Jamaican Veggie Patties Recipe

A favorite recipe from chef Bryant Terry's newest book, Vegan Soul Kitchen. A richly spiced potato, pea, corn, carrot, and cabbage filling is wrapped with a turmeric-hued pastry crust made with coconut oil.

Jamaican Veggie Patties

Shortly after posting Bryant Terry's list of favorite cookbooks last week, a number of you emailed asking whether or not I had a favorite recipe from his new book (Vegan Soul Kitchen). His Jamaican Veggie Patties immediately come to mind. The first time I read through the recipe I thought to myself - oh, they're hand-pies! And quickly filed them away in the lazy-day section of my brain. A richly spiced potato, pea, corn, carrot, and cabbage filling is wrapped with a turmeric-hued pastry crust made with coconut oil. You can make them large, you can make them small, and if you can't be bothered with the pastry side of the equation, the filling is delicious on its own over a simple bowl of brown rice or quinoa. It's not really a weeknight recipe, but you can certainly make a batch, bake a couple, and then freeze the rest for easy patties later.

Jamaican Veggie Patties

To give you a better sense of the recipes in the book, here's a sampling: Sweet Coconut Ginger Creamed Corn (which you might use as a an alternate filling here), Succotash Soup with Garlicky Cornbread Croutons, Spicy Smothered Green Cabbage, Collard Confetti, Upper Caribbean Creamy Grits with Roasted Plantain Pieces, Blackened Tofu Slabs with Succotash Salsa, Quinoa-Quinoa Cornbread, Black-Eyed Pea Fritters with Hot Pepper Sauce, Spicy Pickled Purple Okra, and Coconut-Pecan Pralines.

Jamaican Veggie Patties

The book is black and white with color photo inserts and spans 223 pages. If you're interested in fresh, updated, vegan recipes that explore the flavors and richness of African, Caribbean, and African American cuisines, this book is where it's at. For those of you who already have the book, let me know if you have any favorites yet - I'm trying to figure out which recipe to try next.

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Jamaican Veggie Patties Recipe

You can certainly experiment with different sizes here, but don't go much smaller than a 4-inch cookie cutter. Any smaller and they tend to come apart at the seams - a bit like gaping mouths (see lead photo). Also, be sure to roll the pastry dough thinly - a true 1/8-inch. And lastIy, I can't resist brushing the patties with a bit of beaten egg before placing them in the oven - it makes the crust nice and golden, but also takes them out of the vegan category.

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup 1/4-inch-diced yellow onion
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Coarse sea salt
2 larges cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced carrots
1/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced yellow potatoes
1/2 cup fresh green peas (or frozen)
1/2 cup sweet fresh corn (or frozen)
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup chilled coconut oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water

For the filling: In a medium-size saute pan over medium-low heat, combine the coconut oil, the onion cinnamon, allspice, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, carrots, and potatoes, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the carrots and potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the green peas, corn, cabbage, thyme, and lemon juice, cover, and cook for 3 minutes more. Season with additional salt and the white pepper (or to taste) and set aside to allow the flavors to marry.

For the pastry: Combine 1 1/2 cups of the white flour with the pastry flour, turmeric, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Set the remaining 1/4 cup white flour aside. Add the coconut butter to the flour mixture and rub with your fingertip until the mixture resembles fine sand, about 10 minutes (hs note: I've also make this dough by pulsing ingredients in a food processor with good results).

Combine the vinegar and water and mix well. Then, without overworking the dough, add the vinegar mixture by the tablespoon, while stirring, just until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and begins to coalesce. Squeeze into a tight ball, flatten, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F and remove the dough from the refrigerator.

With the reserved flour, lightly dust a clean surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut six 6-inch circles from the dough (you can use a bowl). Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling onto the center of one side of each circle, leaving about a 1/8-inch border. Fold the other half over to make a half-moon, press to seal, and make ridges around the edge using a fork. (hs note: if your dough is at all on the dry side you may need to run wet fingers around the edge of the circles to help get a good seal).

Transfer the patties to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Serve immediately with some hot sauce.

Makes six big patties, or a couple dozen smaller ones.

Reprinted with permission from Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine by Bryant Terry. (Da Capo Press, March, 2009)

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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These are terrific. Made a double batch today and found the filling and pastry quite delightful....I didn't have any cabbage so I increased the quantity of other vegetables and added a little sweet potato.

Rachel B

I think I need to make these for my vegetarian sister. Loved eating patties when I lived in Brooklyn, and I sure miss them now.


What would you serve this with, to create an entire meal? Some kind of salad, but what tastes/textures would be nicely complimentary? Perhaps a fruit-salad?


It's a little bit difficult to find coconut oil here (and expensive), so I think I will try the filling on its own =) Your blog is an endless source of inspiration for me!


MMMMMM....Those look just FABULOUS!!! I love them!!!


I added more coconut into mine and made it into a curry. Yummo!!


