Jamaican Lentil Patties (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

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A Jamaican patty is a flaky pastry with meat or vegetable filling. Patties are very popular in Jamaica and are sold in stores throughout the island. They would be considered the Jamaican fast food. In this version I created, I used lentils instead of ground meat and the crust is gluten free and vegan. The taste is right on and very flavorful.  I added turmeric to the crust for that signature golden color.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ cup onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 spring onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • Pinch allspice
  • ½ cup brown lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Crust
    • 1 cup brown rice flour
    • ½ cup sorghum flour
    • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
    • 2 tablespoons potato starch
    • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
    • Pinch turmeric
    • ¼ cup coconut oil, solid
    • ½ cup almond milk


Directions:

To make the filling: Heat oil in a medium saucepan on medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is soft. Add spring onion, thyme, turmeric, paprika, cumin, allspice, lentil and stir to coat. Add water, coconut milk and bring to boil. Cover saucepan and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and lentils are tender. Stir in liquid aminos, sea salt and cayenne pepper. Remove from heat and allow to cool while preparing the crust.

To make the Crust: Preheat oven 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, combine rice flour, sorghum flour. flax seed meal, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, sea salt and turmeric. Mix well. Stir in coconut oil until the dough resembles crumbs. Stir in almond milk and use hand to form into a dough ball. Further divide ball into 6 smaller balls. Roll out each ball in between plastic wrap using a rolling pin, about 4 inch circle. Add 1 tablespoon of lentil filling on one half of circle, making sure to leave edges clear. Fold over the other half and seal crimping edges with a fork. Transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

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  1. Hi there!! I can’t wait to make it…I wondered, will I need to seal the dough with water before crimping it?

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Yes please do, the dough is delicate so be careful. I like to roll the dough out on top of plastic wrap, add filling then turn dough with the aid of the plastic wrqp.

  2. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from.
    cheers

  3. Hi Michelle,
    Do you have a recipe for the crust that is not gluten free? I would like to try the recipe with unbleached or even whole wheat flour. Or have you only made this using gluten free flour?

    Thanks :)

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Hello Shonette, I haven’t made a regular crust in years, there should be plenty recipes online for the crust or you can use puff pastry from the store.

  4. Arnette Gordon

    I’m Jamaican and vegan…what’s the alternative to sorghum, potato and tapioca starch? I’d luv to try this recipe!

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Hello Annette, you could use this recipe:
      1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
      1/2 cup potato starch
      2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
      1/2 teaspoon guar gum
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1 cup unsweetened almond milk or your favorite
      1/4 cup coconut oil
      If you don’t want the gum, then leave it out. Mind you without the guar gum, the crust might not be as sturdy.

  5. i just made these but I didn’t have the starches you suggested . I subbed the potatoe with corn starch and the other with arrowroot starch . Though when I started to put it together it all just fell apart . It took me forever to hold it in place . Do you think the subsitites of those starches played a role to them breaking apart ? I just ate the left over lentils since I couldn’t hole the dough together . Lentils were great !

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Hello Lindsey, I’m so sorry that the dough didn’t hold together. I have to emphasize that the dough is not the same as regular flour. I have made these patties on numerous occasions without them falling apart. I have only used the starches in my recipe so I’m not sure how they respond. I would have to test to see. I will also redo this dough in the near future.

  6. I have these in my oven as I type. Filling is delicious. Glad I have extra. Thinking of making rice and mixing the two together. I had a hell of a time with the dough though. Was too dry in beginning. Added touch of water. And while trying to fill them just kept splitting. One is just a pile of they dough with lentils mashed together because itjust fell apart. Others sg least look like patties but are split still. Not very pretty but I’m still hoping they will turn out and taste ok at least. Any suggestions for dough?

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Hello Audrey, I hope you enjoyed the taste of your lentil patties. I must say that the dough is more delicate than regular wheat dough. I would say make the crust thicker next time. It all depends on the humidity whether or not you would need extra liquid for the dough to be pliable. I have made the recipe several times without any issues. Make sure there isn’t too much liquid in the lentil as well for this will cause your dough to split. I find that putting the dough on a plastic wrap and using the plastic wrap to fold the dough over helps. Hope this helps

      • It’s definitely not humid here lol (northern Ontario Canadan) the dough ended up being rock hard and super dry. And in the end whole thing ended up pretty dry unfortunately. So I don’t know what I did lol

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Sabrina, sounds like you stayed in one of those All-inclusive hotels where they mostly served American foods!

