Jamaican Beef Patties

Jamaican Beef Patties

9 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2010

Patties are Jamaican fast food, a golden-yellow crust encasing a spicy beef, shrimp, chicken or vegetable filling. Traditional versions use butter, shortening, lard—or a combination of the three—to make the flaky crust. A blend of butter and canola oil cuts saturated fat with equally delicious results. The patties keep very well, so consider making a double batch to freeze for your own “fast-food” lunches.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • Crust
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • ⅓ cup ice water
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Filling
  • 8 ounces 93%-lean ground beef
  • 1 bunch scallions, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced Scotch bonnet chile pepper (see Tip), or to taste
  • ¼ cup fine dry breadcrumbs (see Note)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. To prepare crust: Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, 1 teaspoon turmeric, ¾ teaspoon salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and quickly rub them into the dry ingredients with your fingers until smaller but still visible. Add oil and toss with a fork to combine. Whisk water and egg yolk in a small bowl. Add to the flour mixture and stir until the dough begins to come together. Knead in the bowl a few times until it forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. To prepare filling: Cook ground beef, scallions and chile pepper in a medium skillet over medium heat, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in breadcrumbs, water, thyme, ¼ teaspoon turmeric and ¼ teaspoon salt; mix well. Let cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. To make patties: Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. On a well-floured surface, roll each piece into a 6-inch circle about ⅜ inch thick. Trim the edges to make an even circle (you might have a bowl the right size to use as a guide). Put about ¼ cup filling on half of the dough, leaving about a ¼-inch border. Fold the dough over the filling to make a half-moon shape and crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Place on a large baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Bake the patties until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Tightly wrap the dough (Step 1) and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 6 months. Tightly wrap the patties and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in a 400°F oven.
  • Ingredient notes: Whole-wheat pastry flour, lower in protein than regular whole-wheat flour, has less gluten-forming potential, making it a better choice for tender baked goods. You can find it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer. We like Ian's brand of coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs, labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets. To make your own breadcrumbs, trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. (To make fine dry breadcrumbs, process until very fine.) Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs.
  • Kitchen tip: One of the hottest chile peppers, Scotch bonnets come in vivid shades of red, orange and green and are used throughout the Caribbean. Though they look similar to habaneros, Scotch bonnets have a citrus note that makes them undeniably different. You can control the heat of a dish a little by discarding the membranes that hold the seeds, which are the spiciest part of chile peppers, along with the seeds themselves. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling hot peppers or wear rubber gloves. If you can't find Scotch bonnet peppers, habaneros can be substituted.
  • Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.
  • Storage smarts: For long-term freezer storage, wrap your food in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. The plastic will help prevent freezer burn while the foil will help keep off-odors from seeping into the food.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 449 calories; 25 g fat(7 g sat); 3 g fiber; 39 g carbohydrates; 16 g protein; 97 mcg folate; 80 mg cholesterol; 1 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 432 IU vitamin A; 3 mg vitamin C; 39 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 481 mg sodium; 220 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Folate (24% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2½ starch, 1½ lean meat, 4 fat

Reviews 9

August 16, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Needs a sauce Despite the other's experiences, I think this tasted pretty good. It could, though, use a sauce. I'm not sure yet what kind or how to make it but I'll figure it out. Pros: I gerally overseason anyway which turned out to be an advantage for this recipe. Cons: It said the dought should be 3/8 thick (almost half an inch). Mine was nowhere near this .
December 30, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Do your research! Read about how people season food properly in Jamaica before wasting your time on this. I make perfect beef filling with a generous amount of chopped scotch bonnet pepper, black pepper, seasoned salt, fresh thyme and fresh breadcrumbs. I simmer my filling until I have a moist consistency. Pros: Easy Cons: Bland
May 17, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
May 04, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
I thought I was going to taste something better than what I can find in stores. After I tried this I am not sure if I will find a good tasting recipe that does not use alot of fattening for the dough. It needs more flavor also. In the next two batches I am making I will add some cheese, since I have already done two more batches of dough.
August 20, 2011
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By: sarah
Dry, disappointing, time consuming I was so excited about this recipe, so I made a double batch without even trying a single batch twice. It sounded so good. But the dough is impossibly dry and the filling was flavorless. My family wouldn't eat these, I had to put them in the freezer and get them out one at a time for just me to eat, since I couldn't bear to throw them away after all the time I spent making them. After making probably about a hundred eatingwell recipes, now, I was absolutely shocked at how badly this one turned out. Don't waste your time. Pros: would make a great quick lunch if it worked Cons: takes a long time and not very good
February 09, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I have to agree with the previous comments. The dough is very dry and not appetizing even right out of the oven. The filling also lacked moisture and texture. For my second batch I used frozen whole-wheat pie crust from my local health food store and added raisins, shredded carrots and green olives to the filling. Not a low-fat meal but a wonderful once-in-a-while treat for company. Yum.
January 19, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I really liked this recipe. I agree the pastry is a bit dry, but enjoy with a cold glass of white wine and it's perfect. I did alter the technique a bit: I made the dough in the food processor. I rolled between sheets of parchment paper I used an egg wash to help seal the pastry, and I glazed to tops just before putting in the oven. YUM!
January 07, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
What a mess and a waste of fat calories...the dough did not come together at all with the amount of liquid in the recipe. I had to add at least another 1/3 to a 1/2 cup of cold water just to form it into a ball. After chilling for an hour, it didn't roll out well (sort of separated into sheets) - and after baking was hard and dry. I subbed ground turkey in the filling -which was fine - but the seasonings weren't sufficient and the result was just sort of a dry, bland paste in the middle. NOT a repeater.
January 07, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
this was very dry and hard to get down. Maybe adding some Kalaloo or collards to the meat would help.
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