In South India we call 'em as - Somas-. Same shape with crimped edges. I remember my mom had a special crimper wheel tool with filigree patterns to make these.


Heidi, these look like a much more successful version of the banana-black bean empanadas from the most recent Vegetarian Times. Plantains might be a nice addition to these? Do you ever contribute to any publications? I'd be curious to know. Rock on!

Claudia at Weird Vegetables

I made these for dinner tonight. They were delicious! Thanks for all the good recipes.


Those look amazingly delicious! Keep em coming! I think it is a wonderful way of eating vegies, I just added those to my "to do" Xmas list.

PS - If you are going to use coconut oil, it is best to use organic virgin coconut oil from a reputable source. There are many coconut oils on the market and you would simply not believe what is done to some of them to end up at the point of sale. Why organic? Because, regardless of what was or was not used on the growing palms, the organic standards also limit the kinds of processing agents and adulterants that can be used in the refining process. Why virgin? Again, less processing. Also this will not have been hydrogenated which makes a product more shelf stable and heat-stable, but also makes it much unhealthier in your body.


This may have been answered but here is the definitive answer: Coconut "butter" is indeed straight coconut oil. It is a saturated fat and thus is solid at room temperature, liquid at higher temps. Quite frankly (and regardless of many claims to the contrary) coconut oil is, as a highly saturated fat, probably best used cautiously and in small quantities. Coconut cream is an entirely different product. So is the so-called coconut butter you can get at health food stores for some ridiculous price that has the ground up coconut in it. It is indeed yummy but will not work in this recipe and frankly, you can get organic coconut and organic coconut oil and combine the two to make your own for much less money! You should be able to substitute cow's butter for this except for frying or very high heat applications. I might use ghee if I were going to do so. I imagine it is coconut butter in this recipe both because it is vegan and because this is a more tropical recipe where it would be a natural ingredient. Also see Alton Brown's excellent segment on hand pies for other ideas.


Love the idea of garlic cornbread croutons for the succotash soup. Sometimes I make phyllo croutons for a change of pace...and these sound fantastic. The veggie patties look wonderful!


Wonderful recipe, stuff them with some green olives instead and you've got yourself some Spanish empanadas!


The picture made it look like there were black beans in the filling-- I think that would be a great addition!


These look really really good.. would love these for snack or meal! thanks for giving all these filling ideas.


I adore jamaican patties but always hated the beef inside. I always wondered if there could be a veggie way--so glad I found this recipe. Wonderful


We had these for dinner last night and they were GREAT! I made the pastry dough before hand and refrigerated it for 24 hours. It was a bit hard and crumbly when I tried to roll it out so I popped it back into the food processor and crumbled it back to the sand-like stage, then added a bit more cold water until the dough came back together. Much easier to handle then, and no problems with sticking (although my white countertops are now yellow from the tumeric!) I've never used coconut oil before but the aroma of the pastry dough as it was coming together was heavenly. I made the filling up fresh. I shredded a quarter cabbage, diced a medium potato and small carrot (didn't bother to measure out 1/4 cups) and reduced the peas by half to compensate for the other extra veggies. I was pleased to see that the amount of filling fit the amount of pastry quite nicely. I ended up with 7 pies and a mini pie. I will make this again :-)


Man, the blogosphere is LIGHTING UP about this book- I really have to go get a copy already! Props to Bryant Terry for giving the vegan cookbook world something new and exciting to drool over! This recipe looks amazing, will have to try it out soon.


Great recipe and pics. I love your blog because it inspires me to try new stuff!


Thanks for the speedy reply! Will let you know how it works out--I cook dinner for 19, so I love the option to prep in advance then bake right before our meal.


Hi, I wonder at what stage you would recommend freezing them? Make them, bake them, then freeze, and defrost later, and reheat, OR make, don't bake, freeze, then thaw? and bake, OR don't bake, freeze, and then bake right after removing from the freezer?? What would you recommend? HS: I'm thinking: make, freeze, bake straight from freezer.


wow and yum I love jamaican patties, now i can make the vegetarian version for my veggie hubby, thanks!


Seriously, I could just eat that mixture straight from the pan! Are you kidding me? YUM.

Sara @ Culinerapy

I'm glad you tried these and liked them! This cookbook arrived last Friday and this recipe is the one I was planning to try next. I made several dishes from the book earlier this week, and the biggest hit was the creamy grits. I modified the recipe for a bit more nutrition by using half amaranth and half ground corn. It worked really well, and I credit your recipes (especially from your book) for giving me the confidence to experiment with random grains. Thanks!


Umm, good idea but this is not a Jamaican veggie patty. This is more of a meatless turnover at best. Veggie patties don't have cinnamon in them--that's a common misconception. It's nutmeg for a more authentic taste and to play nicely off of the gases the cabbage releases. Nice try, though!


