This savory Vegan Cottage Pie Cupcake is a veganized – and slightly fancified – version of a classic cottage pie or shepherd’s pie. Buttery mashed potatoes with just the slightest crisp encase a beefy plant-based mince and veggie filling that pours into your mouth at the first bite. This vegetarian and dairy-free appetizer recipe is easy to put together with a wow-factor that belies its simplicity. Your family is going to LOVE these magnificently meaty muffins.
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Ever since I learned to cook, one of my most favorite dishes to make (and eat) has ALWAYS been Shepherd’s Pie.
Well, Cottage Pie, to be slightly more accurate. Cottage Pie is made with ground beef. Shepherd’s Pie is a term usually reserved only if the dish is made with lamb.
I’ve NEVER liked lamb. Who eats a cute little lamb?! Sadly, my cognitive dissonance did not carry over to cows at the time. But now, I know better.
With all the wonderful vegan options available at markets these days, we’ve been able to enjoy this amazing dish again and again over the past few years with a variety of those products. This time, we went with Beyond Beef, and it was fantastic!
What I’ve always loved about Cottage Pie is the amazingly flavored and complicated dish you get from SUCH simple ingredients and procedures. But with this recipe, we’ve amped things up a bit because you are all so worth it and deserve a bit of fancy.
Grab your muffin tins, friends. This is going to be a single-serving, self-contained, simply sensational Cottage Pie Cupcake. Say it again: Cottage. Pie. Cup. Cake.
Ingredients in Mini Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
To make these meaty vegan cottage pie muffins, you’ll need:
- Vegan mashed potatoes (We used our vegan mashed potatoes recipe.)
- All-purpose flour
- Nutritional yeast
- Soy sauce
- Vegan Worcestershire sauce
- SPICES: onion powder, ground mustard, black pepper, and celery salt
- Your favorite plant-based ground beef (We used Beyond Beef.)
- Mixed veggies – can be canned or frozen
- Fresh thyme or rosemary
You’ll also need a large deep saute pan and a muffin tin!
How to Make Vegan Cottage Pie Cupcakes
The process for these vegan cottage pie cupcakes is going to be a little more time-consuming than pouring it all in a casserole dish, but it’s not difficult at all. And it is so, SO worth it.
First, prepare all the components: Make your mashed potatoes first so they have some time to cool before handling. That’s a great time to mix your gravy, brown your beef(less) ground, and cook up all those veggies.
When the potatoes and filling are cool enough to touch, it’s time to assemble!
Fill a non-stick muffin tin about ¾ full with the mashed potatoes. Use the back of a spoon to press the mashed potatoes gently but firmly to create both a divot in the middle to fill and a nice surrounding wall of potato to cozily hold that filling.
Place 1-2 Tbsp of your filling in the divot. Press down lightly with the back of the spoon so it’s evenly spread inside the muffin but not pushing too close to the outside as to degrade the integrity of the wall.
Finally, use a piping bag (or spoon) to create the mashed potato “lid”. You want your lid to rest on the inside of the potato wall. You don’t want your lid sticking to the muffin tin itself. Trust me.
From here, you’ll bake these vegan cottage pie cupcakes until the tops are golden brown.
The Hardest Part of This Recipe
The hardest part of making these vegan cottage pie cupcakes is waiting for them to cool before removing them from the tin!
We know it’s difficult, but you HAVE to let them set. This is seriously important. The potatoes are soft and need time to re-firm and reset before you can even attempt to remove them without risking them falling apart.
You can expedite this cooling time by placing the muffin tin in the fridge. Or, you can try to take one out anyway because it gives you a good excuse to eat it when it does fall apart.
Spoon. Smile. 😉
Make these vegan cottage pie cupcakes for your next family dinner or holiday event. They’re freezer-friendly, and you can even make them ahead of time if needed. Plus, they’re SURE to be a major hit at parties. Everyone loves the person who brings vegan cottage pie cupcakes, right?
When you make these magnificently meaty muffins, let us know what you think! Rate the recipe and leave a comment below or tag us in your photos on Instagram. If you’re not already following along, we’re @theplantpowecouple with the “the”.
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We hope you have as much fun with this recipe as we did creating it. Enjoy!
Other Vegan Comfort Food:
For the Gravy
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp warm water
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp ground mustard
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp celery salt
For the Filling
- 1/2 lb. Beyond Beef (or 2 Beyond Burgers or your favorite vegan ground beef)
- 2 cups mixed veg (canned or frozen, see notes*)
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp fresh thyme or rosemary (stems removed, finely chopped), optional
- PREP: If you haven’t already, make your mashed potatoes and set them aside to cool.
- MAKE THE GRAVY: Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and put off to the side until you’re ready for it.
- MAKE THE FILLING: In a large saute pan, begin browning the beef(less) ground over medium-high heat for about five - seven minutes. When browned, add vegetables + gravy and mix. Lower the heat to medium-low. Let the mixture simmer for about 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens a bit. Then, remove from heat and let the filling cool for about 10-15 minutes, until it's not too hot to touch. While that cools, preheat your oven to 400F.
- ASSEMBLE THE CUPCAKES: Fill a non-stick muffin tin about ¾ full with the mashed potatoes. Use the back of a spoon to press the mashed potatoes gently but firmly to create a divot in the middle. Place a 1-2Tablespoons of the filling in the divot. Press down lightly with the back of the spoon so it’s evenly spread inside the muffin but not spilling out onto the tin. Finally, pipe (or spoon) the mashed potato “lid” onto your cupcakes. You want your lid to rest on the inside of the potato wall and not sticking to the muffin tin itself.
- BAKE: Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven and cook for 35-40 minutes (until tops are nicely browned and see you see a good crust formed on the side). Let them cool no less than 30 minutes before removing from the muffin tins and serving warm!
- STORAGE + REHEATING: These savory cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or the freezer for up to 6 weeks. Reheat on a baking sheet at 375 until warmed through.
*We used a frozen mix with corn, peas, diced carrots, and green beans. If using frozen, let thaw in a bowl of warm water and strain before using.
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Yield:12 mini pies
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 91Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.