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Pastelon (Puerto Rican Lasagna)

Pastelon (Puerto Rican Lasagna)Reheated a few days later (hence the wilted cilantro), it was even better!

I’ve never been to Puerto Rico and know very little about Puerto Rican food. However, while I was shopping at Dun Up Boutique the owner was telling me about this amazing Puerto Rican restaurant in San Rafael, Sol Food. A few days later, the restaurant showed up on an episode of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives where the owner made pastelon, billed as Puerto Rican lasagna.

I’ve made picadillo over rice a few times and had been craving plantains so I knew it was something I would probably like. Pastelon is slices of fried ripe plantains layered with cheese and picadillo (ground beef, tomato paste, olives and spices) topped with a layer of egg…yum! I really liked the juxtaposition of the spicy meat and briny olives with the sweet fried plantains.

(Update 6/7/12) This time, I used 4 ripe plantains and 3 green plantains. Unripe plantains are dryer than ripe ones and are closer in texture and flavor to potatoes. I liked the mix of sweet and savory so appreciated the green plantains–just make sure you keep track of the green and sweet when you layer so each slice has a good mix of both kinds. Further, if you use green bananas, add some more crushed tomatoes  to your meat sauce to offset their dryness. I also used jalapeno-stuffed olives this time (its what I had) and loved the low heat it added.

Pastelon (Puerto Rican Lasagna)

Frying Plaintains for Pastelon

Pastelon (Puerto Rican Lasagna)

Pastelon (Puerto Rican Lasagna)

Pastelon

This recipe was slightly adapted and doubled from The Noshery. If you want step-by-step visuals, visit the original recipe.

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 minced onions
  • 6 minced gloves garlic
  • 1 green pepper, minced
  • 1 red pepper, minced
  • 1 minced serrano pepper
  • 1 bunch chopped cilantro
  • 4 tsp adobo
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 4 tsp oregano
  • 4 Tbs vinegar
  • 2 envelope sazón
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 16 green stuffed olives, halved
  • 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 7 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced into strips (or 4 ripe, 3 green plantains)
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 Tbs milk
  • 4 cups white shredded cheese
  • vegetable oil
  • salt
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brown beef. Add onion, peppers, serrano, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, adobo, oregano, vinegar and sazon.
  3. When onions and peppers start to become translucent, add bay leaves, olives and tomato sauce.  Mix and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Pan fry plantains in vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and slightly crispy. Salt the fried slices!
  5. In a deep 9×13 pan (it will overflow if you use a 9×11 pyrex), layer plantains, beef and cheese. I had 3 layers of plantains & cheese sandwiched with 2 layers of meat.
  6. Beat eggs with milk and pour over the top. Add a little more cheese.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes and garnish with cilantro.

We served this with hot sauce, sour cream and salad.

(Updated 6/7/2012 with additional images and comments)

Pastelon (Puerto Rican Lasagna)

When served hot out of the oven sometimes things fall over…but still delicious!

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  1. Rita Campbell
    September 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I made this for the first time and it came out perfect. I was so proud of myself. My husband never had anything like this before and he loved it. He actually got a little disappointed when I told him I cut half of it and put it in the freezer.

    • Lan
      September 9, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      Rita, I’m glad you & your husband enjoyed it!

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