Family meals are important, but they can be challenging to accomplish with busy back-to-school schedules. Consider breakfast as a meaningful time to connect as a family and give everyone a strong start to the day by incorporating nutrient-rich beef in these Ground Beef Sausage Mini Breakfast Pies. This is a perfect meal prep recipe to have on hand for a make-ahead, high-protein breakfast option.Jump to Recipe
This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. managed by NCBA, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.
When the fall school season comes around the intensity of our family schedule goes way up! This is because we are a football coaching family. My hubby is a head high school football coach so once football season starts, we are all going gangbusters Monday through Friday, and sometimes through the weekend. Between his long days and game nights, my boys’ school and sports schedules, running my business, and managing our family, we are a special version of ourselves from August through *hopefully* December.
I love so many things about football season, but one thing I don’t love is the fact that we only get to eat dinner all together at home maybe once or twice a week. It is what it is, and part of the gig, but I miss this time of family connection at night.
What I have discovered though, is that breakfast can be a fun opportunity for us all to connect before the day starts. It may be brief, with everyone standing around the kitchen island munching on something or slurping our smoothies, but it definitely makes a difference!
Beef for Breakfast
I suppose that for a lot of other families with conflicting schedules, you might find yourself in the same supper situation. In working with many student athletes and their families, I know this is true. I encourage you to take back some family time in the morning to connect over breakfast. You don’t need anything formal to happen; just an easy, nutritious breakfast with everyone truly present to start the day off strong.
It is this scenario that inspired me to develop this Ground Beef Sausage Mini Breakfast Mini Pies recipe. I really needed it the most! I wanted a delicious, super-fast, make ahead breakfast to get my family all in the kitchen on busy mornings.
You might not think of beef immediately when you think of breakfast, but you should! From a sheer practical stance, including beef as a breakfast option gives my family a strong dose of high-quality protein that helps sustain them through their busy days. In addition, the iron, zinc and B vitamins in beef are critical for healthy brain development and function both now and in the future. These Lean Beef Sausage Breakfast Pies are also a great opportunity to get in some veggies at breakfast and/or pair with some fresh fruit.
Beef is also an excellent food to include in your teen athletes’ breakfast for all the reasons listed above. From my work as a sports dietitian, I can attest that many teen athletes want to or need to eat more protein. Not only does it help keep them satisfied throughout the day but it also is crucial to help build lean muscle mass and support their performance. Breakfast often lacks high-quality, lean protein, so these make-ahead breakfast pies is the perfect solution for starting the day with a higher protein breakfast option too. (These also pack well in lunches or for snacks to help teen athletes easily eat the protein they need all day long.)
Lean Beef Sausage
I chose to “make” my own sausage for this recipe for a couple of reasons. First, by seasoning the beef with sausage flavors, you can use whatever grind of Ground Beef you want. Using lean beef keeps the nutrient content high and the fat content lower than using a premade sausage product. Second, I personally like a sweet and savory sausage and this seasoning combo perfectly blends a kick of spice, savory sage, and a hint of sweetness from the syrup. Trust me on this one. It’s delicious!
Tips for Recipe Success
Here are some helpful tips for executing this as a make-ahead, meal prep breakfast.
Prep all ingredients before assembling. Fully cook the Ground Beef, chop the veggies, and whisk the eggs and yogurt before working with the pie dough. Once you cut the circles out, you will have everything you need to move efficiently, reducing your prep time.
Use muffin tins for 24 pies at once, if you can. It's most efficient to make and bake all 24 pies at once, but if you don’t have enough tins, do a dozen at a time. Keep the second pie dough in the fridge until you're ready to re-use your muffin tins. You can use silicone muffin holders as an alternative to muffin tins.
Use leftover beef if you have it. You don’t have to cook up the sausage in this recipe if you already have some cooked Ground Beef or Steak on hand. Simply diced it up into small pieces and add it in place of the sausage.
Ground Beef Sausage Mini Breakfast Pies
- 24 cup muffin tin
- Glass or biscuit cutter
- Chef's Knife
- Cutting board
- mixing bowl
- 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
- 1 ½ tsp Dried sage
- 1 Tbsp Maple syrup
- 1 tsp Crushed red pepper
- ¼ tsp Ground black pepper
- 4 large Eggs
- 1 ½ cups Plain Greek yogurt
- 1 ½ cups Chopped sweet peppers
- 1 cup Cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup Packed fresh spinach, chopped
- 2 Refrigerated pie doughs (store bought)
- 1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of choice)
- Heat a medium size skillet over medium heat.
- Make the beef sausage: In a large mixing bowl, combine the Ground Beef, sage, maple syrup, red pepper, and pepper. Mix together (suggest using your hands as the best tool) until well combined. Add beef mixture to the hot skillet and cook thoroughly (until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F), breaking into crumbles as you go. Remove the cooked beef from the skillet onto a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and yogurt until smooth. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400℉. Generously spray the a muffin tin (12 or 24 openings) with cooking spray.
- On a lightly floured surface, lay flat one of the refrigerated pie doughs. Use a rolling pin to roll it out about 2 more inches in each direction. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, cut out 12 circles from the pie dough, re-rolling the dough if needed. Gently push each circle into each muffin opening so that it covers the bottom and about halfway up the sides.
- Next add about a tablespoon (a large pinch) of crumbled beef on top of each raw pie dough, then add a large pinch of veggies of your choosing to fill the cups almost full. I suggest these combos: beef, peppers and tomatoes or beef, spinach and peppers.
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon of egg mixture on top of each pie filling. Tap the whole muffin tin gently on the counter to settle egg mixture, then add more if needed or if there’s still room.
- Top each with a large pinch of grated cheese. Repeat steps 5-7 with the second pie dough if you have enough muffin tins for 24 total.
- Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until each is fully set, and the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately run a thin spatula or knife around the edge of each pie to loosen. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove each pie and transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy pies warm, or let fully cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
- To reheat from the fridge, place pie(s) on a microwave safe plate and heat at 30 second intervals until desired temperature.
- To reheat from the freezer, recommend removing the desired number of pies from the freezer the night before and defrosting in the fridge overnight. Then follow directions above to reheat.