  7. Audrey @ Unconventional Baker

    Oh my gosh, how awesome — I can’t believe these are gluten-free too. I haven’t had Jamaican patties in ages!! This looks amazing.

  8. Sara @ LifesLittleSweets.com

    Oh my goodness, I love lentils! I cook with them all the time, so glad to see a recipe with them. I have to try these.

  9. Rachel @ athletic avocado

    these look so tasty! I have so many lentils and I don’t know what to so with them! Gonna try this!

  10. We went to Jamaica in the spring and had something like this! You are right, these patties are everywhere. Would be so fun to recreate them at home.

  11. J @ A Hot Southern Mess

    I LOVE Jamaican food and these look amazing! Plus, they are GF, so you get brownie points! Yummy!

  12. Hillary Reeves

    Omg I grew up eating Jamaican beef patties and I’ve never thought to make them with lentils!! This is such an exciting idea. I’m so excited to try.

  13. Cassandrea @ chewsandbrews.ca

    I just had my first Jamaican patty this year and loved them! I love your recipe – sounds and looks wonderful!!

  14. Where were these when I was addicted to Jamaican Patties? Oh well… maybe I’ll start up the addiction again. :) Looks scrumptious!

  15. foodlovinfamily

    These sound so good! They will definitely be in the menu line up for next week. Thanks for sharing!

  16. This is a very inviting recipe with such healthful ingredients. I would love to find the ingredients so I could try this recipe. Otherwise, I would certainly want to purchase if the product were available in my locale. I really like patties!

  17. Erin @ Platings and Pairings

    I’ve never tried jamaican patties, but after seeing these, I’m definitely on board!

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Thanks Laura, I’m sure you can substitute with a regular puff pastry crust or if you are on a gluten-free diet, you can use a ready made gluten-free pie crust!

  18. These are phenominal! We just finished eating them for dinner and adults and children alike loved them! I am definitely adding these into my regular dinner rotation.

    Thank you for a fantastic recipe!

  19. OMG. I just made these for dinner. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease a month ago and I’m vegan with other newly discovered food sensitivities. I’ve been struggling with the gluten free flours and trying to create savory, comforting food ever since. (It’s been mostly nuts and seeds, with a few handfuls of beans here and there.) I only had to substitute two ingredients which is great.
    They are in the oven as I write this and luckily I had some filling left over. Delicious! My new go too comfort food. Thank you so much!

  20. My husband and I adore Caribbean patties–but I have always been too intimidated to try making them. This recipe looks wonderful!

  21. Savanna @ Gluten Free Vegan Pantry

    Whoa – what a sensational idea!! Definitely going to have to give these a try at home this week!

  22. Alyssa @ Simply Quinoa

    These are so up my alley it’s not even funny. Now that I’ve been eating more plant-based, lentils are one of my major obsessions. And I LOVE that you’ve made the crust gluten-free!

    • Michelle Blackwood

      I love lentils too and its always fun to find creative use of them, I hope you enjoy them!

  23. Gwen @simplyhealthyfamily

    What a wonderful treat for lunch (and packed in a lunch box!!) The flavors in these cute pies are my favorite! Saving and sharing ;)

  24. The lentils must taste awesome with that spice blend! I’ll have to try these next time I make dinner with my gluten free friend, she’ll love these.

  25. Ohhh! I am crazy for this recipe. I love that you made these healthier. My husband will go nuts for these patties. We adore the beef ones but the calories restrict us from eating them. So happy!!

    • Michelle Blackwood

      I’m happy Christie, they are a wonderful substitute for beef patties. Hope you enjoy them!

  26. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    Michelle, this looks absolutely delicious- I love the spice mix you’ve used and this would be great for a meat free appetiser!

  27. Dear Michelle, I love Jamaican beef patties. My girlfriend used to make them all the time and inspired me to try as well. They are so good. I have not had them in ages. Now I am craving them! Pinned for later. xo, Catherine

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Wow that’s great to know, I grew up eating beef patties and they were so good I had to try making them gluten free and vegan. I hope they bring back lovely memories :)

      • Michelle I love that you made them gluten free as its so hard to find good home made gluten free alternatives for myself and my toddler. Can I use coconut milk instead of almond milk as we are nut and dairy free too. X

  28. I am absolutely obsessed with beef patties but have never tried making them myself. This version looks amazing!

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