Puerto Rican Plantain Lasagna (Pastelon)

January 19, 2013 in Categories: by

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Plantain Lasagna-052Plantain lasagna?  Really?  Yes! And what a delicious and comforting meal!  Perfect for this time of year!  This is another recipe modified from one that Gloria sent me (thank you Gloria!).  I made this for my mother-in-law’s birthday while she was visiting and it was a hit!  My mother-in-law was amazed—mostly at how you don’t even miss the cheese with the combination of egg and plantain.  It’s quite filling and my husband was delighted with a freezer full of leftovers to bring to work for lunch.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 90 minutes

Serves: 8


  1. Heat a saucepan over medium high heat.  Add 1 Tbsp of coconut oil and ground beef garlic, red and green pepper, onions and bay leaf.  Brown the beef, breaking up with a large spoon, 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add broth, wine, and tomato paste.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 10-20 minutes while frying the plantains, stirring occasionally.  Before adding to your pastelon, add ¼ tsp salt, to taste, depending on how seasoned your broth is.
  3. Now would be a good time to preheat the oven to 350F.
  4. Cut the plantains in half and peel.  Next cut each half into ¼”-thick slices (about 4 slices per plantain—it’s okay if they aren’t all evenly thick).
  5. Heat 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil in a frying pan or skillet or griddle (more if using cast iron or stainless steel, less if using non-stick).  Place the slices into the hot oil and fry 3-4 minutes per side to lightly brown.  Set aside.  (You will probably have to work in batches, topping up the coconut oil in the pan between each batch).
  6. Beat or whisk 4 eggs (you may wish to add a dash of salt and pepper). Pour onto the bottom of a large rectangular casserole dish or lasagna pan.  Place in oven for 6-7 minutes until set, but not completely cooked.  Remove the pan from the oven and prick the eggs with a fork several times all over the surface.  (Alternatively, you could cook in the microwave for about 1 minute).
  7. Lay half of your fried plantain slices over the egg in a solid layer (like noodles).  Pour the meat sauce over the plantain layer (spread out to a uniform layer).  Next layer the rest of the plantain slices over the top of the meat sauce (like your second layer of noodles).
  8. Beat or whisk the last 4 eggs (again, you may wish to add a dash of salt and pepper) and pour over the top of the pastelon.
  9. Bake for 45-50 minutes.  Let rest 5 minutes before eating.  Enjoy!

Plantain Lasagna-099 copy

Watch this video from my YouTube Channel to learn more about green plantains:


I love this recipe! I made a few changes. I found the egg on the bottom of the casserole to be unnecessary and makes everything stick, so I halved the eggs and just used them on the top. I also added some oregano, cumin and paprika to the beef mixture. The last change was that I used green bananas and didn’t fry them, just sliced them. It was delicious as originally written and with my tweaks. Thanks!

can you please advise how come green plantains are good in the paleo nutrition, given that they are so starvhy? How are they different from potatoes? Are they similar to casava ( yuca) for that matter? What would be an appropriate serving for a person trying to lose weight ? Can they be fried in coconut oil? From your video, is it not recommended to use them if they are in the in-between stage of ripeness? Where do I find your recipe for the pancakes and the soup that you mentioned? Lastly, what type of bone should I get to make my own beef broth? I apologize for the many questions; Im farely new to paleo and there arent many options to buy paleo friendly in my town’s grocery shops!!! Thanks a lot for your great postings!!!

When making the pastelon you add the peppers, but what kind of peppers? bell, jalapeños, green chiles….? thanks.

I cooked this dish today. It is very different as far as the taste profile, and that’s one reason I enjoy trying new and different foods. For my taste, it has a sweet profile only. I didn’t get spicy nor savory. So next time I will chop up a few Serrano peppers and add another herb along with the bay leaves. I usually cook a recipe as it is and then tweak it to my taste if need be. I probably will see what the authentic version is and add those herbs and spices. Also, to cut down on too much omega 6 in me, I substituted ground chicken and pork belly in lieu of beef. My chicken was moist and flavorful not dry, one reason being as to why I added pork and cooked the chicken on low heat. Anyhoos, i think it’s tasty, just for my taste I need to tweak in spicy and hot along with the sweetness from the plantains and tomato paste.

We’ve made this four times in the past few months. And we have infant twins, so putting in the time to make this is saying a lot for how much we like it. It’s delicious, healthy, protein-packed, the bottom egg later is a genius technique, it feeds us for days, and we’re not even paleo:) Thanks for a great recipe!

I’ve made a half batch in a 9×9 pan a few times now, I love it every time. My boyfriend thinks it’s too eggy so I halve the eggs for the top. Thinking about leaving them off the bottom next time since they seem to just stick and be kind of weird. But we always love this dish, it’s so yummy!!

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