Minions were a great concept that was introduced in Fourth Edition. They fulfill a specialized role and make combat feel epic... hordes of creatures that rush toward you as you attempt to hold out. In the same vein, I bring you the Starving Zombie, a minion for 5e
These creatures have a challenge rating of 1/8. So, a party of 5 first level adventurers could take on 6 starving zombies for a hard encounter, 8 for a deadly one. A Level 2 group would face 13 for a deadly encounter.
The zombie minions are interesting because they have the zombie fortitude ability. When they are hit, there is a chance for them to save against dying. If your players are not prepared for this, it could be a scary experience as some of the zombies die with a single hit, but others live and continue their assault.
The starving zombies also move faster than most lower level characters, which makes them very dangerous.