Several months ago, I came across this irresistible-sounding recipe for Jamaican Veggie Patties. It comes from Bryant Terry’s new cookbook: Vegan Soul Kitchen. Jamaican patties are traditionally filled with ground beef, but this vegan version features a delectable mix of vegetables cooked in coconut milk and sweet spices surrounded by a flaky, coconut oil-rich crust.

My first attempt at this recipe yielded mediocre results. The filling was great, but I completely messed up the crust (my own fault, not anything to do with the recipe as written.) The crust recipe calls for chilled coconut oil. Having never used coconut oil before, I decided to put it in the fridge to chill overnight – the colder the fat, the flakier the pastry, right? Big mistake! The coconut oil hardened up so much that I couldn’t even get my knife through it. I let it soften for a while at room temperature, but I still had a tough time incorporating it evenly into the dough. Not surprisingly, the crust wasn’t very good. It turned out dry and crumbly rather than flaky. At least the coconut oil made my hands nice and soft!

I decided to attempt the recipe again but this time, instead of making patties, I chose to make pot pies. Pot pies are easier to assemble and provide a higher ratio of delicious filling to pastry (I felt that the flavor of the filling was kind of lost in the patties.) For the crust, I followed a basic butter pie crust recipe which I tweaked slightly to bring it more in line with Mr. Terry’s recipe. I added 1 teaspoon of turmeric to the flour, and I used a combination of butter and coconut oil for the fat. This time, I chilled the coconut oil for only 30 minutes or so – it is already solid at room temperature so it just needed a short time in the fridge to cool down. I followed Mr. Terry’s filling recipe to a tee, although I doubled it to make sure I had enough for two pot pies (I actually ended up with more than enough– fortunately, leftover filling is delicious on its own or over rice!)

I divided the filling into two 2-cup soufflé dishes, topped them with the crust, brushed on a little egg wash and baked them in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Except for my slightly misshapen crust, the pot pies turned out beautiful! The turmeric gives the crust a nice golden color. They were very rich and flavorful and provided some much-needed comfort on our first stormy night of fall. Jamaican pot pies – a unique twist on an American classic!


  1. Great blog! A little bird named Phil Shaw told me to check it out. I am going to make your pot pie recipe. Tonight. That’s a fact!

    Comment by Kate — October 21, 2009 @ 5:24 pm

  2. Thanks Kate! I really like your blog as well (and for the record, I am also a pie person – I’d take pie over cake any day of the week!)

    Comment by elliemay — October 23, 2009 @ 9:55 am

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