3-Bite Jamaican Beef Patties

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As much as I adore you– and I promise I do– I might have to sever all ties if you mention your future vacation plans to me one. more. time.
Yes, that’s right, I’m talking to you.  All of you.  I hate to admit it, but my stomach has been churning with jealousy lately, which is not how I prefer my stomach to feel.  I would far rather it be full with exotic foods and cocktails that I would most certainly never order while out stateside, but I have shamelessly consumed despite their little paper umbrella garnishes.  For the sake of my stomach and my sanity, I beg you one last time– don’t taunt me with details of your plans for Spring Break / Summer Vacation / Spontaneous Trips.

3-Bite Jamaican Beef Patties

I’ve never been outside of the states, with the exception a few-hour-long stop in Canada to see the Niagara Falls as a child.  As someone whose biggest goal is “to see the world”, this is not even slightly acceptable.  However, my family wasn’t able to go on many vacations when I was younger, I was broke as a college student, and, well, I’ve got a lot of debts to repay as a newly-graduated-and-employed adult.  Experiencing the world requires a little more money than I can find between the cushions of my couch, unfortunately.

I have tried, over the years, to soothe the sting of staying stateside through culinary exploration.  I may not be able to go to Mexico, but I can find authentic Mexican restaurants and get a taste for the cuisine.  Then I can attempt to recreate some of the dishes at home, you know, to keep my mind off of the fact that I’m still at home.  It’s better than nothing.
As you probably have guessed already, culinary curiosity has led me to Jamaican food.  My favorite thing to eat at any Jamaican take-out shack or restaurant has always been Jamaican beef patties, so naturally, as I started craving the warm Jamaican sun on my skin (and hearing others talk about their plans to actually go to Jamaica), the first thing I decided to do was to make the spicy, flaky, savory hand pies.
I wanted to try and make them easier, as most recipes I have found host a slew of complaints about how time consuming they are, or how difficult the dough is to make.  Thus, the 3-Bite Jamaican Beef Patty was born.
The first batch of 3-Bite Jamaican Beef Patties being filled.
By using frozen pastry dough and a muffin pan, the process to make these bites is far simpler, yet very rewarding.  I was shocked at how close the taste of these improvised bites was to the real thing.  This is a recipe I’ll definitely make again many times for get-togethers and potlucks, and I really encourage you to try it out the next time a friend rubs in mentions an upcoming vacation.  As you sink your teeth into the spicy morsels, put on some Bob Marley, keep a Caribbean cocktail at your side, and imagine you’ve got nothing in the world to do but relax.  It’ll do the trick.

3-Bite Jamaican Beef Patties
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These flaky, homemade bundles of spicy beef taste like authentic Jamaican Beef Patties, but take far less time!
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Jamaican
Serves: 12
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, finely chopped*
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Thaw the puff pastry for 30 minutes to an hour. As it thaws, create the filling for the Patties.
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, add a teaspoon of oil and saute the onions and Scotch bonnet until the onions are translucent and the pepper has softened.
  3. Add in the beef, thyme, allspice, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Stir often and cook until the meat has browned, about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Add the breadcrumbs and then pour the beef stock in, slowly, as you stir the mixture together. The beef mixture should become soft and moist, but not liquidy. If the mixture is not moist, add another tablespoon of beef stock or water. If it is too liquidy, add another tablespoon of breadcrumbs.
  5. Remove the mixture from heat and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Place the thawed pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface, and thin it slightly with a rolling pin. After it is stretched out, sprinkle the sheet with tumeric. Using your fingers (you may want to wear gloves, as the tumeric will stain your hands yellow), rub the tumeric over the pastry sheet. When the sheet has become evenly yellow, cut it into 12 pieces.
  8. Line the dough in the muffin cups, with the tumeric side facing down. Make sure to stretch them out, so there is plenty of dough hanging over. Divide the meat mixture evenly into the dough cups. The mixture should be touching the side without turmeric.
  9. Pull the sides of the dough up, and pinch them together well to seal the patties. Use water along the seams to help smooth them together.
  10. If you'd like, flip the bundles upside-down in the muffin pan so that the seams are on the bottom of the pan, and will be hidden when you serve them.
  11. Bake 30 minutes, or until golden.




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  1. Kate says

    I am bringing these to a party in 2 days, just prepped the meat filling this morning (it is delicious!) Do you think I should just finish them today and reheat or keep the filling in the fridge and do the pastry part the day of the party?

    • says

      Hi Kate, either way should be fine! They hold up pretty well if made ahead of time, so if it would be easier done that way, I’d say go for it!

  2. jenni says

    This sounds absolutely divine! I’ll have to try it sometime. Thank you for sharing this! I’m like you too, I’ve never been out of the states and when people start talking about where they’ve been or where they’re going I get these horrible twinges of jealousy to which I just end up looking up recipes and start cooking to pretend I’m there. Hahaha

  3. Ingrid says

    Whap’n* Morgan, (that means basically, “what’s up”)

    Great Post. I’m a Jamaican Canadian living in the South of France and can’t get patties (boo) unless I fly to London. So guess what, I’m going to make your patty recipe. The look delicious and easy. I love the slapping on the tumeric touch. Cute idea. I actually don’t eat gluten but I always break that rule for Jamaican patties as I don’t see it happening with almond or cocnu flour (that said, i should probably experiment with that). What really clinched the deal for me though was your name (My son’s name is also Morgan). I’ll let you know how it turned out.

  4. michelle says

    I was thinking to myself it had to be an easier way to make my fav snack as a child in my Jamaican culture…..I was going to try puff pastry and make it like filled triangle sandwiches….lol! But, this is fun and super cute for parties and family gatherings…..my comrads would be so happy, because they always ask me to make them…..well, IM SO EXCITED TO KNOCK THEIR SOCKS OFF!! 😉

    Thank you.

  5. Jitinder says

    Looking forward to making this recipe for a party I’m hosting next week. Do you think there is enough filling to make 24 minis instead of 12? Or is this recipe (dough to filling ratio) better for bigger “bites”? Also do they reheat well? I was going to make them one day in advance and keep them in the fridge and reheat.
    Please let me know your thoughts!

    • says

      I think 24 minis would work, although I haven’t tried it myself. They will do well being reheated as long as you do it in the oven!

  6. Kimberly says

    These look great! However I noticed an asterisk next to the scotch bonnet on the ingredient list and was looking for the clarification on that? Is there maybe a substitute that isn’t as hot?


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