the ingredients.
3. Divide mixture into a 12 cup muffin pan. I love using my silicone muffin pan. Makes cleanup a breeze! Be sure to not overwork the meat! You'll end up with tough meatballs.
4. Top with broccoli mashed potatoes.
How to Serve to Babies and Toddlers
Whether you're currently doing baby led weaning or are ready to introduce more texture to your baby, these meatballs are the perfect way to serve beef, potatoes, and vegetables all-in-one.
Hey! These are all the components for a well-balanced meal!
As you see in the image, for babies you can serve ⅓-1/2 muffin. Be sure they're big enough to grasp with their palm. You can add some extra broccoli mashed potatoes on the side with some fruit/vegetable.
Don't put too much food at once as this can be overwhelming to your baby. Here are several methods on cooking flavorful, appropriately textured vegetables. Using a crinkle cutter makes it easier for babies to grasp.
As for the toddlers, it's common for them to display some degree of food neophobia and fussy eating at this age. You'll find many expert tips on how to navigate through different scenarios under Feeding Tips.
If they are hesitant about mixed foods, serving individual components separately can help ease the anxiety. And always make sure there's something on the plate that they do enjoy and feel safe around. Remember, food untouched is not wasted. Play the exposure game hard!
Other Baby-Friendly Meatballs
- Turkey Beet Meatballs
- Quinoa and Mushroom Beef Meatballs
- Asian Turkey Rice Meatballs
- Butternut squash beef meatballs
Did you make this baby and toddler-friendly Mini Shepherd's Pie Muffins? Follow me on Instagram post a photo and tag me, post a photo on my Facebook page, or save it to Pinterest. I love to see what you're making!
Mini Shepherd's Pie Muffins
for the potatoes
- 2 large (about 500g) russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 ½ cup (165g) broccoli florets , roughly chopped
- ¼ cup milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup (or more) of shredded cheese of choice
for the beef mixture
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ cup (65g) finely chopped yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 cup (145g) forzen vegetable medley (corn, peas, carrots) , thawed
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 egg , whisked
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce , optional
To make broccoli mashed potatoes:
- Add water to a large pot and insert a steamer basket, making sure the surface of the water doesn't come above the basket. Bring to a boil. Add potatoes, cover and steam for 10 minutes. Add broccoli on top, cover and steam for 6-8 more minutes, until potatoes and broccoli are easily mashed with a fork.Transfer to a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue mashing to desired consistency.
To make the muffin base:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and carrots. Cook for 5min. Add tomato paste and thyme and combine until well incorporated, about a minute or so.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool. To the same bowl, add the ground beef, egg, and worcestershire, if using. Be careful not to overwork the mixture. Divide mixture into greased or lined 12 muffin cups.
- Add mashed potatoes on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- As always, I was cautious with the salt usage. If serving to older children and/or adults, season meat with salt and pepper. Can also omit the worcestershire sauce and cheese
- A note about peas and corn. They do get pretty soft upon cooking but if you're feeling nervous, either give them a quick chop or substitute with other vegetables, like zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli, bell peppers, etc.