Mini Shepherd’s Pies (Also known as Cottage Pies)

Mini Shepherds Pies - - and I do mean 'pies'!

If you have parchment paper, place a strip, long enough so that it hangs out on each side, in each section of the muffin tin.  This will help when you remove the mini pies.

I had planned to share these with my neighbors…. but ended up eating them all – that’s how much I love them!  I based both the ground beef filling and creamy mashed potatoes on my recipe for Shepherds Pie, with a few adjustments.   – –

Mini Shepherds Pies are easy to make!  The recipe calls for purchased pie crust and – if you’re short on time – a 24 oz. container of ready-to-eat mashed potatoes can be used.  Making these mini pies is fun and easy – and so is eating them.

Ingredients and Method
  • 1 box refrigerated pie crusts
  • 24 oz. refrigerated mashed potatoes  –  OR  –  homemade mashed potatoes
  • Homemade Mashed Potatoes
  • 5 cups cubed Yukon Gold potatoes   ++ Peeled and cut into 2″ chunks
  •  3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 – 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1/3+ cup milk or Half and Half     ++  I used Half and Half
  • Ground Beef & Vegetable Filling
  • 1 Tbs. butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 medium-sized onion, chopped  ++ About 1/3 cup
  • 1/2 lb. ground (minced) beef  ++ I used 80%
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn     ++ No need to thaw
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas    ++ No need to thaw
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste    ++ Freeze tomato paste in 1 Tbs. portions in a ziploc bag. 
  • 1 beef or chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 tsp. pepper

Place 5 cups chopped, peeled Yukon Gold potatoes in a medium-sized saucepan.  Add enough cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Lower heat and cover saucepan. Allow potatoes to simmer for 25 – 30 minutes or until potatoes can easily be pierced with a sharp knife.  ++  It’s better to cook the potatoes longer than end up with lumpy potatoes!!  I know – Been There – Done That!

Mini Shepherds Pies - My Yellow

While potatoes are cooking, begin beef/veggie filling.  Place 1 Tbs. butter In a large non-stick skillet.  Add 1/3 cup chopped onion. Cook onions, stirring often, over medium heat until they soften.  Add 1/2 pound chopped (minced) beef.  Continue to cook until beef loses its pink color.  ++ Break up any large chunks of beef.   ++  Remove any extra grease, although I leave about 2 Tbs. – for the flavor.

Add 3/4 cup still-frozen corn and 3/4 cup still-frozen peas, 1/3 cup water, 1 Tbs. tomato paste, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/3 tsp. pepper and either a chicken or beef bouillon cube.

Mini Shepherds (Cottage) Pies - (2)

Continue cooking, stirring often, for an additional 4 to 5 minutes… until most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Set aside.

Now it’s time for the mini-pie crusts.  This is fun!  ++  Remove the pie crusts from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before so the crusts will be soft enough to work with.

Unroll pie crusts. Roll each crust into a 12″ circle, which only takes a second ’cause the crusts are almost that big already.  Using a 4″ circle (I used the 4″ top of a plastic food container – or you could use a piece of cardboard) cut out 12 circles.

Mini Shepherds Pies - My Yellow Farmhouse.comMini Shepherds Pies - My Yellow (2)


Place one pie crust circle in each of the sections of a 12-cup muffin tin.  Gently press pie crust to fit.

Bake at 400F for 8 minutes.  ++ Lower oven temperature to 350F once you’ve removed muffin tin with bottom crusts from oven.

Finishing the mashed potatoes

Mini Shepherds  Pies - - and I do mean 'pies'!

Drain cooked potatoes. Mash down with a potato masher.  Add 2 – 3 Tbs. butter, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and approximately 1/3 cup milk – or ‘Half ‘n Half‘ – or Single Cream – and beat with a mixer until the potatoes are creamy but still stiff enough to hold their shape on top of the beef filling.

Putting it all together

Mini Shepherds Pies - My Yellow (3)

Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, put a portion of the meat/vegetable filling in each section.  Top with 1/4 cup mashed potatoes.  ++ If you have extra mashed potatoes, add a bit more to each mini-pie.

