Baked Jamaican Beef Patty Recipe

Beef patties are one of the best-loved Jamaican dishes, although their history, as with many traditional foods, is somewhat shrouded in the mists of time. They are thought to be a product of all of the many disparate cultures that have come together to create Jamaica's unique character, but the prototype could well have been the meat pasties brought by Cornish sailors who first visited the island in the 17th century. In time, however, the recipe has evolved to include Scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, and other flavorings more typical of the Caribbean than the British Isles.

This recipe's particular patties may not be a traditional version of the dish, but recipe developer Leah Maroney touts the fact that their texture is "unlike other meat-filled pastries due to the addition of cracker crumbs." She does say that "the flaky and buttery pastry makes the Jamaican beef patties absolutely irresistible." Interestingly enough, she also notes that some people like to add some extra carbs to the finished product. As Maroney asserts, these patties may be "considered a complete meal when they're served inside coco bread."

Assemble the ingredients for these baked Jamaican beef patties

The outer crust of the patties is made from flour mixed with a combination of butter and shortening while being seasoned with turmeric and salt. The filling is comprised of ground beef flavored with onion, garlic, Scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, allspice, smoked paprika, beef bouillon, seasoned salt, black pepper, and ketchup, and then bulked up with crackers. While Maroney feels that "Ritz or another buttery cracker work best for the filling," she does say that "any cracker will do." She also says that ⅓ cup of breadcrumbs can be substituted for the crackers.

Make the dough

Mix the flour with the butter, shortening, turmeric, and salt (Maroney uses a food processor for this step) until it has a fine crumb-like consistency. Blend in ice water a tablespoon at a time until a dough forms. You may need to add ½ cup (8 tablespoons) of water in all, but the dough might take a bit less. To test whether the dough is ready, press it with your hands. If it holds together, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for an hour or more.

Make the beef filling

Fry the beef until it's brown. Peel and roughly chop the onions and garlic, then chop (but do not peel) the pepper. You should probably wear gloves for this step. Otherwise, the pepper juices could burn your hands. Season the browned beef with the thyme, allspice, smoked paprika, beef bouillon, seasoned salt, black pepper, and ketchup, then stir in the onions, garlic, and pepper. Continue cooking the filling until the onions soften.

Blend the beef filling with the crackers (Maroney advises using a blender or food processor), grinding until both the onions and crackers are incorporated. Maroney does caution, though to "not over-blend," as you don't want the meat to turn into a paste.

Form the beef patties

Once you're ready to make the patties, preheat the oven to 400 F. Divide the dough in half, then roll one piece out into a rectangle measuring about 12 by 18 inches and about ⅛ inch thick. Slice this rectangle into strips each measuring about 5 by 3 inches.

Using ¼ cup of the beef for each piece of dough, put the filling in the middle. Fold the dough over, then form the edges into what Leah Maroney calls "a slightly rounded square." Use a fork to crimp the edges. If the dough doesn't form a good seal, you can use a little water to help it stick. Repeat this process until you've filled all of the dough strips, then roll out and cut the rest of the dough and continue filling patties until both the filling and dough are used up.

Bake the beef patties

Bake all of the patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes. Once they are done, they should have the golden-brown tinge typical of baked dough. If you'd like the patties to be even more yellowish in color, Maroney notes that you can brush them with an egg wash before you stick them in the oven. Let the patties cool off a bit before you bite into the first one.

These beef patties can be kept in the fridge for 3 days, but if you won't finish them in time, they can be frozen. "The patties can be assembled ahead of time and frozen until you are ready to bake," says Maroney. As for reheating, 2 or 3 minutes in the microwave will do for refrigerated patties, although frozen ones may take a bit longer. You can reheat them in an oven or air fryer, too, or just eat them cold, although eating patties straight out of the freezer isn't recommended.

Baked Jamaican Beef Patty Recipe
5 from 48 ratings
The flaky and buttery pastry in this recipe makes the Jamaican beef patties absolutely irresistible, even if they still end up being served inside coco bread.
Prep Time
Cook Time
beef patties with habanero peppers
Total time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
  • For the crust
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
  • 6 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the Filling
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 15 butter crackers
  1. Prepare the dough by combining the flour, butter, shortening, turmeric, and salt in a food processor. Pulse these ingredients until a fine crumb forms.
  2. Slowly add in ice-cold water while pulsing the food processor until the dough just starts to come together. Add in one tablespoon of the ice water at a time (roughly ½ cup total).
  3. Once the dough stays together by squishing it in your hands, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  4. While the dough rests, add the ground beef to a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until browned.
  5. Add the thyme, allspice, smoked paprika, beef bouillon, seasoned salt, black pepper, and ketchup to the ground beef. Stir to combine and continue cooking on low heat.
  6. Add the chopped onions, garlic, and Scotch bonnet pepper to the ground beef mixture and cook until the onions are slightly softened.
  7. Add the beef mixture to a blender or food processor along with the 15 crackers and pulse until the crackers and onion mixture are blended into the beef. Do not over-blend. Set the mixture aside.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  9. Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Split the dough in half so you have two mounds of dough.
  10. Take one mound of dough and roll it into a rectangular sheet about ⅛ inch thick and 12 by 18 inches in length and width. Cut the dough into strips, each measuring approximately 5 by 3 inches.
  11. Spoon ¼ cup of the beef mixture into the center of one of the pieces of dough and fold the dough over the filling, then press down the edges into a slightly rounded square and crimp them with a fork. If the edges aren't sticking well, add a little water to the edges before crimping.
  12. Place the patty on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  13. Repeat with the remaining filling and dough.
  14. Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
  15. Allow to cool before eating.
  16. The patties can be eaten wrapped in coco bread or with hot sauce.
Calories per Serving 301
Total Fat 18.0 g
Saturated Fat 7.3 g
Trans Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 40.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 24.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Total Sugars 0.8 g
Sodium 206.2 mg
Protein 9.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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