Oh man, these look like a VAST improvement on the dried-out ground beef mixture wrapped in semi-burnt bright yellow pastry that they used to call Jamaican patties at my high school cafeteria. I'd love to make small versions of these and serve them as appetizers.

Jessica @ Bring Your Appetite

Oh.My.God. It's a veggie meat pie! I can't wait to try this recipe. I spent summers in the Cayman Islands as a kid and my brother and I ate Meat Pies by the boxful. The best bakery there burned down and I don't eat meat anymore, so I figured I would never eat these again. You and Tyler have made my entire day, thank you!


Wow... your blog is really cool... I will definitely be checking on the recipes...I love cooking! love the pics too!

coffee lovers

Ohhhh! Thank you! I have been looking for a recipe for a good patty crust for awhile. Believe it or not, I pick up terrific patties (and other Jamaican food) at a lunch truck in downtown Philadelphia, I am so excited to be able to make my own!

emilie davis

Yum!! I used to love Jamaican patties when I ate meat, though I am sure they could not have been too healthy for me. This version looks fabulous. And healthy. Well done! The Comments section for the post on Bryant was closed but I looked up his book on Amazon and his recipes titles practically made me drool all over my desk.


I made the filling and and the pastry last night and I can't wait to get home and roll out the dough. I had been hoping you would post something from his book for us to try. I have to pick up this cook book now! A note: I didn't have Coconut oil, so I used some of the fat of the coconut milk and 1/2 Tbs of vegetable oil and it yielded the same results. The pastry was much easier to make then I had anticipated.


I like the idea of serving over quinoa. Don't know if I'd ever have the patience for the pastry. Well...maybe...in any case the book sounds awesome!

Michelle @ What Does Your Body Good?

I made the filling last night to eat on its own, with some extra cabbage and potatoes. It was incredible. Thanks for sharing this recipe Heidi - I can't wait to get the cookbook!

Sara Grace

These look really super and very tasty. Seems like there fun to make too! Cheers, Donal www.thegoodmoodfoodblog.com


These patties look gorgeous and delicious! A good way to travel without leaving your kitchen ;)


I used to make a wicked Jamaican meat pattie. My mouth still waters for them occasionally. But I think it's the seasoning and the crumbly turmeric pastry that I really crave. This recipe is an inspiration to try my hand at a veggie version. Thanks for the prod!

Joyce Wiatroski

ooh, when i wasn't veg i used to love these! they remind me of empanadas too.


Hi Heidi, yr recipes are always interesting for me, espcecialy for the Tempeh. I,m Indonesian Chinese and Tempeh or TEMPE originaly from Indonesia. Frankly I don't try yet but I must try that one. thank's Heidi and GBU


How exciting! I'm of Caribbean descent and lately have been trying to "veganize" some of the foods I've grown up with (I'm getting homesick out here in Cali). So I'm super excited to see this recipe highlighted and it might even inspire me to go out & get Mr. Terry's book. Thanks for sharing!

Kay B

These look amazing! Absolutely love patties but I've never had veggie ones and I can't wait to try them out.

Sweet Kitchen

Hello - Long-time reader of your site - first-time poster! I made this recipe this afternoon -- I was up early this morning and happened to see this recipe pop up on your site and couldn't wait for the grocery store to open so I could buy the ingredients to make this! As someone who usually screws up pastry recipes, I am happy to report that my hand pies turned out picture perfect. The recipe is fantastic. I made the filling before lunch and had to restrain myself from not devouring the aromatic filling in one sitting! The pastry crust turned out beautifully -- very flaky and light. I didn't have pastry flour on hand, so I substituted 1/2 cup whole wheat all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup white all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup cake flour. There was no coconut oil at the grocery store, so I had to substitute regular butter. I recommend toasting the spices a little bit beforehand -- really brings out the aroma. Absolutely delicious and fun to make!

Tracy H.

WOW - awesome! and I totally have Every ingredient already in stock. Thanks!


Yum!! These look so delicious! I love the ingredients and spices. What a treat, thanks for sharing!!

lisa (dandysuagr)

Hello reading that article, and looking the procedure for make this meal, i recall a delicious fast food dish we make here in our country, called Empanadas, when i see the pictures of the Jamaican Veggie Patties i remembrance the empanada, it looks so similar, the only diference is that Jamaican Veggie Pattie is filled out with veggies, but the empanada we make here in Colombia is made with rice and meat, we have with other flavours, with chicken, or with egg, anyway it looks like the same. Very delicious recipe, and nice photos too thanks and regards


I don't know if it is the same book you are talking about but on Amazon this title (which just came out) has 256 pages and is not black and white, but is a deep burnt orange color. It has the same title and author; is there a different version?


YUM! That looks wonderful. I love freezing things like this for my husband's lunch.

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

I love using coconut oil in crusts. I did it on the show for our Coconut Pasteis de Nata. I will try the dough recipe with vinegar and turmeric next time, because those look like great improvements to mine.

Sophia from Kitchen Caravan

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