This Latin-style (Puerto Rican) plantain lasagna combines sweet and savory flavors made with spiced beef sandwiched between layers of plantains and topped with cheese and eggs. It's an absolutely incredible meal for special days or even just a regular weeknight dinner. 😉
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.
Heat up a large skillet or cast iron with oil up to ½ inch- medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
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).
Use a slotted spoon, transfer the fried plantains and drain on paper towels.
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
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.
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.
Finally add olives , green onions and parsley, adjust for seasoning. Remove and set aside
Spray a deep 8x8 pan with cooking spray or rub with butter/oil.
Line the bottom of the baking pan with the fried plantain. Make sure there is no space between the plantains.
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.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and pour over the Pastelon. Making sure to cover the entire thing.
Add cheese if desired, or only use cheese
Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, or until all the egg has cooked through and the cheese are bubbly.
Let it cool then serve warm
If you choose to fry your plantains, don't overcrowd the pan. This will cool the oil too much and result in soggy plantains because they'll absorb too much oil before they cook.
I like to use moderately ripe plantains for this recipe. They don't fall apart or soak up tons of oil, making them just right for layering.
To keep your filling from burning while you cook it, add a small amount of broth or water as needed.
If you want some heat in this recipe, just add more cayenne pepper to taste. You know I always like the option to make things spicy!
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.