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Pastelon (Plantain Lasagna)

Pastelon - is a Latin- Style (Puerto Rican) lasagna that is a combination of sweet and savory flavors, made with spiced beef, sandwiched in layers of plantains, and topped with cheese and/or eggs. Absolutely incredible meal for regular or special days!

Course Main
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword baked, plantains
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 6 - 9 slices
Calories 451 kcal
Author Imma

Ingredients

  • 3-4 large ripe plantains
  • 1 medium onion , chopped
  • 3 teaspoons (15 g) minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) cumin spice
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) smoked paprika
  • ½ -1 teaspoon (1-2 g) cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (1 g) dried oregano or thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.5 g) ground coriander
  • 1 red/green bell pepper , chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped or 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 pound (453.59 g) ground beef/chicken
  • 1 16- ounce black beans , drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) water
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 g) salt
  • 1 packet sazon or 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • ½ teaspoon (1 g) freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup sliced olives
  • 2 -3 green onion , chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons parsley chopped
  • 2 cup (226 g) shredded cheese
  • 2-3 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Using a sharp knife cut both ends off the plantain. This will make it easy to grab the skin of the plantains. Slit a shallow line down the long seam of the plantain; peel only as deep as the peel. Remove plantain peel by pulling it back. Slice the plantains horizontally into 4-5 pieces depending on plantains. You may either fry or bake the plantains. I prefer frying.

Frying Method

  1. Heat up a large skillet or cast iron with oil up to ½ inch- medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
  2. Fry the plantain in batches, turning once, until lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pan (it will make the plantains to be soggy and absorb excess oil).

  3. Use a slotted spoon, transfer the fried plantains and drain on paper towels.

Baking Method

  1. Spray a baking sheet and place plantains on them in a single layer; spray lightly over the plantains using the canola oil spray and bake at 400 degrees F, turning over slices, after 8 minutes for about 12- 20 minutes or till plantains turn slightly brown.

Making the Filling

  1. Next add about 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet followed by onions, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, oregano, coriander and sweat for about a minute.

  2. Then add bell pepper, tomatoes or tomato sauce, bring to a simmer. Add ground meat, beans and cook for about 7-10 minutes, while stirring frequently to prevent burning burn. Add about 3 tablespoons of broth or water as needed. Season with salt, chicken bouillon or sazon and black pepper.

  3. Finally add olives , green onions and parsley, adjust for seasoning. Remove and set aside

Assembling

  1. Spray a deep 8x8 pan with cooking spray or rub with butter/oil.
  2. Line the bottom of the baking pan with the fried plantain. Make sure there is no space between the plantains.
  3. Add enough of the beef mixture to make a layer, just like you would prepare lasagna. Alternate rows of plantains and meat until both are used up. Add cheese in between, if desired.

  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and pour over the Pastelon. Making sure to cover the entire thing.
  5. Add cheese if desired, or only use cheese
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, or until all the egg has cooked through and the cheese are bubbly.
  7. Let it cool then serve warm

Recipe Notes

  1. I usually go with moderately ripe plantains. They don’t fall apart or soak up tons of oil. You can deep-fry, pan fry or bake them.
  2. You can use – ground beef, chicken or beans or combine protein and beans.
  3. Add cayenne pepper if you want some heat in it.
  4. With or without cheese, this plantain lasagna still taste good.
  5. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.