Jamaican Patties

Vegetarian Jamaican Patties arranged on a plate

This Jamaican Patties recipe is another gem from our travel the world and cook themed homeschool days!

This week we learned about Jamaica. We took a look at its geography and history (with special focus on the Taino civilization that thrived there for more than 1000 years before Jamaica was ‘discovered’ by Columbus). We also as well as arts and culture, and, of course, food.

I really wanted to try making Jamaican Patties. My goal was to create a vegetarian version that my kids would still like. But I also wanted to replicate the texture of the classic (as opposed to just a collection of veggies).

I pieced together this recipe from a variety of options I found on other food blogs. I was really pleased with the result!

Instead of suet, I used butter for the pastry. The dough comes together like any other pastry. Feel free to work with a recipe you’re already comfortable with. Just add some turmeric for the flavour and iconic yellow colour.

For the filling, I used a combination of lentils, cooked until soft, carrot, aromatics and spices. I then mixed in breadcrumbs to mimic the slightly mushy texture of the classic.

My oldest son and my husband both devoured them! The texture was pretty close to what you’d expect and the flavour was great.

I didn’t add any chili. I was cooking with the littles and that would have been a turn off for them. But I would suggest adding the heat if you can take it! You can either add some finely chopped Jalapeño or just sprinkle in some pepper flakes to taste.

I didn’t find the process too onerous. I can easily imagine whipping these up for a weekend lunch. Or even as a fun contribution to a pot luck (whenever such a thing becomes possible again).

Obviously ours don’t look perfect. A combination of little fingers and me! Fine motor skills are not my forte, but I try never to let a lack of perfection scare me off in the kitchen 🙂

We will definitely be making these again!


Vegetarian Jamaican Patties arranged on a plate

Jamaican Patties

Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Servings 12 Patties


For the Pastry

  • 15 ml SUGAR
  • 250 ml SALTED BUTTER
  • 15 ml TURMERIC
  • 250 ml ICE COLD WATER

For the Filling

  • 120 g Dried Lentils cooked in vegetable stock until tender
  • 1 YELLOW ONION finely chopped
  • 1 Carrot cut to a very small dice
  • 3 GREEN ONIONS finely chopped
  • 2 CLOVES GARLIC grated
  • 2.5 ml Pepper
  • 5 ml Thyme
  • 5 ml Paprika
  • 100 g Breadcrumbs
  • 2.5 ml Allspice


  • In large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, turmeric and cut in butter using tips of fingers to a breadcrumb consistency.
  • Add the ice water and mix until it comes together into a ball.
  • Wrap ball in beeswax wrap (or plastic wrap) and chill in the fridge 30 min (while you make the filling).
  • Cook the lentils according to package direction (use stock instead of water to add more flavour).
  • Meanwhile, sauté onion and carrots in butter until just starting to brown. Then add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the spices and stir to combine for another minute. Remove from heat.
  • When lentils are cooked through, drain any excess liquid, and combine with the onion mixture and breadcrumbs.
  • Remove dough from fridge, divide into 12 pieces and roll each into a ball.
  • Flatten a ball of dough and roll out into a circle about 1/3 cm thick. Place 45ml (3 tbsp) of filling in the middle, then fold in half into a half moon. Seal the edge by pressing with the back of a fork. Prick top with fork a couple of times so let out steam during baking.
  • Place patties on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating