Pastelón is a popular meal in the regions of the world where plantains grow in great quantities. This dish is referred to as Plantain Lasagna, a layered baked dish that builds upon fried plantains. It has the sweetness of the plantains and the saltiness of olives all blended with ground beef.
It has a wonderful flavor, easy to make and low cost to boot. If you search for recipes on this traditional dish you will find many variations but with common ingredients. One typical ingredient which I didn’t use because I don’t know if it is gluten free is Sazón from Goya. Because I’ve never eaten this dish before I made it I cannot speak to how it would taste different without using it. I will say that I loved this dish and will be making it again.
An important ingredient that I did keep is a green sofrito, which is typical for Puerto Rican cooking. It has green pepper, jalapeño pepper, onion, garlic and cilantro. Other sofritos have tomatoes in it but not this one. Now don’t get worried about this dish being spicy because you see jalapeño. Typically Puerto Rican dishes are not spicy and neither is this one.
I also made a little change to the ingredient of olives. Usually there are whole or halved olives with pimentos added to this dish. Well olives are one of those ingredients that my husband keeps telling me the he doesn’t like but every time I hide them in a dish, he likes it. So I finely chopped them and mixed them in once more. You will also find many recipes for Pastelón that contain raisins. I decided to leave them out this time but next time will add them in to see which one I like the best.
Now the main ingredient in the lasagna part is plantains. You really need 2-3 ripe plantains (black peel) for this recipe. Well I really wanted to make this dish and I had some leftover tostones which are twice fried plantains and I didn’t exactly have enough. They were also round slices that are smashed. If I was making this with a new plantains I would use long slices like lasagna noodles. The key is to fry them first before you place them on the bottom of your 9×13 pan.
So how do you put together Pastelón.
After you chop the sofrito and the olives brown your ground beef and add in the adobo seasoning.
Mix the cooked beef with the olives and half of the sofrito, mexican oregano, adobo and tomato sauce. Now give this a taste and see if you want to add in more sofrito or not. Place your fried plantains on the bottom and cover them with this ground beef mixture.
Top with green beans and sliced roasted red peppers.
Now beat the eggs so they are fluffy like you would when making an omelet. Pour the eggs over the entire mixture.
This is a great dish for every day, pot luck dinners, and makes great leftovers. This is also good for company when you want to spend time with your guests instead of having to be in the kitchen cooking while they’re having a good time in the other room.
Oh yeah, it’s a great way to get your vegetables!
Recipe: Gluten and Diary Free Pastelón- Plantain Lasagna
- 2-3 plantains
- 1 jalapeno(seeds and membranes removed) minced
- ½ green pepper minced
- 1 small onion minced Handful cilantro chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1-2 tsp adobo seasonings – turmeric, onion, garlic, salt and pepper
- 1 cup olives
- 1-2 tsp Mexican oregano
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 2-3 handfuls of green beans
- Roasted red peppers sliced
- 3 eggs
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Slice the plantains lengthwise into long strips. Fry in a pan and set aside.
- Chop your olives into the size you want and make your sofrito. The fastest way to make the sofrito is in a mini chopper or food processor. Add in the jalapeno, onion, green pepper, garlic and cilantro. Pulse until chopped small but not so small it looks like a smoothie.
- Brown the beef in your frying pan and season with the adobo seasoning and Mexican oregano. Add in half of the sofrito, olives and salt and pepper to taste. Make sure you taste it. Go easy on the salt until you have tasted it. Now is when you add in more sofrito or any of the other spices to suit your taste. Mix in the tomato sauce.
- To assemble the dish grease the bottom of a 9×13 pan, lay the plantain on the bottom, top with the ground beef, then the green beans and roasted red peppers. Beat your eggs and pour over the top. If you use cheese the layering is a little different. After the beef pour the eggs on top and then add the cheese. Now top with the green beans and red pepper.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes until it sets up. Carefully peel back the foil, cut and serve.
Diet (other): Gluten free
Meal type: dinner
Microformatting by hRecipe.
I was so curious when I saw this on your monthly menu plan!
Katrina- I hope you give it a try. It’s so easy to make and it tastes wonderful!
My only experience with plantains thus far has been fried and I love them that way. I've come to the conclusion that you can make wonderful lasagna so many ways–this one certainly looks awesome, Diane. 🙂
Shirley- Then you’ll love this! Let me know if you give it a try. It gets better the second day too.
I've never eaten anything like this, but I can imagine how tasty this must be. I love plantains. The process reminds me of Greek moussaka, only subbing Latin spices, subbing plantains for the eggplant, and a few other veggies. I think I need to try a version of this!
This seems like a very creative recipe! I know you had some inspiration from traditional dishes, but I love the way you take it and make it healthier so we can all enjoy it! 🙂
Aubree- OK, so do you think you'll give it a try? It's really easy and tastes amazing.