Sprinkle with a bit of paprika to give the Mini Shepherds Pies a bit of color.  You know, part of finding a particular food delicious is often due to it’s color, so adding a bit of paprika not only makes things taste better but also gives them better eye-appeal.  You can also sprinkle on a bit of cheese!

Mini Shepherds Pies - - and I do mean 'pies'!  myyellowfarmhouse.comMini Shepherds Pies - - and I do mean 'pies'!


Bake the Mini-Shepherds Pies at  350F  for 25 – 30 minutes.  Potatoes and crust will be slightly browned.     

++ Let stand 10 minutes before serving, which helps the pie crust to not fall apart when you remove the mini-pies.  Enjoy !!

Mini Shepherds Pies - and I do mean 'pies'!

++  Recipe adapted from

Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner – Recipe No. 1 – “Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives”

+ Prepare ‘Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives’ one night before. +

Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives is the 1st in a series of 6 ‘make ahead’ recipes, all of which can be prepared – or prepped – a day or two ahead, which will help to make your busy life a bit easier! By preparing a few dishes each night for two nights, all you’ll need to do the day of The Big Feast is cook the turkey, make the gravy and cook the green beans.

Recently I had several friends here at My Yellow Farmhouse to taste-test these recipes and got rave reviews on everything!! And, for once, my kitchen was not a disaster zone.

(Karl.. the first man to ever ask me for a recipe, I posted this recipe first just for you! And E.I, I’ll post the recipe for the gravy next since you loved it so much!)

My Yellow - Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner

Everything was very casual the night my friends came to sample my new recipes.

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner - My Yellow


  • Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes and Chives
  • Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds

  • Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Celery and Onion

  • Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Bourbon

  • Turkey Breast (or Turkey) with White Wine, Oranges and Apples & Savory Turkey Gravy

  • Bonus Recipe – Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon

'Make Ahead Turkey Dinner'' - Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives - My Yellow


  • 8 – 9 large gold potatoes   ++  About half 2 1/2 – 3 pounds  ++  Half a 5 lb. bag
  • 5 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh chives
  • 1 cup milk

Peel and cut into chunks 8 – 9 large gold potatoes. Place in a large saucepan and cover potatoes with cold water.  Bring water to a boil and simmer potato chunks until they break apart when pierced with a fork. (Thanks Ina Garten for that tip!)  The cooking time will depend upon how large your potato chunks are – it should take about 15 – 20 minutes after the water has come to a boil.

Turn off heat.  Drain potatoes and return to saucepan.  Place saucepan on the same (turned off) burner. Add 5 Tbs. butter, 1/2 cup sour cream, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and 3 Tbs. minced fresh chives. Mash well until potato chunks are broken down.

use - MAYBE - 3

Add 1 cup milk.  With mixer, beat potatoes for about a minute – just until everything is well combined.  ++ If you beat mashed potatoes too long, they can become gummy.

Pour into a heatproof or microwavable casserole, depending upon if you plan to reheat the Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives in a microwave or oven.  Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate.

I have a small refrigerator in my cellar, so I was able to place all the ‘made-ahead’ dishes there.  You can always use a large cooler or two – just be sure to keep the temperature good and cold.

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow



++ I was really pleased to see how these potatoes remained nice and creamy. The regular mashed potatoes I prepared just a few hours before the meal actually dried up a bit …but it was nothing a bit more milk couldn’t fix.

Luckily, I have a rack for my microwave, so I reheated both the Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives and the regular mashed potatoes in the microwave.

If you chose to reheat these potatoes in the oven, set it at 360F.  Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and heat for about 40 minutes, during which time you can allow your turkey to ‘rest’ uncovered. ++Allowing cooked meat to ‘rest’ makes the meat juicer. Plus it’s often easier to carve – which means … no shredded turkey!

Make-Ahead Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes - My Yellow

Happy Holidays to All – Enjoy!

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow